TOMORROW the nation marks Reserve Forces Day, and all Australians are encouraged to recognise the vital role of our Navy, Army and Air Force Reservists in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said it is important to acknowledge and thank all who have served, and continue to serve, as part of the Australian Defence Force Reserves.
“Reservists have always stepped up in times of emergency, playing an important role in rebuilding the lives of entire communities. This has been especially evident through this year’s unprecedented bushfire season and the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Chester said.
“Earlier this year Reserve Brigades responded to the first ever compulsory call-out, with around 3,000 reservists putting their lives and careers on hold to protect tens of thousands of Australians against devastating bushfires.
“These dedicated men and women helped evacuate people from isolated communities, including from my electorate of Gippsland, supported evacuation centres and provided vital assistance to the response of our state and territory emergency services.
“More than 2,000 Reservists have also supported Australia’s coronavirus response, expanding the capacity of state and territory authorities to deal with the impacts of the pandemic. Reservists have supported contact tracing teams, quarantining of arriving international passengers and provided logistic and communications support at border crossings.
“We should also not forget that throughout Australia’s history Reservists have served and sacrificed alongside their full-time counterparts in domestic and overseas military operations.
“To all of our Reservists both past and present, Australia thanks you for your service.
“We also thank our Reservists’ partners, families and employers, who provide invaluable support to our Reservists when they are called on. It would not be possible for Reservists to play such an active role in the Forces without them.”