Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 5 2010 Contents SNAPSHOT
open for business
On May 3, the Directorate of Defence
Library Services (DLS) staff celebrated
the culmination of three years hard work
when Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Michael
Maher, Director General Base and
Customer Support Services in Defence
Support Operations, officially declared
the Defence Library Service Warehouse
open for business.
“The establishment of the DLS Warehouse will not
only attain significant savings in managing low use
library items, it will also provide improved service
to clients and reflects best practice in collection
management for a large distributed library
service,” AIRCDRE Maher said.
The DLS Warehouse project commenced in 2007
with an investigation into warehousing options for
low-use DLS print and multi-media items that have
direct defence/military significance.
AIRCDRE Maher explained that the basement at
Campbell Park in Canberra was identified as the
best choice as it was the most cost effective,
sustainable, and convenient option.
As part of establishing the warehouse, state-of-
the-art scanning equipment was purchased by DLS.
This means that as material is requested, DLS staff
can scan it and send it electronically to clients
explained AIRCDRE Maher. Once a requested item
has been scanned and sent, an electronic copy of
the item will be linked to its catalogue record so
that other clients can download it on demand.
If you would like further information about the
DLS Warehouse please email defence.library@
Act opens up
The Government’s commitment to
improve openness and transparency
across government departments and
agencies has been amply demonstrated by
the passing of the Freedom of Information
Amendment (Reform) Bill 2010 which
commences on 1 November this year.
But what many people are not aware of is that
changes have also been made to the Archives Act,
with one of the more significant changes affecting
the open access period for classified Defence
Under the changes, the period at which
Commonwealth records become publicly available
has been reduced from 30 to 20 years. This earlier
open access period will be phased in across 10
years from January 2011.
Records from 1980 and 1981 will be available
in January 2011, records from 1982 and 1983 in
January 2012 and so on.
The Directorate of Classified Archival Records
Review (DCARR), in the FOI and Information
Management Branch, reviews classified Defence
records that will be eligible for public disclosure
under the Archives Act.
The Directorate consults with relevant agencies
within Defence and advises National Archives of
Australia on the implications that disclosure of
records might have on Australia’s national security
and international relations.
“The changes to the Archives Act will continue to
develop the pro-disclosure culture the Government
is fostering in the Public Service and, while it is
not possible at this stage to estimate the resource
implications of the earlier open period, I’m sure
we are in for a busy time” DCARR Director Mr Jim
“For example, documents created by the Defence
intelligence agencies are not available for public
access under the FOI Act but they are available
under the Archives Act. Cabinet documents too
are affected by the change, with the same 10-year
phase-in period applying. The new open period
may generate more requests for these types of
More information about the access provisions of
the Archives Act and examples of the types of
documents that remain exempt from public access
can be found on the DCARR Intranet website.
Green light for
The Royal Australian Air Force’s largest
and most complex air exercise, Exercise
Pitch Black 2010, officially commenced on
16 July with three-weeks of air combat
training scenarios above the skies of the
The exercise runs from 16 July to 6 August 2010
with the participation of international air forces
and other Australian Defence Force personnel.
Up to 1500 Service men and women from
Australia, and contingents from the air forces of
New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand will support
An additional 60 aircraft from the RAAF and
participating forces will be based at RAAF Base
Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal, near Katherine.
Exercise Pitch Black 2010 will also see the last
participation in such an exercise by the F-111 strike
fighter and also marks the 20th anniversary of the
participation of the Republic of Singapore Air Force
in Pitch Black exercises.
Air Commander Australia Air Vice Marshal Mark
Skidmore welcomed the visiting nations and
highlighted the importance of Exercise Pitch Black
at the official opening.
Air Vice Marshal Skidmore said the Exercise
is of great importance to Australia, not only
because of the high complexity air combat training
opportunities it provides, but also because of the
invaluable opportunity to strengthen ties with
other participating air forces.
Participating aircraft include the F-111s, F/A-18
Hornets, Hawks and PC-9/As will battle it out as
‘blue’ force challenges ‘red’ force.
Singapore will provide early warning through
its E-2C aircraft and will also provide air-to-air
refuelling using its KC-135 refueller.
Officer Conducting the Exercise Air Commodore
Mel Hupfeld said everyone participating in the
exercise has a vital role.
“The aim of Pitch Black is to exercise international
forces in the planning and execution of large-scale
offensive counter air operations in a coalition
environment against a capable adversary force,”
Air Commodore Mel Hupfeld said.
upon by insurgents
An Australian CH-47 Chinook
helicopter was fired upon by insurgents
on 15 July as it was taking off from a
coalition patrol base in the Arghandab
Valley region of Kandahar.
Two coalition forces soldiers on board the
helicopter received minor wounds as a result of
the attack. There were no Australian personnel
wounded in the incident.
