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New training depot for NORFORCE soldiers.

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MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon. Robert Hill Minister for Defence Leader of the Government in the Senate


04 Dec 2002 MIN 706/02


New Training Depot for NORFORCE Soldiers


Soldiers from NORFORCE in the Northern Territory will benefit from a new training depot in Borroloola that will be built from today, Minister for Defence Senator Robert Hill said.

"NORFORCE soldiers do an excellent job of protecting our borders through their surveillance and reconnaissance of northern Australia," Senator Hill said.

"With a core of 60 full time soldiers, most of the unit’s 600 members are part-time soldiers recruited from Aboriginal communities throughout the region. Aboriginal soldiers have a major part to play in teaching survival skills and in gathering information from the many remote communities.

"The commencement of building the Borroloola depot today is a further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to enhancing NORFORCE’s capabilities and recognising the unit’s good work.

"The new training depot will house equipment used by NORFORCE soldiers, including state-of-the-art surveillance and communications equipment, land rovers and boats for inshore patrolling, and will provide better access to training, equipment and support for soldiers in the region."

NORFORCE traces its history to the formation of the 2/1 North Australia Observer Unit in 1942 as a response to the threat to Australia's north posed by Japan during World War Two. The soldiers worked in small teams in harsh and isolated areas to observe and report on enemy movements on land, sea and in the air.

NORFORCE continues this tradition over an area of operations covering roughly 1,800,000 square kilometres, which equates to approximately one quarter of the Australian land mass.





Media contacts:

Minister’s office: Catherine Fitzpatrick 02 6277 7800 or 0405 351 245

Department: Steve Ridgway 08 8935 8322 or 0411 885 994

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