Family and friends of around 160 Australian Army, Air Force and Navy personnel watched with pride today as their loved ones marched in a farewell parade prior to their overseas deployment.
Members of Force Support Unit — Four (FSU4) will deploy to the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Operation Slipper for a period of eight months.
The Commanding Officer of FSU4, Lieutenant Colonel Ron Armstrong, said his troops were keen for their mission to get underway.
“There is a pride we share when we step ashore in another country wearing the uniform of the Australian Defence Force,” LTCOL Armstrong said following the farewell parade.
“We know that we are part of a rich and proud tradition and it is up to every man and woman in our unit to honour this legacy.
“We are going to the Middle East to make an important contribution to maintaining stability in that region and in doing so, enhancing the security of Australia.”
LTCOL Armstrong said friends and family who will be awaiting their safe return of the unit can take comfort in the professional capabilities of Australian military personnel.
“Australian soldiers, sailors and Airmen and Airwomen are among the best trained in the world,” LTCOL Armstrong said.
“Preparation for this deployment has been long and intensive.
“While we know the risks associated with military operations, we also know how to do our jobs and we look forward to embracing our families when we return home.”
The Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AO, DSC, CSM, was the Reviewing Officer for the Parade at Vung Tau Lines, which is the home of the Army Unit the 9th Force Support Battalion at Amberley Air Force Base.
The parade marked one of the final formal activities for the personnel before they depart Australia.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, represented the Government at the Parade.
FSU4 is tasked with the provision of force induction training and logistical services support to Australian Operations in the Middle East Area of Operation.
This support covers the provision of most resources required by Australian operations including fuel, vehicles, food, ammunition and postal services.
Drawn primarily from the 9th Force Support Battalion based at Amberley, FSU4 includes specialist personnel from the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.
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