The Department of Defence has taken 19 executives and small business owners from across the ACT, NSW and southern Queensland out to participate in Exercise Boss Lift 2017, experiencing the training their civilian employees undertake in the Army Reserve.
Participants were loaded into the back of a Royal Australian Air Force C17 Globemaster III and dropped onto Malaysia’s Butterworth Air Force Base last Monday, as they started the first leg of their journey.
Head Cadet, Reserve and Employer Support Division, Rear Admiral Bruce Kafer said the Boss Lift participants gained a deeper understanding of the skills and capabilities that Reservists could bring back to the civilian workforce.
“We have more than 20,000 Australian Defence Force Reservists who make a vital contribution to the defence of Australia,” he said.
“The exercise helps employers see the value in releasing their staff for training and operational service, as a crucial role in the Reserve’s ability to deliver relevant capability to Defence.”
Over 100 Australian Army Reserve soldiers are in Malaysia for three months of intensive training and activities supporting Australian Defence engagement in south-east Asia. Their civilian employers range from real estate agents and tradesmen to senior public servants.
NSW Police Sergeant Rob Stratton said while in Malaysia, he noticed a positive change in his Senior Constable Steven Brien, who was serving with Rifle Company Butterworth as an Army Reservist.
“Steven is not the same person I farewelled two months ago. I can sense his increased motivation and see the results of his Army training in leadership and teamwork,” Sergeant Stratton said.
“These skills will prove their value to the NSW Police Force when he returns to Australia in March.”
Small business owner Wally Irving, director of WKI Earth Moving Repairs based in Dubbo, NSW, jumped out of the C17 Globemaster III excited to visit his mechanic Bryan McFawn, who was deployed in November.
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“When Bryan asked to take leave for three months of training, I was concerned about the impact his absence would have on the operations of my business as we have just three staff members,” Mr Irving said.
“When we landed in Malaysia, I saw Brian relishing his experience. He has been a Reservist since he was 16, so this is a real passion for him. Brian’s additional skills are of real value to my business. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Exercise Boss Lift 2017. I am proud to be involved in the defence of Australia by supporting my Army Reserve employee.”