Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 8 2010 Contents 23
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solomon Islands made safer
In July, the Navy continued making the Solomon
Islands safer by uncovering unexploded ordnance,
with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon
Navy clearance divers conducted training exercises
with Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF)
divers in the critical role of explosive ordnance
disposal (EOD) at White Beach.
HMas Melbourne sails for
the Middle east
August saw the departure of HMAS Melbourne to
the Middle East, along with 238 men and women.
Melbourne was the first of the recently upgraded
Adelaide-class frigates to undertake an operational
deployment. It relieved HMAS Parramatta on
Missing australian WWI
The remains of Private Alan James Mather from
Inverell, NSW were identified after almost a
century. Private Mather fought in the Battle of
Messines from June 7-14, 1917.
Ten thousand men lost their lives in the blast
that was said to have been felt as far away as
London. Private Alan James Mather was buried
with full military honours with his comrades in
Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery
in Belgium on July 22.
army Iroquois choppers
Eleven Iroquois helicopters will be used as local
tourist attractions in Townsville and other locations
They first flew in the Australian Defence Force in
Malaysia. However it was their use in Vietnam
which gave them iconic status. Two of the
choppers will continue to be used for training
Marathon corporal cassie
Marathon runner Corporal Cassie Fien participated
in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games
selection, with a second place in her division on
the Gold Coast in July.
Corporal Fien finished the 21.1km race in 1hour
45seconds. “I am keen to try for Olympic and
Commonwealth Games selection and I’d like to run
a marathon, but not just yet – hopefully next year,”
Also competing in the race was good friend, Flying
officer Lisa Flint, who finished in at 1hr 17min
16sec in sixth place.
afghanistan soldiers run for
a worthy cause
Men and women of the 1st Mentoring Task Force
(MTF-1) were given the opportunity to raise money
for Autism Queensland’s Kidstart program which
has raised more than $3.14 million for charities
during the past 13 years.
“There was a 5km run for mere mortals and a 10km
run for the more serious entrants,” Lieutenant
Emma Cameron, a physiotherapist with MTF-1,
australia farewells Dutch in
The Dutch-led Task Force that began in 2006
finished up in Uruzgan province on 1 August.
Together with Australian soldiers, they worked to
rebuild local infrastructure such as schools and
hospitals also mosques.
“Now there are people working again, children
going to school and people have access to basic
medical facilities,” Commander Brigadier-General
Keens Can den Heuvel said.
Bash Task group
In August, a Navy Fleet Command team
participated in the NSW Variety Bash, Australasia’s
most successful motoring charity event for the
eighth consecutive year.
Navy participation of 11 personnel was the biggest
yet with a ‘fleet’ of five vehicles, consisting of two
HR Holdens, two EH Holdens and a Dodge crew
cab to represent two surface ships, two helicopters
and a submarine.
100 Middle eastern missions
The Royal Australian Air Force’s fleet of C-17A
Globemaster III transport aircraft recorded 100
missions in the Middle East.
The heavy lifting transport aircraft have supported
Operations Kruger and Catalyst in Iraq, and
Operation Slipper in Afghanistan.
afghan and MTf-2 troops
Australian soldiers in Logistical Support Company
(LSC) made major improvements to the standard of
living for both the Afghan National Army and MTF-
2, with the installation of electricity.
They now can use laptops, not only improving
conditions, but morale as well. While the
remoteness of the bases doesn’t allow for home
comforts, the soldiers of the LSC are doing their
best to make that gap as small as possible.
HMas Parramatta returns
Happy and relieved family and friends welcomed
home the Royal Australian Navy Frigate, HMAS
Parramatta and her 192 crew as she returned
to her homeport of Garden Island, Sydney on
There to welcome them was Minister for Defence
materiel Jason Clare and the Commander
Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stephen Gilmore.
Isf participate in Timor race
Two teams from the International Stabilisation
Force (ISF) took on the 2010 Tour de Timor, the
southern hemisphere’s richest mountain bike race.
