Vale – 5794 MAJ Geoffrey John Hawker (Rtd)

Our Corps lost another legend, Major Geoffrey John Hawker (ret’d).

Geoff was a 1st class Appy whose hand I was proud to shake on ANZAC Day 2018 when over 700 Appys of all eras gathered at the Australian War Memorial for the School’s 70th anniversary. He was one of the gentlemen who laid the foundations upon which all tradesmen who followed stand.

Geoff had numerous other postings during his career, including as the ASM of Metal Trades Wing at AAS. He was highly-respected in all roles.

Geoff’s wife, Margaret, advised that he passed away at Epworth Eastern Hospital in Melbourne.

Funeral details will be promulgated when known.

Stand down, Geoff. Your duty is done

Arte et Marte
Rest in Peace

John Gibbins

OPEN LETTER – Bob Buick MM

My open letter to all Australians, especially political parties and their members, and all media
owners, their staff and public commentators

As an elder in my eighties, I write in despair as I witnessed my nation in the past four decades
crumble and fracture socially, and industrially from a vibrant visionary modern nation that was self-
sustainable, independent, and visionary to a racially divided and socially engineered people, with
two decades of very poor governance, racial and social unrest, and without vision, or hope.

Those over fifty years of age have also witnessed this erosion of the nation’s ethos and vibrancy that
we embraced and fostered post-Whitlam (1972).

It is my opinion that this tragic position we are experiencing is due to the influences of global
socialism initiated in Europe by the World Economic Forum, assisted, and fostered by the
bureaucrats with the European Union and United Nations and splinter socialist extremists through
the internet these past forty years.

My greatest concerns are the possibility that these global influences are embraced by all political
parties in Australia in some form or another that will in twenty or thirty years change the
Commonwealth of Australia to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Australia with nine or more
states with the territories of the Australian Capital and Northern Territories are granted statehood as
will the Thursday Islanders.

The State of the Northern Territory will have an Aboriginal name and the homeland of the
Aboriginals as well as the Thursday Islanders’

I will not witness this and I am thankful for being possibly born into the best generation the planet
will have witnessed in its history.

The most pressing problem this nation has in 2023 is the state of governance in the Northern
Territory with the present lawlessness and disregard for justice being seen there. It is a territory that
must have its government replaced by an Administrator from the commonwealth government. If a
local government is any stated produced such poor and ineffective governance and display by the NT
administration it would have been under legislation already in place.

Concerned Australians must demand the ALP National Government implement the dismissal of the
NT government and install a Commonwealth Administrator.

Robert Buick
24 Mountain Ash Drive
Mountain Creek Qld 4557
0428 228 425

[email protected]

25 January 2023

Vale 424960 Major Andrew Michael BEARD, RAInf and RAE

I have been advised of the passing of Maj Andrew (Andy)BEARD a younger member of our cohort.

Andrew enlisted into the Infantry and went on to be selected to the Officer Cadet School at Portsea

and graduated with the rank of Second Lieutenant in December 1979. He transferred to the RAE.

and served the Corps in varying postings including the SO2(Works), South Queensland Logistics Group.

Andy died in Victoria on 21 January 2023 after a battle with a long illness.

A highly respected officer and a great mate to his cohort.

To his family and friends, condolences are offered, he is at peace now and no longer suffering is pain.

I thank John Pritchard, Paul Asbury, and Mark Heinrich for the information on this sad event.

My kindest regards at this sad time.

John Sahariv

Fellow Sapper

 

PM flags defence focus in federal budget

Australia’s national security will be a key part of the federal budget as the government prepares to receive a review on the nation’s defence arrangements.

But the Prime Minister would not confirm reports his government was prepared to spend up to $1 billion on sea mines, high-tech underwater weapons.

The Department of Defence confirmed it was “accelerating the acquisition of smart sea mines”.

“A modern sea mining capability is a significant deterrent to potential aggressors,” a defence spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the weapons had different capabilities to “indiscriminate” land mines and could distinguish military targets and other types of ships.

Meanwhile, defence sources told the Sydney Morning Herald the government had signed a contract worth between $500 million and $1 billion for a large number of sea mines provided by a European supplier.

But Mr Albanese said he would not pre-empt advice expected from a strategic review being conducted by former defence minister Stephen Smith and former defence force chief Angus Houston.

Defence Minister Richard Marles is expected to receive the review’s report in February.

