Home' Army News : November 26th 2009 Contents 50 YEARS O
2 -- ARMY NEWSPAPER, NOVEMBER 26, 2009
Reserves at sharp end
THE ADF's now part-timers have an increased level of
operational availability following legislative amend-
ments arising from the Interfet deployment. Reserve
soldiers can now be called out for continuous full-time
service in combat, peace enforcement, peacekeeping,
humanitarian and civil aid, and disaster relief.
INTERFET has been directed to the remains of at least
12 bodies in what may be the largest mass-burial
site discovered. Local people returning to Passabe
after forced exile showed 3RAR members where they
say they witnessed the killings and shallow burial of
several boys. OC B Coy 3RAR Maj Steve Grace said
his company had reports of a mass killing of up to 56
people in the area.
MAJ-GEN Peter Cosgrove today handed over com-
mand of almost one quarter of his force in the first
phase of the transition from Interfet to the UNTAET
Timor gets the gong
PRIME Minister John Howard has announced the
establishment of a specific campaign medal, approved
by the Queen, for members of the ADF who served in
East Timor. The International Force East Timor Medal
will be presented to all ADF members who served in
the operational area for 30 days or more.
Returning diggers on parade
MORE than 50,000 people have lined Sydney's streets
to welcome home ADF personnel who served in East
Timor with Interfet. Maj-Gen Peter Cosgrove led the
parade to Sydney Town Hall, where he accepted the
keys to the city on behalf of the members.
Cosgrove tops Army
INTERFET hero Lt-Gen Peter Cosgrove has taken up his
new position as Chief of Army after a small promotion
ceremony with the outgoing CA, Lt-Gen Hickling.
Operation goes Gold
IN THE biggest domestic security operation on
Australian soil, 4000 Defence personnel are involved
in providing support and security for the Olympic and
Paralympic games. Key within Operation Gold is the
Joint Incident Response Unit, whose role is to minimise
chemical, biological, radioactive or explosive threats.
THE latest Defence White Paper will announce the big-
gest funding increase for 20 years, with spending to
increase by $23.5 billion in the coming decade. Army
is expected to receive two squadrons of armed recon-
naissance helicopters and an extra troop-life helicopter
squadron. All soldiers should receive improved body
armour, weapons, night-vision equipment and commu-
Call for Anzac ties
SENATOR Sandy MacDonald has proposed Australia
and New Zealand amalgamate their forces under an
Anzac banner. Senator MacDonald said NZ's decision
not to upgrade its maritime patrol aircraft and appar-
ent moves towards an isolationist defence policy gave
weight to an amalgamation of the two forces.
Death of a pioneer
ARMY'S founding editor has died of cancer, aged 80.
Hal Richardson served with the 2/15 Fd Regt RAA
in Singapore and was a prisoner of the Japanese for
nearly four years. He later served as a war correspond-
ent in Korea. In the late 1950s he took on the role of
Army newspaper editor, a job he held for 18 years and
which earned him an MBE.
A century of the Rising Sun
CA'S Order of the Day, March 1: "In this, the Nation's
Centenary Year, our Army too is 100 years old. Born in
battle on the plains of South Africa, the Army today
stands squarely as guardian and upholder of our
nation's interests... In 100 years, hundreds of thou-
sands of the most magnificent Australians have passed
through our ranks. They fought and bled and died in
theatres of war all over the globe -- not for gain or
reputation but because Australians have always been
prepared to pay a high price for freedom ... That is
now our privileged legacy, our honourable burden."
No culture of violence
AN AUDIT of the military justice system has found no
evidence of a culture of violence in the ADF. Retired
Federal Court justice James Burchett said in his report
that, while bastardisation practices have existed at
some military institutions in the past, there was a
general view across the ADF that these practices were
inconsistent with the ethos of today's force.
THE CA has extended sympathy on behalf of all
Australian soldiers to Americans who have lost
family and friends in the attacks on New York and
Washington. Lt-Gen Peter Cosgrove said the attacks
on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon had
"shocked us all".
Fight against terrorism
CA LT-GEN Peter Cosgrove has farewelled SASR per-
sonnel at Karrakatta, ahead of their deployment to
join the coalition against terrorism. The soldiers will be
under US operational control with an Australian link in
the command structure.
Diggers target al Qa'eda
AUSTRALIAN soldiers are continuing their role in the
war on terrorism by conducting round-the-clock opera-
tions around Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. The
Special Forces soldiers are operating on two levels
-- continuing reconnaissance and surveillance patrols,
as well as the clearance of suspected enemy locations.
First death since Vietnam
SGT Andrew Robert Russell, SASR, fatally wounded in
action in Afghanistan, has began his journey home.
The 33-year-old is the first Australian military death in
action since the Vietnam War. Sgt Russell died when
his patrol vehicle struck a suspected anti-vehicle mine.
