Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2010 Contents 8 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
NEwS IN rEvIEw: DECEMbEr – jANuAry
While many took the opportunity
to take time off in December and
January, the news emanating from
Defence continued to flow at its
usual pace. The following two pages
highlight some of the significant
events that occurred while we were
in stand-down mode.
Final flight for Caribou
30 November - The Australian War Memorial
received one of the recently-retired Caribou aircraft
after it made its final flight from RAAF Base
One aircraft was also received by the RAAF
Museum at Point Cook.
“Australia’s Caribou have had an illustrious
career over the last 45 years, and their record is
a testament to all who worked on and flew the
aircraft,” Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel
and Science Greg Combet said in tribute to the
As an interim measure, the Caribou fleet has
been replaced by the King Air aircraft, providing a
modern and efficient transport capability.
PNG Diggers laid
1 December - The remains of four Australian
soldiers killed during WWII have been laid to rest
at a cemetery in Papua New Guinea.
Lance Sergeant James Garrard Wheeler and
Lieutenant Talbot Logan were buried beside
two unidentified sets of remains marked with a
headstone Known Unto God.
Lance Sergeant Wheeler and Lieutenant Logan
were a two-man Australian Artillery Forward
Observation Party from 51st Battery, 2/1 Field
Regiment (RAA) acting in support of the US Army.
Lance Sergeant Wheeler was killed during fighting
around Soputa-Sanananda Track in December 1942.
Lieutenant Logan was killed the following year by
a Japanese sniper during the 2nd/12th Battalion’s
attack on Giropa Point at Buna.
The ceremony at PNG’s Bomana Cemetery featured
an honour guard provided by the Australian Army,
with Australia’s Federation Guard firing volleys
over the graves and the Last Post played by a
4 December - Defence Minister John Faulkner
farewelled 140 ADF personnel as they deployed to
operations in Afghanistan and East Timor.
The deploying members form part of the Force
Communications Unit 3 (FCU 3) and the Force
Communications Element 3 (FCE 3) and will provide
communications and information systems in
support of operations Slipper and Astute.
Senator Faulkner also visited the Sydney-based
2nd Commando Regiment to see demonstrations of
commando capability and to meet with soldiers.
“The commando war roles and domestic counter
terrorism capability demonstrations I have seen
here today certainly highlight their critical role and
unique capabilities,” Senator Faulkner said.
on show for troops
17 December - ADF personnel serving in
East Timor have enjoyed a pre-Christmas
concert led by Australian musicians and
entertainers as part of the 17th Force
Australian singer-songwriter John
Schumann, best known for his song I Was
Only 19, said the Tour was something he has
wanted to do for a long time.
“It is terrific to be here with this community of
men and women who selflessly represent our
interests overseas,” Mr Schumann said.
“A lot of these guys have families and I watch
them line up at the telephones at night to call
home. I think you really have to come here and see
that to understand it emotionally.”
Comedian Gary Bradbury, who served in the
Australian Army from 1986 to 1993, praised the
troops for their sense of humour.
“In the Army everyone has a pretty good sense of
humor and I was always around guys who would
want to make wise cracks,” Mr Bradbury said.
“They like a laugh even though they are doing a
The tour, known as Tour de Force, is organised to
bring cheer to Service personnel who are deployed
Navy missile launch
18 December - HMAS Melbourne demonstrated
the Navy’s updated naval air defence capability
with the firing of a Standard Missile (SM 2) off
Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and
Science Greg Combet said the SM 2 would be
further enhanced throughout the next year.
“This missile firing was the first time a SM 2 has
been fired from an Adelaide class frigate,” Mr
“The missile was prepared, launched and
supported in flight before engaging a target.”
Mr Combet said Melbourne was now equipped
with two modern missile systems to combat anti-
ship missiles and aircraft.
“HMAS Melbourne is an Adelaide class guided
missile frigate (FFG) that has completed the
multi-million dollar FFG Upgrade Program and
has recently undergone additional SM-2 related
alterations to its combat system,” Mr Combet said
Army band rocks
07 January - The 1st Battalion’s Royal Australian
Regiment Band finished a three-week tour to the
Middle East, performing rock concerts, Christmas
carols and jazz sessions for the troops.
Musical Director Major Dan Hiscock said the
tour was a culmination of almost six months of
“We worked on programs, arranging charts, coming
up with not only the concerts, but also music trivia,
karaoke and all the different contingencies that we
might be faced with,” Major Hiscock said.
“Kabul, which was our first stop, was bitterly cold
and we struggled with that.
“Instruments aren’t designed to be played in zero
or sub-zero temperatures...but it worked out
The band then visited Camp Holland at Tarin
Kowt to host a carols by candlelight concert on
Christmas Eve followed by a rock concert that
They also travelled to Kandahar for a series of New
Year concerts. Commander of Australian forces in
the Middle East Major General Mark Kelly said the
tour had been a great success.
“It has been appreciated by all JTF 633 personnel
who were able to see them perform, as well as
many of our coalition partners,” Major General
Heron takes to
13 January - The first Australian-leased Heron
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has started initial
operations in Afghanistan.
The UAV will help deliver high resolution, real-time
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)
information to ADF commanders.
With a maximum speed of more than 180 kph, the
one-tonne aircraft can operate for more than 24
hours at altitudes of up to 10,000 metres.
Working under a one-year contract with the option
to extend, the UAV was selected after a detailed
examination of available off-the-shelf ISR systems.
It is expected to be fully mission capable in the
coming months following an initial training period.
19 January - A new five-year, $800 million
contract has been signed to support the Air Force’s
new fleet of Wedgetail aircraft.
Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and
Science Greg Combet said the contract with
Boeing would create more than 100 jobs in the
“It will also provide continued and new
employment for more than 100 personnel at
Amberley over the next 12 months, which will have
positive flow-on effects for local businesses,” Mr
Mr Combet said Boeing would also receive
maintenance, engineering and training support
from Boeing Defence Australia.
When fully operational, Wedgetail aircraft will
enhance surveillance, air defence, fleet support
and coordination operations. Defence will
eventually acquire six Wedgetail aircraft at a cost
of more than $4 billion Australian dollars.
20 January - His Royal Highness Prince William
joined officers and soldiers for a live fire exercise
at NSW’s Holsworthy Barracks.
Drawing on his military training at RMA Sandhurst
College in the UK, the Prince headed to the
Marksmanship Training Range to fire an Australian-
issue F88 Austeyr rifle and the F89 Minimi machine
Reportedly on target, Prince William then made
a personal request to meet privately with Special
Operations Command soldiers.
The Prince also visited Admiralty House for lunch
with the Governor-General Quentin Bryce before
travelling to Redfern to meet with Aboriginal
Prince William last visited Australia in 1983 when
he was just nine-months-old.
BeLOW: His Royal Highness Prince William chats
with soldiers from Alpha Company 3rd Battalion Royal
Australian Regiment (3 RAR) at Holsworthy Barracks.
LeFT: Standard Missile 2 Acceptance Test and
Evaluation firing in the East Australian Exercise
Area on HMAS MELBOURNE, the first firing of its
kind. Photo: ABIS Andrew Dakin
BeLOW: The crew of the No. 38 Squadron Caribou A4-140 pose for a photo
before they prepare to take off from RAAF Base Richmond for the last time.
From left: Avionics Technician Corporal Nick Bordujenko, Pilot Wing Commander
Tony Thorpe, Flight Engineer Sergeant Scott Jones, Pilot Flying Officer Matt
Sullivan and Aircraft Technician Dan Amiet. Photo: LACW Casey Gaul
Links Archive Issue 9 2009 Issue 2 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page