Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2010 Contents snapsHOT
The second rotation of the ADF Force
Support Unit (FSU-2) has successfully
completed operations in the Middle East
and returned to Australia.
The Force Support Unit provides vital operational
logistic support to deployed forces in Afghanistan
and the Middle East, including warehousing and
distribution, as well as induction training for
Commander of Australian Forces in the Middle
East, Major General John Cantwell said that
the Second Force Support Unit did an absolutely
outstanding job in a demanding operational
“I want to thank you for a thoroughly professional
and excellent period of service,” Major General
“Every sailor, soldier and airman can go home
proud with their heads held high.”
FSU-2 comprised approximately 140 soldiers,
sailors and airmen from a multitude of bases
around Australia. The majority of the force was
an Army contingent from the 10th Force Support
Battalion in Townsville.
Commander of FSU-2 Lieutenant Colonel Craig
Dobson said that as the unit was a joint unit,
it was able to utilise the combined skills and
experience of Navy, Army and Air Force personnel
to deliver the right support at the right time.
“Our motto is ‘anything, anywhere, anytime,
bar nothing’, and I could not have asked for a
better group of men and women to achieve that
commitment to those we supported.”
The Second Force Support Unit officially handed
over control to the Third Force Support Unit (FSU-3)
on 11 April, with a transfer of authority parade and
ceremony before returning to Australia.
The ADF has begun presenting
commendations to 51 Service men
and women who helped rescue, treat
and evacuate those injured from the
explosion onboard Suspected Irregular
Entry Vessel (SIEV) 36 on 16 April 2009.
The Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General
Mark Evans, said the commendations were
awarded for the outstanding service, courage,
drive, dedication and compassion shown by those
involved in the rescue, treatment and evacuation of
people involved in the SIEV 36 incident.
“Our people worked professionally and with
empathy under severe pressure to ensure those
involved in the SIEV 36 incident were rescued,
treated and evacuated quickly,” LTGEN Evans said.
“Superior levels of teamwork and cohesion were
shown in developing pragmatic solutions to
extraordinarily complex and challenging problems.
“Special mention also needs to be made of the
exemplary performance of the Headquarters
Northern Command staff in Darwin who provided
coordination and support during the rescue and
evacuation of the critically injured. The Augmented
Operations Branch provided support to the
rescue and evacuation operation that was highly
Further presentations will be made to Darwin-
based personnel in May due to crew availability
and at the first available opportunity for other
personnel who have since moved to postings in
other localities in Australia and overseas.
RIGHT: Two of the many ADF personnel involved in the
rescue and treatment of those injured on SIEV 36, Leading
Seaman Boatswains Mate Matt Keogh and Petty Officer
Marine Technician Thomas Dawe of Ardent Four aboard
HMAS Childers. Photo: ABIS James Whittle
The full story of the SIEV 36 incident can be found
on the Defence Internet at: http://www.defence.
goodbye to Traci
Traci Hamilton from the Defence
Intelligence Training Centre (DIntTC)
passed away in April while on a Mobile
Training Team (MTT) in Bogor, Indonesia.
Traci was one of four members in the MTT that
was conducting an Intelligence Research and
Analysis Course for the Indonesian Army.
Towards the end of the course, Traci fell ill.
Indonesian health professionals, Australian
Embassy medical staff and contract emergency
medical personnel arranged by the Australian
Defence Staff in Jakarta did all that was possible
Quick-thinking cadet lands
Australian Defence Force Academy Officer Cadet
Patrick Humphries successfully landed his light
aircraft on a Hobart highway after it suffered engine
failure on 6 April.
Eighteen-year-old Officer Cadet Humphries was in
his home state of Tasmania, visiting family during
the Easter break. A private pilot, he was practicing
aerobatic manoeuvres in a flying club-owned Victa
Airtourer over Ralphs Bay when the engine failed.
Responding calmly and confidently, he determined the
nearby Brooker Highway was the safest place to put
the aircraft down.
“I considered several football fields and had a look at
a couple of roads but quickly ruled them out because
of the cars on them,” he told the Hobart Mercury.
OCDT Humphries manoeuvred the aircraft beneath
an overpass before his right wing hit a concrete road
divider. The aircraft then clipped a tree and spun
before coming to rest on an embankment.
Unhurt, but concerned at the risk of causing a car
accident, OCDT Humphries ran down the road and
signalled cars to slow down, redirecting traffic until
police arrived on the scene.
OCDT Humphries is studying for a Bachelor of
Arts degree at ADFA in Canberra, with the goal of
becoming a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Defence Magazine will publish an article with OCDT
Humphries and another Officer Cadet who saved
a member of the public from drowning in the next
Aussie soldiers lend a hand
Australian soldiers in Afghanistan have medically
assisted two Afghan civilians after they were injured
in a suspected unexploded ordnance incident.
The injured father and son were believed to have been
scavenging material from an area used as a firing
range by Afghan and coalition troops in the Baluchi
Valley, Oruzgan Province when the incident occurred.
Personnel with the First Mentoring Task Force heard
the explosion and responded at the scene. They
provided immediate medical assistance before
the two injured Afghans were airlifted for further
The Afghan pair was taken to a coalition medical
facility in Tarin Kowt, Southern Afghanistan, where
they were treated by Australian Defence Force
personnel and later released.
during an 18-hour period to keep Traci alive. Sadly,
on Good Friday morning Traci lost the fight and
Traci’s career in Defence started when she enlisted
in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to work in
the field of Signals Intelligence. She left the RAAF
after 10 years service and joined the Australian
She then spent time with the National Antarctic
Research Expedition as a radio operator and
medic, before working with the Australian
Fisheries Management Authority, and later with
the Department of Immigration and Multi-Cultural
In 2002 Traci transferred to the Department
of Defence as an Instructor at DIntTC, Kokoda
Barracks, Canungra in Southeast Queensland.
Traci was a person who showed enormous passion
and dedication to her work, with an extraordinary
attention to detail and an enormous appetite for
work. She will be sorely missed by her friends and
work colleagues at DIntTC.
ABOVe: Traci Hamilton, along with work colleague Mr Steve Wiskar (far right), with some of the students who were
taking part in the Intelligence Analysis Course.
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