Ready for a call- up
TOWNSVILLE soldiers have shown their full force in numbers at a parade marking 3rd Brigade’s transition into ready mode, should Australia need to rapidly deploy.
More than 3000 troops from Australia as well as members of the New Zealand and United States militaries gathered at Lavarack Barracks yesterday for the 3rd Brigade Contingency Force Element Parade. It marked the start of 3rd Brigade’s role at the forefront of the Australian Defence Force’s contingency operational response.
The 3rd Brigade Contingency Force Element consists of the Ready Battle Group as well as command, engineering, amphibious and logistics components from the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and the Australian Army’s 6th, 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th Brigades.
Third Brigade commander Brigadier Chris Field stood atop a Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle to address his troops.
“At midnight on Saturday you became the Ready Brigade and you follow a long ( line) of your colleagues who have held the readiness of this brigade since 1980,” he said.
“We make Townsville the best place to serve in the nation. This is a great opportunity professionally to show that 3 Brigade … has Australia’s back if Australia needs us.”
Regimental Sergeant Major of 3rd Brigade Warrant Officer Class 1 Brent Doyle said Townsville soldiers had proved their proficiency.
“Over the next 12 months, we will have about 1200 people deploy into known theatres of conflict … but a contingency force is about giving the Government that option that if they want we are here ready to go,” he said.
WO1 Doyle said troops were aware of growing instability in some regions.
“Professional soldiers do keep watch on any potential areas of operations but that doesn’t mean we’re planning to go there, it just means we’re prepared if something does happen and get out the door in a really short time,” he said.
Third Brigade troops and supporting elements will next week head south to Shoalwater Bay for the biennial combined Australian and US training activity, Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017.