Tunnel Rats tour back to Vietnam

Just 106 days and a ‘wakey’ till our next great Tunnel Rats tour back to Vietnam

By November 18 this year it will be three years since our last gathering in Vietnam. The lads are restless and keen to get back. We already have over 30 bookings, so this tour is going to be another cracker.

The cost is amazingly low – just $1180 per person including nine nights in four-star hotels, breakfast each day, all tours, tour guides, buses, permits, and some of the greatest fun and memories you will ever have.

Click this link for full details including our booking form:

https://tunnelrats.com.au/Tunnel%20Rats%20tour%20back…

Cheers

Jim Marett

President – Vietnam Tunnel Rats Association

Government launches major ADF review

By: Charbel Kadib

A former chief of the defence force and a former defence minister are set to lead the largest review of the Australian military in over three decades.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles have announced the launch of a strategic review of the Australian Defence Force, set to be the first in 10 years and the largest in 35 years.

The Defence Strategic Review is aimed at assessing the structure, force posture and ­preparedness of the ADF for emerging security challenges from 2023 to 2033 and beyond.

Former chief of the defence force, retired Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston, and former Labor defence minister Stephen Smith have been appointed to lead the review, with recommendations to be handed down to government by March 2023.

“Professor Smith and Sir Angus bring a unique blend of knowledge and experience to their role as independent leads,” Prime Minister Albanese said.

“Their depth of expertise will be invaluable in informing the review.”

According to Minister Marles, the review would also explore opportunities to “better integrate and operate” with the United States, the United Kingdom and other strategic partners.

The review comes amid concern over the potential for “state-on-state conflict”, given the mounting threat posed by China in the Indo-Pacific and Russia’s ongoing assault on Ukraine.

“In 2020, the Defence Strategic Update identified that changes in Australia’s strategic environment are accelerating more rapidly than predicted in the 2012 Force Posture Review,” Minister Marles said.

“This necessitates an immediate analysis of where and how ­defence assets and personnel are best positioned to protect Australia and its national interests.

“It also requires an assessment of defence’s force structure and Integrated Investment Program.”

The deadline for submissions from interested stakeholders is Sunday, 30 October 2022.

The tabling of recommendations is expected to coincide with the conclusion of the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Taskforce’s 18-month assessment of the Royal Australian Navy’s future submarine procurement plan as part of the AUKUS agreement.

The group’s considerations include requirements for design, construction, maintenance, infrastructure, industry capacity, nuclear safety, environmental protection, crewing and training.

The Task Force will also advise on building timeframes, costs and supply needs.

 

The Night Bill Had Had Enough

The following story was written by Tom Aitken DSM. It is his recollection of an incident that occurred in Somalia in 1993. He wrote it many years ago and came across it the other day, I am pleased he gave me permission to share it with you all. Tom was a section commander in 8 Platoon, C Coy 1RAR in Somalia and was awarded the DSM for his actions during that tour. Tom retired with the rank of WO2.

It was a time in the tour when Charlie and Delta Company had spent three weeks straight in Baidoa patrolling the streets, 24 hours a day, with sections conducting at least two, three, and four-hour patrols in a 24-hour period, all depending on what occurred on your patrol. In this time there had been numerous, cordon and search operations and contacts, involving both sections and platoons, in one case, Billy boom boom Perkins section had been hit by bandits on several occasions during the week, in one case his sig, Christopher Day, was shot in the shoulder. Jason Flatly had his night vision goggles shot off his face, the trigger of his weapon had been shot out and there were bullet holes in his pants, I think if he could have gone to the nearest news agency that day, he would have bought a lotto ticket. It’s one of these contacts I would like to tell you about.

