ADF completes Cape York support task
1 September 2015
The Australian Defence Force has completed its logistic and communication support mission for the Prime Minister's visit to remote communities in Far North Queensland.
The Australian Defence Force supported a contingent of approximately 120 people including the Prime Minister, ministers, parliamentarians, support staff and senior public servants at Thursday Island and Bamaga Defence establishments from 23-28 August.
The ADF support included provision of accommodation, food and communication support and also assisted with the conduct of a memorial service and physical exercise training.
Major Brett Hartley, who acted as Camp Commandant during the task, said it had been a wonderful opportunity for the ADF to support Prime Minister Tony Abbott and other officials during the visit.
"Some of the elements we've been providing range from logistic, catering and life support to an Army Physical Training Instructor to conduct sessions with the Prime Minister and the troops - which he enjoyed," he said.
"It's been a great opportunity for the ADF to display our ability to deploy at relatively short notice and versatility in what we can deliver.
"We've moved approximately 200 tonnes of cargo using road and the Army's water transport. Along the way we've also provided approximately 6,500 meals both in the camps and catering events without any problems so we've certainly been busy."
While on Thursday Island the contingent stayed at C Company, 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment and the Officer Commanding C Company, Major James Hodge, said it was a great opportunity for his soldiers to meet the Prime Minister and showcase what they do.
"The majority of soldiers here are Torres Strait Islanders and they patrol the Torres Strait providing surveillance and reconnaissance using small boats which comes with its own set of hazards every time they're working," he said.
"They live in the communities they're operating in and are very proud of the work they do.
"An opportunity like this with the Prime Minister doesn't come around very often and the soldiers have loved having him here."