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Engineers support G20 Leaders Summit

Engineers support G20 Leaders Summit
Brisbane’s 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment (2CER) is the lead unit for close to 550 personnel from the 15 Army and Air Force units providing conventional search support for the Group of Twenty (G20) Leader’s Summit.

Since 2CER was formed 23 years ago its engineers have been involved in several domestic operations including flood assist operations within Brisbane and southern Queensland, so the G20 is a chance to do another mission in their home city.

Sappers involved in the complex security operation were responsible for searching the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank, the alternate G20 venue at the Royal International Convention Centre and 13 sole-use hotels.

Other responsibilities included manning two 24/7 vehicle screening points and being available for short-notice tasks to support world leaders and heads of state movements to other venues.

Engineers from the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment and 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment have also joined the ADF Support to G20 Security Task Force.

Commanding Officer 2CER, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Richardson, said the troops were supporting the Queensland Police Service (QPS) who were responsible for the safe and secure conduct of the G20.

“We are working in an inter-agency environment and as part of that we are responsible for the search effect,” Lieutenant Colonel Richardson said.

“The unit has proven it is an agile organisation and during the initial planning we were able to respond to the QPS and execute three search-and-seal tasks well before the G20 started.

“The Task Group has been well resourced for the mission with assistance from Land Systems Division and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO).

“They have provided our soldiers with the latest equipment in a compressed timeframe.

“This has allowed our search teams to use the best kit available and provide the search support required by QPS.”

Corporal Anak Widnyana is a low-risk search team commander with 2CER who is responsible for his eight-man team as it conducts searches in the different facilities.

“Our job is to ensure the buildings are clear from any explosive ordnance for the safety of the international delegates,” Corporal Widnyana said.

“Low-risk means there is not a specific threat, but because this is a targetable event we need to do our searches.

“We get our heads and eyes into every crack and crevice we can, looking-out for items that are out of the ordinary.”

The main tools of the searchers’ trade are their torches and eyes, but they are also equipped with non-linear junction detectors, which can detect circuitry behind objects or walls.

Corporal Widnyana said 2CER also had the new pole camera which could let searchers check inside out-of-reach voids.

“The camera is able to be poked around the space and there is a monitor attached to the operator’s wrist which lets them see what is there,” he said.

“The biggest challenge for us during our searches is that nothing is black or white, all the areas are grey, and we never know what we could be walking into, we just have to adapt to every situation.

“The QPS have been absolutely brilliant and have assisted us to no end, along with the civilian engineers of the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“Providing security support to the G20 and ensuring the safety of the visiting delegates and the public is something we are all definitely proud of.”

Last updated
6 September 2016
Army: Courage. Initiative. Respect. Teamwork.
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