Nearly 200 Americans who want to leave Afghanistan remain in the country nearly two months after the U.S. military’s evacuation mission ended at the Kabul airport.

The State Department is now making arrangements to move the roughly 196 Americans from Afghanistan “either via air or overground,” Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Colin Kahl said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on security in Afghanistan. Since Sept. 1, about 240 American citizens and 57 U.S. green card holders have left the country.

On Aug. 30, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said between 100-200 — “but likely closer to 100” — Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan remained there when the last U.S. troops withdrew from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. However, Blinken noted his agency was still “trying to determine exactly how many” Americans remained there.

The State Department also has contacted another 244 U.S. citizens in Afghanistan who “are not ready to depart either because they want to stay or aren’t ready” to leave yet, Kahl said.

“The administration by its own account left 600 Americans behind — over 400 of whom want to leave — not the 100 to 200 that has been referred to several times,” Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the committee, said at the hearing. “At the very least, it’s confusing.”

Inhofe also criticized the military’s decision to leave Afghanistan before all Americans were evacuated.

“During the Aug. 18 interview with ABC, George Stephanopoulos asked President Biden whether US troops would stay beyond Aug. 31 if there were still Americans to evacuate. President Biden responded — and this is a quote — ‘if there are American citizens left, we are going to stay to get them out,’ ” Inhofe said. “Of course, this didn’t happen.”


At this time (28-10-2021) the Coral Reunion planned for Melbourne in May of 2022 will still be ON.

The Covid situation will be reviewed next month and a decision either to proceed as planned or cancel will be made.

It is important that you stay safe and well and be vaccinated.

I also stress that our Coral Reunion Group is not associated in any way with a Battle of Coral-Balmoral memorial which is being planned for the town of Benalla in Victoria.

Cheers and ‘Rest Easy!’

Jack Parr

[email protected]



Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee today announced the Veteran Wellbeing Centre network is set to grow, with the opening of expressions of interest for a new centre in South East Queensland.

Minister Gee encouraged ex-service and community organisations in the region to apply, and said a new Veteran Wellbeing Centre would provide a wide range of essential support services for veterans and their families.

“It’s time to expand the Veteran Wellbeing Centre network into South East Queensland where a large number of our veterans live. They will benefit greatly from having a broad range of resources all housed under the one roof,” Minister Gee said.

“Over 100,000 of our veterans and their families are registered with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Queensland, and over 65 per cent of them call South East Queensland home.

“I encourage all relevant organisations to take a look at the expression of interest on the DVA website and get in touch, because we want to hear how to best deliver support to our veterans and families.”

This announcement comes as part of the Australian Government’s $40.7 million to establish a network of Veteran Wellbeing Centres across Australia.

“The Australian Government is delivering on its budget commitment to invest in Veteran Wellbeing Centres throughout Australia, and are delivered in partnership with ex-service organisations and state and territory governments,” Minister Gee said.

“A new centre in South East Queensland will enable our Defence and veteran communities from across the region to access the services and support they deserve.

“From focusing on health and wellbeing to important transition support, the centre will be a welcoming hub for veterans and their families to connect and navigate the services available to them.

“We are also looking at innovative ways to deliver integrated services through established ex-service and other organisations across South East Queensland, to further expand the reach of the Wellbeing Centre network.

“You need look no further than the Oasis Wellbeing Centre in Townsville to see how well the model can work, and how important this investment is.

“The Oasis Wellbeing Centre in Townsville is already collaborating with a range of organisations including RSL Queensland, Veterans Community Business Chamber, Townsville RSL sub branch, Defence Families of Australia, the TPI Association, Mates4Mates, Vietnam Veterans Federation and the Vietnam Veterans Association, CQUniversity and TAFE Queensland.”

More information regarding the expression of interest for the Veteran Wellbeing Centre in South East Queensland is available via the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website, or can be requested via email at [email protected].

The expression of interest will be open for the next four weeks.

Training mishap led to soldiers ‘near-drowning’ – Oakey

Defence is investigating a training mishap where soldiers sunk to the bottom of a swimming pool while wearing 20-kilogram weighted vests.

Key points:

  • Defence is reviewing a reported near-drowning incident at an army training base
  • Several soldiers sunk to the bottom of a pool while training in weighted gear
  • One soldier was taken to hospital and another had to be rescued

The ABC has confirmed that one of the participants was taken to hospital as a precaution, while army sources say another also had to be rescued from the water.

