Home' Army News : November 26th 2009 Contents FEBRUARY
Show of support
ON A visit to Dili, the Prime Minister has thanked 3RAR's Ready
Company Group, which deployed within 24 hours after separate
attacks on President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana
Gusmao by rebels.
GUNNERS will deploy to Afghanistan in the first use of Australian
artillery personnel in their primary role since the Vietnam War.
Fifteen soldiers from Darwin's 8/12 Mdm Regt will join the UK's Task
Force Helmand to man and operate L118 Light Guns from forward
Ten years jail
AN ARMY captain has been sentenced to 10 years' jail for stealing
and selling 10 rocket launchers. Shane Della-Vedova pleaded guilty
to stealing the weapons during his time as an ammunition techni-
cian officer between 2001 and 2003.
The job s done
AUSTRALIAN soldiers at Tallil have ceased security operations in
southern Iraq and have handed over security responsibility for Al
Muthanna and Dhi Qar Provinces to US Forces. Six Australian sol-
diers were wounded in the three years of operations.
Chief hands over
ARMY lost 37 years of leadership, dedicated service and military
experience when Lt-Gen Peter Leahy handed over the CA role to Lt-
Gen Ken Gillespie.
Force for change
THE deployment of the first Mentoring and Reconstruction Task
Force marks a new phase for the ADF in Afghanistan. Defence
Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said the new Task Force will perform a criti-
cal role in bolstering the skills of the Afghan National Army.
50 YEARS OF SERVICE
4 -- ARMY NEWSPAPER, NOVEMBER 26, 2009
David Sibley upset tradition, and some
brigadiers, as Army's first civilian editor.
Lost diggers home
AFTER almost 42 years lying on a battlefield in Vietnam, the remains
of two Australian soldiers have finally returned home. A Hercules
carried the coffins of 1RAR soldiers Pte Peter Gilson and LCpl
Richard Parker into RAAF Base Richmond.
Leopard s last parade
1 ARMD Regt celebrated its 58th birthday by farewelling the Leopard
and hailing the Abrams. A parade marked the end of the Leopard
era and the operational readiness of the Abrams.
Huey s last hurrah
ARMY has farewelled the Iroquois helicopter, which has served the
country for more than 40 years. The Iroquois has operated with all
three services and has served on operations in Vietnam, Sinai, PNG,
Banda Aceh and Solomon Islands.
DNA samples provided voluntarily by ADF personnel will be stored
in case they are required for victim identification. The service will
enable the ADF to offer expedient and accurate identification if the
worst should happen.
THOUSANDS of pounds of rice, water and medical aid have been
flown in by 5 Avn Regt helicopters to remote villages devastated by
the floods caused by Cyclone Guba in PNG.
From chaos comes hope
THE ADF has delivered life-saving aid in response to Cyclone Larry's
obliteration of the far north Queensland coast and the Atherton
Tablelands. Personnel provided food, water and shelter, while troops
with engineering equipment cleared debris blocking roads or posing
CALM has been restored in Solomon Islands after about 500
Australian and New Zealand soldiers deployed there because of
riots in the capital, Honiara. The 220 soldiers from 1RAR and 3RAR
were sent to help the Participating Police Force.
Sorrow and loss
FAMILY, friends, 3RAR members and dignitaries have attended a
service to mark the return of Pte Jacob "Jake" Kovco's body. Pte
Kovco died in Iraq on April 21 as a result of a gunshot wound to the
head from his 9mm pistol.
AUSTRALIAN troops are again restoring peace and stability on the
streets of Dili six years after the ADF's initial peacekeeping mission
in East Timor. Under Operation Astute, about 1800 ADF person-
nel have formed the largest commitment to East Timor since Op
Stabilise commenced in September 1999.
ARMY members have been instrumental in the mass evacuation
of Australians from Lebanon. Joint Task Force 629 deployed on
Operation Ramp from Sydney to support the DFAT-led evacuation of
more than 4500 Australian and 1300 other foreigners.
