With efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic requiring more ADF support, the 7th Combat Brigade is again sending troops to the Queensland/NSW border to assist protecting the community and support local police at checkpoints.
The brigade element of 35 members includes a company headquarter team, which will lead the ADF border task element.
Commander of the 7th Combat Brigade Brigadier Jason Blain farewelled the element, deploying alongside members of the RAAF and RAN, who had also been called in at short notice.
Brigadier Blain said the 7th Combat Brigade regularly answered the call of the Australian people when in need, having deployed more than 2800 members in support of bushfires, floods, natural disasters and the pandemic in the past 18 months.
“Since January of 2020 - bushfires, floods, support to Fiji after the cyclone - there’s been about 2800 of this brigade deployed to support domestic or rapid offshore operations, including more than 2000 members on Operation COVID-19 Assist,” Brigadier Blain said.
Right now we have members of the brigade serving in Tasmania, Victoria and throughout southern Queensland on COVID tasks.
“We had members of the brigade on the border checkpoints for a long time last year, and now we’re sending them back.
“We are again and again answering the call to conduct operations for our communities in crisis as we’re seeing the Australian Defence Force called upon once more to support the nation.
“This is a noble job for us to do, and it’s a role we must do. We are here to protect the nation and that’s not just about how we conduct warfighting, or defeat our enemies, but also how we protect our community.”
Brigadier Blain said domestic tasks in support of Australians were an important role for the ADF to support, highlighting the professionalism of the men and women who serve.
“Every time an Australian soldier, aviator or sailor is seen on the ground at a hotel, airport, or at a state border, the community knows they are there for their safety and that they are in good hands,” he said.
“When our soldiers do their job, they do it well, they do it professionally, and they work hand in glove with other agencies to get the job done.
“To see 7th Combat Brigade stepping up again to do this job fills me with pride. They step up to the challenge again and again.”