Four section consisting of, Bear number one scout, Jacko number two, Eato gunner, Jason the 2IC of the section, Blue as the signaller, Graich number one rifleman, Nato the number two rifleman and myself. We had just completed our patrol and were returning back to the compound where we would hand over all of our radios, handheld walkie-talkies and night vision goggles to Billie’s section for their patrol. It would have been about 2300 hrs with no moonlight at all, and from our patrol things didn’t seem the same, (you know how that sixth sense gives you that feeling of insecurity). We handed over all the kit; I said to Bill “Is everything all right mate?“ To which he replied, “Yeah Tom, see you in about three hours for the handover of all the kit.” “OK Bill see you then, good luck”. Bill moved off and we settled down inside for the customary debrief and reissuing of orders for the next patrol.

Bill probably had been gone for no more than 15 minutes when we had the shit scared out of us as a hail of gunfire erupted in the area of the Khat market. As we turned toward the noise, we could see red and green tracer going up into the night sky with one loud explosion. My first thoughts were that Bill’s section had just been ambushed in the area we had just patrolled 25 minutes ago. “Right lads gear on move outside, the same formation as before one on each side of the road and let’s not stop running until we’re near Bill,” and off we went. All that was going through my mind at this stage was the thought of Billie’s section being all cut up and how mad it was going to make me. As we started to approach where Bill was, I ordered the lads to stop, as the last thing we needed was to go running into Bill’s section who had just been shot up and have them engage us as we moved in. We heard APC’s inbound, made contact with them and were picked up and dropped on Bill’s position. The noise of the APC’s alleviated the possibility of blue on blue.  The rest of the platoon had been picked up as well.

As I got out of the APC I was greeted by Bill “What’s happened Bill, is everybody all right?” to which he replied, “I fucking got them this time Tom, they won’t fuck with me again”. “Bill what did you hit them with, the M79?” “No Tom the fucking 66, the fucking 66,” and if you could just see the satisfaction in his face. As I turned toward the building from which he was engaged, I could see that the building had been hit hard with a lot of small arms fire.

It was at this stage that the boss started to take charge of the situation, “Bill “he said “You keep your blokes here where they are covering the door of the building, Mack you cover down the road leading off to the right, Tom once they’re secure I want you to clear the building” I moved off and quickly gave orders for the clearance of the building. Once again, I was harbouring the thought of going into the building and seeing blood and bone strewn all over the place where Bill had just fired the 66. The Boss gave the word to go, we moved in, I placed one man covering the window with instructions to open fire if anything moved as we tried to move into the building. Bear and Jacko were kicking the door like mad to break in which was also sand bagged for more protection, as they tried to go through the door it seemed like an eternity, and I was waiting for someone inside to open fire. Finally, the lads were in “clear, clear, clear”. Touch lights went on and then Bear and Jacko burst into fits of laughter, “ Holy fuck Tom, check this out”. As I entered the building, I was expecting to see a lot of blood and guts, instead, I was greeted by four bandits laying in the middle of the floor, curled up in the foetal position, shaking uncontrollably, slowly turning white, as the dust from the explosion was settling. By their side was the tail fin of the 66 to remind them that if you want to piss Billy Boom Boom Perkins off, then you get the 66 treatment. They had also pushed all their weapons to one side of the room so as not to give anybody any doubt that they didn’t want any more trouble. We moved them outside and conducted the usual searching of bodies and the building.

To this day I’m still baffled how Bill’s section hadn’t received any casualties, as they were fired on from no more than 15 metres, and how four men in a room no bigger than four metres by four metres can get away without serious injury. As for Bill and his section, yes, they got the bastards this time, but it was going to be a week from then that they were to be hit by four MGs as they moved down a street on one of the usual four-hour patrols. It was in these three weeks of patrolling Baidoa that the OC C Coy, Major Michael Moon, was heard to have said, “God Must Wear a Green T-Shirt”.

 

 

 

SENIORS

“The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.” – Bill Watterson

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

Common sense is like deodorant—the people who need it the most never use it.

My tolerance for idiots is extremely low these days. I used to have some immunity built up, but obviously, there’s a new strain out there.

It’s not my age that bothers me, it’s the side effects.

As I’ve gotten older, people think I’ve become lazy. The truth is I’m just being more energy efficient.

I haven’t gotten anything done today. I’ve been in the Produce Department trying to open this stupid plastic bag.

