Anzac spirit lives on today, all around the world
IN a dozen flashpoint regions from South Sudan to Afghanistan, Lebanon to the Philippines, Australian Defence Force men and women are in danger, on behalf of the nation.
Since the guns fell silent on the Western Front 100 years ago, Australian military personnel have had a constant presence somewhere in the world, fighting to uphold the rule of law for other nations.
Today, we have more than 2500 ADF personnel in various roles in flashpoint theatres, as well as another 1500 seconded or embedded, with 600 in the US alone.
Operation Augury is the latest ADF mission, with 100 personnel deployed to the Philippines to assist Filipino counterparts train for urban warfare, as the country faces a rising threat of Islamic extremism led by those aligned with terrorist group including ISIS.
The trigger for the deployment came after the conflict in the island of Mindanao in May last year, where more than 700 ISIS-led militants overran the city of Marawi.
The ADF has also boosted its commitment to the UN mission in South Sudan, with 25 personnel, mostly in aviation and logistic support roles, and a similar number in Egypt in the multinational force of observers in the troubled Sinai.
But Australia’s commitment to the Middle East involves the highest level of deployments, with 300 personnel in Afghanistan for Operation Highroad, 600 men and women in Operation Okra based on the ground in Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East, 500 (Operation Accor- dion) on logistics support and 240 personnel mostly from the RAN on the seas in the region for Operation Manitou.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne, who lost a greatuncle at Gallipoli and another on the Western Front in the Great War, said Australia’s engagement was testament to the ADF’s resolve for stability and peace. “For a century, the resolve of Australian troops to put themselves forward to bring and preserve peace in our region and around the world has been a defining feature of our national character.”