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Army March 29, 2012
Cpl Max Bree
THE latest explosive detection and
clearance vehicles will be rolling
out to support counter-IED opera-
tions in Afghanistan throughout
MTF 4 has already started oper-
ating four Husky and two Buffalo
vehicles on loan from Canada, but
the new vehicles to arrive later in
the year will be fully ADF owned.
The acquisition project, dubbed
Ningaui, will provide vehicles that
can assist in detection and clear-
ing of explosive hazards to make
roads safer for soldiers in Uruzgan
Project Ningaui will buy four
"systems" each comprising sever-
al vehicles for IED detection and
clearance, at a cost of about $70
million. Three systems will deploy
to Afghanistan and one will remain
Lt-Col Todd Heares from the
Counter IED Task Force said vehi-
cles and methods from US, UK and
Canadian militaries were exam-
ined before the new machines were
selected for procurement.
The new vehicles, used exten-
sively by coalition partners in
Afghanistan, are designed to pro-
vide additional ways of dealing
"They're about giving the sol-
diers options in dealing with the
IED threat," he said. "It's up to the
tactical commander to decide on
the best course of action."
Army Headquarters' engineer
combat support officer, Lt-Col Rob
Sanders, said Project Ningaui was
needed to increase protection for
soldiers in the face of an increasing
"It's increased exponentially
since 2006," he said. "Now it's the
weapon system of choice for insur-
gents because it doesn't involve
direct engagement with Western
The first HMEE vehicles from
Ningaui will begin arriving in
Afghanistan from April, and the
Husky vehicles will be delivered
Counter-IED purchase under way as loan vehicles prove worth
New kit: Capt Kevin Hamilton,
of MTF 4's Mobility Support
Detachment, operates a Husky
(pictured inset) with ground-
penetrating radar during trials at
the IED search lane at Multinational
Base Tarin Kot in Afghanistan.
Photo by Cpl Raymond Vance
Cpl Mark Doran
TOWNSVILLE-based 3 Bde sol-
diers responded to requests from the
Townsville City Council and Queensland
Police Service to provide assistance to
areas of the city affected by a severe
storm on March 20.
The freak storm damaged nearly 100
homes and businesses as roofs were torn
from houses, trees were split and power
lines were damaged.
Three people were hospitalised,
including one with head injuries, during
the early morning storm.
About 120 troops deployed to support
the community and help clean up the
affected suburban areas, ensuring access
and safety for residents.
Maj Merrick Lalor, of 1RAR, super-
vised soldiers providing assistance to
the emergency services in the suburb of
Annandale. He said the destruction was
severe in the area and likened it to the
damage during Tropical Cyclone Yasi
"We are working to Emergency
Queensland's priorities," Maj Lalor said.
"It definitely feels good to be helping
out our community and C Coy, 1RAR,
helped out last year on Op Yasi Assist in
Tully, so the guys are accustomed to this.
"There are also a few soldiers from
Lavarack Barracks who live in the
Annandale, Vincent and Heatley areas, so
they are happy to help out."
Cpl Sasa Sakotic, of 1RAR, said his
team started by clearing and collecting
debris ready for the engineers to come
through and pick it up.
"Our plan is to get this neighbour-
hood looking like it was before," Cpl
"I haven't seen something like this
happen so quickly with such destructive
force in Townsville in the last six years
which I have lived here.
"The main thing is we are here to
assist because we are also residents of
Townsville and we want to help other
people as much as possible."
join 'familiar' storm
The cleaners: From left, Ptes Reb Baker-Warren, Brendan Blake, Sean White
and Matthew Nau, of 1RAR, clear debris after a severe storm swept through
Townsville on March 20.
Photo by Cpl Mark Doran
It's about giving
options in dealing
with the IED
-- Lt-Col Todd Heares,
Counter IED Task Force
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