Home' Army News : October 27th 2011 Contents RAINING 19
Army October 27, 2011
By LAC Bill Solomou
AWAKENING to screams and negotiat-
ing for your life seems like something
you would expect to do during your worst
nightmare. However, for 38 international
and ADF officers, it was all too real as they
participated in Exercise Blue Flag from
The members were taking part in
the practical phase of the United Nations
Military Observer Course (UNMOC), con-
ducted by the Peace Operations Training
Centre from August 22-September 16.
During the practical phase, which was
undertaken at the Australian Federal Police
(AFP) training facility at Majura Park, the
members were dragged out of their beds and
their comfort zones and put to the test.
On Ex Blue Flag, members were taught
the fine art of radio and telephone proce-
dures, survival, 4x4 vehicle operation and
Combined with the three-week the-
ory training they received at RAAF Base
Williamtown which included subjects such as
identifying the traits of observers and learn-
ing about UN policies in relation to sexual
abuse and human rights law, members were
well prepared to deploy as UN observers.
Fifteen countries, including Indonesia,
Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Nigeria and
Australia participated on the course.
International students undertook an extra
week of training at the Defence International
Training Centre in Melbourne, where they
were taught Australian history, language and
Course organiser Maj Matthew Finnerty
said the course was well structured in con-
junction with the AFP training focus and was
well received in the international community.
"Our course is unique. We stand out from
other similar courses that are run around the
world because we have a majority of interna-
tional students," Maj Finnerty said.
"We maintain a two-third/one-third ratio
-- two third international and one-third ADF-
The course is UN sponsored and owned
and is mandatory for members seeking to
deploy as UN observers.
International instructors from various
countries including Germany, Indonesia,
Malaysia and the Chinese People's
Liberation Army participated on the course.
Capt Chris Porada, Joint Electronic
Warfare Operational Support Unit, said he
found the course valuable.
"I really enjoyed it and took a lot away
from the negotiation mediation sessions that
were conducted," Capt Porada said.
"Anyone interested in working with the
UN, be it within Defence or out, should look
at doing this course."
Capt Porada's aim is to be selected to rep-
resent Australia on a UN mission.
the blue flag
Right track: Capt Chris Porada studies a map as part of the United Nations Military Observer
course held in Canberra.
Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
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