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Australian Defence Effort In Challenging Times

Australian Chief Praises Defence Effort In Challenging Times

Department of Defence Media Release

PACC 265/00 Thursday 21 September, 2000

Australian Chief Praises Defence Effort In Challenging Times

Reviewing the work of Defence personnel over the past year since the initial deployment of Australian troops into East Timor, Admiral Chris Barrie, Chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) gave particular praise to the efforts of Defence personnel at the Sydney Olympics.

"This time last year, we contributed over 4,500 personnel on operations in East Timor, and now we are contributing over 4,000 ADF and civilian personnel to Operation Gold," Admiral Barrie said.

"Our people are performing a variety of roles at the Games and are working magnificently, with the Navy, Army and Air Force contributing both personnel and expertise to Olympic tasks.

"And we are still maintaining about 1,500 personnel with the UNTAET force in East Timor and personnel on other operations overseas."

Turning specifically to the Olympics, Admiral Barrie said, "A successful Olympics is a team effort. The Australian Defence Force has played its part in the security planning and preparations for the Games with New South Wales Police and other state, territory and Commonwealth agencies.

"This intensive planning is now paying dividends as we see well orchestrated plans coming to fruition. Commissioner Ryan and the NSW Police are to be congratulated," he said.

Although some of the ADF's role is very visible during the Olympic period, there is a great deal of support that is provided to the Games behind the scenes.

Defence provides assistance both of a security and non-security nature to the Olympic Games. The public would have witnessed Defence helicopters in and around Sydney airspace prior to the Games and at a number of Olympic venues, ADF personnel conducting security and support tasks. Each day there are approximately 700 ADF personnel at 25 vehicle checkpoints across Olympic venues. The ADF has also provided personnel to assist in a range of information collection and analysis tasks with the NSW Police. Each day of the Olympics, the ADF provided support at all Olympic precincts, not just in and around Sydney, but throughout Australia.

The most recent addition to the ADF support has been the contribution of over 140 personnel as bus drivers to assist ORTA.

"Things are going well and the cooperation between all organisations has been outstanding, but it is important that we remember that our work is not over yet," Admiral Barrie said.

"We will not be complacent while the Games are underway. The ADF will maintain the momentum and continue our professional effort in concert with all our colleagues who are also involved in the security and conduct of the Olympic Games."


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