Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2009 Contents SNIPshot
Oxford Archaeology has been awarded the
contract to undertake the excavation of
an Australian and British First World War
group burial site at Fromelles, France.
The Australian and British Governments will
share the cost of the Pheasant Wood excavation,
which is expected to take up to six months
depending on several factors including the
weather, soil conditions and the actual number of
“The awarding of this contract means that
planning can begin in earnest for the excavation
to commence in May this year and I look forward
to work commencing that will ultimately see our
brave soldiers fully honoured and laid to rest,”
Minister for Defence Science and Personnel the
Hon Warren Snowdon MP said.
Two technical advisers and one representative
each from the Australian Defence Force, United
Kingdom Ministry of Defence and Commonwealth War
Graves Commission were responsible for evaluating
the tenders and ultimately awarding the contract.
The Australian Army is developing a working
list of those First Australian Imperial Forces
soldiers it believes may be buried at the site and
is encouraging potential relatives to register on
Army’s ‘Fromelles Relatives’ database.
More information is available online at www.
defence.gov.au/fromelles or via the dedicated
public inquiries line 1800 019 090.
The group burial at Pheasant Wood was
confirmed during a limited excavation in May
2008. It is believed up to 400 Australian and British
soldiers still lie at this site where they were buried
by German forces following the Battle of Fromelles
in July 1916.
The Battle of Fromelles began 19 days after
the opening of the Somme campaign, and was the
first battle fought by Australians on the Western
Front. It is known as Australia’s bloodiest 24 hours
with 5,533 Fifth Australian Division casualties
including 1,917 killed.
DNA testing of an initial cross-section of
remains has been agreed and, if this process
returns positive results, consideration will be given
to testing the balance of remains as part of the
overall identification process.
Mr Fitzgibbon first travelled to Addis Ababa
in Ethiopia, where he met with the Ethiopian
Defence Minister senior African Union (AU) officials
and ambassadors to the AU from Africans nations.
Mr Fitzgibbon then travelled to Krakow in
Poland for meetings with his counterparts from
other International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) contributing nations to discuss the outlook
The Krakow meeting was an important
opportunity for those nations who have forces
deployed to Afghanistan to exchange views on
future plans and coordinate our efforts.
Through life support for
The Defence Materiel Organisation has
awarded a contract to Australian Aerospace
and sub-contractor Lockheed Martin to provide
Through Life Support services for the RAAF fleet
of C-130J Hercules aircraft.
DMO’s Head Aerospace Division Air Vice-
Marshal Colin Thorne said the Through Life
Support Contract, valued at $292 million, offered
the best value for money for Defence and the
The five-year performance-based contract
links annual contract extensions to contractor
performance and cost reduction, thereby
promoting efficiency and delivering real cost
savings. Subject to contractor performance,
support of C-130J aircraft will continue under
this contracting strategy until the fleet’s planned
As part of the contract, Australian Aerospace
and Lockheed Martin will deliver services
including aircraft maintenance, engineering and
supply chain management. C-130J engine support
will continue to be provided by StandardAero
under an existing contract arrangement.
Royal salute on sydney
Harbour for fleet
HMAS Sydney led 15 Royal Australian Navy
ships as they steamed through Sydney Heads as part
of a historic Fleet Divisions ceremony on 13 March.
The ships converged on Sydney Harbour for
a Fleet Review by the Governor of New South
Wales, after six weeks of Navy training exercises
off the east coast, as part of the 2009 Fleet
Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir was the
guest of honour, inspecting the Fleet from onboard
the Admiral’s Barge along with Commander
Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Nigel Coates.
Those participating in the Fleet Review
included HMA Ships Sydney, Darwin, Newcastle,
Anzac, Ballarat, Stuart, Manoora, Kanimbla,
Success, Sirius, Diamantina, Hawkesbury, Yarra,
Norman and Gascoyne along with Collins class
submarine HMAS Farncomb and visiting New
Zealand ship HMNZS Canterbury.
Fleet Divisions also saw a flypast by Navy
Sea King, Sea Hawk and Squirrel helicopters,
including a Sea Hawk helicopter carrying a large
On Saturday 14 March, Sydney’s centre was
a sea of white with 4,600 sailors marching in a
Freedom of Entry parade through the CBD.
Visit to solomons
Twenty-four employers of Defence Reservists
have travelled to Solomon Islands as part of Boss
Lift – a Defence program designed to encourage
employer support for the Reserves.
Employers visited soldiers from the Adelaide-
based 9 Brigade, currently on a four-month
deployment to the Solomon Islands.
While in the capital Honiara and surrounds,
the employers had the opportunity to see their
Reservists on Operation ANODE, the Australian
Defence Force’s contribution to the Australian-led
Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.
Reserve and Employer Support Division (RESD),
which is responsible for employer support for
Australia’s Defence Reservists, ensured the three-
day Boss Lift program highlighted the important
role the Reserves play in the Australian Defence
Force and allows employers to experience directly
the essential roles played by their employees.
aBOVe: a navy sea King helicopter flying
the australian national flag passes over
HMas Stuart during the Royal australian
navy's fleet Review 2009.
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