Home' Army News : May 10th 2012 Contents Army May 4, 2012
Cpl Mark Doran
A DOG'S life can be very
demanding, especially for explo-
sives detection dog Matilda, of
2CER, helping to save lives in
Dog handler Spr Adam
Thomlinson, of MTF 4, has
racked up several successful mis-
sions in the first four months of his
nine-month tour with Matilda in
These include a find in a dry
river bed during an Afghan
National Army (ANA) partnered
foot patrol and an IED uncovered
on a convoy route.
Spr Thomlinson said Matilda
was an important asset and gave
soldiers early warning by being out
in front of patrols.
"There are some cultural restric-
tions when using the dogs as the
Afghans are not always positive
about them going into their homes,
but we always ask first to ensure
we are welcome," Spr Thomlinson
"Local animals can also be a
threat, especially other dogs, which
can be large and aggressive as they
are there for their owners' security."
If Matilda were injured on the
battlefield, she would be evacuated
for treatment at a medical facility in
the same way a soldier would.
Spr Thomlinson said the
language barrier between the
Australians and the ANA was one
of the most difficult obstacles to
"This is my second deployment
to Afghanistan and I have noticed
a 300 per cent improvement in the
ANA's capabilities," he said.
"They are really stepping up to
the plate, taking charge, planning
and running their own patrols and
operations and being successful
with their missions.
"It has been fantastic to see this
as it means the mentoring, which is
our primary role here, is happening
and is working.
"I think it is extremely
important what we are doing in
Afghanistan and we are definitely
making a difference."
on to bomb job
Dog team makes big discoveries in first half of tour
Down time: Dog handler Spr Adam Thomlinson and explosives detection dog Matilda unwind after a
hard day's work.
Photo by Cpl Mark Doran
Cpl Mark Doran
SINCE February a 24-hour watch has
been continuously maintained at Tarin
Kot by the new rotation of the Counter
Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM)
C-RAM 3 provides protection for
Australian and coalition forces from
indirect fire attacks at the multinational
base, which insurgents have been fir-
ing on since coalition forces arrived in
Capt David Petersen, Battery Captain
C-RAM 3, Combined Team -- Uruzgan,
said the Giraffe agile multi-beam radar,
coupled with the lightweight counter-
mortar radar, was the best C-RAM sys-
tem in the world.
"The system works -- and this has
been proven on a number of rocket
attacks we have been able to give early
warnings for," Capt Petersen said.
"Eight to12 hours watching a radar
screen is hard work for a deployment of
nearly nine months and the soldiers on
duty have about five seconds to make a
decision on the tracking before providing
"Its not a glorious job, but everyone
understands our value when a rocket
Up to three lightweight counter mortar
radars with a five-man detachment are
also used at the Uruzgan patrol bases for
additional force protection.
There are a number of C-RAM sys-
tems in service across Afghanistan and
the new training package is about to start
with C-RAM 4 in training at Woodside.
Bdr Jordan Haskins, of C-RAM 3, is
responsible for the day-to-day running
of the Giraffe agile multi-beam radar
detachment at Tarin Kot and said C-RAM
was an important part of force protection.
"We do travel to the patrol bases for
our maintenance tasks such as laying
optical fibre cable and this also gives us
the chance to catch up with other mem-
bers of the detachment and stay in touch,"
"Even though our team stays mostly
inside the wire, we are protecting from
threats coming from outside the wire."
Eyes on the sky now
part of Tarin Kot life
Early warning: Bdr Jordan Haskins mans the Counter-Rocket, Artillery and
Mortar system at Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
Photo by Cpl Mark Doran
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