The Chinook immediately flew to the Role Three
Medical Facility at the Kandahar Air Base where
the two coalition forces soldiers are currently
being treated for their wounds.
The Chinook was supporting an ISAF operation at
the time of the attack.
Commander of Australian forces in the Middle
East, Major General John Cantwell said the
coalition soldiers were provided immediate first
aid while en route to the medical facility at the
Kandahar Air Base.
“Our Australian troops are well trained which was
evident in the way the crew reacted to the incident
in providing immediate medical assistance to the
wounded soldiers and ensuring the Chinook arrived
at the medical facility in less than 15 minutes,”
Major General Cantwell said.
An investigation is currently underway to establish
the extent of the damage sustained by the
helicopter. The incident is unlikely to impact on
ongoing operations in the region.
“We are thankful that no Australian soldiers were
wounded during the attack but our thoughts are
with the two coalition soldiers as they recover
from their wounds,” said Major General Cantwell.
march out of HMAS
Congratulations has been extended
to 117 new recruits who graduated from
the Royal Australian Navy Recruit School
during a ceremony and parade at HMAS
Cerberus at Crib Point in Victoria on
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister
for Defence Personnel, Alan Griffin, accompanied
by the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane,
reviewed and inspected the new recruits on parade
who had successfully completed 11 weeks of
“The graduation of these men and women, in
front of their family and friends, is a significant
occasion and will stand them in good stead as they
commence their careers in the Royal Australian
Navy,” Mr Griffin said.
“In the coming years, the Australian people will
place their trust in these sailors to serve with the
Navy values of loyalty, integrity, honesty, courage,
and above all, honour.
“The heavy responsibility the sailors have accepted
today is one that they should be proud to bear, and
from the discipline and quality of their presentation
today, I know that they are worthy of Australia’s
“These newest members of the Navy should be
proud of their achievements and as they embark
on the next phase of their naval training I would
like to commend them on their choice of career and
thank them for serving their country,” Mr Griffin
Vice Admiral Crane, himself a former junior recruit
who rose through the ranks during his 40-year
career said, “The Royal Australian Navy Recruit
School has been training and grooming new
sailors for over 80 years. I think it is important to
acknowledge the significant role played by the
Recruit School staff in the development of the
new recruits and the significance of the support
provided by their family and friends”.
ABOVe: Aircraft Technician Corporal Basil Alien checks
over a 3 Squadron F/A-18 Hornet after it arrived RAAF
Base Darwin to participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2010.
RIGHT: Joint Battlefield Airspace Controller Pilot Officer Lachlan Lawrence from No. 44 Wing Detachment
monitors communications with incoming aircraft at RAAF Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 2010.
continued on page 7
Report into incident in
Defence has released an Inquiry Officer report into
an incident in Afghanistan where two Afghan men
travelling on a motorcycle were shot by Australian
forces on 11 August 2009.
The two men were later identified as Afghan National
The Inquiry Officer concluded the engagement was
conducted within the soldiers’ rules of engagement.
The Inquiry Officer found neither officer was wearing
a uniform at the time of the incident. He said the
pillion passenger was wearing a blue shirt (which is
consistent with the Afghan National Police uniform)
but this did not become evident until after the
casualties were attended to following the incident.
The Inquiry Officer visited the incident site and
found it may not have been possible to see or hear
the Australian soldiers until the motorcycle was
reasonably close to the check point. Of note, prior to
the motorcycle approaching the vehicle check point
(VCP), three cars had obeyed visual signals to stop
before being allowed to pass through the VCP.
The redacted report can be found at: http://www.
employers take off to see
Reservists in action
Twenty-two employers of Defence Reservists
travelled to Solomon Islands on 5 July as part of
Exercise Boss Lift – the Defence program designed to
encourage employer support for the Reserves.
“This is a unique opportunity for employers and aims
to highlight the skills Reservists gain from being in
the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and how those
skills can benefit civilian employers,” Parliamentary
Secretary for Defence Support the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly
“Boss Lift and other employer engagement activities
like Exercise Executive Stretch also help employers
understand their Reservist’s important contribution to
Employers participating in the four-day Boss Lift
program visited soldiers from the New South Wales-
based 5th Brigade, who are currently on a four-month
deployment to the Solomon Islands.
First locally-trained Air Force
C-17A pilots graduate
Flight Lieutenant David Whyte and Pilot Officer
Stephen Maunder are the first two Air Force pilots
to undertake their conversion course for the C-17A
Globemaster at RAAF Base Amberley. Until now, all
Australian C-17A pilots have been initially trained on
the aircraft in the United States.
It is anticipated the use of the newly-constructed
training facilities at RAAF Base Amberley will
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