Professionals Australia members will join parades and events around the country on Saturday 21st March to mark the end of “Operation SLIPPER”; Australia’s major deployment to the Middle East and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.
Thousands of personnel from Defence will be officially welcomed home and acknowledged for their service, including uniformed Navy, Army, Air Force personnel, as well as Defence’s contingent of highly skilled civilian Engineers, Scientists and National Security professionals.
Defence’s civilian scientists, engineers, analysts and technical staff are integral to military capability during operations, training and in the development of new Defence capabilities to face future threats. Throughout Operation SLIPPER civilian personnel worked side by side with Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel both within the area of operation overseas and at home in Australia to promote mission success and to save lives. The fact that civilian personnel will be marching in Saturday’s parades is testament to this close partnership and mutual reliance.
Professionals Australia members will be amongst those marching in parades around the country, having served during Operation SLIPPER. The parades are a commendable public recognition of the partnership and professionalism of the Defence uniformed and civilain personnel who deployed, and also acknowledges the support provided by family, friends and colleagues. It will also be a time where members remember and honour those colleagues lost during the operation.
These highly skilled civilian and uniformed professionals volunteered to enable the ADF operation in extremely challenging circumstances. The parades provide our nation and its leaders an opportunity to say thank you.
Participation in the parades and events is open to those who served in or supported Operation SLIPPER and their families. Further details on events can be found online at the Department of Defence or by searching ‘Operation SLIPPER Parade’
What is Operation SLIPPER?
Operation SLIPPER was Australia’s major 13 year deployment to the Middle East and Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force. The operation commenced in 2001 and ended in late 2014, having seen over 33,000 personnel deployed including the Australian Defence Force, Defence civilian employees and the Australian Federal Police. Operation SLIPPER represented the largest Defence operation since the Vietnam War.
Why are civilians involved in the parades?
During Operation Slipper, Professionals Australia’s civilian members in Engineering, Science and National Security roles were amongst those deployed overseas to provide vital technical expertise to the Australian Defence Force. These members worked side by side with the uniformed ADF and AFP to ensure the highest standards of capability were maintained, making sure our service men and women could operate in the safest possible conditions.
Operation Slipper was also supported by Defence’s civilian technical workforce back home in Australia, maintaining equipment and materiel, providing vital intelligence and giving our deployed forces an important technological edge.
Why is Professionals Australia commenting?
The Australian community hold our Defence Force personnel in very high esteem, and rightly so. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen make enormous personal sacrifices for our country. What’s not so widely understood by the public is that the three uniformed services are enabled by thousands of civilian technical professionals working in engineering, science and national security roles.
These people are an embedded and integrated part of the Defence workforce, working side by side with uniformed personnel and have been described by Defence Chiefs as “Vital mission enablers”.
As the Union representing many of these professionals, our members will be part of the commemoration events, including marching in the parades occurring around Australia. Professionals Australia acknowledges the contribution of all those who served in Operation SLIPPER and joins in commemorating the Operation’s conclusion.