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Army August 18, 2011
By Cfn Max Bree
FORTY years is a long time between
deployments, but one Vietnam vet-
eran has now deployed to Solomon
Islands after being farewelled with his
contingent at Holsworthy Barracks on
WO2 Bob Creelman and the rest
of Op Anode Rotation 25 were given a
vice-regal send-off by NSW Governor
Marie Bashir before their four-month
WO2 Creelman, who deployed as the
rotation CSM at age 61, said he had seen
many changes in the Army since going
to South Vietnam as a 4RAR rifleman
"The biggest difference I've found is
the welfare and family support," he said.
"We didn't have that sort of stuff -- it was
just get on a boat and go."
This lack of welfare and support often
led to WO2 Creelman's mother mistak-
enly fearing he had been killed.
"If the local copper called around to
see my old man, my mother used to have
a heart attack."
Reservists from 5 Bde in NSW form
the bulk of the 148-person contingent,
which also includes a 34-man platoon
from the PNG Defence Force.
Addressing the farewell parade,
Ms Bashir paid tribute to the enduring
friendship between Australia and PNG.
"We have a shared legacy, an unfor-
gettable legacy of priceless support given
to Australian servicemen by the Papua
New Guinea people in New Guinea in
World War II," she said.
With all the changes 40 years have
brought, WO2 Creelman is happy some
things have stayed the same.
"The training today is on par with
what it was," he said. "We were trained
by blokes who went to Korea, Malaysia
and Borneo. And now it's done by guys
who've been to Afghanistan and Timor."
Most Rotation 25 soldiers will return
home in early December.
Band joins in flood relief
By Maj John McPherson
"WHEN we heard the Army
was coming to give us a hand
we couldn't believe our luck,"
said beef producer Jim Caunt,
whose 400,000-acre property in
Gascoyne, WA, was devastated by
floods the week before Christmas
In the seven months since the
floods, it's been slow progress try-
ing to dig out from under the mud
So when members of the Army
Band Perth (AAB-P) wanted to help
people affected by the floods in the
second week of an annual training
period, they were directed to Mr
As soon as it became known
that the AAB-P was heading to
Gascoyne, another 14 Navy mem-
bers from Joint Logistics Unit-West
joined in under the control of Army
Maj Lyndon Jackson.
"Musn Robin Palmer was the
originator of the plan and he's been
the driving force from the start,"
Maj Jackson said.
A convoy of two land rovers, two
Navy trucks and a 24-seater bus set
off from Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta,
on July 17 and, after over-nighting
at Carnarvon, the team of 38 reserv-
ists arrived on July 18.
"We had teams organised to
replace fencing near the main house;
remove debris and reestablish the
cattle yards; remove ruined con-
crete and clean up mud from the
buildings in the shearer's blocks;
and any other building repairs and
debris removal we could manage,"
Maj Jackson said.
Not only did the band members
bend their backs helping with all the
manual tasks, they also used their
musical talents to put on three con-
certs during the week.
Big hit: Musn Joel Vallance holds a star picket in place while
Musn Roger Lewis hammers it in during AAB-P's flood clean-
up work in Gascoyne initiated by Musn Robin Palmer (inset).
Photos by AB Morgana Ramsey
Rotation 25: NSW Governor Marie Bashir inspects 5 Bde troops before their
deployment to Solomon Islands.
Photo by Bill Cunneen
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