Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Dr Mike Kelly, today joined the family and friends of 142 Australian Army, Air Force and Navy personnel at a farewell parade at Townsville’s Lavarack Barracks, prior to their overseas deployment later this month.
Members of Force Support Unit-6 (FSU-6) will deploy to the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Operation Slipper for a six-month rotation.
FSU-6 is tasked with the provision of support to Australian Defence Force personnel in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO). This support covers the reception, staging, onward movement and integration of troops deploying into the MEAO. It also includes health and psychological support as well as vital logistic and administrative functions including postal, supply, repair and transport.
Drawn primarily from the 10th Force Support Battalion based in Townsville, FSU-6 includes specialist personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and Army units from across Australia.
Dr Kelly praised the deploying personnel and acknowledged their commitment to community and country. He made particular mention of the many family and friends who will await the return of their loved ones.
“I understand the pressure that is put on families when a loved one deploys, we can’t forget the many sacrifices that families make. I would like to thank the families for the commitment and support they give our personnel.”
The Commanding Officer of FSU-6, Lieutenant Colonel Phil McMaster, said that his troops were very eager to serve their country abroad.
“Some of these members have deployed before, but for others, it will be their first time deploying on overseas operations,” LTCOL McMaster said following the farewell parade.
“They are excited about the prospect of employing their skills and knowledge in the service of their country.”
“All of these members are experts in their particular areas of specialisation and will provide vital support to Australia’s mission of training and mentoring our Afghan allies.”
Elyse Gatt (Dr Kelly) 02 6277 4840 or 0459 810 654
Department 02 6127 1999