Australian Defence Force members deploying to the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Force Support Unit Nine (FSU 9) were farewelled by family and friends at a parade at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville this morning.
Assistant Minister for Defence, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, and the Member for Herbert, Ewen Jones MP, were among those to farewell the group.
The farewell parade marks the conclusion of pre deployment training, which over the past six weeks has seen personnel comprehensively prepare for rotation nine of the FSU commitment to the Middle East Area of Operations.
“I know you will embrace this opportunity and look back on your part in this mission with great pride and satisfaction,” Mr Robert said.
“Each one of you is an ambassador for your country and I know you will uphold the outstanding reputation of the servicemen and women who have gone before you.”
Approximately 140 Navy, Army and Air Force personnel, drawn from units across Australia, participated in the parade.
“While you have come from across Australia, you have assembled today in Townsville like those before you. And like those before you I wish you well and look forward to welcoming you home once your important work is done,” Mr Ewen Jones said.
In addition to providing logistic support to Australian Defence Force operations in Afghanistan, FSU 9 will play a significant role in returning personnel and equipment to Australia as the transition of security responsibility to Afghan forces progresses.
Commander 17th Combat Service Support Brigade, Brigadier David Mulhall, AM, CSC praised not only the deploying members, but also their families.
“It is important to pay tribute to the families who were at today’s parade,” Brigadier Mulhall said.
“Their support is vital and I want to formally acknowledge the continuing support they provide to their loved ones.”
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert's Office): 0477 391 174
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999