End of year message from Chief of the Defence Force

Published on Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin (author)

Location(s): ADF Headquarters, ACT

 (photo: )

The following is a message from Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

"During the Centenary of Anzac, the men and women of the Australian Defence Force have honoured our military ancestors with hard work and commitment to service.

This was evident in the unprecedented number of Australian Defence Force personnel who supported more than 1,400 Anzac Day commemorations at home and abroad. It is also evident in the work they do every day - from operations and exercises through to the activities supported in the local community.

Collectively, we have achieved a great deal in 2015. The Australian Defence Force has conducted two major humanitarian and disaster relief operations in Vanuatu and Nepal. We have completed more than 120 Defence Assistance to the Civil Community tasks and successfully staged three large-scale exercises in Talisman Sabre, Northern Shield and the Sea Raider series.

We have trained more than 2,500 Iraqi Army soldiers, qualified 800 Iraqi Special Operations Force soldiers and flown more than 13,300 hours since combat and support missions commenced over Iraq.

We have completed our mission at the Afghan National Army's 205 Hero Corps and we continue our commitment to the people of Afghanistan through our contribution to the Resolute Support mission.

Our achievements also extend to the oceans, where Navy vessels are at the forefront of counterterrorism and counterpiracy operations. In two years, they have seized more than $4.86 billion in narcotics, much of which would have gone to fund terrorism. Closer to home, we continue to play an essential role in protecting Australia’s borders.

Every one of the 7,430 Australian Defence Force personnel who deployed on operations this year, and the thousands supporting or preparing for operations, are helping to improve lives and will ultimately make the world a safer place.

That work does not stop for the festive season. About 2,500 Australian Defence Force personnel have been deployed this Christmas. Many more will be on duty.

We acknowledge the sacrifice they and their families are making to enable this important work to continue. Military service presents unique circumstances for families and I thank them for their continued patience and support. The care and understanding of family makes the challenges and demands of service more manageable for us all.

Wherever you are this festive season, my wife Gitte and I wish you and your families a safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Thank you for your hard work this year. You have done the Anzacs proud."