Home' Army News : November 12th 2009 Contents 50 YEARS OF SERVICE
4 -- ARMY NEWSPAPER, NOVEMBER 12, 2009
Diggers destroy threat
AUSTRALIA'S contribution to removing the kill-
ing by landmines in Mozambique will continue
as the fourth deployment of diggers serving with
the Accelerated Demining Project heads to Africa.
Australian engineers' efforts have so far led to the
destruction of 8725 landmines, 3211 UXOs and the
clearance of more than 1.1m square kilometres.
SECURITY staff in Canberra have issued a nation-
wide warning for soldiers to be on the lookout for
people presenting themselves as military person-
nel. The warning follows an incident at Kapooka
where a former engineer, claiming to be from SASR
and working undercover for the Australian Federal
Police, tried to buy DPCU and polyester uniforms.
A police search of his vehicle revealed an SLR with
three different registered numbers, two loaded
magazines and some knives.
Black Hawk disaster
TUESDAY June 18 was a day of grieving for the
Australian Army as it mourned the greatest single
loss of Australian soldiers since the Battle of Long
Tan. Services were conducted around the country
to remember the 15 SASR and three 5 Avn Regt
soldiers who died when two Black Hawk helicop-
ters collided at night over the High Range Training
Area near Townsville.
GOVERNOR-GENERAL Sir William Deane has pre-
sented Australia's first decorations for gallantry
since the Vietnam War. UNAMIR II's Maj Carol
Vaughan-Evans, Lt Thomas Tilbrook, WO2 Roderick
Scott and Cpl Andrew Miller were honoured for
their distinguished service, particularly in response
to the massacre of civilian refugees at Kibeho on
April 22 last year.
CA LT-GEN John Sanderson has recommitted the
Australian Army to effective, realistic training that
will incorporate appropriate safety precautions. He
was countering media speculation about the Army's
attitude to safety following the Black Hawk inquiry.
Sniper weapon trials
MARKSMEN from around Australia set their sights
on the future recently when they conducted user
trials on a range of weapons at the School of
Infantry. Sniper pairs tested 7.62 antipersonnel and
.50 antimaterial weapon systems that could enter
service as early as April 1998.
Diggers' heroism awards
EIGHT bravery decorations and six service com-
mendations have been awarded for courage fol-
lowing the Black Hawk tragedy that claimed eight
lives last year. Governor-General Sir William Deane
invested the 13 SASR soldiers and one 5 Avn Regt
soldier whose acts helped prevent more casualties.
THREE officers have created Army history as the
first women to complete the arduous commando
officer selection course and qualify to serve in one
of the Army's elite units. They were allowed to
undertake the full selection course and other spe-
cialist courses but cannot serve in raid companies.
Gunners a big hit
Gunners from 6RAR's new Fire Support Company
proved their mettle when they fired two 155mm
howitzers at Wide Bay Training Area during Exercise
Heavy Metal. It was the first time the guns had
completed a live-fire practice since they arrived in
Brisbane in May.
Aussies for Bougainville
AUSTRALIAN troops will play a part in regional
peace after a request from PNG to participate
in a neutral Truce Monitoring Group (TMG) for
Bougainville. Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander
Downer and Defence Minister Ian McLachlan said
the TMG's task would be to monitor the truce
agreement signed by all parties at the Bougainville
peace talks in New Zealand.
Review backs new Army
AUSTRALIA'S defence planners have shifted their
focus from the low-level contingency scenarios of
the past to maritime approaches after a strategic
review. While the Government would give higher
priority to the RAAF and Navy, land forces would
remain an essential component of capability.
THE Federal Court has overturned a Human Rights
and Equal Opportunities Commission decision that
found the ADF had discriminated against a HIV-
infected soldier in discharging him. The full bench
found the issues revolved around "bleeding safely".
Army after 2000
ARMY has released a plan that will see Australia's
land force modernise and grow during the coming
decade. The aim is to provide a deployable force
structure of seven task forces, a logistic support
force and a special operations group, requiring
about 50,000 soldiers.
War ends on Bougainville
"TODAY the war in Bougainville is over." Those
words, spoken by Bougainville Revolutionary Army
Gen Sam Kauona, were met by a deafening roar of
approval at the ceasefire ceremony in Arawa. The
signing signals an end to nine years of violence.