Witnesses say both soldiers came close to drowning during last week’s incident, and a lifesaver assigned to the activity had been unable to reach the bottom of the pool.

A further three members of the Australian Army’s Aviation Training Centre at Oakey in southern Queensland managed to remove their weighted vests during the activity and did not require assistance.

The Department of Defence told the ABC it was “aware of an incident at the Army Aviation Training Centre swimming pool on 22 October 2021”.

“A soldier was taken to hospital as a precaution but was later released uninjured and without requiring treatment,” a Defence spokesperson said.

The department added that the matter was “currently being reviewed” and Comcare had been notified so it was not appropriate to comment on it further.

“Defence is committed to ensuring the safety of all Australian Defence Force personnel during training activities,” the spokesperson said.

“Defence policy requires all physical training activities to be conducted in accordance with a defined lesson plan and associated risk assessment with mitigating factors to lessen any identified risk.”

A senior Defence source told the ABC while last week’s training mishap was unusual it was also not considered serious, and all safety protocols appeared to have been followed.

However other military sources told the ABC there remained fears within Defence about the long-term consequences of the mishap.

“The unit has gone into panic control after it was pointed out individuals could personally sue,” one source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to comment publicly.


BEERSHEBA – The Battle in Brief

The Battle in Brief The charge of the 4th Australian Light Horse at Beersheba late in the afternoon of 31 October 1917, is remembered as the last great cavalry charge. The assault on Beersheba began at dawn with the infantry divisions of the British XX Corps attacking from the south and south-west. Despite artillery and air support, neither the infantry attacks from the south, or the Anzac Mounted Division’s attack from the east had succeeded in capturing Beersheba by mid-afternoon.

With time running out for the Australians to capture Beersheba and its wells before dark, Lieutenant General Harry Chauvel, the Australian commander of the Desert Mounted Corps, ordered Brigadier General William Grant, commanding the 4th Light Horse Brigade, to make a mounted attack directly towards the town. Chauvel knew, from aerial photographs, that the Turkish trenches in front of the town were not protected by barbed wire. However, German bombing had forced the 4th Brigade into a scattered formation and it was not until 4.50 pm that they were in position. The Brigade assembled behind rising ground 6 kilometres south-east of Beersheba with the 4th Light Horse Regiment on the right, the 12th Light Horse Regiment on the left and the 11th Light Horse Regiment in reserve.

The Australian Light Horse was to be used purely as cavalry for the first time. Although they were not equipped with cavalry sabres, the Turks who faced the long bayonets held by the Australians did not consider there was much difference between a charge by cavalry and a charge by mounted infantry. The Light Horse moved off at the trot, and almost at once quickened to a gallop. As they came over the top of the ridge and looked down the long, gentle open slope to Beersheba, they were seen by the Turkish gunners, who opened fire with shrapnel. But the pace was too fast for the gunners. After three kilometres Turkish machine-guns opened fire from the flank, but they were detected and silenced by British artillery. The rifle fire from the Turkish trenches was wild and high as the Light Horse approached. The front trench and the main trench were jumped and some men dismounted and then attacked the Turks with rifle and bayonet from the rear. Some galloped ahead to seize the rear trenches, while other squadrons galloped straight into Beersheba.

Nearly all the wells of Beersheba were intact and further water was available from a storm that had filled the pools. The 4th and 12th Light Horse casualties were thirty-one killed and thirty-six wounded; they captured over 700 men. The capture of Beersheba meant that the Gaza-Beersheba line was turned. Gaza fell a week later and on 9 December 1917, the British troops entered Jerusalem.


Love these old guys! They tell it like it was and will be in the very near future!!!

Unless you are willing to be as unreasonable and as brutal as your enemy, do not engage him in a conflict — because he will win. This old leatherneck says it better.

Quote from a WWII veteran overhearing someone say that `You can’t bomb an ideology.”:

“The hell you can’t, because we did it. These Muslims are no different than the [Imperial] Japanese. The Japs had their suicide bombers too. And we stopped them. What it takes is the resolve and will to use a level of brutality and violence that your generations can’t stomach. And until you can, this shit won’t stop.

It took us on the beaches with bullets, clearing out caves with flame throwers, and men like LeMay burning down their cities, killing people by the tens of thousands. And then it took two atom bombs on top of it! Plus, we had to bomb the shit out of German cities to get them to quit fighting. But, if that was what it took to win, we were willing to do it.

