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Cpl Max Bree
A BOOK examining Australia’s
train, advise and assist missions was
released in Canberra on April 4.
Titled The Long Road, the book’s
editor Tom Frame, of the University
of NSW, hoped it would shine light
on a little-explored area of military
“It is so poorly known; it has not
entered popular imagination – and it
should,” he said.
“Australia has been active in assis-
tance missions for 100 years, it’s
time this was foregrounded and the
contributions of mentors properly
“Many of our core national and
service values are embodied in assis-
The book contains contributions
from numerous military and civilian
authors, where Prof Frame discovered
what it took to be a mentor.
“Assistance work requires people
of a particular temperament,” he said.
“It’s not the case that if you can do
high-end warfighting, assistance mis-
sions are somehow easier.
“It’s nuanced service and needs
people who have all the emotional
personality traits that make it possible
for them to be an effective mentor.
“They have to do things with peo-
ple rather than do things for people.”
Col Brett Chaloner, of AHQ,
wrote the chapter “Advising for a
Generation” based on his experience
commanding a Kandahar-based advi-
sory team and advising an Afghan
general in 2014.
“Because of the big change in the
EGISLATION to create the
Defence Housing Authority
was introduced into parlia-
ment. A board that includ-
ed civilians and three military
officers would run DHA. Major
issues identified in Townsville
and Darwin included delays in
carrying out maintenance, the
need for laundries to be enclosed
and dissatisfaction with housing
in socially depressed areas.
DHA was previously operating
on an interim basis pending the
2 Cav Regt would move from
Holsworthy to Darwin in a decision
that showed the government rec-
ognised the “fundamental strategic
importance of Australia’s north”.
Barracks and married quarters would
be built at an estimated cost of $70m.
Army News announced the deci-
sion to raise 5 Avn Regt to oper-
ate two squadrons of Black Hawk
helicopters out of RAAF Base
Townsville. One of the regiment’s
squadrons would be based on
RAAF’s No. 9 Sqn, which would
receive the first 14 aircraft. After
training with them for a year
at RAAF Base Amberley, they
would leave for Townsville and
become 5 Avn’s A Sqn. RAAF
officers and airmen were offered
the chance to transfer to Army to
operate the Black Hawks at no
detriment to their careers.
No major force structure changes for
Army were announced in the 1987
Defence White Paper. It reinforced
the provision for two company lift
groups of Black Hawk helicopters and
would consider purchasing a third.
Studies would commence on relocat-
ing a brigade to Darwin with 2 Cav
Regt. The entire fleet of off-road
vehicles would be replaced with vehi-
cles made in Australia. The planned
Army strength for June that year was
32,000, with 15,732 for Navy and
22,797 for Air Force.
Sgt Courage, 2 Cav Regt’s
wedge-tailed eagle mascot,
died of an illness while recover-
ing from a kidney infection at
Holsworthy. The bird, aged 19,
was to be preserved by a taxi-
dermist and a replacement eagle
was being sought.
Ads appeared for Heckler & Koch’s
P7 pistol and Winchester’s high
Cpl Max Bree takes a look at what was
making headlines in years past.
Mentoring missions embodied in our service values
ISAF mission at the time, we were
acting as the glue between the coali-
tion and the Afghans,” he said.
“If you’re going to be involved in
any assistance operations you need to
be prepared to commit to a long-term
“If it’s a generation, which is 20
years, that’s how long it’s going to
take to guarantee change.”
Prof Frame, a former ADF mem-
ber himself, said the biggest lesson
he took from editing the book was the
need to involve locals in operations as
much as possible.
“If we go to a country that’s been
destroyed by war, famine or natural
disaster, it has to be rebuilt by the
locals with their own initiative draw-
ing on their own institutions,” he said.
Copies of the book can be obtained from
the UNSW Press website at www.bookshop.
From left: Col Brett Chaloner, Defence Scientist
Kendy Hau and Prof Tom Frame during the
panel discussion at the launch of The Long
Road at Russell Offices.
Photo: Jay Cronan
April 20, 2017
By Pte Codey Anderson
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