Following more than eight months of successful service in the Middle East, the quiet but determined efforts of the 190 members of Force Support Unit — Four (FSU‑4) have come to an end.
The team, who hailed from approximately 50 parent units, came from all three Australian Defence Force (ADF) Services. They provided logistics support to ADF operations in Afghanistan and the Gulf region of the Middle East Area of Operations, assisting more than 2350 ADF personnel since December last year.
The Commanding Officer of FSU‑4, Lieutenant Colonel Ron Armstrong, said the tri-Service team bonded tightly from the outset of the deployment.
“We acknowledged that Defence members from each of the Services were serving under the same conditions and that the strengths of each Service needed to be drawn upon to build our own ‘Joint Team Australia’ culture,” Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong said.
“One month in, and if it wasn’t for the different Service insignia on our uniforms, it would have been impossible to tell who was from the Navy, Army or Air Force.”
Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong said the team forged even closer ties after the death of Lance Corporal Andrew Jones at Patrol Base Mashal on 30 May, 2011.
“This was a tragic incident for the sailors, soldiers and airmen of the FSU. Our thoughts remain with Lance Corporal Jones’ family and friends,” Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong said.
“We decided that the best way to honour a mate, who was so committed to his work, was to work even harder ourselves. So for the final two and half months we were out on our feet exhausted but deservedly proud of our achievements.”
While deployed, the unit accomplished a number of key feats, including: the roll-out of the Crye Cam Precision Assault Uniform and Tiered Body Armour System to soldiers deployed with the Australian Mentoring Task Force, supporting the establishment of new contract arrangements for Middle East Logistics and Base Support and resupplying patrol bases using a contracted helicopter. FSU‑4 also provided enhanced catering, environmental health and camp maintenance support to MTF patrol bases.
“Although our role was not as well publicised as some other units who are serving over here, it was an honour to work extremely hard to support our Australian brothers and sisters who put themselves in harms way every day,” Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong said.
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