Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 6 2010 Contents 8 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
SNAPSHOT - REGIONAL FOCUS
Vietnam vets remembered
More than 300 Vietnam veterans braved dismal
Canberra weather to remember their mates at a
Vietnam Veterans’ Day Commemoration service
on August 18 during a ceremony at the Vietnam
Memorial on Anzac Parade.
Master of Ceremonies Major Robert Morrison,
himself a Vietnam veteran, said there were now
only about 14 Vietnam veterans left in the Regular
“Most of them are WO1s,” he said.
The focus of this year’s commemoration was the
unveiling of ‘Home at Last’ plaques for RAAF
members Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot
Officer Robert Carver.
Their remains were located with the wreck of their
Canberra bomber and recovered from Vietnam late
Victoria Cross winner Keith Payne said in ideal
circumstances, Australians did not leave their
mates’ remains in the field.
“The recovery and laying their remains at rest
had made every Vietnam veteran feel we are now
home,” Mr Payne said.
For Air Force, the day was also boosted by the
presence of more than 30 former 2 Squadron
In his address, Former Wing Commander John
Dowling said he took command of 2 SQN only a
few days before FLGOFF Herbert and PLTOFF Carver
“I witnessed the anguish of their squadron mates,”
“I can’t imagine what their families went through.”
He praised the “perseverance, grit and
determination” of the recovery team who brought
the airmen’s remains home.
“Australia can now close the chapter on our MIAs
– all are home,” he said.
Leading Aircraftman Ivan Sinanovic handed RAAF
ensigns to the Herbert and Carver families while
former 2 SQN members formed a guard of honour.
He said it was a great honour to hand the ensigns
to the family members and the first time he had
ever done anything like that.
“I offered to do the job and it was the luck of the
draw really,” he said.
They were privileged to see one of the final flights
of an F-111 as it flew over Anzac Parade during the
The service was supported by Australia’s
Federation Guard and the Australian Army Band –
RMC. - By Sgt Dave Morley
army rolls on for charity
Forty Army members from the Army Logistic
Training Centre (ALTC), Albury Wodonga, and
4th Combat Service Support Battalion (4 CSSB),
Wangaratta, have volunteered as part of the Sir
Roden and Lady Cutler Foundation’s Big Roll from
This inaugural Big Roll seeks to raise funds to
provide needy Australians and their carers with
transport and other assistance to maintain and
improve their quality of life.
In 2010 the Big Roll saw volunteers push a
wheelchair from Perth to Sydney – a distance of
4500 kilometres in just more than 100 days. They
departed Perth in late April and arrived in Sydney
on 15 August.
Organiser Major Paul Henry said: “It is great to
be involved in something like this. This is a great
charity and ALTC is happy to play a part in raising
funds for them”.
Organisers aim to raise more than $200,000
and Defence members volunteering hope their
participation can assist in this goal.
navy kicks goals in the Top
The Royal Australian Navy’s Australian Football
Association (RANAFA) has wrapped a successful
tour of the Top End with the men’s team
comprehensively defeating the Western Arnhem
Buffaloes at TIO Stadium on 17 July.
The Navy men’s and women’s national football
sides travelled to the Gunbalanya (Oenpelli)
community in western Arnhem Land and the Nguiu
community on Bathurst Island as a part of the
Navy’s Community Engagement Program (NCEP)
coordinated by HMAS Coonawarra for Northern
Along with the men’s team playing the Buffaloes,
the women’s team also took the opportunity to play
the Tiwi Islands women’s team with the Tiwi ladies
defeating Navy 54 points to 44.
Captain of the Navy women’s team Leading
Seaman Natasha Wilson said it was the best game
of footy she had ever played.
“To come up to the Tiwi Islands and play footy with
the wmen’s team has been the pinnacle in footy
life for me and the Navy women’s team.”
President of the RANAFA Commodore Clint Thomas
said the NCEP aims to establish a long-term
relationship and a mutual trust between a number
of indigenous communities and the Navy.
“As in most indigenous communities, AFL is the
major sport that brings the community together,”
CDRE Thomas said.