Until you are willing to do the same…well I hope you enjoy this shit, because it ain’t going to stop! Back then, we had leadership, resolve, resources and determination. Today we’re afraid to hurt people’s feelings….and worry about which bathroom to piss in!”



The Funeral of 214031 WO2 Robin William Jones OAM MM will be held at:

  • Ross Funerals and Crematorium, 18 Nikenbah Dundowran Road Hervey Bay
  • 1000hrs 30/10/2021
  • Veterans, please wear Medals there will also be a Poppy service.

Live Stream: The service will be Videoed live, go to Ross Funerals website:  We Remember – Mr Robin “Spike” Jones (rossfunerals.com.au)

Condolences/comments can be left at the above weblink

Wake:  There is no venue for the wake as yet, as the RSL was booked.   Notification of where it will be held will be passed on at the service.

Turning a page to heal during difficult chapter

Photo: Captain Dylan Conway, of the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, with books he read while bed-ridden after surgery. He later recommended books to others as part of his initiative, Brothers n’ Books. Photo: Private Jacob Hilton

As a very active person, spending 14 months bed-ridden after surgery was the most challenging time of Captain Dylan Conway’s life.

But the experience had a silver lining, inspiring the officer from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), to help others through books.

As a means of keeping his mind occupied, Captain Conway read more than 100 books on self-development, from recounts of combat operations and philosophy to stories of perseverance in times of extreme hardship.

As his interest in literature grew, Captain Conway started the Brothers n’ Books initiative on Instagram, where other Defence personnel, first responders, or anyone who had faced adversity could tell their story and recommend books that helped them.

In a short time, the account grew to about 3000 followers and gained the attention of several Australian authors.

Captain Conway received donations of books for people in need, as well as Defence personnel about to deploy.

“Brothers n’ Books aims to make reading an accepted method of overcoming adversity, providing perspective, which is the single greatest thing you can do to develop yourself,” Captain Conway said.

“The same way that diet, working out and socialising assist in living a happy, healthy life, reading books can also contribute to your overall wellness and health.

“A lot of people’s struggles aren’t visible to the naked eye, but ensuring life-changing books are accessible to provide perspective and advice is the least we can do to give back to the organisation.

“Brothers n’ Books aims to donate books to those people in need.”

Captain Conway said he has received overwhelming support for his initiative from Defence members, past and present, and the broader community.

“The reaction to the Instagram page has been incredibly positive with so many inspiring people from all walks of life contributing stories, showing we all go through trauma, stress and hardship,” he said.

Captain Conway said he wanted the initiative to continue to grow.

“Brothers n’ Books aims to be a one-stop-shop for book recommendations for junior ADF soldiers and leaders, similar to how The Cove provides excellent conversation points for officers and senior soldiers,” he said.

“Books provide ADF members a chance to find their passion, purpose and provoke innovative ideas to help the organisation continue to develop as a community and become stronger as a team.

“With the right education, advice and mentality, we can all make it through life’s challenges.”


Sobering perspective on ‘net zero by 2050’ from Vaclav Smil

The Australian (theaustralian.com.au)


OCTOBER 24, 2021

Since the first global climate meeting in 1992, the world has only achieved a drop from 87 to 83 per cent fossil fuels.

Dr Vaclav Smil, global thought leader & the go-to guy for Bill Gates on the future of energy & resources, delivered an incendiary start to the Credit Suisse Asia Pacific ESG conference last week.

Asked for his thoughts on how to transition energy in the middle of an energy crisis, he said this was the wrong question.

Sure, Glasgow can have its group hug at COP26 but Smil says targets & forecasts are of no use when the world is fundamentally, overwhelmingly a fossil fuel civilisation.

“Next time when you take a chicken breast, that’s one cup of diesel fuel behind it. A small steak, depending on the cut, is nine to 10 cups of diesel fuel, unless it’s an Australian grass fed steak. Most beef is finished in feed yards,” he says. Tractors, combines, trucks & ships mean transport costs more than the food itself.

The emeritus professor from Manitoba University in Canada reads around 70 books a year, outside his brief & has so far written 45 of his own. All of his are reportedly read assiduously by Gates, who apparently waits on them like a new episode of Succession.

Smil pitched a barrage of problems to a slightly stunned investment audience.

The world gets 83 per cent of its energy from fossils. For the Middle East that number is 99 per cent, Australia 91 per cent, China 87 per cent, the US 83 per cent. Germany spent 20 years turning itself green but it is still 78 per cent fossil fuels.

