Home' Army News : March 1st 2012 Contents INQUIRY INTO UNRESOLVED RECOGNITION FOR PAST ACTS
OF NAVAL AND MILITARY GALLANTRY AND VALOUR
The Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal (the Tribunal) is directed to
inquire into and report on the appropriate recognition for specific acts of gallantry
or valour perfor med by the following naval and military personnel:
Gunner Albert Neil (Neale) Cleary - Army
Midshipman Robert Ian Davies - Navy
Leading Cook Francis Bassett Emms - Navy
Lieutenant David John Hamer - Navy
Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick - Ar my
Lieutenant Commander Robert William Rankin - Navy
Able Seaman Dalmorton Joseph Owendale Rudd - Navy
Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean - Navy
Leading Aircrew man Noel Er vin Shipp - Navy
Lieutenant Commander Francis Edward Smith - Navy
Lieutenant Commander Hen ry Hugh Gordon Stoker - Royal Navy
Leading Seaman Ronald Taylor - Navy
Captain Hector Macdonald Laws Waller - Navy
The Tribu nal is directed to make recom mendations on the eligibility of the naval
and military members, as listed, to be awarded the Victoria Cross, the Victoria
Cross for Australia or other forms of appropriate recognition for their gallantry or
The Tribu nal is conducting public hearings to hear evidence in relation to this
matter. The following hearings will be conducted in March 2012.
Brisbane -- Tuesday 13 March 2012 commencing at 1pm at the Royal on the Park,
Corner of Alice and Albert Streets, Brisbane.
Canber ra -- Wednesday 14 March 2012 commencing at 9am at the Alastair Swayn
Theatre, 35 Brindabella Circuit, Brindabella Business Park, Canber ra.
After a preliminary consideration of the submissions received concerning the
naval and military members listed above, the Tribunal has invited a number of
those who have made written submissions to appear as witnesses at these hearings.
Interested members of the public are invited to attend the Tribunal's hearings.
For administrative purposes, please register your interest in attending by
contacting the Tribu nal via telephone
(02) 6266 3486 or e-mail DHA.Tribu email@example.com.
The ter ms of reference for this inquiry can be obtained by reviewing the Tribunal
website at: www.defence-honours-tribunal.gov.au
Army March 1, 2012
Force personnel finish their work in Roma,
Mitchell and St George and return to their
home units in Brisbane and Sydney. The
force remains on standby to provide further
assistance if required.
Cpl Melanie Schinkel
AFTER almost a week of bat-
tling mozzies, midges and
putrid mud in sweltering con-
ditions the ADF Emergency
Support Force (ESF) departed
south east Queensland's flood-
stricken communities and
returned to their home units on
Led by 7 Bde, the ESF com-
prised 90 soldiers from D Coy,
6RAR, and 2CER and 30 Fleet
Support Unit (FSU) sailors from
Sydney's Fleet Base East.
At the request of the
Management Australia, the
ESF was called on to provide
vital flood relief and support to
the inundated communities of
Roma, Mitchell and St George
on February 8.
Joint Operations Commander
Lt-Gen Ash Power said he was
proud of the force's tireless
"Soldiers, sailors, airmen and
airwomen are always prepared
to get their hands dirty and help
those Australians having a rough
time. What makes me most
proud though is that they always
do their jobs with a smile on
their faces," Lt-Gen Power said.
On arrival in Roma and
Mitchell the force immediately
began clearing mud out of hous-
es and removing damaged items,
rubbish and debris. Two days
later 30 FSU sailors joined the
force and formed part of the ele-
ment that moved from Roma to
assist in St George. On February
12 the remaining personnel in
Roma and Mitchell shifted to
join the main recovery effort
in St George before complet-
ing works and returning to their
The OC of the ESF, Maj Paul
Mackenzie, said the assistance
provided by ADF personnel was
"exceptional and without fault".
