Engineers and Queensland Police team up to secure the Games
11 April 2018
Army engineers are teaming up with the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to provide security for the largest sporting event to be held in Australia this decade.
More than 350 engineers from the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment (2 CER) are on the Gold Coast providing QPS with low-risk search capability for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
With 71 nations involved, 2 CER Searcher, Corporal Leon Whittington said the engineers have no doubts about the importance of their role.
"We have a vital role here alongside the police ensuring the safety of all athletes and Commonwealth Games spectators," Corporal Whittington said.
Corporal Whittington said the engineers had already commenced searching venues, kicking off with Athlete's Village, the home-base for the 6,600 participating athletes and team officials.
"We started off with Athlete's Village and are searching for anything that could be considered a suspicious item," he said.
"We're using our highly trained searchers, detection equipment and Explosive Detection Dogs from both the ADF and QPS."
Army engineers routinely conduct search tasks on exercises and operations, domestically and overseas, however there are nuanced differences in search procedures between Army and QPS.
To bridge this gap, Corporal Whittington said preparation for the Games involved months of lead-up training and exercising with the police.
"The process has been lengthy with more than six months of training working alongside QPS - it's great to finally be here and to start providing safety for the public," he said.
Commanding Officer 2CER, Lieutenant Colonel Haertsch, said the search capability provided by 2CER is enhanced by ADF personnel from various trades and backgrounds.
"2CER is providing a low-risk search capability augmented by an all-corps search capability," Lieutenant Colonel Haertsch said.
"The all-corps search capability is drawn from predominately non-engineers that have come from the wider Army and Air Force."
About 300 ADF personnel including Gunners from Brisbane's 1st Regiment, Reservists from the 2nd Division, Military Police and a small contingent of RAAF personnel are assisting 2CER and QPS with maintaining vehicle search areas.
They are largely stationed at established check points with QPS conducting physical and visual checks of vehicles to prevent restricted items from entering Game locations.
In the lead up to the Games, 2CER engineers delivered a series of three-day training package to the non-engineer searchers to ensure they too can integrate with and work alongside QPS.
Lieutenant Colonel Haertsch said 2CER support is formally tasked through a Defence Aid to Civil Community Request in support of QPS, which extends until the end of the Games.
Their support is just one aspect of ADF support to security for the Games, which also includes Army aviation with the Multi Role Helicopter (MRH90) "Taipan" aircraft, Royal Australian Navy Clearance Divers and RAAF F/A-18 Hornets.