The population of the small Tasmanian Central Highlands town of Poatina doubled last weekend as soldiers from the 12th/40th Battalion, Royal Tasmania Regiment, undertook a major training exercise in the area.
Exercise coordinator, Major Chris Duffy, said the Reserve Response exercise trained soldiers in security operations through a series of individual and collective activities.
“The exercise based on the scenario of a regional town being affected by a major bushfire. This required the Response Force to conduct a number of critical tasks including cordon and search activities, establishing vehicle check points, conducting building and area searches, and building clearances,” Major Duffy said.
During the exercise representatives from Tasmania’s emergency services briefed the soldiers on their roles and the cooperation they would provide to Defence in particular scenarios.
“The ADF’s Reserve Response Force (RRF) is responsible for providing domestic security and disaster relief assistance to civil authorities when called upon. This is a significant capability which has been tested during the recent floods and fires. The RRF has supported the Australian community during times of great need and has proven that it is an outstanding force”, said Senator Feeney.
“The RRF is a regional based capability which means that our part time soldiers, who are often from the local area with local knowledge and networks, are best placed to provide a response during a domestic emergency or disaster which is timely and appropriate”.
“I’d like to thank the men and women of the RRF for their commitment to the ADF and their community. I’d also like to thank the residents of Poatina for their support during this exercise,” said Senator Feeney.
The conduct of the exercise consolidates and enhances security operations skills while providing learning opportunities for the soldiers, junior leaders, commanders and supporting civilian agencies.
Senator Feeney: Dimity Paul 0477 334 324
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999