Fifteen NORFORCE soldiers have been presented the Operational Service Medal for their service on long-range patrols in northern Australia as part of Operation RESOLUTE, highlighting the unit’s important role in protecting the north Australian coastline.
Receiving their medal at a parade in Darwin today, the soldiers are the first of 29 NORFORCE personnel awarded the medal.
The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, joined the unit’s Honourary Colonel and Administrator of the Northern Territory, Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AM, at the presentation ceremony which marked the 32nd anniversary of the raising of NORFORCE.
“Since its formation in 1981, the men and women of the North West Mobile Force have played a crucial role in Australia’s multi-agency border protection activities,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Many of NORFORCE’s soldiers come from remote communities in the region, and we rely on their local knowledge and contacts to keep our border secure.
“Today we recognise and thank them for their valuable contribution to Australia’s border security. With this award providing worthy and just recognition for all of those involved in these often difficult circumstances.”
NORFORCE personnel are drawn from throughout the unit’s Area of Operations, which covers the whole of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
NORFORCE’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Paul O’Donnell, said he was very proud that NORFORCE soldiers were among the first Army personnel to receive the Operational Service Medal.
The Operational Service Medal was approved in 2012 and is awarded to Defence personnel who take part in operations deemed worthy of warranting special recognition.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999