Home' Army News : November 24th 2011 Contents 12 NEWS
Army November 24, 2011
By Capt Paul Young
A GATHERING of coalition partners
in the New Mexico desert was the first
international outing for Army's new
battle management system.
The Multinational Experiment 5
(MNE 5) was conducted in October at
White Sands Missile Range between
US, UK, Canadian and Australian
The battle group and below com-
mand, control and communications
(BGC3) system, which has recently been
delivered to 7 Bde, was the Australian
Army's centrepiece for coalition inter-
operability at the tactical level.
Through the variable message format
(VMF) gateway, BGC3 exchanged situa-
tional awareness and free text unformat-
ted data between the partner forces.
VMF is the ADF's nominated stand-
ard for information exchange between
tactical information systems. It uses
pre-formatted messages to allow users
to save time and bandwidth while using
The experiment used a realistic oper-
ational scenario based on a coalition bat-
tle group consisting of Australian, US,
UK and Canadian combat teams using
in-service radios to provide network
Lt-Col Darcy Rawlinson from the
Army Headquarters' Land Network
Integration Centre said the results were
"very promising for the future of coali-
tion interoperability, with 'off the ramp'
exchange of situational awareness and
free text messages between our closest
The VMF capability within BGC3
continues to evolve, with an initial set
of eight messages being available for
MNE 5, and additional messages being
implemented before March next year.
The full suite of 42 messages will
allow soldiers to digitally pass a variety
of tactical information to coalition part-
ners and other ADF systems.
closer on comms
Meet the team: Capt Greg Jones, DMO, briefs visitors on Australia's
contribution to coalition interoperability during the MNE5 visitors' day at White
Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
VICTORIA Cross recipient Cpl Benjamin
Roberts-Smith, SASR, attended an audi-
ence with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at
Buckingham Palace in London on November 15.
Cpl Roberts-Smith, who was awarded the VC
in January for his actions during the Shah Wali Kot
offensive last year, said meeting the Queen was a
"It is a tremendous honour to meet Her Majesty
The Queen and an experience I will never forget,"
"I feel very privileged to have been given this
opportunity to represent my mates who I fought
alongside in Afghanistan, the ADF and my country
on this very special occasion."
Cpl Roberts-Smith said he discussed with The
Queen the battle for which he was awarded the VC
for Australia, as well as the work being carried out
by Australian troops in Afghanistan.
"Her Majesty speaks to quite a lot of soldiers,
so she was interested in Afghanistan and it was a
great opportunity for me to tell her about what eve-
ryone else in my patrol did that day, as opposed to
just myself," Cpl Roberts-Smith said.
"We also spoke about the work being done by
Australian troops in Afghanistan and Her Majesty
obviously recognises that Australian soldiers are
very good at what they do and is happy with the
progress being made."
In the lead up to his audience with the Queen,
Cpl Roberts-Smith attended the Remembrance Day
service at the Australian War Memorial in London,
before joining British George Cross recipient LCpl
Matt Croucher to lay a wreath on Remembrance
Day at the Victoria Cross and George Cross
Memorial at Westminster Abbey.
After meeting the Queen, Cpl Roberts-Smith
visited battlefields in France and Belgium where
Australian soldiers were killed.
Pleased to meet Her Majesty
A moment's silence: Cpl Ben Roberts-Smith takes a moment to reflect at the Remembrance Day service at the Australian War Memorial
in London and (inset) meets the Queen.
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