Senator The Hon. David Feeney MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney travelled to the Solomon Islands during 7-10 March to participate in Exercise Boss Lift and discuss the progress of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) with a number of government officials.
Senator Feeney met with Australian soldiers from Combined Task Force 635 (CTF 635) who are currently deployed on Operation ANODE in support of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
Soldiers hosted the Senator and their civilian employers as part of Exercise Boss Lift. Exercise Boss Lift is a Defence program aimed at providing employers with a deeper understanding of the important role their Defence Reserve employees fill within the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
The activity offers a unique insight into how Reservists perform on operations. The program gives employers the opportunity to experience service life through a range of displays, demonstrations and interactive exercises. Participants were given a tour of the soldiers’ base, kit demonstrations, and time at the small-arms weapons range to showcase a day in the life of their deployed employees.
Senator Feeney described the Defence program as excellent opportunity for employers to demonstrate their support for ADF Reservists.
“It is very important for Australian businesses to understand the contribution their employees make to ADF capability, and to Australia’s standing in our region. RAMSI is an excellent example of this, and I am sure that employers have developed a greater appreciation for the skills that Reservists bring to their civilian role,” he said.
While in the Solomon Islands, Senator Feeney held talks with the Solomon Islands’ Government, CTF 635, the Participating Police Force and other RAMSI principals.
“These are the people who are shaping the mission and are focused on the challenges that confront the Solomon Islands,” Senator Feeney said.
He described RAMSI as a significant commitment for the Australian Government and affirmed the Australian Government’s commitment to work with the people of the Solomon Islands to build on the success of RAMSI and create a peaceful and sustainable future.
“This visit was an opportunity to monitor the success of RAMSI and keep abreast of its challenges. RAMSI has taught us a number of great lessons, not just for Australia, but for the whole region.
There is still work to be done, however our two nations will meet future challenges together in a spirit of cooperation and friendship,” Senator Feeney said.
Media note: Images from Senator Feeney’s visit to the Solomon Islands can be found on the Defence web site at http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003&search=20112026
Video footage will be fed through Parliament House this morning.
Media contact: Lorna Clarke 0408 345 730
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