“What that (report) is aimed at doing is making sure that every single dollar that’s spent in defence is spent in the best possible way to support our national security,” Mr Albanese told ABC News on Monday.

The prime minister said the report, expected to be handed to the government soon, would also look at how Australia could shift defence strategies from traditional land-based conflict to modern warfare.

“We are looking at missile defence … at cybersecurity, we’re looking at all of these issues,” he said.

“We need to make sure we have the best possible defences.”

The federal budget, due in May, is expected to include funding for the recommendations made by the strategic review.

 

Aussies help on Korean DMZ battlefield excavation.

Posted by Mike Hughes

CAPTION: Australian observer Leading Aircraftman Ben Whitfield, right, observes personnel from the Ministry of National Defence for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification conduct human remains recovery at White Horse Hill. Story and photo by Petty Officer Jason Wilson.

The White Horse Hill battlefield is silent, yet decades on it remains contested and dangerous.

There are signs of recent activity, but now the ground is too frozen to dig. The Korean War battle site remains silent, waiting for the spring thaw and the chance for searchers to return to find more remains of the fallen.

In September 2018, North and South Korea signed a comprehensive military agreement, which included a plan to transform the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas into a “peace zone”.

This has allowed South Korea to search for human remains within the DMZ and carry out explosive-remnants-of-war disposal.

This work is undertaken during the warmer months of the year, as the ground freezes in winter making excavation too difficult for the delicate work.

Among the uniforms of South Korean service personnel and government agency workers at White Horse Hill in 2022 could be seen those of Australian Defence Force personnel.

Australia deploys four members twice a year under Operation Linesmen, the ADF’s contribution to the inter-Korean peace process, deployed at the request of the United Nations Command (UNC) to support the work in the DMZ.

As part of the UN Command Military Armistice Commission, the four-person team provides three observers to ensure tasks conducted within the DMZ are monitored and are in accordance with the terms laid out in the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953.

The fourth member is a mine action staff officer.

In 2022, the Australian team operated at White Horse Hill, located inside the four-kilometre-wide DMZ just north of the provincial township of Cherwon.

Linesmen Rotation 8 members observed the de-mining and remains recovery operations being conducted by the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) 5th Infantry Division and the Ministry of National Defense for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI).

Australian contingent commander Flight Lieutenant Joon-Hee Wang, who speaks Korean, provided valuable assistance to the mission.

She said Operation Linesmen was an important component for upholding the agreement against a backdrop of military tensions between South and North Korea.

“White Horse Hill was the site of a bloody battle between the ROKA 9th Infantry Division and Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) 38th Corps, fought during October 1952,” she said.

“Possession of the hill changed hands 24 times and resulted in thousands of casualties due to an intensive bombardment campaign by ROKA, PVA and the United States Air Force.

“The establishment of the DMZ meant the site has been frozen in time, and it is only now that major battlefield recovery efforts can get underway.”

During Rotation 8’s tenure, MAKRI recovered many remains of ROKA and PVA personnel.

The remains were ceremonially removed from the battlefield and taken to MAKRI laboratories in Seoul, with Chinese remains repatriated to China. The Korean remains were examined using a DNA database, which enabled identification and reunification of those killed in action with their long-bereaved families.

The ADF team’s deployment also included an opportunity to visit MAKRI headquarters in Seoul, where they were shown the process of identification and reunification of those killed in action.

Australian contingent translator Leading Aircraftman Ben Whitfield said the recovery and repatriation process was an emotional journey for all involved.

“The closure given to the families and the satisfaction felt by MAKRI made this deployment honourable and memorable for the Australian team,” he said.

At White Horse Hill, the earth still clings to many names and memories.

While the remains of 45 missing in action soldiers were removed from the hill in 2022, the project has many years ahead of it, with the number of missing soldiers from ROKA and PVA possibly running into the thousands.

Seventeen thousand Australian troops served in the Korean conflict, with 340 killed and 1216 wounded.

Two hundred and eighty-one lie with thousands of their UN allies in the United Nations Memorial Cemetery at Tanggok, in Busan, South Korea, while another 10 are buried at the Yokohama War Cemetery in Japan. 44 Australians remain missing in action.

 

Just how WOKE can you go?

The comments below are taken from a recent Daily Mail article.

A former indigenous politician who received a prestigious award from Barack Obama has described Aboriginal’ welcome to country’ ceremonies as ‘bullshit’.

