Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2010 Contents snapsHOT
found after 44 years
The remains of two Australian
servicemen, missing in action in
Indonesia since 1966, have been found
and positively identified.
Special Air Service (SAS) patrolmen Lieutenant
Kenneth Hudson and Private Robert Moncrieff
were part of an SAS patrol and were conducting
border security operations during the Indonesian
Confrontation between the Federation of Malaysia
Lieutenant Hudson and Private Moncrieff were
separated from the rest of their patrol during a
river crossing in West Kalimantan, Indonesia,
on 21 March 1966. When the two men failed to
rendezvous with their patrol as planned, the patrol
returned to its base in Sarawak.
Despite extensive searches to locate the patrolmen
at the time, they were not found.
In 2008, Army commenced an investigation to try
and locate the human remains of the two men.
The Army immediately asked for assistance from
the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI). Agreement
was received in 2009, along with the offer of
direct assistance from officers of TNI to form a
joint investigation and research team.
“Due to this great level of cooperation and
assistance provided by the Indonesian Government
and the TNI, the Army will be able to bring the
remains of Kenneth Hudson and Robert Moncrieff
home to their families,” Minister for Defence
Personnel, Materiel and Science Greg Combet
“In particular I would like to acknowledge the
assistance of the residents of Sanggau province,
who offered the recovery team significant
assistance. The team discovered that at the time
of the disappearance it was local Indonesians
Australian Air Traffic
Controllers return home
Five Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Air Traffic
Control Officers (ATCOs), who were sent to
assist efforts in earthquake-affected Haiti, have
successfully completed their mission and reinforced
Australia’s excellent reputation with their United
The ATCOs were embedded with the 24th Air
Expeditionary Group (24AEG) of the United States
Air Force (USAF) at Port-au-Prince Airfield from
12 February to 15 March and returned home on
“We controlled between 200 and 400 air
movements per day,” Australian contingent
commander, Flight Lieutenant Matthew Ferguson-
“It was very satisfying to know that our efforts in
coordinating the safe and efficient control of all
those aircraft assisted the distribution of emergency
supplies to those most in need in the crucial weeks
following the earthquake.”
NT Coroner’s Report released
- sIeV 36
The Departments of Defence and Customs and
Border Protection have welcomed the release of the
Northern Territory Coroner’s report into the incident
involving SIEV 36 in April last year.
Deputy Commander Joint Operations Rear Admiral
Allan du Toit, and Commander Border Protection
Command Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, said both
departments would now examine the report.
“We note the Coroner’s positive comments
regarding the manner in which Defence personnel
provided a timely rescue effort,” RADM du Toit said.
“We also welcome the Coroner’s comments on the
great efforts, professionalism and bravery of the
Australian Defence Force personnel in what he has
described as a timely and proactive response.”
Both Departments have cooperated fully with the
Northern Territory Coroner’s Inquest and the earlier
Northern Territory Police investigation.
Taliban commander captured
A key Taliban insurgent commander was recently
captured in a deliberate operation led by Afghan
National Security Forces and the Australian Special
Operations Task Group.
The combined operation detained a key insurgent
leader and Improvised Explosive Device coordinator
Mullah Janan Andewahl in the Mirabad Valley
Region of Oruzgan Province.
Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General
Mark Evans, said the insurgent commander had
who had found the bodies of the two men and
recovered them and gave them respectful burials.
It was the same Indonesians who helped the
joint team locate the burial sites and recover the
The perseverance and determined efforts of the
ex-serving and serving SAS community have also
contributed to the final success to locate and
recover the remains of the two missing soldiers.
Planning is now well underway to repatriate
the remains of Lieutenant Hudson and Private
Moncrieff to Australia. The date for repatriation
will be advised when known.
The official Army investigation report and findings
have been presented to and accepted by the West
In 1965-66, the Australian Army was involved in
border security operations during the Indonesian
confrontation between the Federation of Malaysia
and Indonesia. This included cross-border
operations of Special Air Service Regiment patrols,
part of the Australian Forces stationed in the
Malaysian state of Sarawak.