“The matches Navy fought out with the indigenous
communities on the tour have been a further step
to solidify the relationships already developed, and
I am looking forward to further opportunities for
RANAFA to be involved with the NCEP in building
on these relationships into the future.”
The RANAFA and HMAS Coonawarra would like
to take the opportunity to thank the indigenous
communities of Gunbalanya and Nguiu as well as
the West Arnhem Shire Council, the Tiwi Islands
Shire Council, AFL Northern Territory and the NAB
for their support of the Navy AFA Top End Tour.
NEW SOUTH WALES
nsW soldiers home from
After four months of service in the Solomon
Islands, members of the 5th Brigade (New South
Wales) have returned to Australia.
Designated Rotation 21, the 110-strong Reservist
contingent had been on deployment in the
Solomon Islands since late March in support of
Operation ANODE, the Australian Defence Force
(ADF) contribution to the Australian led Regional
Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
Rotation 21 is replaced by Rotation 22, drawn from
the 4th Brigade (Victoria), whose members began
arriving in the Solomon Islands in late July.
Members of outgoing Rotation 21 were later
formally recognised for their service at a medal
ceremony held at RAMSI Headquarters on 2
“This has been an immensely rewarding
experience,” said Major Brian Willsher from
Headquarters 5th Brigade.
“The Solomon Islands is a fantastic place and
we have forged strong connections with the
local Solomon Island community and will take
back some fond memories of our time. We have
contributed significantly to RAMSI and its mission
and we are very proud to be handing the baton to
Commander of the Combined Task Force,
Lieutenant Colonel David Thompson said that the
end of each rotation is always an emotional time.
“It is both a sad time, and a glad time. Sad
because you work so closely with these people for
such a long period of time day in and day out – 12,
14-hour days. You become very close in a very
short period of time and the mateship and ethos of
the Army really shines,” he said.
“It is also very important to convey to the old
rotation how invaluable their work here has been.
The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF)
Commander, the Special Co-coordinator of RAMSI
and the Commander of the Participating Police
Forces (PPF) have been very congratulatory of
Rotation 21’s performance. They have done a
A welcome home parade was conducted for the
returning members of Rotation 21, 5 Brigade (New
South Wales) on 6 August at Holsworthy Barracks,
Tracking Technology wins
DsTO eureka Prize
A team led by Professor Ba-Ngu Vo at the
University of Western Australia has won the 2010
Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in support
of Defence or National Security, sponsored by the
Defence Science and Technology Organisation
From a high quality field of seven entrants,
Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist Professor
Robert Clark presented the $10,000 prize to the
research team from the university’s School of
Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
during an awards ceremony in Sydney on 17
Professor Clark praised Professor Ba-Ngu Vo,
Professor Ba-Tuong Vo and Professor Antonio
Cantoni for developing an innovative approach to
tracking algorithms that significantly increase the
capacity to handle multiple objects of interest,
using less demanding computing power than
traditional tracking methods.
“I congratulate Dr Ba-Ngu Vo and his colleagues
for this outstanding development. It has the
potential to contribute significantly to Australia’s
defence and national security, by making more
tractable the challenges of detecting the large
numbers of objects that modern sensors may
typically detect,” Professor Clark said.
The existing approach to tracking suffers from
the problem of exponential complexity, which can
rapidly exhaust the capacity of even powerful
computers to handle. In contrast, the new
approach offers the ability to handle thousands of
objects using only off-the-shelf computers.
“The innovative work of Professor Vo and his team
could have many benefits in the defence domain.
This includes an improved identification capability
at longer ranges, including in hazardous urban
environments and for the protection of ships,
aircraft and vehicles,” Professor Clark said.
Civilian applications that could benefit include
traffic management, the monitoring of crowd
behaviour, sports analysis, remote sensing and
Herculean partnership for
C-130 Hercules transport aircraft crews from
Indonesia have worked alongside their Australian
counterparts in Darwin from August 9-13 for
Exercise Rajawali Ausindo.
The exercise involved a series of airdrop missions
flown by both countries focusing on the use of
the C-130 Hercules as an effective air mobility
platform. Rajawali Ausindo is one of several
regular exercises conducted between the two
countries, with other iterations focusing on areas
such as maritime patrol and air combat.