Quote from former indigenous NT minister Bess Price (mother of Jacinta Price).  ‘All the “Welcome to Country”, all the “Smoking Ceremonies” and all the made-up bullshit rituals about “pay our respects to elders past and present” is just one big lie.

The ‘welcome to country’ was adopted into Australia’s parliamentary protocols in 2008, after the then prime minister Kevin Rudd delivered his apology to the stolen generation.

However, two years after that decision Aboriginal entertainer Ernie Dingo claimed that he invented the concept in 1976 when Pacific Island dancers demanded they receive a traditional welcome.

The Aboriginals have supposedly been here for at least 30,000 years (some say more like 60,000 years). That was about 29,750 years before the British arrived.

The fact is, as uncomfortable and as unfashionable as it is, aboriginal Australia had not produced anything resembling a Shakespeare, nothing much in the way of technology, never discovered the wheel and no philosophy to speak of, in the 30,000 years available to it.  The English brought the rule of law, the Westminster system, the notion of progress and all the benefits of the science, technology and ingenuity of the modern European tradition.

On 26 January 1788 when the First Fleet ships unloaded their ~1200 convicts, Royal Marine guards and officials, not a shot was fired.  As they looked around what’s now Circular Quay they saw nothing other than bush.  Not a single building, planted field, domesticated plant or animal – nothing at all. It was the same across the continent. It was “terra nullius” – a vacant land. There was no indigenous Army to defeat in battle, no Aboriginal flag to lower. There was nothing to claim as the spoils of victory. There was just wild bush. The few Aborigines who came out to have a look at these strange people were completely illiterate and innumerate and those on the south side of the harbour spoke a language completely unintelligible to those on the north side of the harbour and they’d been constantly at war with each other for as long as anyone can remember. To this day Australian Aboriginal languages consist of around 290-363 dialects belonging to an estimated 28 language families and isolates, spoken by Aboriginal Australians of mainland Australia and a few nearby islands.

There was no “invasion”.

Since the arrival of the English, only about 250 years ago, Australia has prospered and developed into a modern first-world country, along with all other Western democracies.

Yet for at least 30,000 years (prior to the arrival of the British) the Aboriginals seemed to have not progressed one step.

To put this into perspective, the Egyptian empire came and went between around 1570 BC and 1070 BC.

Aboriginals had inhabited our great land for at least 27,000 years prior to the Egyptian empire.

The Greek empire was at its peak in the period 500 BC to 300 BC and the Roman empire was at its peak around 117 BC.

Each of those empires was highly advanced and contributed enormously to the advancement of the modern world.

It, therefore, beats me why the Aboriginals are now so revered.

55 years ago, under the Holt Liberal government, that 90.77 per cent of Australians voted to remove race from the constitution, putting ‘indigenous’ Australian people on the same legal footing as all other Australians and allowing them to be counted in the Australian population. It was a momentous shift towards equality. Half a decade later, the Albanese Labor government wants to insert ‘race’ back into the constitution!

To enshrine a special place in the constitution based purely on racial grounds is racism pure and simple. Length of time on the continent whether it be 40,000 years, 250 years or 10 years shouldn’t be the determinant for any special consideration to any population cohort in the constitution.

JUST A LITTLE SOMETHING TO CONTEMPLATE BEFORE SIGNING UP TO “THE VOICE” – TAKE CARE –  WE ALREADY HAVE A PARLIAMENT THAT REPRESENTS “ALL” AUSTRALIANS!

 

German government reportedly ready to send Ukraine Leopard 2 tanks.

By Sebastian Sprenger

The German government is expected to announce Wednesday a decision to support Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks, as Washington is considering a similar move with Abrams tanks, according to media reports in Germany.

The decision by the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, first reported by Der Spiegel this afternoon and since confirmed by other outlets, would end weeks of hesitation that critics used to paint Berlin as indifferent about Ukraine, despite Germany’s substantial military contributions to the war-torn country.

The number of Leopard 2 tanks under consideration is 14, enough to equip a company, according to reports.

Along with the decision to send German tanks, government officials also are expected to clear export requests to send Leopards by other nations. Polish leaders said they filed such a request on Tuesday after weeks of saying Warsaw would proceed regardless of Germany’s decision.

Export control regulations of Germany and other Western nations state that the originating country must approve onward movement of weapons throughout their life cycle.

