Two minute statement

9 August 2023

I recently had the honour of participating once again in the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program, this time along with Senator Hume and Senator Hughes. I spent time on field with members of the ADF as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre, which is our largest multilateral combined training activity. Again, I want to pay tribute to the four soldiers whose helicopter crashed while participating in this exercise and send my deep condolences to their families and mates. The tragic loss of these four men during the exercise is a reminder that there are no safe or easy days for Australians who serve to protect our nation.

It was great, once again, to join our Defence personnel at sea on HMAS Adelaide, just as I experienced last year on board HMAS Canberra. Seeing the dedication of our men and women who are part of the ADF, in the context of multilateral military exercises, was something special. They are some of the best ambassadors for Australia’s spirit of patriotism and mateship. We also attended a live-fire exhibition at the Shoalwater Bay training area conducted by Australia and our allies. This was an impressive display of the interoperability of the allied forces with integrated artillery, attack aviation, ground assault, and command and control. Again, I pay tribute to our troops who serve.