Since the first global climate meeting in 1992, the world has only achieved a drop from 87 to 83 per cent fossil fuels.

In absolute terms, the amount of fossil fuel has increased.

“Now I am told in the next 30 years by 2050, we are going to go from 83 per cent to zero. That strains one’s imagination. We are burning more than 10 billion tonnes of fossil fuels & we are dependent, in every facet of existence.”

Smil starts with eating: nitrogen fertiliser, where the main input is gas. Without it, he says we could feed only half the world. There is no ready replacement for ammonia synthesis at scale.

Then to heating, which for the northern hemisphere in particular is a human right. The threat of a winter of discontent in Europe & Britain comes just ahead of Glasgow.

And lastly there’s the world’s dependence on the four pillars of civilisation: steel, ammonia, cement & plastics, all of which use fossil fuels.

Smil has no argument about global warming, something he says was acknowledged in 1860. Nor has he an issue with transition, where he sees gas playing a central role.

It is the pace of the transition, pushed by organisations like the International Energy Agency, that he believes to be cuckoo.

“We are in the very early stages of transition from fossil fuels to something else,” he says. “It took us 100 years to go from wood to 50 per cent coal, 100 years to go from zero oil to about 40 per cent oil. It has taken us so far about 70 years to go from zero gas to about 25 per cent gas. “

“These transitions are always unfolding, always at their own sweet pace. This could be accelerated, but within reason. You can’t say ‘by 2030 or by 2035’ – it doesn’t work that way.”

The reason is that with fossil fuels action needs to be taken at the same time on every front.

Yet the West can barely solve one problem at a time.

The pace of transition is where Smil & Gates part company. Innovation is the DNA of the Microsoft founder, who believes new technology like hydrogen is the answer.

“Bill is an American,” says Smil. “Americans are optimists. They think that they can invent their way out of some problems.”

He points to the Covid-19 vaccine breakthrough. “Putting it together was no problem but making it into billions was a problem. We have overcome that, but now 10 to 20 per cent don’t want to take the vaccines, marching through the streets & saying ‘my body, my choice’. Technical solutions don’t solve everything.”

Smil remains sceptical of progress in technology. Take the efforts being made to replace diesel container ships that underpin world supply chains.

“The Norwegians put into operation the first electric container ship just this year with 120 containers. It goes about 30 nautical miles. The biggest container ships in the world carry 24,000 containers, can go easily 13,000 nautical miles.”

And 20 years since talk began on electric cars, he says, the world has 7 million, with 1.2 billion internal combustion engines still on the road. The 2050 “net zero” target also involves massive amounts of carbon being captured underground, a challenge of scale that looks bleak.

Until all five big emitters pitch in to cut emissions – China, the US, the EU, Russia & India – Smil predicts any change will be small, perhaps a fall from 36 billion tonnes of emissions a year to 32 billion. “Neither China, India or Russia is rushing to sign on any dotted line.”

Asked what the world will look like in 2050 if it does not meet the 2050 target, Smil says simply: that depends. Perhaps France’s Macron will have convinced the EU to accept nuclear.

Sobering perspective on ‘Net-Zero’ by 2050 from Vaclav Smil – The Oz 24th Oct 2021 3 “We are not powerless, we are always changing – just not at the pace people would imagine it should be now. We have raised expectations too much,” Smil says.

“We’ve got into this habit that anyone can forecast. No, anything beyond about six weeks, it’s not even guessing. A fairytale. Thirty years ago in 1991, there was still the USSR & China was a minor economy. China’s economy has multiplied 14 times.”

“Would someone in 1991 have forecast there would be no USSR by now & China would expand & that global warming would be the No.1 international issue? It certainly wasn’t in 1991.”

“The climate crisis at that time was acid rain. And the world did solve it & moved on. “


TICKY FULLERTON EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS REVIEW Ticky Fullerton is one of Australia’s most experienced commentators and journalists. She has worked as an investigative reporter with Four Corners, as a political reporter in Canberra and also as presenter for the national farming program, Landline.

Battle of Golan Heights

The Battle of Golan Heights was a battle between Syrian and Israeli forces that took place at the beginning of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During the Battle of Golan Heights, Syrian tanks vastly outnumbered Israeli tanks. However, the Israelis were able to defeat the Syrians, largely because of the superiority of Israeli tanks.

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