Telco boss calls in on his reservist staff on exercise
EXPERIENCE: Captain Cameron Atkinson with Telstra Network Construction executive director John Gibbs HE might work for Telstra but a phone call wasn’t all Townsville Army Reservist Captain Cameron Atkinson received from his boss while on deployment.
Telstra Network Construction executive director John Gibbs has just returned from a three-day visit to see Capt Atkinson in the Solomon Islands as part of Exercise Boss Lift.
Exercise Boss Lift is designed to show civilian employers the valuable work their employees are doing when they release them to complete their reservist duties.
Capt Atkinson is currently serving as part of Operation ANODE which is the Australian Defence F o r c e c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h e Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.
Mr Gibbs said Telstra was happy to work with the army to allow Capt Atkinson to temporarily leave from his Townsville job to go on deployment.
‘‘ Apart from Exercise Boss Lift, my most recent experience with Army was during the worst of the cyclone and storm season in Queensland earlier this year, where Telstra Operations teams worked in close partnership with Army and Emergency Services to restore critical communications,’’ he said.
‘‘ The Defence Force made assets, such as Black Hawk helicopters available to fly our constructor operatives and other essential equipment such as generators into flood-affected areas which were totally inaccessible by road. They further assisted by clearing access tracks into some network sites.
‘‘ This tour of the Solomons and my experience with the Army, concerning Queensland restoration activities, has reinforced to me the importance reservists and army personnel play in delivering Australian defence force capability and in supporting the nation during times of adversity. They are also instrumental in supporting regional stability and, in the case of Solomon Islands, supporting a platform for economic recovery.’’