Reconstruction kicks off
THE 400-strong Reconstruction Task Force has arrived in Oruzgan
Province, Afghanistan, to form part of the Netherlands-led Provincial
Reconstruction Team. The Australians have started building their for-
ward operating base, called Camp Holland.
FORCES from 1RAR Ready Company Group have deployed to
Tonga. The group is giving Tongan security forces time to reconsoli-
date after the civil disturbance that culminated in riots and arson
attacks on businesses.
FORCES on HMAS Kanimbla have held a ceremony to remember
helicopter pilot Capt Mark Bingley and Tpr Josh Porter, who died in
the Black Hawk crash a week ago. Kanimbla was stopped in interna-
tional waters near troubled Fiji when the helicopter, with 10 soldiers
onboard, crashed onto the ship's helicopter deck.
THE significance of becoming Army's first civilian editor did not hit me
until I began three of the busiest and exciting years of my journalistic
Without the preparation Army officers receive through their train-
ing, I landed in a proud unit of military reporters with a subculture
unique to the Army.
They didn't know what to expect and neither did I. Over the ensu-
ing three years, this group of reporters changed and grew and taught
me many lessons in how the Army worked.
The group included the first
female reporter in the newspa-
per's history -- Pte Simone Heyer
(now Capt Heyer). It was a period
of change for the newspaper,
which had become integral to the
way the head shed communi-
cated to the rank and file.
I implemented many changes
-- of direction and design -- at the
paper. But while I had plenty of
ideas, none of these would have
come to fruition without the Army's
talented and diverse military
These soldiers worked hard,
improved their skills and gave me
many satisfying moments through
their enthusiasm, ideas and will-
ingness to work long hours, travel
to operations around the world and come back with great stories and
Rod Horan, my predecessor and then director for most of my
editorship, quipped to me that a key role of being Army's editor was to
upset brigadiers -- and I'm pleased to report I did manage to do that
once or twice.
It seems to be part of the territory that you don't always make
friends when you are trying to achieve a paper's mission to inform,
educate and entertain soldiers, from the highest rank to an operator
supply up in Townsville.
I just hope when the story of Army is written, it is recorded I had no
issues pulped and I never missed a print deadline.
May soldiers and their families continue reading Army, whether it's
printed or online, for as long as the Rising Sun badge is proudly worn
in theatres of war and areas of operation around the world.
David Sibley received a Chief of Army Commendation for his service as editor.
In touch: A soldier at work as part of Operation Catalyst in Iraq
Photo by Sgt John Coombe
LIFE has changed for Australia's first Victoria Cross winner in almost
40 years, but reluctant hero Tpr Mark Donaldson just wants to
return to his mates, his job and hopefully to Afghanistan. It is the
first post-Imperial Victoria Cross for Australia and the first for an
Bushfire support continues
NEW search teams have deployed in support of the Victorian
Government to conduct a second phase of searches in fire-devas-
tated towns following the fire disaster of February 7. More than
600 ADF personnel, mainly from 4 Bde, were initially deployed on
Operation Vic Fire Assist.
Good things in small packages
CA LT-GEN Ken Gillespie has welcomed the White Paper as a defin-
ing document underpinning his view the Australian Army is the best
small army in the world. The White Paper provides for a new genera-
tion of armoured vehicles, new artillery, more improved helicopters,
significantly enhanced communications and a 7000-strong fleet of
THE ADF has formally ended its military commitment in Iraq. The
final 11 ADF members, withdrew on July 29. More than 20,000 ADF
personnel have served in Iraq as part of Operation Catalyst between
2003 and 2009.
Two become one
LAND Command and Training Command have been merged into
Forces Command in the Army's first major restructure in 35 years.
TWO Black Hawks from 6 Avn Regt have assisted in the removal of
the remains of 13 people who died in the crash of an Airlines PNG
aircraft near Kokoda.
MERCEDES-BENZ has delivered 30 prototypes of the G-Wagon off-
road vehicle to the ADF at Graz, Austria. A total of 1200 of the new
Army B-vehicles will replace Amy's Land Rover fleet.
Links Archive November 12th 2009 December 10th 2009 Navigation Previous Page