Meanwhile, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung media outlet that his government is considering giving Ukraine 18 Leopard 2 tanks leased from Germany. “We leased them, which means we can buy them and donate them,” he told the newspaper.

Previously, the U.K. government announced it would send 12 Challenger 2 heavy tanks to Ukraine.

Germany’s expected announcement on tanks could clear the way for other countries in Europe to follow suit, as officials there fear a Russian spring offensive in the coming months. Ukrainian leaders have said they want to use donated weapons to expel Russian forces from all of Ukraine.

The debate, often shrill in its tone, over whether modern tanks represent an escalation of the war with Russia, and whether they make sense militarily, has threatened to undo the Western unity that Ukraine’s allies had worked hard to cultivate since the start of Moscow’s assault almost a year ago.

 

Fighter Aircraft Design 2023 Presentation

David Archibald gave this presentation last week in Perth — 140 slides.

The president of the Military History Society said it was ‘incredible’.

The entire presentation is here, as a pdf file.

ED: Set aside some time to view this presentation

Robert (BOB) James Clarendon Whittle, DFM.

ED: Yesterday I posted a story about Frank Whittle, today I wish to post a story about my uncle, Bob Whittle, who was a WWII fighter pilot, we are all very proud of Uncle Bob not only because of his actions in WWII but also for his many contributions to the Tweed River district over many years. I am now researching to see if Frank and Bob Whittle are related.

 

Robert (BOB) James Clarendon Whittle was born in Brisbane on 10 July 1914. He worked as a chemist in Murwillumbah before he enlisted in the RAAF in April 1940. He was sent to the Middle East after training and posted to 250SQN (RAF) on 5 May 1941. Seeing much action over the Western Desert, his aerial claims rose steadily over the following months until by mid- December, he had amassed 9 Aircraft destroyed, 1 shared destroyed, 2 probables and 2 damaged.

Bob received a DFM for his service with 250SQN. The citation saying much about his character: “The airman has proved himself to be a courageous and skilful fighter pilot. In one engagement when his formation was fighting against a superior number of enemy aircraft, Sgt Whittle destroyed two, probably destroyed another and damaged a further two of the enemy’s aircraft. His determination is such that on one occasion after being shot down, he walked twenty miles during the night, re-joining his Squadron for duty the next day. During an engagement two days later, Sgt Whittle was wounded in the foot and arm and his aircraft was badly damaged but flew back to base where he made a successful forced landing. Within two days, Sgt Whittle resumed operational flying. He destroyed at least seven enemy aircraft.”

He served briefly with 730 Training Unit before his return to Australia in April 1942. He was posted to 86SQN in early 1943, flying from Merauke in Dutch New Guinea. He was promoted to Flight Leader in September and Commanding Officer on 17 December. Here he would make his final claims, downing a Zeke and sharing in the destruction of a Betty near Cape Valsch.

In June 1944 he left the squadron and served as an instructor until his discharge on 4 December 1945.

Bob Whittle is credited with a total of 14 kills during his service. After the war he returned to his pre-war profession and helped form the local Aero Club, as an instructor in 1946. A fifth-generation Pharmacist in the Whittle family, Bob’s father Mr F. C. Whittle established his first pharmacy in Murwillumbah in 1910, about where the Imperial Hotel of 2012 is located today but later bought a single storey building (later a second storey was added) at 108 Main Street, Murwillumbah, where it was operated as Whittle’s Pharmacy until it was a sold in 1992.

Bob had been a member of the Rotary Club of Murwillumbah for 50 years and served one year as its President. His long association with the Tweed River Historical Society (which later became the Murwillumbah Historical Society after the Tweed Heads Historical Society formed its own entity) earned him a Life Membership of the Murwillumbah Historical Society. Bob was educated at Brisbane Grammar School and qualified from Brisbane Pharmacy College and that year he commenced work with his father.

During his working life, he lived in Murwillumbah with his wife Frances and raised 5 children. He was a very active and interested citizen in all matters relating to the town and district. His meritorious active service record and involvement with the local Aero Club was recognized when Tweed Shire Council named its light aircraft landing strip, the Bob Whittle Airfield. So much of the recorded history of the Tweed and the thousands of artefacts held in the Murwillumbah Museum collection are there as the result of the keen interest and selfless years of devotion to the preservation of this invaluable record of the Tweed’s early history and can certainly be attributed to Bob Whittle and his family.