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Our curriculum is wide and varied within a
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Direct buses to the College are
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November 16, 2017
Cpl Mark Doran
SOLDIERS who are usually hidden in
the shadows demonstrated unit pride
and sharp drill as 7 Sig Regt celebrated
its 70th anniversary on November 4.
The Princess Anne Banner took
pride of place during the well-rehearsed
ceremonial parade at Borneo Barracks
in Cabarlah, Queensland, which was
supported by the 1 Regt, RAA, Band.
About 200 former members of the
regiment attended the day, which was
an opportunity for the regimental fam-
ily to build unit esprit de corps while
honouring those who have served.
The host officer was Commander
6 CS Bde Brig Susan Coyle, who
represented CA, and the parade was
reviewed by the Toowoomba mayor
During his address, Mr Antonio
congratulated the members of 7 Sig
Regt for their 70th anniversary.
“The parade brought a tingle to
my spine because the people of the
Toowoomba region are proud of the
regiment and their involvement within
the community,” he said.
“We are grateful for the unit’s val-
our and service to this country over the
years and impressed to see the qual-
ity of the men and women helping to
defend Australia. For those on parade,
well done on the outstanding presenta-
tion, excellent dress, your bearing and
The regiment provides land elec-
tronic warfare and signals intelligence
support to the ADF in times of peace,
crisis and conflict on any operation
anywhere in the world.
Mr Antonio said the soldiers of 7
Sig Regt were a diverse group with
individual skills drawn from many dif-
“Since its original formation the
unit has continued to evolve and adapt
to the changing face of the battle-
ground,” he said.
“From the war in the Pacific to the
conflicts in South East Asia, the regi-
ment continued to provide key sup-
port and personnel over the decades to
defend the freedoms we treasure. With
the more recent operations in Somalia,
Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Timor-
Leste, Iraq and Afghanistan, their dedi-
The regiment has a long history of
providing electronic warfare support to
Australia since its inception at Borneo
Barracks as the 101 Wireless Regt in
Signallers on parade
AFTER 7 Sig Regt’s 70th anni-
versary parade on November 4, a
plaque dedication ceremony was
held at the site of the regiment’s
new workshop facility at Borneo
The plaque recognises the
contribution of former 7 Sig Regt
member, Lt-Col Colin Cattanach,
and all members who contributed
to the regiment’s capability over
Lt-Col Cattanach had a long,
dedicated career with the regiment
from 1950 to 1977.
He was adjutant, commanded
the Singapore Sqn and later imple-
mented the deployment of 547
Sig Tp, a sub-unit of 7 Sig Regt,
to South Vietnam with the role of
delivering tactical intelligence to
the commander and staff of the 1st
Australian Task Force.
CO 7 Sig Regt Lt-Col Robert
Watson said Project Land 500 was
The Australian Special Wireless
Group was formed in 1940 and
served in the Middle East, Syria,
Greece, Crete and New Guinea.
At the end of WWII, the unit’s
strength was more than 1000
personnel, of which about 75 per
cent were women.
101 Wireless Regiment was
raised at Cabarlah in 1947.
Sub-units of the regiment main-
tained operational commitments
from 1951 to 1974 and served
in Borneo, Malaya, Singapore,
South Vietnam, Hong Kong,
Melbourne and Darwin.
The regiment was renamed in
1964 and amalgamated with
72 EW Sqn in 1989 to finally
become 7 Sig Regt (EW).
Borneo Barracks is home to
7 Sig Regt, Defence Force
School of Signals – Electronic
Warfare Wing and the Capability
Acquisition and Sustainment
Group Land Intelligence,
and Electronic Warfare Program
Jack Fenton, an original member of
the unit, spent almost 30 years in the
regiment with operational deployments
to Malaya, Vietnam and Borneo.
He began his career as a radio
operator when he was 19, commanded
a troop in Vietnam and discharged in
1975 as a major.
Now 90, Mr Fenton said he “lived”
for the 70th anniversary celebrations at
Borneo Barracks and the chance to see
“In my day we could listen to any
signal in the world through all the noise
and hash because we trained our ears to
find it,” he said.
“It could be a Czechoslovakian
border guard or a Manchurian sheep-
herder with a radio, but we always had
to log the transmissions. I learnt Bahasa
Indonesian and Chinese, and enjoyed
postings to Hong Kong, Singapore and
Papua New Guinea.
“Seeing the equipment soldiers use
today makes me realise how far behind
we actually were using our earphones
History of 7 Sig Regt
New workshop facility
a major development undertaken
by Army to substantially upgrade
the capability of the regiment,
which included new workshops,
new protected mobility vehicles
and new electronic warfare sensors.
“It represents the biggest capa-
bility investment in 7 Sig Regt for
many years,” he said.
“The plaque will help all cur-
rent and future members of the
regiment understand everything
they do is built on the shoulders
and efforts of those who have gone
Former 7 Sig Regt CO Lt-Col
Steve Hart (retd) said Lt-Col
Cattanach was a champion of the
“He relentlessly pursued the
objective of saving it from pos-
sible dismantlement and relocation
and effectively transitioned the
regiment from a high-frequency
strategic signals intelligence capa-
bility to a mobile tactical electronic
warfare unit,” he said.
The new servicing and storage
facility at Borneo Barracks will
have covered parking bays for 12
of the new protected mobility vehi-
cles to be received by the unit.
Other works at 7 Sig Regt
include an upgrade of the existing
battery storage facility, a three-lane
vehicle wash point, a new adminis-
tration building, and a new racking
system within the armoury to sup-
port the MAG-58 weapons systems
delivered with new vehicles.
Members of 7 Sig Regt
march past and give
an eyes right at the
unit’s 70th anniversary
parade at Borneo
Barracks, in Cabarlah,
Photos: Cpl Mark Doran
and recording with a pencil and paper.”
Lt Lachlan Harvey, of 7 Sig Regt,
was the Princess Anne Banner Ensign
during the parade and said it was an
honour and a unique opportunity.
“Most people only have a vague
idea of what we do and its easy for us
to hide in the shadows, so it was great
to show who we are,” he said.
“The history of our unit draws
lineage from the Australian Special
Wireless Group formed in WWII. We
are doing more to tell our history as our
commitment often goes unrealised.”
Lt Harvey said 7 Sig Regt’s respon-
sibilities included intercepting and ana-
lysing enemy communications.
“The world is becoming more con-
nected with different technology, so we
need to stay ahead,” he said.
“The regiment is always thinking
forward by working on boosting our
capabilities and staying up-to-date as
communication technology rapidly
“There has been a growth in the
reliance on communications within
militaries across the world, including
satellite communications, and there
are now the challenges of finding and
targeting enemies who don’t show
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