Almost 800 Queensland based soldiers about to deploy to Afghanistan with Mentoring Task Force Five (MTF-5) were farewelled at two separate parades by their family, friends and colleagues in Brisbane and Townsville yesterday.
Senator David Feeney, the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, attended the parade held at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane to acknowledge the contribution from the 7th Brigade units in Brisbane.
The parades provided an opportunity for families and friends to pay tribute to the soldiers, and to wish them a safe and successful tour of duty in the Middle East Area of Operations.
Commander 1st Division Major General Rick Burr, DSC, AM, MVO and Commander 7th Brigade Brigadier Greg Bilton, CSC, ADC attended the Brisbane parade.
“The environment in which they deploy will present unique challenges. They will need sound judgment and good self awareness to remain alert to changes and to show high levels of initiative and flexibility to act decisively within their commander’s intent,” Major General Burr said.
“They are all extremely well prepared, and I am confident they are ready for their mission. We thank them for their commitment, and their willingness to serve is something they should be immensely proud of.”
Senator Feeney expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the professionalism, courage and dedication shown by the men and women of MTF-5 as they prepare to serve in Afghanistan.
“Every soldier here is an expert in their trade. I know they will proudly represent our nation and serve with utmost distinction and dedication,” said Senator Feeney.
MTF-5 is the primary Australian effort in Afghanistan, tasked to counter terrorism in the southern province of Uruzgan and train the 4th Kandak of the Afghan National Army. MTF-5 comprises approximately 400 personnel from Brisbane and 350 from Townsville. The new rotation will take over operational duties from MTF-4 in June.
Images from the Brisbane parade are available at:
Senator Feeney: Dimity Paul 0477 334 324
DefenceMediaOperations 02 6127 1999