"Lots of tears flowed as
locals shared their stories with
us. Our hearts went out to these
poor people whose whole lives
had been damaged by water --
for many it was the third flood in
two years," Maj Mackenzie said.
"The level of support the
force provided had a huge
impact on boosting community
morale and the residents' psy-
chological state. They were so
grateful to us for our willingness
to drop everything and give them
our all. I think we made them
feel looked after and that they
would get through it all in the
"I'm sure memories of this
experience will linger with the
personnel who were involved for
a long time."
He said the force's greatest
achievement was assisting the
residents of St George in recov-
ering the Warrawee Retirement
"The nursing home residents
weren't capable of cleaning it up
themselves. The force focused
its efforts on the facility for an
entire day until it was all cleaned
out. Without our assistance it
would've taken them about two
or three months to restore."
Rifleman Pte Benjamin
Vitnell, D Coy, 6RAR, said
it was his first time providing
flood relief and he was glad to
help his fellow Australians dur-
ing their time of need.
"This was one of the first
tasks D Coy had done together
this year and it was good to do
something real even though it
wasn't what we would normally
do in our jobs -- we didn't mind
at all, we just got in there and
cracked on with it," Pte Vitnell
"I enjoyed working with the
sailors at the retirement village.
It was our first time working
with Navy personnel and good
to see that they weren't afraid to
get their hands dirty.
"Once we got back to
Brisbane it was straight back to
work. For the time being we're
continuing to maintain the force
and prepping just in case we
need to go back."
Two Black Hawk crews from the Oakey-
based Army Aviation Training Centre con-
duct aerial reconnaissance along Lismore's
flood-affected Northern Rivers region and
evacuate an elderly woman trapped by
floodwaters in the township of Ewingar.
Air Force's 37 Sqn transports sandbags and
flood assistance equipment in a Hercules to
help the residents of Moree in NSW.
A detachment of 50 personnel, four Black
Hawks and four Kiowas from Oakey are
assigned to assist the flood-stricken regions
of Roma, Mitchell, St George, Dirranbandi
and south-east Queensland. Two people are
hoisted from a rooftop in Charleville, a family
of five are recovered from a flooded proper-
ty in Galonga and seven people are rescued
from a property south of Charleville.
Thirty-two Warrawee Retirement Village
residents aged 67-97 years old, 17 stretch-
er-bound, are evacuated from St George by
Air Force's 3 Expeditionary Health Sqn and
a 37 Sqn Hercules aircraft.
Enoggera-based 7 Bde deploys the ADF
Emergency Support Force (ESF) compris-
ing 90 soldiers from D Coy, 6RAR, and
2CER to begin flood relief operations in
Roma and Mitchell.
On arrival in Roma the ESF provides man-
power to the local residents and concen-
trates its clean-up efforts on the inundated
main township. Meanwhile, another element
of the force supports the submerged com-
munity of Mitchell. The force assists by
cleaning out houses as well as two schools,
the community museum and swimming pool.
Flood recovery operations continue in Roma
and Mitchell but the majority of the ESF is
relocated to St George to provide assistance
to the community as soon as floodwaters
recede. Thirty sailors from Fleet Support Unit
Sydney join the force and work together with
the soldiers to restore 50 flooded houses
and the Warrawee Retirement Village. Prime
Minister Julia Gillard arrives to inspect the
flood damage and commends the force on
its efforts. Engineers from 2CER clear trees
and debris from the only bridge in the region
that crosses the Balonne River, allowing it to
be reopened for community use.
Troops return to normal duties after busy week of clean-up operations
Rising from devastation: Capt Charlie Mansfield, LCpl Ken Leahy and Spr John Wainwright, of 2CER, help remove debris from the Balonne
River bridge in St George (left), while LCpl Jim Riordan shovels mud from around a home in the town (centre) and soldiers clean up Warrawee
Photos by LAC Leigh Cameron
Links Archive February 16th 2012 March 15th 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page