Part-time soldiers from Victoria’s 4 Brigade spent Mothers’ Day practicing security operations in Belgrave, Melbourne.
The troops, from the Brigade’s Reserve Response Force (4 RRF), and the 4th Combat Engineer Regiment (4 CER), were training in the search techniques they will use when they are deployed in support of the police and emergency services at major events.
The Reservists worked amongst the crowds at the Puffing Billy Belgrave Station to add extra realism to the exercise.
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney visited the training exercise and said he was impressed by the range of tasks the Reservists can carry out.
“These soldiers are just back from the floods in Nathalia, they have been involved in support to the emergency services after bushfires and in previous flood events. Many of them have also deployed overseas on military operations to The Solomon Islands and Timor.
“They have been demonstrating another of their capabilities – security operations and search tasks - in support of the community and the civil authorities. They are a remarkable group of people,” Senator Feeney said.
Officer Commanding 4 RRF Major Paul Middleton said it was an important step in preparing the soldiers for their role in support of the civil authorities.
“This is a great opportunity for our troops to hone their skills for major public events. It is important to train in the most realistic situation possible, and we are really grateful to the Puffing Billy Railway for letting us do this in as much of a real-world environment as we can.
“Security operations are complex tasks, and the ability of teams to work together in this kind of challenging environment is really tested on exercises like this.
“We’ve run the exercise so as to avoid disrupting people’s day out, but just having people in the area and interacting with our soldiers adds another level of realism to the training,” Major Middleton said.
Part-time 4 Brigade soldiers have recently deployed to Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands, and provided support to the Victorian community during the floods in 2010, 2011, again in 2012, and during the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.
Senator Feeney’s Office – Dimity Paul (02) 6277 3415 or 0477 334 324
Defence Public Affairs - Dougie McGuire 0418 399 780