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14 WORLD NEWS
Army February 4, 2010
DIGGERS in Tarin Kowt and sur-
rounding bases in Oruzgan prov-
ince are now enjoying Aussie
tucker courtesy of Supreme Global
Service Solutions who took over
the ADF catering contract on
Under the watchful eye of an
ADF catering officer, the contracted
staff and Australian cooks are serv-
ing up a select number of fresh dish-
es at breakfast, lunch and dinner to
meet the dietary preferences of the
Australian and Dutch soldiers.
Historically, Australian ration
requirements have been provided for
under the existing Dutch arrange-
ments, as the Netherlands is the lead
nation in Oruzgan.
While the contract is now under
Australian management, the needs
(and tastes) of the Dutch have not
gone unnoticed and there remains a
distinctly European flavour to some
of the dishes.
THE Heron Unmanned Aerial System
(UAS) has commenced high resolution
intelligence, surveillance and recon-
naissance (ISR) flights in support of
ADF operations in Afghanistan.
Under Project Nankeen, DMO has
signed a contract with MacDonald,
Dettwiler and Associates Ltd to provide
Heron services to the ADF.
The first was delivered at Ben Gurion
airport on December 10, 2009.
The Australian Heron detachment has
been drawn from many parts of Air Force
and Army. It includes UAS pilots, payload
operators, intelligence officers, imagery
analysts, engineers, administrative and
The detachment has been preparing
for the delivery of the Heron by work-
ing with the Canadian Heron detachment
at Kandahar airfield, drawing on the
Canadians' operational knowledge, expe-
rience and facilities.
The Heron uses leading-edge technol-
ogy to boost force protection by provid-
ing ground commanders with ongoing,
real-time situational awareness.
The Heron is a medium-altitude long-
endurance UAS. It can remain airborne
for more than 30 hours with a cruising
altitude of 30,000ft, and can carry 250kg
It cannot be seen or heard at normal
It has a length of 8.5m, a wingspan
of 16.6m, a take-off weight of 1200kg,
an operational range of several hundred
kilometres and an automatic take-off
and landing system. It is navigated by a
Global Positioning System but is also fit-
ted with back-ups if it needs to be flown
in a GPS-denied environment.
It is equipped with a range of sensors.
The Heron is used for ISR, escort and
battle damage assessment.
Smooth landing as
Heron hits ground
Allan key anyone? The Heron gets carefully unpacked at Kandahar airfield.
Photo by Cpl Andrew Eddie
Aussie grub's up for diggers
Supper time: Sgt Peter Castle, FSU 2, supervises the quality control
at the Camp Holland mess.
Photo by Cpl Rachel Ingram
SOTG has started the New Year by
supporting Afghan police establish
a stronger presence in remote parts
of southern Afghanistan during the
first part of winter.
SOTG operations led by the
Provincial Police Reserve (PPR)
were conducted to deny the influ-
ence of the Taliban in the region and
to protect the population throughout
These operations took place in
the mountainous valleys of Garmab,
Patan and Kush Kadir.
Chief of Joint Operations Lt-Gen
Mark Evans said in partnership with
the PPR, SOTG held formal discus-
sions, or shuras, with community
leaders in these areas to assess their
security needs and requirements for
"The communities responded
positively, with many people from
outlying areas travelling to meet
with the PPR and SOTG," Lt-Gen
"This continues SOTG's popu-
lation centric approach adopted in
recent times in line with the intent
of Commander ISAF Gen Stanley
While the visits to the valleys
were primarily fact-finding mis-
sions, a SOTG Medical Officer said
valuable hands-on health care work
was also provided.
The SOTG medics took the
opportunity to conduct health clin-
ics, treating approximately 200 peo-
ple in the three valleys.
"What we did was look at the
general population, look at people
specifically, get some background
information, see what they wanted,
what they needed, and make some
suggestions, and at the same time
treat anybody who was sick as well,"
Major G said.
Maj-Gen Evans said the popula-
tion centric approach was helping to
foster positive relations between the
community, the PPR and the SOTG.
"The stronger ties between the
Afghan National Security Forces
and the population in these areas
will give locals further confidence to
seek assistance from the government
of Afghanistan," he said.
A healthy start
Check-up: Medics conduct health clinics as part of SOTG's support of local Afghan police.
Photos by Lt Aaron Oldaker
Making friends: A SOTG soldier from shakes hands with possible
future leaders of the Garmab Valley.
Chief of Joint Operations, Lt-Gen
Mark Evans said the menu designed
and developed by the Australian
catering staff would ensure all forc-
es were catered for within the Camp
"The final catering arrangements
will ensure the Australian and coali-
tion soldiers are able to enjoy fresh-
ly prepared and cooked meals on a
regular and routine basis," Lt-Gen
Lt-Gen Evans also said the move
to completely fresh rations would
occur progressively, and was a posi-
tive addition to the catering service.
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