The Minister for Defence, Senator
John Faulkner, delivered his third
Ministerial Statement on Afghanistan
to the Parliament on 18 March, in
keeping with his commitment to provide
regular reports on Australia’s military
involvement in Afghanistan.
The statement outlined the efforts of our troops in
Afghanistan and described their engagement with
the Afghan National Army (ANA).
Senator Faulkner announced Australia’s decision
to provide 10 personnel to develop training for
Afghanistan’s Combat Arms Artillery School in
Kandahar. This school will provide artillery training
for the whole ANA, and Australia will play an
integral role in its establishment.
Senator Faulkner also announced the appointment
of a senior Australian Defence Force (ADF) officer,
Major General Brian Dawson, to the new position
of the Australian Military Representative in NATO,
to further strengthen our relationship with NATO.
This follows the recent appointment of Major
General Ash Power as the Senior Military Adviser
to the Afghan Minister for Defence, General
Senator Faulkner also addressed the difficulties
created by the Dutch decision to withdraw their
forces from Oruzgan province. He recognised the
Dutch achievements in the province in the areas
of local governance, health, education and the
strengthening of non-government organisations.
The statement provided an update on the number
of our troops who have been wounded in action.
It described information on Australia’s approach to
civilian casualties and detainee management, and
outlined Australia’s support for ISAF’s involvement
in Afghan efforts for reconciliation.
Senator Faulkner highlighted the “reinvigorated
international effort” and the new momentum
providing a path “towards peace and stability,
towards ending the conflict, and, towards the
completion of our mission”.
“Enormous difficulties will continue to test our
resolve. As Australia responds to these challenges
I remain committed to keeping the Australian
public and the Australian Parliament fully
informed,” Senator Faulkner said.
The full copy of the tabled Ministerial Statement is
available from Senator Faulkner’s website.
New naval combat
The Government has given first pass
approval for a major project to provide
the Australian Defence Force with a new
naval combat helicopter.
Project AIR 9000 Phase 8 is included in the
Defence Capability Plan to provide naval warships
with a new combat helicopter.
Minister for Defence Senator John Faulkner said
that two potential helicopters had been identified.
ABOVe: Lieutenant Kenneth Hudson, SAS (left), and Private Robert Moncrieff, SAS, who were killed when swept away
in a river crossing in March 1966, during operations in the Indonesian Confrontation. Their remains were found in October
2009 and will be brought home to Australia in April 2010.
“The Government has decided that the new
helicopter will be either the Sikorsky-Lockheed
Martin-built MH-60R sourced through the United
States Navy, or the NATO Helicopter Industries
NH90 NFH sourced through Australian Aerospace.”
Senator Faulkner said that a competition would
be held between the two helicopter options which
would be cost-capped by the Defence Materiel
Organisation through the tender process.
The new naval combat helicopter will enhance
the Royal Australian Navy’s ability to conduct a
range of maritime operations. It will be capable of
undertaking anti-submarine warfare and will be
equipped with air-to-surface missiles.
The new helicopter will greatly extend the eyes
and ears of Navy’s surface fleet and allow the
conduct of combat and support operations in the
complex and demanding maritime environment.
“They will replace the current fleet of Seahawk
anti-submarine warfare helicopters and fill an
operational need left by the cancellation of the
Seasprite project,” Senator Faulkner said.
The procurement of the new naval combat
helicopters as a matter of urgency was announced
in the 2009 Defence White Paper. This decision
demonstrates the Government’s commitment to
this important Defence capability.
Sufficient helicopters will be acquired to provide at
least eight helicopters concurrently embarked on
ships at sea, which under the White Paper requires
a fleet of 24 helicopters.
This schedule will enable the new helicopters to
be delivered from 2014.
New Chinook Ch-47
The Government has given second pass
approval to a major project to acquire
seven CH-47F Chinook helicopters for the
Australian Defence Force (ADF) at a cost
of around $755 million.
The Government has now approved the details of
this procurement, announced in last year’s White
Paper, which will replace the existing fleet of six
continued on page 6
continued on page 7
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