51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment
51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment (51 FNQR), serves as a Regional Force Surveillance Unit (RFSU), carrying out reconnaissance and surveillance tasks as its primary role.
Every operator in the unit is cross-trained in a variety of 'low-visibility' skills such as weapons, survival, sniping, medic, small boat handling, driving, tracking, air ops etc.
51 FNQR is the only battalion of the Far North Queensland Regiment, and draws its lineage from an Australian Imperial Force battalion raised for service during World War I.
Today, 51 FNQR plays an important role in the security of Australia by conducting surveillance patrols in the sparsely populated and remote regions of Far North Queensland. 51 FNQR is made up of full-time and part-time members with battalion headquarters and a surveillance company located in Cairns. Surveillance companies are headquartered throughout Far North Queensland at Weipa, Thursday Island and Mount Isa.
Approximately 30 per cent of 51 FNQR personnel are Indigenous Torres Strait Islanders and mainland Aboriginal peoples who, with the Australians of other origins throughout the unit, form the team that is 51 FNQR. It is this diverse make up of personnel and their cultures that give the 51 FNQR its unique character.
51 FNQR is tasked with reconnaissance and surveillance of some 640,000 square kilometres from Cardwell (north Queensland) to the Torres Strait (inclusive of Cape York and the Gulf Country) and west to the Northern Territory border.
Australians of many cultures have been drawn together to provide this capability. Torres Strait Islanders and members of the many isolated Aboriginal communities throughout Cape York and the Gulf Country form an integral component of the Battalion, and provide a vital source of local knowledge.
The real time role of conducting reconnaissance and surveillance in Far North Queensland is what makes service in 51 FNQR so challenging and rewarding for both full-time and part-time members of today's Army. Ask any member of 51 FNQR and they will proudly tell you they are "the eyes and ears of the north".
The 51 FNQR came under the command of the 2nd Division on 1 September 2014.
The motto of the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment, is ‘Ducit amor patriae’, which is Latin for ‘The love of country leads me’.