If you find yourself feeling useless, remember it took 20 years, trillions of dollars, and four U.S. presidents to replace the Taliban…with the Taliban.

Turns out that being a “senior” is mostly just googling how to do stuff.

I want to be 18 again and ruin my life differently. I have new ideas.

I’m on two diets. I wasn’t getting enough food on one.

I put my scale in the bathroom corner and that’s where the little liar will stay until it apologizes.

My mind is like an internet browser. At least 19 open tabs, 3 of them are frozen, and I have no clue where the music is coming from.

Hard to believe I once had a phone attached to a wall, and when it rang, I picked it up without knowing who was calling.

Apparently, an RSVP to a wedding invitation “Maybe next time” isn’t the correct response.

So, you’ve been eating hot dogs all your life, but you won’t take the vaccine because you don’t know what’s in it?

There is no such thing as a grouchy old person. The truth is, once you get old you stop being polite and start being honest.

 

Ralph Wollmer

Iron Dome intercepts targets, works with US systems in Army test

By Seth J. Frantzman

Photo: A live-fire test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico proved the Marine Corps has “has Iron Dome defence capabilities,” according to Rafael. The U.S. Army also recently tested the air defence system at the same range. (Rafael Advanced Defence Systems)

The U.S. Army has completed an interceptor test of the Iron Dome air defence system, the second event of its kind since two batteries were supplied to the service at the end of 2020.

The newly revealed test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, which took place in mid-June, was carried out in conjunction with the Israel Missile Defence Organization, according to a statement from the Israeli Defence Ministry. Moshe Patel, the director of the organization, said that during the test, “the system intercepted all the threats, while being interoperable with U.S. systems.”

 

The ministry noted the test “took a critical step toward fielding the first of two Iron Dome Defence System-Army (IDDS-A) batteries.”

“As part of the U.S. Army’s operational training, American troops operated the system, which functioned with optimal effectiveness against a variety of threats and intercepted targets from different ranges,” said Pini Yungman, an executive vice president and head of Rafael Advanced Defence Systems’ air and missile defence unit. The Israeli company helps manufacture Iron Dome.

Statements from the Defence Ministry and Rafael both noted that testing “prepares the system for U.S. operational forces’ use by ensuring it meets U.S. Army safety standards and that the system will effectively operate within the U.S. AMD [air and missile defence] architecture.”

 

According to the statements, the U.S. Army plans to field the two Iron Dome Defence System-Army batteries as an interim cruise missile defence solution. The service has deployed one Iron Dome system to Guam since the fall of 2021.

“It’s important to understand that implementation for the U.S. is about the ability to integrate this system into our air defence picture,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Gibson, director of the U.S. Army’s Air and Missile Defence Cross-Functional Team, said following the test. “We need to integrate this into our U.S. architecture, and to give confidence to our regional commanders that we can integrate this system safely into what they have.”

Iron Dome is designed for use at fixed and semi-fixed locations to defend against “sub-sonic Cruise Missiles (CM), Groups 2 and 3 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and rockets, artillery, and mortar threats,” the statement added, referring to a system by which drones are categorized by weight.

The test comes two weeks after the U.S. Marine Corps carried out a successful test of the Iron Dome’s Tamir missile at the same range.

 

Rafael in the early 2000s developed Iron Dome, which uses radar from Israel Aerospace Industries subsidiary Elta Systems. In the U.S., Rafael partners with Raytheon Technologies to produce the system.

“Future variants of the IFPC [Indirect Fire Protection Capability] program include technology insertions such as directed energy,” the recent Israeli statements said. The addition of directed-energy — or laser — technology to the Iron Dome system was shown to U.S. President Joe Biden when he visited Israel.

Iron Dome has been active for more than a decade with the Israel Defence Forces. It was initially used against short-range rocket threats from the Gaza Strip, but it has since received upgrades to confront numerous types of emerging threats. In May 2021, it was publicly revealed to have intercepted a drone for the first time during combat.

