Home' Army News : February 17th 2010 Contents Z00 43521
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Ex ARA CPL (10 yrs)
Army February 17, 2011
WHEN we think about
what an investigator's job
involves, it's easy to draw
upon the glamorised TV
stereotypes many of us watch on NCIS
every Wednesday night.
So what's life like for a "real" military
Established in 2007, the ADF
Investigative Service (ADFIS) is a tris-
ervice unit whose investigators use mod-
ern police techniques to analyse and col-
lect evidence relating to service offences
both under and outside the Defence Force
Disciplinary Act. ADFIS has an office or
investigator located at all major Defence
establishments throughout Australia and
The Joint Investigations Office
Commander (JIOC) at Multinational Base
Tarin Kot, WO2 Ian Anton, has worked as
an investigator for 23 years and laterally
transferred from the British Army to the
Australian Army in 2006 to join ADFIS.
"The job takes a lot of dedication,
commitment and attention to detail,"
WO2 Anton said.
"The pressure is on the investigator to
provide factually correct evidence to the
court, so there are a lot of long hours of
research involved. The last thing an inves-
tigator wants is for the court to make a
mistake in its judgement because the facts
presented were incorrect."
He said the team's primary objectives
in Tarin Kot were to support the mission
in Afghanistan by maintaining discipline,
promptly reporting on sensitive issues,
investigating serious crimes and handling
"I think ADFIS is misunderstood. A
lot of people see us as an organisation
that's out to persecute Defence person-
nel, but it's not. ADFIS is a profession-
al organisation that looks to collect and
report accurate facts to help commanders
make the right decisions. Sometimes, of
course, prosecutions do occur," he said.
"We're investigators first and foremost
and we're here to assist people who have
been unfortunate victims of crime, so dur-
ing the course of the investigation phase
we have to speak to suspects.
"ADFIS is a victim-focused organisa-
tion, so we're here to support Defence
members by finding the truth and making
sure they see justice, law and order."
The ADFIS MEAO team comprises
"ADFIS deals with a lot of serious
and sensitive matters in the MEAO. We
receive and process investigations, which
involves conducting the investigation
itself and doing all the paperwork that's
associated with it. We investigate and
then report the outcomes of that investi-
gation," WO2 Anton said.
He said time was of the essence when
assessing a crime scene.
"If ADFIS is called quickly, we can
secure evidence, especially forensic evi-
dence. From that evidence we can poten-
tially identify suspects very quickly and
even save lives or prevent further crimes
from being committed," he said.
"From the crime scene we collect and
culminate forensic and witness evidence,
approach any potential suspects and col-
late a brief of evidence or report, so that
the justice system can kick in swiftly."
If an ADF member is killed in action,
ADFIS is responsible for the member's
positive identification to ensure the repa-
triation process runs smoothly.
"We are responsible to the respec-
tive state coroner to try and explain in as
much detail as possible what happened
to the deceased. We report all the facts so
that the coroner in Australia can make an
informed decision on the cause of death
and determine whether any further inves-
tigation is required," WO2 Anton said.
ADFIS investigator Sgt Bradley Grant
has been a military police officer for more
than 13 years. Before he joined the Army,
he served as a Queensland policemen for
seven years in Toowoomba and at the
Crime and Misconduct Commission in
Sgt Grant was involved in the first five
repatriation processes in 2010.
"The military's teamwork was astro-
nomical in those delicate situations. From
headquarters to the force support unit and
aircrew -- everybody just got in there and
gave it their all because they knew they
had an important job to do," he said.
Law and order: Tarin Kot
No fast cars, shootouts
or moody lighting in the
AB Melanie Schinkel
learns the realities of
On the case:
on a current
in Tarin Kot,
ADFIS has five
in the MEAO. Their
can include both
and those covered
under the DFDA.
Photo by AB Jo Dilorenzo
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