Home' Army News : October 29th 2009 Contents "THEY'RE KEEPING THEIR PROMISE TO MY DAD."
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Army October 29, 2009
By Maj Ian Toohill
MORE than 100 reservists have
received official thanks for their
outstanding efforts during the
Victorian bushfire emergency early
Parliamentary Secretary for
Defence Support Mike Kelly host-
ed a function at Maygar Barracks,
Melbourne, on October 12.
Codenamed Vic Fires Assist,
the operation was commanded by
Commander 4 Bde Brig Michael
Arnold and consisted of 70 per cent
reservists, mainly from 4 Bde.
At the height of the operation,
nearly 800 reservists were deployed.
More than 1300 were employed at
some time during the seven weeks of
Dr Kelly said the reservists had
shown "great skill and flexibility dur-
ing the operation".
"While the employment of ADF
personnel to assist the Australian
community in times of natural disas-
ter is not uncommon, this operation
was unique in that the task was given
primarily to reservists," he said.
More than 100 reservists from
4 Bde attended the function, along
with representatives of the Defence
Reserve Support Council, head of the
Cadet Reserve and Employer Support
Division Maj-Gen Greg Melick, and
federal politician Maria Vamvakinou.
Dr Kelly highlighted the impor-
tance of employer and community
support to Defence capability.
A WELCOME home parade to mark
the end of Operation Catalyst will take
place in Canberra on November 21 at
the Australian War Memorial.
The parade will also recognise the
contribution of ADF and Defence per-
sonnel to the stabilisation and rehabilita-
tion of Iraq.
More than 300 serving and former
ADF veterans and Defence civilians who
served on Op Catalyst will take part in
Senior government figures will speak
at the parade.
Other guests will include federal and
territory ministers, Opposition repre-
sentatives and ambassadors of the other
countries involved in the Iraq conflict.
The parade will feature Australia's
Federation Guard, and the RMC and
Navy bands, marching from Anzac
Parade to the war memorial's parade
A fly-past will take place, and stat-
ic displays of equipment used during
Op Catalyst are expected to include a
Sea Hawk, a RHIB, a Bushmaster, an
ASLAV and explosive ordnance detec-
After the parade, participants and
their families will be invited to an after-
noon tea hosted by the war memorial.
Australian forces were first deployed
to Iraq in 2003. Personnel from all three
services were sent over in a range of
combat and combat-support roles.
The brief then developed into a secu-
rity and training role to enable the peo-
ple of Iraq to take responsibility for their
Defence formally ended its military
commitment to Iraq on July 31 this year.
More than 20,000 ADF personnel
served in Iraq between 2003 and 2009 as
part of Op Catalyst.
Those planning to attend the parade as spec-
tators can register their interest by emailing
It was thanks to supportive bosses
that reservists could help their fellow
citizens during natural disasters such
as the bushfires.
"We need employers of reservists
to continue offering their support," Dr
The reservists at the function,
many of whom worked on the front
line during the fire emergency, appre-
ciated the gesture of thanks.
Spr Darren Carney, 22 Const Regt,
said he was glad of the opportunity
to talk to Dr Kelly and "explain my
role and the great sense of satisfac-
tion I felt in being able to assist the
Victorian emergency services, during
22 Const Regt personnel were
among the first to be sent in to cut
vital fire breaks with their bulldozers
Dr Kelly also presented two
Commanders Bronze Citations and
one Silver Citation to members of the
operation for exemplary performance
of their duties during the operation.
Stories from the fire front: Dr Mike Kelly chats to Spr Darren Carney, 22 Const Regt, about his role in the
Victorian bushfires operation.
Photo by Maj Ian Toohill
DEFENCE clothing stores have been
restocked with puggarees in sizes 57
and 58. Size 55 will be available at
the end of October.
For queries about clothing
entitlements, prices or availability,
contact WO2 Anthony Romkes
at the Army Clothing Hotline, on
(03) 9282 6602 or email anthony.
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