The Israel Missile Defence Organization, a division of the Defence Ministry’s Directorate of Defence Research and Development, leads the development of Israel’s multitiered air defence systems, including Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow. The U.S. Congress has supported all three systems. The IMDO partners with the U.S. Missile Defence Agency on systems such as Arrow-4.

 

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe labels Queen ‘coloniser’ in parliamentary oath

Another of Adam Brandt’s disciples 

WHAT HOPE RECONCILIATION with people like Greens LIDIA THORPE in the Senate. 

This wannabe inner city identifier would have less than 1% of the dignity of QUEEN ELIZABETH II..

Mocking the institution which gives her a voice. 

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe has branded the Queen as a “coloniser” while reciting the oath of allegiance mandatory for all parliamentarians.

When called to do the oath, Senator Thorpe stood and walked to the front of the chamber with her fist raised, which she kept up while reading the oath.

“I sovereign, Lidia Thorpe, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be faithful and I bear true allegiance to the colonising Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” she said.

Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe has been forced to take a second oath of allegiance in the Senate.

Senator Thorpe was met with yells and outcry from the chamber, and Senate President Sue Lines reminded her she was required to recite the oath “as printed on the card”, which she did on the second reading before signing.

It was not the first time the outspoken senator had labelled the Queen a “coloniser”, having also done so in June.

Senator Thorpe at the time said the “colonisation of this country is coming to an end” and declared her intention as an Indigenous woman to “infiltrate” the senate.

Greens Senator disregards rejection of monarchy to accept massive parliament wage Incoming

Fellow Indigenous Senator Jacinta Price in June dismissed Senator Thorpe’s comments as “childish” and “divisive” and said she needed to recognise her privilege.

VETERANWEB NETWORK UPCOMING NEWS

Coming Soon – September 2022

VETERANWEB FORUM

The forum is going to be an interactive way to share user-led content. You as the reader will be able to actively participate in the Veteranweb Forum.

I am working with specialists to establish a great Veteranweb forum.

Canberra’s crew get acquainted with landing craft

Photo: Ship’s company of HMAS Canberra enjoy a tour on board a landing helicopter dock landing craft as the ship conducts Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. Photo: Leading Seaman Matthew Lyall

As HMAS Canberra sailed the waters around Hawaii, the ship conducted docking operations which provided an opportunity for some of the crew to familiarise themselves with the landing craft embarked.

Embarking in the landing helicopter dock’s landing craft (LLC), the crew took time to appreciate the capability of their Amphibious Assault Ship as they sailed out from her during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.

Maritime Personnel Operator Able Seaman Madison Rankin enjoyed her first time at both RIMPAC and in an LLC.

“It was great to jump on the boat today, I’ve never been in an LLC so it’s nice to experience it during RIMPAC,” Able Seaman Rankin said.

“It’s also really good to see what other rates do, we are so focused on our own jobs and what we do each day that it’s good to see our shipmates performing their roles.”

Canberra has the capacity for four LLCs which can assist in large-scale humanitarian assistance and disaster relief tasks.

The craft also has the ability to project embarked personnel, vehicles and aircraft ashore in support of joint exercises.

For the ship’s company though, this particular ride was an opportunity to have a familiarisation in an LLC and a break from their day-to-day responsibilities.

Photo: Ship’s company of HMAS Canberra enjoy a tour on board a landing helicopter dock landing craft as the ship conducts Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. Photo: Leading Seaman Matthew Lyall

Maritime Personnel Operator Able Seaman Amy Pellow enjoyed the experience with her colleague Able Seaman Rankin and said that her first RIMPAC had been a great experience.

“The boat ride was fun and just nice to get out in the sunshine and do something different for a while,” Able Seaman Pellow said.

Executive Officer Commander Iain Hutchins also took the opportunity and agreed with the sentiments that it’s good for other members to gain an appreciation for the LLCs and the roles performed by their crew.

“This has given us all an appreciation of what our amphibious team does, the challenges they face operating these craft in the elements and the responsibilities that come with it during exercises and operations,” Commander Hutchins said.

“It’s also good to look back at Canberra and gain some perspective of her size and her operational capabilities, all the while acting as our own safe haven.”