LEETON resident and Army Reserve member Major David Rodgers has recently returned to town following a six-month deployment with the Indo-Pacific Endeavour.
The deployment was Major Rodgers' aimed to demonstrate Australia's commitment to the region region, particularly the South Asia and South-East Asian areas and promote security and stability in Australia's near region through bilateral and multilateral engagement, training and capacity building.
It also helped to develop strong and positive relations with regional nations through dialogue, defence-industry cooperation and practical activities.
The mission was a large one, with HMA ships Canberra, Success, Newcastle and Parramatta involved, along with more than 1200 Australian personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force and other government agencies.
Major Rodgers left Australia mid-January and returned at the start of June.
It was the longest deployment he has been part of.
"Through our online brigade I was offered the opportunity ... my work (Murrumbidgee Irrigation) were very accommodating in allowing me to go," Major Rodgers said.
"It was quite an eye-opening experience ... it gave me an appreciation and understanding of our strategic environment and the challenges facing Australia and our region."
Major Rodgers had several roles during the deployment, including, but not limited to:
- Performing the role of a planning officer as part of a deployed joint headquarters.
- Developing port visit plans, liaising with Defence Attache's of countries being visited by Indo-Pacific Endeavour.
- Assisting the Maritime Task Group staff in the initial planning of port visit activities prior to embarkation.
- Preparation and sending of warning orders, task orders and execute orders.
The deployment visited Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.
Many other components were part of the trip, including humanitarian and disaster relief, multinational naval maneuvers, military training serials, community engagement, official functions and more.
During the trip, Major Rodgers lived and worked on HMAS Canberra.
Prior to embarking, he worked at the fleet headquarters for four weeks.
Having been a member of the Army Reserves for 28 years, Major Rodgers recommended anyone looking for a challenge to consider joining themselves.
He said it continued to be a rewarding and enriching part of his life.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox every Friday at 6am from The Irrigator. To make sure you're up to date with all news in Leeton sign up here.