Home' Army News : August 19th 2010 Contents Director
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The Soldiers' Newspaper
Op Anode: Pte Bradley Main takes a
break in Solomon Islads.
Photo courtesy John Bain Photography
By Phil Mayne
IN JUST 100 days between April
and July 1994, as many as 800,000
Rwandans -- or one-tenth of the
population -- were murdered.
A further two million fled their
homes and became refugees as vio-
lence erupted after Rwanda's presi-
dent was killed when the plane he
was travelling in was shot down.
As the peace process dissolved
the four-year civil war in the tiny
African nation descended into chaos.
Australia committed troops and
medical personnel to the UN's sec-
ond security mission to the coun-
try, the United Nations Assistance
Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR II).
Now, 15 years later, a group of
current and former 2RAR members
has organised a reunion for all those
who served with the UNAMIR II
rotations, including Navy and RAAF
The reunion will coincide with
the annual 2RAR Association reun-
ion, which this year for the first time
also incorporates a 2/4RAR reunion.
Former OC B Coy 2RAR
Steve McCrohon said Capt David
Hopgood decided to organise the
event after attending the 2RAR
Association reunion last year.
"Through Facebook and a net-
work of colleagues he managed
to gain enough interest in hold-
ing a 15-year reunion for Rwanda
deployments and also a reunion of
2/4RAR," Steve said.
"Capt Hopgood, then a lance cor-
poral, was in the second deployment
which encountered the Kibeho mas-
sacre in April 1995.
"Unfortunately, he has been
deployed to the MEAO and will not
be able to see his hard work come to
fruition, but his wife, Cath, is man-
aging the event in his absence."
Steve said the aim of the event
was to "keep the spirit alive" and to
encourage soldiers of the younger
generation to be involved in RAR
It was also to start an annual
2/4RAR reunion to piggyback on the
The joint 2/4RAR and Rwanda
reunion dinner is on Friday October
29 at Twin Towns Outrigger Resort,
Tweed Heads, NSW.
Registration and prepayment is
required by September 11 to secure
a spot and ensure merchandise is
ordered on time.
The 2RAR memorial and reun-
ion is on October 30 at Twin Towns
To attend either event, email Cath Hopgood
at email@example.com or call 0419 974
109. You can also follow the progress on
Facebook at 2/4RAR and 15 Year reunion.
marks 15 years
INSURGENTS in the Deh
Rawud region targeted and
killed three Afghan National
Police officers and one civil-
ian in two separate IED
attacks on August 7.
An Australian EOD team
from Mentoring Task Force 1
immediately responded by
moving to the area to ensure
any further danger was
removed from the explosion
Australian soldiers were not
involved in the incidents in any
The new attacks follow an
incident on August 5 where
an Afghan child was likely to
have been wounded in cross-
fire between Afghan National
Army (ANA) soldiers and
insurgents in the Mirabad
The incident occurred when
an ANA convoy was targeted
by an IED and small arms fire.
The ANA troops, along with
others in the area, remained
in contact with insurgents for
approximately 15 minutes after
the device detonated.
Australian soldiers under-
taking training at a nearby
location responded to the
incident by moving to an over-
watch position near the contact
site and engaged a small group
of insurgents who were moving
through the green zone.
A short time after the
insurgent attack, an Afghan
local brought a young child
to a nearby patrol base with a
suspected gunshot wound to
It is not possible to deter-
mine whether the child was
struck by insurgents or the
There was no evidence to
indicate the child was in the
area where Australians engaged
The child and his father
were aero-medically evacuated
to Multinational Base Tarin
Kowt for follow-on treatment.
The child was later released to
the civilian hospital in Tarin
Kowt for observation.
There were no Australian
soldiers wounded and no
reported injuries to Afghan
soldiers following the August 5
Australian mentors are
working closely with their
ANA partners to enhance bat-
tle discipline and immediate
actions following an incident.
Horror: Rwanda veterans will mark 15 years since their deployment to the troubled African nation.
CA LT-GEN Ken Gillespie has
announced a new strategy to target
Earlier this year, the CA directed
action be taken to reduce the number
of incidents, to actively seek change
on the thinking and culture that sup-
ports the idea that our people can
drink excessively without conse-
"This is about individual respon-
sibility, not about prohibition,"
Lt-Gen Gillespie said.
"The impact on members, their
families, their units and the Army, is
"We need to build the capacity of
Army's people to effectively manage
alcohol consumption and enhance
operational capacity, reduce the per-
sonal harms and minimise the costs
to the Army."
A project team investigated alco-
hol attitudes, behaviour, education,
training, policy and culture with
the aim of reducing alcohol-related
harms for Army personnel.
Their findings informed the way
forward, with Lt-Gen Gillespie
committing to the Australian Army
Alcohol Management Strategy
(AAAMS) to combat the problem of
"AAAMS will be linked to key
policies and initiatives within Army,
the broader ADF Alcohol, Tobacco
and Other Drug (ATOD) Program
and Federal Government alcohol-
related health initiatives," Lt-Gen
"I am looking forward to
this partnership with Joint Health
Command and the implementation of
"This is an opportunity for Army
and JHC to be a leader in Defence
and the Australian community by
working to pilot a comprehensive
and evidence-based strategy which
concentrates on alcohol misuse.
"Under the leadership of JHC, the
concept will form the foundation of a
broader ADF Alcohol Management
Strategy within the Mental Health
Reform Process framework
Stage 1 of the pilot program
AAAMS starts later this year.
A STORY in Army July
22, page 24, incorrectly
identified Indigenous elder
Agnes Shea as the tradi-
tional owner who provided
the welcome during the
NAIDOC week memorial
service. Laura Bell was the
traditional owner who offici-
ated during the memorial
funded by the Directorate
of Indigenous Affairs. Army
apologises for any distress
caused by the error.
Strategy to manage alcohol misuse
Army August 19, 2010
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