Home / land & amphibious / Army’s Regional Force Surveillance Group meets Prince Charles

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Army’s Regional Force Surveillance Group meets Prince Charles

prince of wales at larrakeyah defence precinct

Following on from presenting the Duke of Gloucester’s Cup in Cairns to the crew of Hydrographic Ship (HS) Blue Crew, the Prince of Wales travelled to Darwin to meet with soldiers from the North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE).

Commander of the Regional Force Surveillance Group, Colonel John Papalitsas, welcomed Prince Charles and demonstrated the unique capabilities of the group.

“The Regional Force Surveillance Group is tasked to provide a littoral surveillance and reconnaissance capability in Australia’s north and north-west in order to support whole-of-government efforts to maintain national sovereignty and border security," COL Papalitsas said.

“This group also plays a significant role in Army’s Indigenous engagement and development efforts, with its units having the highest rate of Indigenous participation within the Army. It was an honour to showcase the unique capabilities of the Regional Force Surveillance Group to the Prince."


"I’m pleased that the Prince was able to see first-hand the valuable contribution made by our people in some of the most remote areas of Australia’s north and north-west, both supporting border protection operations and providing opportunities for Indigenous Australians."

During the visit, Prince Charles participated in a short tour of Darwin Harbour on a Regional Patrol Craft. NORFORCE also demonstrated the key platforms and systems used to undertake land and littoral surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

“NORFORCE is closely involved in community engagement through its Regional Force Surveillance Unit. Many of the soldiers serving in the Regiment are contributing in the communities where they grew up, which is beneficial for both the individual and the community as a whole,” COL Papalitsas said. 

COL Papalitsas said the Prince spent time with the families of Regional Force Surveillance Group members during the visit.

"Today was a very proud moment for these soldiers and their families and a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet with the Prince and discuss their work on building relationships with remote Indigenous communities and increasing Australian Defence Force capability," he said.

The Regional Force Surveillance Group is comprised of the Army’s three Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSUs): NORFORCE; The 51st Battalion, The Far North Queensland Regiment; and The Pilbara Regiment, and covers an area of operations that encompasses some 52 per cent of the Australian continent.

This includes an arc which covers the north and north-west of Australia from Geraldton in Western Australia, across the Northern Territory, through far north Queensland and south to Cardwell.

The group undertakes significant Indigenous engagement and development and delivers pathway training for Indigenous Australians wishing to pursue a career in Army through its Indigenous development wing in Darwin.

Army’s Regional Force Surveillance Group meets Prince Charles
lawyersweekly logo

more from defence connect

May 24 2019
Developing Australia’s anti-satellite capabilities as a deterrent
The increasing dependence and vulnerability of space-based intelligence, surveillance and communicat...
May 24 2019
Photo Essay: Australia’s growing amphibious capabilities
Australia’s geo-strategic reality has seen the Australian Defence Force shift its focus towards de...
Brendan Nelson, Australian War Memorial
May 23 2019
PODCAST: Commemorating Australia’s military history, Dr Brendan Nelson AO, Australian War Memorial
Dr Brendan Nelson AO’s role as director of the Australian War Memorial is one of great responsibil...
Recommended by Spike Native Network