Company Put on 14 Day Post APEC Standby - Two Hercules on 24 Hour Notice

  • Max Bradford

The Government has decided to bring forward the readiness of an infantry company with logistic support, following developments in East Timor, Defence Minister Max Bradford said today.

The force of 330 soldiers was on 28 days standby, but had been moved to 14 days standby from the end of APEC, which finishes at the end of next week.

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley has asked Mr Bradford to investigate the implications of shortening this readiness period further.

Mr Bradford said a decision on this would depend on the outcome of high level discussions during APEC week.

He also said two Air Force Hercules aircraft had been put on 24-hour notice to support the evacuation capability of the Australian defence forces.

"I have spoken to John Moore, the Australian Defence Minister, indicating that we will position these aircraft at Darwin, if he wishes," Mr Bradford said.