Almost 120 Australian Defence Force members arrive home in Australia today (Thursday, 15 December 2011) after a seven-month deployment to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) with Force Communication Unit Five (FCU‑5).
The personnel are predominantly from the Townsville-based 3 Combat Signal Regiment, with elements also drawn from 17 units across the ADF.
Commanding Officer of FCU‑5, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Bennett said the deployment, which included active service on both Operation KRUGER and Operation SLIPPER, was a success.
“FCU‑5 is a joint unit that was able to utilise the combined skills and experiences of Navy, Army and Air Force personnel to provide Joint Task Force 633 (JTF633) with national Communication Information Systems (CIS),” Lieutenant Colonel Bennett said.
The mission of FCU‑5 was to provide Australia’s JTF 633 with communications capability throughout the MEAO. This included the coordination of coalition CIS services, which enabled national command and Australian Defence Force (ADF) interoperability with coalition partners.
During their deployment, FCU‑5 personnel provided 24-hour, 7‑days-a-week (24/7) CIS support to three Forward Operating Bases and up to five Patrol Bases in Uruzgan Province.
FCU‑5 also developed and provided CIS solutions in support of the ADF’s Heron detachment at Kandahar Air Field.
“I’m very proud of my team, they have met every challenge head on and have represented the ADF as a professional and adaptive force,” Lieutenant Colonel Bennett said.
“They are handing over to Force Communication Unit Six (FCU‑6) robust and reliable CIS networks which are agile enough to meet the needs of changing operational situation.”
FCU‑5 handed over control to FCU‑6 at the Transfer of Authority parade at Al Minhad Airbase, in the United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday (13 December 2011). At the ceremony, a number of personnel were awarded Commander JTF633 Commendations in recognition of their exceptional service during their deployment.
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