Home' Army News : May 13th 2010 Contents THE caption to a photo on the
People page in the April 29 edi-
tion incorrectly referred to Capt
Jure Roncevich as a Vietnam
Army May 13, 2010
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Lt Bill Heck: (02) 6265 2427
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Phone: (02) 6266 7607
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The Soldiers' Newspaper
Face of Army
Tropical time: Pte Wesley Allan,
8/9RAR, in East Timor.
Photo by Sgt Brian Hartigan
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
CA Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie has
rejected media allegations
Defence was putting soldiers'
lives at risk because of outdated
and faulty equipment.
Lt-Gen Gillespie reassured
soldiers, their families and the
Australian public that the reports
were not accurate.
"In nearly a decade of warfight-
ing our training and our equipment
have protected our people and saved
many lives," Lt-Gen Gillespie said.
"The ADF provides safe, fit-for-
purpose, high-quality clothing and
personal equipment to the men and
women of the ADF."
Former RSM 7RAR WO1 Dave
Allen wrote in his Afghanistan
post-tour report that Australian sol-
diers deployed to the country were
among the best-equipped troops
"I saw the equipment used by
some of our coalition partners and
... we have a higher standard of
kit," WO1 Allen said.
"The equipment we have is
good and directly enables us to
achieve our difficult mission, char-
acterised by high-tempo foot patrols
in difficult terrain, over long peri-
ods, often involving contact with
a dangerous enemy. This included
items such as weapons that never
failed us and cold-weather kit criti-
cal to dealing with extreme condi-
tions in Afghanistan."
Lt-Gen Gillespie rebuffed the
claim that Defence had not acted
on hundreds of complaints by sol-
diers about their gear.
He said to maintain the ongoing
safety and quality of combat equip-
ment and clothing, Army worked
closely with DMO to respond to
complaints and to continuously
review the clothing and equipment
needs of personnel.
"Contrary to media reports,
To report a defective or unsat-
isfactory piece of equipment
or clothing fill in an AC 446
RODUM form, visit the RODUM
website at http://vbmweb.sor.
or inform your supervisor about
By Lt Bill Heck
WITH reports that parade boots
were again a problem on Anzac
Day, RSM Ceremonial WO1 Brett
Pates has called on units to take
responsibility for the management
of the issue.
Procedures developed to rectify
the problem have seen about 25,000
pairs of boots exchanged, stitched
and returned to Defence Clothing
Stores across the country.
WO1 Pates said the system of
uniform maintenance had not
changed and if there was a problem
with the uniform the first port of call
should be the Q staff.
He said soldiers who had
unstitched boots with the affected
batch codes can go to their clothing
store and have them exchanged. If
the batch code is illegible and there
is a sole separation issue with the
boots, members will be required to
fill out an L&D form. If the boots
are simply subject to normal wear
and tear, the clothing store might
inform members to purchase
"The Q-store manages the cloth-
ing records and the unit makes the
call on L&D exchanges," WO1
"The recall does not apply to
every pair of parade boots. If you
have had them for a few years and
the sole is just now beginning to
separate it might be time to use the
Uniform Maintenance Allowance
and replace them. Q-store staff will
know and advise you."
John Power, DMO Program
Sustainment Manager for Non-
Combat Clothing, said the patent
leather boots supplier, Lymington
Group-Sydney, had honoured all
warranty conditions for the boots.
"Lymington has been very proac-
tive in e nsuring the return of all
boots to its manufacturing facility
for stitching at nil cost to the com-
monwealth," Mr Power said.
WO1 Pates said there should be
no old unstitched stock left on the
shelves in clothing stores.
"Commanders should ensure
their soldiers have the right kit well
before activities because the cloth-
ing store does require some time to
acquire stock," he said.
"If they are outside the affected
batch codes and they have problems
then the normal RODUM process
CA Lt-Gen Ken Gillespie
expressed his personal disappoint-
ment that soldiers marched on
ANZAC Day with faulty boots
when new and improved footwear
was available in unit stores.
The batch codes of boots affected by sole
separation issues are 100619, 100626,1
00627,100628,100629, 100632, 100633,
100634 and 501188.
Equipment safe: CA
How to fix faulty boots
Kitted up: Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan use some of the best equipment available.
Photo by Sgt Mick Davis
Army has responded to feedback
from soldiers deployed on opera-
tions, and I can advise a decision
was made at a specifically convened
Army battle-worthiness board to
increase the modularity of the cur-
rently used body armour system by
providing the option for a lighter
ballistic plate," he said.
"Trials of the new equipment
are under way and show Defence
was both responsive to and treats
seriously issues raised by our
RSM-A WO Stephen Ward said
soldiers were strongly encouraged
to raise concerns about their cloth-
ing and equipment through their
chain of command, through him
or by submitting a defective or
unsatisfactory materiel report, or
"Suggestions we do receive are
reacted to and we try to get those
[equipment] improvements back
into theatre as quickly as possible,"
WO Ward said.
To help this process, operational
commanders are routinely posted
from the field back into Army
and Defence HQs to capture their
expertise and allow them to shape
Army's current and future equip-
ment and training requirements.
A statement by CA Lt-Gen Gillespie and
DMO CEO Stephen Gumley is avail-
able at www.defence.gov.au/media/
An audio file from RSM-A WO Stephen
Ward can be found at www.defence.
THE Reserve Forces Day
Council (RFDC) invites
reservists who have served
overseas and received a
medal for that service to
register to receive special rec-
This year's Reserve Forces
Day celebrations will include
the presentation of a new
RFDC ribbon to qualifying
members plus a Governor-
certificate listing their over-
Reserve Forces Day
Council chairman Sir
Laurence Street said it was
important to recognise the
effort made by reservists.
"In some cases they paid
with their lives, while others
received wounds of varying
severity," Sir Laurence said.
Members should register
for the new ribbon and the
tificate through the RFDC
website at www.rfd.org.au by
In step: Problem boots
will be fixed or replaced.
Photo by LAC Aaron Curran
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