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Army May 8, 2014
ADF personnel are participating in a major
regional exercise in the Philippines focus-
ing on humanitarian and disaster relief.
Exercise Balikatan is an annual exercise
conducted by the Philippines and US militar-
ies in which 68 Australian personnel will play
a supporting role on the islands of Luzon and
Palawan this year.
The focus of Ex Balikatan 2014, which
started on April 21, will be on humanitar-
ian activities throughout the Bicol Region of
southern Luzon Island.
Medical personnel will offer medical,
dental and veterinary care, and engineers
will construct and repair schools and other
community infrastructure in selected
Participating forces will also con-
duct command and control exercises from
Camp Aguinaldo in Manila and HQ Western
Command on Palawan, with a series of sce-
narios focusing on maritime security and
Australian contingent commander Wg-Cdr
Nicholas Pratt said the ADF had been called
on to support a number of humanitarian assis-
tance and disaster relief missions throughout
the region in recent years.
“We saw from Operation Philippines
Assist last year how important it is to practise
scenarios that require us to be part of a multi-
national response effort,” he said.
“Ex Balikatan presents a perfect opportu-
nity for us to work closely with our regional
allies to respond quickly and work together
effectively to provide military support in the
event of another natural disaster or crisis.”
This is 30th annual bilateral exercise.
“Balikatan” in Filipino means “shoulder-
to-shoulder” and characterises the spirit of
the exercise. The exercise will conclude on
We saw from Operation
Philippines Assist last
year how important it is
to practise scenarios that
require us to be part of a
multinational response effort.
– Wg-Cdr Nicholas Pratt,
Commander ADF contingent, Ex Balikatan
Aussies join regional ex
Contingent joins major maritime security and disaster relief exercise alongside US and Philippines forces
Pacific partners: A US Marine Chinook delivers troops to
remote parts of the Philippines during last year’s Ex Balikatan.
Leut John Thompson
WHAT do Governor-General
Sir Peter Cosgrove, RAdm Ken
Doolan (retd), Kylie Minogue,
John Farnham, Jimmy Barnes and
Guy Sebastian have in common?
Personnel at Victoria Barracks
in Sydney on April 23 found out
during the launch of the new DVD
Doin’ it for the Troops, a fundraising
initiative for the Repat Foundation.
The DVD is a compilation of
songs by well-known Australian art-
ists who have donated their time or
music videos, or have performed in
Forces Entertainment Tours.
The DVD begins with an address
from Sir Peter.
“Our boys and girls put their
lives on the line every day that
they serve for our country and this
is a wonderful way to raise funds
to help them return to their very
important civilian lives,” he says in
Also featured on the DVD are
songs from some of Australia’s
biggest artists including: Kylie
Minogue, John Farnham, Doc
Neeson, Jimmy Barnes, the Living
End, Guy Sebastian and Shannon
Noll, who was at the launch event.
Australian country music singer
New music DVD supports
PTSD research for troops
James Blundell, another artist who
contributed to the DVD, said it was
a fantastic initiative and one he was
thoroughly committed to.
“The times I spent in theatre
with ADF personnel are some of my
fondest memories,” he said.
The DVD has been put together
by the Adelaide-based Repat
Foundation, which funds research
into medical conditions with a par-
ticular focus on service personnel,
veterans and their families.
Funds raised from the sale of
Doin’ it for the Troops will go to
support the foundation’s work on
national research and projects to
assist returning veterans with post-
traumatic stress disorder.
Commander Forcomd Maj-Gen
Mick Slater identified two key
ways the Repat Foundation-funded
research would help.
“One is medical research, ensur-
ing medical professionals will be
better equipped to identify and treat
PTSD,” he said.
“For the military commanders,
we will be better educated to iden-
tify symptoms earlier and provide
the intervention and support people
Copies of the DVD can be purchased online
by going to www.therepatfoundation.org.
au and following the link, or by phoning
(08) 8275 1039.
A Mental Health All Hours Support Line
is available 24 hours on 1800 628 036 as
a confidential telephone service for ADF
members and their families.
Rocking out: ADF personnel and supporters take in
live performances at the launch of Doin’ it for the Troops
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