Members of the Royal Australian Navy were privileged to be involved in the Australian Defence Force’s support to the 2018 Invictus Games which were held recently in Sydney.
A number of personnel from across the Sydney Basin were involved in medal bearing ceremonies, as well as operational and logistical support as part of Joint Task Force 646 - Operation INVINCIBLE, providing assistance to a safe, secure and successful Invictus Games 2018.
In preparation, personnel were given training to gain a deeper understanding of wounded, injured and ill veterans and the role adaptive sport plays in the recovery process, both physically and mentally.
Task Force Commander, Brigadier Michael Bond, encouraged personnel to place an emphasis on personal interaction with the competitors, their families and the public.
“The Joint Task Force’s centre of gravity was its people: invested in, given clear commander’s intent, and trusted to deliver a professional and caring response,” Brigadier Bond said.
“They did a brilliant job every single day and I am proud of my team’s efforts.”
Medal bearers from the Royal Australian Navy were embedded in a tri service team which was on show at every event throughout the Games, including the opening and closing ceremonies.
“Their role had them interacting with competitors from all 18 participating nations, as well as international dignities, making it a career highlight for many,” Brigadier Bond said.
Out of the public eye the medal presenters had their greatest effect while interacting with competitors, listening to their stories and providing a calm and empathic uniformed presence during stressful moments.
Australian Invictus Games competitor and member of the gold medal winning Wheelchair Rugby team, Able Seaman Braedon Griffiths, showed his appreciation towards the Defence personnel.
“I am extremely grateful to all of the Defence and civilian volunteers who were instrumental in making the games an incredible success,” Able Seaman Griffiths said.
The Joint Task Force maintained an ‘overt’ personnel presence throughout this operation, promoting their support to the competitors, their friends and families.