Australian Army establishes first dedicated health brigade.
By Robert Dougherty
The Australian Army has formed a dedicated health brigade for the first time in its 122-year history.
The 2nd Health Brigade was officially commemorated with a transfer of authority parade at Victoria Barracks in Sydney and an announcement on 3 March.
It brings together the Army’s four health battalions – Darwin, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Townsville – and includes almost 1,700 trained medical and non-clinical personnel under one formation.
The new brigade will act as a deployable health capability ready to support future operations and training domestically and internationally.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Simon Stuart said the consolidation of the health battalions under the command of the 2nd Health Brigade was a key component of the Australian Army’s modernisation.
“The dedicated health brigade will enhance Army’s ability to raise, train, and sustain health assets ready to deliver multi-disciplined health support to operations and training, both at home and overseas,” LTGEN Stuart said.
The 2nd Health Brigade will supply independently deployable surgical elements, combat health support, mental health support, increased aeromedical evacuation capacity, and allied health support for the Australian Army.
Second Health Brigade’s inaugural commander, Brigadier Jocelyn King, said the health battalions had been structured to offer a greater mix of deployable health capability in each region, with their members drawn from Army’s full and part-time workforces.
“Building teams within units that draw on both our full-time and part-time workforce will enable the entire health workforce to benefit from the specialist skills and experience resident within Army’s part-time health workforce,” BRIG King said.
“The integrated workforce model across the entire brigade also provides greater opportunity for Army’s part-time health workforce to participate in operations and training, and to apply their professional skills in a military context.”
Almost half of the 2nd Health Brigade workforce is part-time and is able to bring specialist skills from the civilian health system.