THE 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers paid tribute to their history on Saturday night, marking the 96th anniversary of the Charge of Beersheba.
As well as being about the history of the regiment, the dinner was also about the future of defence in the Tamworth region.
Being an Australian Army Reserve unit, the regiment relies on employers to allow reservists time off to serve their nation and complete mandatory training.
12/16 HRL honorary Colonel Brigadier Spence said Tamworth was unique as the only city of defence supportive employers with 80 per cent of the business chamber members signed onto the initiative.
“This is recognition of how important this regiment and the Australian Defence Force Basic Flying Training School is to the economic welfare and what goes into the community,” he said.
“Employers make sacrifices to employ reservists, but supportive employers are smart employers. They lose their employee from time-to-time, but they gain more because reservists are
generally more organised, task-focused and the training and skills they have are very important.”
Defence Reserves Support Council regional chairman Major Glenn Jones said almost 300 employers had signed on as supporters and this was an ongoing process.
Northern Inland Credit Union, Tamworth Regional Council, WorkCover and Millerd’s Bus Service were all recognised for their support of defence reserves.
It is hoped that by having so many businesses officially show their support of defence interests in the Tamworth region, the ADF Basic Flying Training School 25-year contract would remain in Tamworth.