Formal Dinner in honour of the 20th Anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force's Combat Support Group
Commander Combat Support Group, Royal Australian Airforce, Air Commodore Ken Robinson CSC; Distinguished Australian Defence Force Personnel; ladies and gentlemen,
I thank Flight Sergeant Jodi Ross for her Acknowledgement of Country, and respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Queensland.
The very first lines in the book read: “Machines don’t make history and they don’t make organisations prosper. People do.”
Air Forces are generally understood to be the most technologically dependent component of combat power, and the public is naturally focused on the flying machines.
But it is people with the ingenuity, skill, courage and resilience of the men and women of the Combat Support Group who make Australian air power truly formidable.
Providing round-the-clock support, whenever and wherever necessary, from bare bases to forward bases, the Combat Support Group is integral to Australia’s force projection.
It is integral to our national security.
Tonight we will hear about the proud history of Combat Support Group, from its early testing as part of Operation Warden in East Timor to its service in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands, and its critical role in disaster relief, including at Bandar Aceh.
That history is a pertinent reminder that the freedom that Queenslanders enjoy as their birthright is guaranteed by the sacrifice of generations of Australian service men and women.
Tonight, speaking on behalf of the people of Queensland, I acknowledge, with gratitude, the immense contribution made to Australia’s defence and security by the personnel who have served as part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Combat Support Group.
I thank your families, who sacrifice so much for you to protect our country and her interests and keep the peace throughout the world.
The international security environment is fluid and complex, but the dedication and professionalism of the Combat Support Group is solid and secure.
I congratulate each and every one of you on this 20th anniversary, of which you are justifiably proud, and I hope you all enjoy this evening.