Local News

Defence Minister Meets With Darwin Troops


Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester today met with soldiers and officers of Darwin’s 1st Brigade who are preparing to deploy to Iraq later this year as part of Task Group Taji – Ten.

Mr Chester welcomed the opportunity to meet with Australian Army personnel who will be joining their peers who are already deployed to the Middle East Region, in support of Australia’s national interests.

“It’s always great to meet with members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and hear about their training, work and service,” Mr Chester said.

“This group of soldiers, and those who are currently deployed, are integral to training and mentoring Iraqi Security Forces as part of Operation Okra.

“I am impressed by the preparation and commitment these soldiers have shown and am thankful to have had the opportunity to speak directly with them, wish them well on their upcoming deployment and to thank them for their service.

“Over the coming months they will no doubt be challenged, but I am confident their dedication and training has equipped them with the skills to succeed.”

The visit also provided an opportunity for Mr Chester to tour the Soldier Recovery Centre alongside 1st Brigade Deputy Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Ashton.

The Soldier Recovery Centre is one of Army’s human performance initiatives that aims to improve all areas of military performance: mind, body and team.

“Being able to experience firsthand the important rehabilitation work being conducted at the Soldier Recovery Centre has provided me with the reassurance that our soldiers are receiving the support they need, to return to work, or to transition to civilian life,” Mr Chester said.

“What I saw today is tangible evidence that while contributing to a safe, secure and prosperous Australia, Army leadership is putting significant effort into the continuous development and improvement of those who serve our country.”

The 1st Brigade recently assumed responsibility as Army’s “Ready” Brigade and over the next 12 months will remain on standby for a range of contingencies, both in Australia and overseas.

Image: Minister Chester with LTCOL Travis Gordon from 5 RAR