SAS puts on the squeeze
AUSTRALIAN Special Forces have played a major role
in what has been described as the most important
offensive yet against al Qa'eda in the war against ter-
rorism. About 100 SASR troops were involved in the
US-led Operation Anaconda, in which more than 500
enemy fighters are believed to have been killed.
Top man, top job
CA LT-GEN Peter Cosgrove has been appointed
Defence's new CDF. He will be promoted to general
and assume his new role next month, replacing Adm
Reserve Coy to deploy
FOR the first time since World War II an infantry com-
pany of reserves will deploy overseas on operations, on
the next rotation to East Timor. The 96 deploying ARes
soldiers, from 4 and 8 bdes, will form A Coy 5/7RAR.
Tagged for action
TWO specialised units, the Incident Response
Regiment and the Tactical Assault Group-East, based
at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney, have been officially
unveiled as Australia's response to the September 11
attacks on the US.
Hell on Earth
AN AUSTRALIAN soldier standing less than 50m from
the bomb that exploded outside the Sari Nightclub
in Bali has escaped unhurt. Capt Rodney Cocks, a UN
Military Observer in East Timor, helped to treat victims,
including an injured sergeant from 1RAR who was on
leave from Butterworth. He also searched for missing
soldiers at the morgue at Denpasar hospital.
WITH one of Sydney's worst bushfires raging towards
them, soldiers at Holsworthy barracks desperately
attempted to protect their lines and now face the
monstrous task of cleaning up. The fire damaged 11
buildings and a number of vehicles.
Anthrax shots for all
SERVICE personnel deploying to the Middle East
are being vaccinated against anthrax as part of
their preparation for possible exposure to biological
AUSTRALIAN troops are in action as part of a US-led
coalition to disarm Iraq. It follows the formal commit-
ment by Prime Minister John Howard after the failure
of diplomatic efforts to force Iraqi dictator Saddam
Hussein to disarm. Australia's commitment has been
named Operation Falconer, and some 2000 ADF per-
sonnel are deployed to the operation in land, air and
Special Forces seize drug ship
SPECIAL Forces, supported by HMAS Stuart, have
seized a renegade drug ship off the coast of
Newcastle. The North Korea-registered MV Pong
Su had been on the run from state and federal law
enforcement agencies for several days. Members of
the new Special Operations Command boarded the
ship, brought it on course for Sydney and handed it
over to the AFP and customs officials.
ism after th
units to cor
of sites com
THE first AD
ing law and
fires that cu
killed four p
SASR'S 1 Sq
ours and aw
EIGHT soldiers have survived a Black Hawk crash
during a training flight in the Amberley Training
Range. The trainee pilot was undertaking fixed-wing
aircraft evasion as part of his ROBC when he issued a
Mayday call. Six of the eight occupants were injured.
Time to harden up
ARMY has procured 59 M1A1 Aim (D) Main Battle
Tanks. CA Lt-Gen Peter Leahy said the Abrams Tank
would protect assets through superior firepower,
mobility and communications.
End of an era
ARMY'S presence in East Timor has significantly
decreased under a UN Security Council resolution to
reduce UNMISET numbers rather than completely
withdraw. The Australian contingent of about 440
troops will drop to about 100 as Operation Citadel
transforms into Operation Spire.
SIX more AS
to Iraq to re
troop and v
the new Au
duced by 20
ters to be re
ing the ADF
THE ADF's disaster relief operation in Sumatra has
moved from the life-saving response phase to the
rehabilitation phase after the Boxing Day earthquake
and tsunami. More than 550 soldiers are deployed on
Operation Sumatra Assist, and the majority are based
in the largely destroyed city of Banda Aceh.
THE body of a 3RAR soldier who died while on patrol
in Solomon Islands has been brought home. Pte Jamie
Clark, 21, was part of a patrol searching for weapon
caches in the hills of Mt Austen, east of Honiara,
when he fell into a deep shaft, receiving fatal injuries.
Task group rolls in
THE lead elements of the Al Muthanna Task Group
(AMTG) has arrived in southern Iraq. After settling
into Camp Smitty, the AMTG met with local Iraqi
Army forces and the Japanese contingent before
beginning patrolling and training activities.
The long goodbye
ALMOST six years of UN peacekeeping in East Timor
have come to an end, signifying that peace has
nel now de
some will re
in honour o
home to Pe
after a vehi
region of D
A FURTHER 110 Australian troops and two Chinook
helicopters will deploy to Afghanistan this month to
bolster the existing 190 troops there as part of the
SOTG, which operates under the Combined Forces
Command in Afghanistan.
THE ADF co
the skies, la
On the cover: Pte Nathan Gibbs,
MRTF, patrols through a poppy
field in southern Afghanistan
(main photo); Brig Dave Chalmers
surveys the damage at Banda
Aceh in 2005 (bottom left); and
MP WO Leo Orreal greets an Iraqi
woman in Baghdad in 2003.
Photos by Cpl Ricky Fuller, AB Bradley Darvill,
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