Military Parade at Edinburgh RAAF Base

SBS RADIO Report 8.01.24 Military Parade at Edinburgh RAAF Base
By Romana Becker, SBS Radio Correspondent

Members of the Ukrainian Community were invited to the RAAF Edinburgh military base to farewell 90 soldiers from the 7th Battalion who will be flying off to the UK to help train volunteers from the Armed Forces of Ukraine in an Operation codenamed “Kudu.”

In a moving ceremony the members of Operation Kudu were presented to the Federal Assistant Minister for Defence, Matt Thistlethwaite. He spoke to the troops about the significance of the mission in training Ukrainian volunteers to use the modern western weapons and technology that they were being supplied with, and to share contemporary leadership skills.
Brigadier Timothy Orders from the 9th Brigade stationed at the Edinburgh RAAF Base spoke to the soldiers about how proud he was that they would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian volunteers in an act of solidarity as the Ukrainian nation faces an existential battle in its fight for liberty, freedom and democracy in this immoral and illegal war that is being perpetrated by Russia.

The soldiers then joined the 40 invited members from the Ukrainian Community for a solemn religious ceremony that was convened by Military Chaplain Major Luke Skipper and Father Eugene Kvasniuk from the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

Chaplain Skipper emphasized the fact that Australia’s military commitment to Ukraine was precisely because Ukraine was fighting a war against evil aggression and that Ukraine was fighting for values like dignity and peace that are an important part of the Australian fabric.

Together with Father Eugene, Chaplain Skipper blessed blue and yellow crosses that the Australian soldiers will pass on to the Ukrainian soldiers when they join up in the UK. These crosses will serve as a symbol of the solidarity that exists between Australia and Ukraine. The soldiers from the 7th Battalion will also pass on the letters of support that the children from the Ukrainian Community School in Adelaide wrote to them.

An inter confessional quartet of members of the Ukrainian Orthodox aтd Ukrainian Greek Catholic parishes sang the most appropriate of hymns, “Боже великій єдиній нам Україну храни” O Great and Indivisible God, Protect Ukraine” – a message that is particularly poignant during this time of war.

It was pleasing to see a strong political bi-partisan support for this military parade and ceremony with the Liberal Leader of the Opposition David Spiers also in attendance.
There was also a very strong media presence with the major print, television and some radio media in attendance. They had an opportunity to interview Acting Minister Thistlethwaite and Major Michael Jack who will be leading the Australian contingent to the UK.

After these interviews organized by Captain Peter March, the military public affairs officer, the media then had an opportunity to interview Stefan Romaniw, Co-chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations, Frank Fursenko the President of the Association of Ukrainians in South Australia, Father Eugene Kvasniuk, and Bernadette Belej the Program Manager of Help Ukrainians Australia (HUA).

Ukrainian trainees in action in the UK

Subscribe to receive the latest news and updates

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.