Australia Day in Dubai for Joint Task Force 633
29 January 2014
Sailors, soldiers and airmen deployed as part of Joint Task Force 633 celebrated Australia Day at Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.
The ADF members were provided pies and sausage rolls for lunch, traditional barbecue-style food for dinner, and enjoyed some Aussie-themed games organised by the base welfare committee and challenges for those not required for duty.
Acting Deputy Commander Joint Task Force 633 Air Commodore Hayden Marshall said it could be hard being away from home during national days of significance, but in true Australian spirit, they found ways to celebrate.
“Australia Day gives deployed personnel the opportunity to remember who we are and what we represent as a country and the importance of our job in helping protect all Australians at home and abroad,” Air Commodore Marshall said.
“We still have ADF personnel working in hostile environments, including Afghanistan, and doing Australia proud by providing support in areas that really need our assistance.”
Members took part in Aussie-themed challenges that included a thong-throwing contest, welfare club raffle and an “Aussie Challenge” with some of Australia’s iconic food items in the mix.
The Australia Day event organiser and President of the base welfare club, Flight Lieutenant Koryn Roberts, said she was happy to see everyone participate in a competitive spirit but still have lots of fun.
“It was great to see a lot of people getting into the spirit of the day, by dressing up and really getting involved with the activities,” Flight Lieutenant Roberts said.
“Even though we are away from family and friends, we were able to celebrate our national day with people we work alongside and have a little bit of fun at the same time.”
Australia Day was also celebrated in other areas of the Middle East at Kandahar, Kabul and on board HMAS Melbourne.