Relief to PNG
A LIMB for a life is how surgeon Lt-Col John Crozier
described an amputation he had performed dur-
ing the night. His patient, eight-year-old Sebastian
Alosi, was the victim of a 10-metre tidal wave
that crashed along a 30km front along the remote
shores of PNG's Western Sepik. It was one of 22
such procedures performed in the first four days of
Operation Shaddock, the ADF disaster relief effort.
M113 crewmen will receive a fully upgraded APC
several years earlier than expected after a recent
decision to amalgamate two phases of the vehicle's
THE ADF will expand its operational capabilities
by introducing night-fighting equipment early next
year. The gear includes monocular and binocular
night-vision goggles, a night sight and a night-aim-
1 Bde more ready
1 BDE in Darwin is about to be put on the same
level of readiness as 3 Bde in Townsville. Defence
Minister John Moore pointed to recent deployments
in Bougainville, PNG, Irian Jaya and the Gulf, and
added "further contingencies could arise in our
region, including in East Timor".
A CATAMARAN with the capability to move 500
soldiers and their equipment at high speed will join
Defence ranks. Defence Minister John Moore said
the two-year charter of the locally built high-speed
catamaran provided additional sea-transport sup-
port for Defence activities in northern Australia.
Sim system set to go
BASIC marksmanship skills are about to go high-
tech thanks to nine new facilities around the coun-
try. US company Firearms Training Systems Inc
designed the Weapons Training Simulation System
(WTTS) to accurately simulate small-arms fire, elimi-
nating the dangers and some of the costs of tradi-
PNG work ends
ONE of the Army's longest overseas deployments
will come to an end later this year when a PNG-
based engineer unit ceases activities after 36 years.
12 CE Wks has been based in PNG since it was
raised in Popondetta in 1963 and will be disbanded
Timor troop move
AUSTRALIA began its biggest troop move since
the Vietnam War in Darwin last Monday as the
initial elements of the 4500-strong commitment to
Operation Stabilise left for Dili. Troops from 3 Bde
will be the first soldiers to hit the ground in the UN-
THOUSANDS of captured militia weapons are soon
to be dumped at sea or blown up as Interfet sol-
diers continue their campaign to make East Timor
safe. Weapons ranging from knives and machetes
through to pipe guns, grenades and anti-armour
rockets are awaiting disposal by Army ammunition
IN MID-1997, as an infantry junior NCO
with a young family and a communications
degree, I was offered a position at Army.
For a junior NCO, it was an amazing expe-
rience. I was exposed to the Army's leaders
and their decisions, gained an understanding
of the interplay between Defence and govern-
ment and, for the first time in my career, sen-
ior Army personnel actively sought me out.
Yet the experience taught me life as an
Army reporter has a use-by date. After three
years, I felt detached from the Army I was
supposedly part of.
Don't get me wrong, I had some fabulous
experiences while at the newspaper, and much
of what I learned there set me up for the role I
I was lucky enough to get on one of
the early Hercs to Dili in September 1999
and spent an amazing couple of months
"unleashed" with Interfet.
Those few years in the battalions were the
most valuable skills I had when I stepped into
the piles of excrement at Komoro airfield. My
previous life meant the three Aussie battalions
were quite happy to "embed" me for patrols
The highlight was October 10 at the lit-
tle border outpost of Motaain. I saw 100-
odd Aussie infantrymen, supported by oth-
ers, apply measured aggression to de-escalate
what could have been a significant setback to
The vision and stills shot by myself and
others were fantastic evidence when the nego-
tiations kicked off. That imagery also legiti-
mised the actions of the Australians in the eyes
of the UN and the world.
Without the knowledge I gained at the
newspaper, I wouldn't have made the career
decision that has me fighting off the Kamarian
hordes at Command and Staff College.
I also worked with some great people that
in an insular battalion environment I would
never have been exposed to on a regular basis.
For Maj Jason Logue, the
position of Army reporter was the
right job -- for that moment.
Lucky: Then Cpl Jason
Logue in East Timor in 1999.
View from above: Then Maj-Gen Peter Cosgrove, right, surveys the terrain near Balibo in his
role as Commander International Forces East Timor. With him is WO1 Dale Sales.
Photo by Darren Hilder
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