March 02, 2007 15:06 ET

Canadian and Australian Reservists Agree on Foreign Service

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(CCNMatthews - March 2, 2007) - (re-send of February 15, 2007 release in Brussels)

Canada and Australia have signed an agreement that allows Reserve Force members from each country to serve in the other country's military. At NATO Headquarters today, Major-General Herb Petras, Canada's Chief Reserves and Cadets signed a memorandum of understanding with Australian Major-General Neil Wilson, Assistant Chief of Defence Force (Reserves) and Head Reserve Policy. The document outlines a Reserve Force Foreign Service Arrangement between the two countries.

"It is to our advantage to have Canadian reservists serve both at home and overseas. This new agreement will help us retain members who might otherwise leave the military because of their move to Australia. When they return home, they'll have current skills and experience, and that's a significant benefit for our military." says Maj.-Gen. Petras. His colleague Maj.-Gen. Wilson adds "The chance to serve and train in Canada is going to help us offer a more comprehensive training program for our reservists - and we look forward to having Canadian reservists join our units. This is an efficient way to retain more reservists, and contribute to our countries' joint security."

Reservists may become temporary residents in an allied nation because of a job transfer or to attend an educational institution. This new arrangement will allow Canada's 25,000 part-time soldiers, sailors and aircrew, and Australia's 20,000 reservists to continue their training and military service during their temporary residence in each other's lands. A similar agreement was signed between Canada and the United Kingdom in 2005, and Australia and the United Kingdom are working on their own foreign service arrangement.

The document signing is a highlight of the ongoing meeting of NATO's National Reserve Force Committee (NRFC). With reservists in NATO countries playing an increasing role in international military missions, the NRFC's work is critical in strengthening the operational readiness of NATO reserve forces by broadening the exchange of information about mobilization (organization, systems, experiences, etc.), organization of peacetime Reserve Forces and the integration, motivation and transformation of Reserve Forces.

Contact Information

  • Captain Lori Boudreau
    +1 613 769 7852 or +1 613 995-6143
    National Defence Headquarters
    Chief of Reserves & Cadets
    Phone Chairman +1-613-996-9802
    Phone Secretariat +1-613-995-6571/996-2747