Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Senator David Feeney affirmed the Australian Government’s support for a strong and sustainable Australian Defence Force presence in Townsville when visiting the troops and youth cadets stationed at Lavarack Barracks.
Commander 3rd Brigade Brigadier Shane Caughey updated Senator Feeney on the strategic plans and operational focus of the Brigade, including the progression of Army’s amphibious capability and Plan Beersheba - Army’s force generation re-structure. The Army amphibious capability and force re-structure have been developed and supported under the direction of the Government.
The 3rd Brigade is currently finalising preparations for its Combined Arms Training Activity (CATA), which will see the majority of the Brigade deployed over the weekend. CATA is one of the final stepping stones prior to the major coalition exercise TALISMAN SABRE in July. TALISMAN SABRE will act as the certification for the Brigade to be declared ‘ready’ to take over planned and contingency operations later in the year.
A briefing was also held with the Commander of Queensland’s Reserve Brigade—11th Brigade, Brigadier Stephen Porter—to discuss 31/42 RQR, 35 Field Squadron, 11 Combat Service Support Battalion and Headquarters 11th Brigade.
“The Australian Government is committed to developing a force which is fully prepared and properly positioned for operations in our immediate region, so that Australia remains strong and secure. Re-structuring the Australian Army and developing an amphibious force will mean that the ADF is capable of operating in regional environments, to not only protect Australia but to offer assistance to neighbouring nations affected by natural disasters, like cyclones and tsunamis,” Senator Feeney said.
“I am pleased to see the progress Army has made on moving to a more sustainable and capable force, and the Government very much appreciates the fact that the community of Townsville plays a huge part in supporting this force, its members and their families,“ he said.
Brigadier Shane Caughey said the visit was a good opportunity to discuss the current and future work of the brigades.
“The visit enabled the Commander of the 11th Brigade and myself to outline the transition that will occur over the coming years as the Army adapts and develops under Plan Beersheba," Brigadier Caughey said.
Senator Feeney was also updated on the developing 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment Land Force Amphibious capability and other elements from the 3rd Brigade. He was also given an overview of international engagement in the region including Exercise OLGETTA WARRIOR, the Army’s enduring bilateral exercise with the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.
Senator Feeney also met with the Mayor of Townsville, Councillor Jenny Hill. They discussed their shared and ongoing commitment to a positive and sustainable Defence presence in Townsville.
Following the visit with 3rd Brigade and 11th Brigade, Senator Feeney met with Army youth Cadets 15 ACU.
“The long-term success of ADF Cadets is a focus of mine. The Cadet organisation is an important part of a community’s assistance toward the next generation,” Senator Feeney said.
“When I speak with Cadets at visits such as this one, I learn what they love about the program and what they would like more of. The more I speak with Cadets the more I know this is a program that will continue to grow with the support it receives from the Government.
“It is a program that embodies values such as honour, honesty, integrity, courage, loyalty, teamwork and citizenship,” he said.
Office of Senator Feeney: Jeffrey Von Drehnen 0477 348 476
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999