The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, today visited Robertson Barracks in Darwin. Robertson Barracks is the home of 1 Brigade, which contains some of the Army’s most complex and powerful hardware and has a significant number of troops posted on operations around the world, particularly in Afghanistan.
The visit was an opportunity to talk to soldiers and their families about the better protected and better connected Army outlined in the White Paper, which was released last Saturday in Sydney.
“This White Paper gives the individual soldier improved protection, mobility and firepower to do their job safely and effectively whatever the contingency,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
These initiatives to create more effective systems for individual soldiers will lighten their load, improve their firepower and increase their endurance through improvements of everything from weapons and sights to rations and power systems.
“This White Paper is about more than new equipment, it is about the systems and sustainment that make that equipment effective; from the most complex submarine to the pack on a soldier’s back.”
The Minister highlighted an example of how the Government was committed to better protection for our troops by announcing that $60 million has been allocated to purchase a range of equipment for vehicles and individual soldiers to improve their protection from improvised explosive devices.
“This improved protection for our troops will increase their safety and let them get on with the important job of building the Afghan Army and ensuring Afghanistan does not again become a safe haven for terrorists,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.