Tour de Timor is a 400km route and is considered
one of the toughest mountains bike courses in the
world. The 2010 Tour saw eight ISF members join.
The most dangerous and unpredictable obstacles
were the goats, pigs and chickens.
aDf save Indonesian
Two Royal Australian Naval ships rescued an
Indonesian fisherman who had been lost at sea for
The 42-year-old man was plucked from the water
by HMAS Success travelling in the company of
HMAS Arunta. He received medical treatment once
A comprehensive surface and air search by
Success and Arunta failed to locate the other three
members of the fishermen’s crew.
aid arrives in Pakistan
AusAID stores arrived in August for those affected
by floods in Pakistan.
The stores were unloaded and distributed to areas
determined by the Pakistan National Disaster
Management Authority. AusAID spokesperson
Suzanne Edgecombe said the stores would benefit
more than 10,000 families affected by the natural
disaster. They arrived throughout August through
Pacific Partnership 2010
Australia’s largest contribution to the annual
US-led humanitarian assistance mission, Pacific
Partnership 2010 concluded in Papua New Guinea,
treating almost 110,000 patients.
More than 300 Australian Defence Force personnel
participated in the mission, providing health and
dental care as well as completing 22 engineering
projects such as school building restoration and
drilling and developing water wells across five
countries in four months.
Victorian flood assist
The ADF made swift contributions to the State
Emergency Service (SES) in responding to the
Victorian floods in the Shepparton region in
The ADF provided 55 personnel and around 10
specialist vehicles based at Puckapunyal Army
Base, assisted by providing flood information to
residents facilitating delivery and preparation of
Leaders visit afghanistan
Prime Minister Julia Gillard made a surprise visit
to Afghanistan to see the troops during her first
trip overseas as Prime Minister.
At a barbeque lunch with the troops, the Prime
Minister confirmed the Government’s ongoing
commitment to the mission in Afghanistan and
paid tribute to the professionalism and dedication
of Australian personnel.
She also honoured the 21 soldiers who lost their
lives in Afghanistan.
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott then visited
Australian troops two weeks later. He spent a day
with personnel in Tarin Kot and shared lunch with
the troops and toured the Trade Training School.
He received briefs from senior military personnel
and regional Afghan leaders on the situation in
country. A firepower demonstration by Australian
and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
occurred during the course of the afternoon.
“We will support you, but I need you to make sure that you seek any assistance that you may need to
come to terms with your loss. Draw strength from each other. Pay tribute to your mates. Honour their
sacrifice. Strengthen your resolve.”
Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston offers some words of encouragement to Australians
still serving in Afghanistan following the deaths of Sappers Jacob Moerland and Darren Smith on 7 June.
“I never thought I’d get a chance to do this; three years ago I went to Sinai which was incredible.
It’s great working in front of these guys, they are all typical down-to-earth Australians – I’d do
anything to keep being a part of this sort of stuff”
– Comedian Mick Meredith, deployed to East Timor with the Tour de Force in August,
said performing for Australian troops is one of the highlights of his calendar.
aDf staff improve quality of
life to girl, 12
The small things can make all the difference in
life – such was the case for a 12-year-old polio
sufferer and flood victim who was treated by the
Australian Medical Task Force in Pakistan.
During the flood crisis, Nadia was travelling on the
back of a truck when she fell off onto the side of
the road. Her left leg, already bent from polio, was
Upon arrival at Camp Cockatoo, Nadia presented
the medical team with some challenges with an
x-ray revealing an already weak leg was also
showing signs of osteomyelitis as medical officer
Squadron Leader Andrew Pearson, 3 Expeditionary
Health Squadron (3EHS), explained.
SQNLDR Pearson put Nadia on a six-week course
of antibiotics to mend the infection. The team were
also able to give her crutches to replace the sticks
she had been using her whole life to aid mobility
for her polio leg. Her progress was described as
“an amazing transformation” by staff.
2010: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
aBOVe: Nadia practices walking on her new crutches
as her mother (right) and Medical Officer Lieutenant Joel
Hissink (left) look on during Operation Pakistan Assist II.
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