A contingent from the Tentara Nasional Indonesia
Angkatan Udara (TNI-AU, or Indonesian Air Force)
No. 32 Squadron brought a C-130 Hercules to
participate in the exercise. The Royal Australian
Air Force (RAAF) reciprocated with a C-130H
Hercules and crew from No.37 Squadron, based
at RAAF Base Richmond. A load recovery team
from the Australian Army’s No. 176 Air Dispatch
Squadron was also located at Delamere Range.
Officer Commanding No. 86 Wing, Group Captain
Richard Lennon, said Australia and Indonesia
share a history of using the Hercules to assist one
“Indonesia sent their Hercules to provide relief
to Australians following Cyclone Tracy, and
Australia’s Hercules provided support in Sumatra
for the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami relief effort,”
Group Captain Lennon said.
As Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago and
Australia is the world’s largest island continent,
effective air mobility plays an important role for
both countries. In this role, the C-130 Hercules
is able to transport loads of up to 20 tonnes as
well as carry personnel, aero-medical evacuation
patients, and operate from short, semi-prepared
Through Exercise Rajawali Ausindo, aircrew
and ground crew from both countries brief each
other to gain a better understanding of how they
“The experience gained through Rajawali Ausindo
by both countries is all the more relevant given
the unpredictable nature of many humanitarian
disasters in our region,” GPCAPT Lennon said.
“Australia remains committed to working with its
neighbours through exercises such as Rajawali
Ausindo, sharing methods and practices which
will deliver more effective air mobility in the real
LeFT: Vietnam War Victoria Cross winner Keith Payne offers words
of comfort to Shane and Kerryn Herbert, brother and sister of Flying
Officer Michael Herbert. Photo: LCpl Mark Doran
LeFT: The Navy women’s Australian football team compete
against the Nguiu community football team on Bathurst Island.
Photo: ABIS James Whittle
air Force hosts international
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal (AIRMSHL) Mark Binskin,
has hosted his counterparts from the United States,
United Kingdom and Canada for a series of key strategic
meetings in Australia.
The Air Force four-party dialogue covered issues
of shared strategic interest including Afghanistan
operations, current and emerging aircraft and space
capabilities, and opportunities for future training
cooperation and engagement.
Chief of Staff, US Air Force General Norton A. Schwartz;
Chief of Air Staff, Royal Air Force Air Chief Marshal Sir
Stephen Dalton; and Chief of Air Staff, Canada’s Air
Force Lieutenant General Andre Deschamps, attended
“RAAF’s fleet includes aircraft also operated by the
UK, US and Canada, such as the C-17 Globemaster and
C-130 Hercules,” AIRMSHL Binskin said.
“RAAF, like Canada’s Air Force, operates the Heron
remotely-piloted aircraft in Afghanistan. Additionally all
four countries have identified the Joint Strike Fighter as
a key element of their future air combat capability.”
The program included visits to Joint Operations
Command at Bungendore, and RAAF Base Williamtown
where the visiting Air Force Chiefs received updates
on new RAAF capabilities, including the Wedgetail,
F/A-18F Super Hornet and the KC-30A multi-role tanker
Taliban insurgent leader killed
Soldiers from the Afghan National Security Forces and
Australian Special Forces have significantly disrupted
insurgent operations after killing a Taliban insurgent
leader in the Deh Rafshan region of Uruzgan Province.
Mullah Dawood, who was responsible for coordinating
small arms and improvised explosive device (IED)
attacks on Coalition forces in central Uruzgan, was
killed on 14 July.
No Afghan or Australian soldiers were wounded or
killed in the incident.
Commander of the Australian Special Operations Task
Group, Lieutenant Colonel P, said Australian Special
Forces, partnered with Afghan National Security Forces,
will continue to conduct disruption operations against
the insurgent leadership in Uruzgan Province as long
as they continue to play an active part in the Taliban
Australian Special Forces are working with, and training
elements of the Afghan National Security Forces in
Uruzgan to disrupt Taliban insurgent operations in the
region and to build the capacity of the Government
of Afghanistan to provide protection for the local
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