Australia — Reserves Company Group to deploy to East Timor

For the first time since 2002, the Aus­tralian Defence Force (ADF) will deploy an Army Reserve force ele­ment of com­pa­ny size to East Tim­or, Sen­a­tor David Feeney, Par­lia­men­tar­ty Sec­re­tary for Defence, said today.

“Army Reservists are cur­rent­ly deployed and serv­ing with dis­tinc­tion in East Tim­or, the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan. This con­tin­gent con­tin­ues a proud his­to­ry of Reservists pro­vid­ing effec­tive ser­vice in East Tim­or and in many oth­er loca­tions, as part of Aus­tralian Defence Force oper­a­tions,” Sen­a­tor Feeney said. 

The 160-strong Reserve con­tin­gent will deploy this month to assist in the pro­vi­sion of secu­ri­ty and reac­tion tasks in sup­port of the Inter­na­tion­al Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Force (ISF) and East Tim­o­rese Government. 

The sol­diers will large­ly come from Queens­land-based 11 Brigade, one of six Army Reserve Brigades with­in the Army’s 2nd Divi­sion. Colonel Michael Reil­ly from 11 Brigade will take com­mand of the ISF in East Tim­or. The 11 Brigade con­tri­bu­tion of a rifle com­pa­ny group plus head­quar­ters staff and logis­tic sup­port troops will be inte­grat­ed into the exist­ing force struc­ture of the ISF, assum­ing the full respon­si­bil­i­ties of the reg­u­lar army group they replace. 

Com­man­der 2nd Divi­sion, Major Gen­er­al Craig Williams, wel­comed the increase in Reservists deployed in the next rotation. 

“Until this rota­tion, about 30 Reserve Force per­son­nel have been serv­ing in East Tim­or — approx­i­mate­ly eight per cent of the total ADF strength in East Tim­or. In the next rota­tion, about 40 per cent of per­son­nel serv­ing in East Tim­or will be Reserve mem­bers,” Major Gen­er­al Williams said. 

“The deploy­ment of this Reserve Force ele­ment demon­strates the con­fi­dence the ADF holds in its Reserve Force as a well trained, ready, capa­ble and inte­grat­ed force. The deploy­ment affirms the com­ple­men­tary rela­tion­ship between the Reg­u­lar Army and the Reserve – a rela­tion­ship that enables the Reg­u­lar Army to meet des­ig­nat­ed tasks and ensures the Army is bal­anced to meet the great­est range of con­tin­gen­cies,” said Gen­er­al Williams. 

Army Reserve per­son­nel have been part of the ADF’s con­tri­bu­tion to East Tim­or since mil­i­tary oper­a­tions com­menced in 1999. This com­mit­ment to Oper­a­tion ASTUTE builds on the suc­cess­ful ongo­ing involve­ment of Army Reservists in Oper­a­tion ANODE in the Solomon Islands, which com­menced in 2006. 

The 11 Brigade has units locat­ed through­out Queens­land. Army Reserve sol­diers involved in the deploy­ment have been drawn main­ly from the 9th, 31st/42nd and 25th/49th Bat­tal­ions of the Roy­al Queens­land Reg­i­ment. Most of the sol­diers involved are from Cairns, Townsville, Mack­ay, Rock­hamp­ton, Sun­shine Coast, Gold Coast, Bris­bane and sur­round­ing dis­tricts, and Toowoomba. 

Media con­tacts
Adam Carr: (02) 6277 3415
Defence Media Liai­son: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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