Invitation to Veterans in Brisbane on 18th August

From: Kate Hall <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, Jul 21, 2022 at 12:56 PM
Subject: Vietnam Veterans Day – invitation to visit Anzac Square Memorial Galleries
To: [email protected] <[email protected]>

Hello,

My name is Kate Hall and I am the Team Leader for Visitor Services at Anzac Square & Memorial Galleries.

I saw that the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Queensland branch were conducting a memorial service at Anzac Square on Thursday 18 August (around 11am) to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day.

I would love to invite your group to explore the Anzac Square Memorial Galleries after the service. Entry to the galleries is completely free of charge, and we also offer free guided group tours, if that is of interest to your association.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or the Anzac Square Visitor Services team on 0466 922 259 for more information about the galleries, or assistance organising your free group tour.

You can learn more about what we offer at Anzac Square & Memorial Galleries here: https://www.anzacsquare.qld.gov.au/.

Look forward to hearing from you,

Kate

 

Kate Hall | Team Leader, Anzac Square and Volunteers | Visitor and Information Services | State Library of Queensland | PO Box 3488 I South Brisbane 4101 I t 3842 9633 I m 0415 685 307 | e [email protected] I www.slq.qld.gov.au

Part-time: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri

 

Enfield Sniper Rifles

By Ian Skennerton

Analysis of the .303 sniper rifles in British and Commonwealth service, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ and South Africa from the Great War.

FUNDING BOOST FOR VETERAN WELLBEING

The Australian Government has today committed $55 million to better support the wellbeing of Australian Veterans.

This commitment consists of $22 million in funding to provide psychiatric assistance dogs to veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and $33 million to extend access to free medical treatment for veterans.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Psychiatric Assistance Dog Program matches highly-trained dogs with veterans diagnosed with PTSD to support them through their clinical recovery.

“I am pleased to announce a boost of $22 million to ensure the ongoing operation of the critical Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Program which is changing the lives of veterans,” Minister Keogh said.

“This Government commitment will also extend support to eligible veterans who have privately sourced an accredited psychiatric assistance dog prior to the start of the Program in September 2019, including maintenance funding for expenses such as veterinary bills, pet insurance, and vaccinations.”

“By properly funding this important program, the Australian Government is continuing to address the needs of veterans living with PTSD as a result of their military service.”

The funding announcement comes as the Program celebrates a milestone 100 dogs placed with veterans, many of whom have experienced a positive shift in their wellbeing and relationships thanks to their assistance dog.

“It’s fantastic to see the positive impact this program is having on veterans. I’ve had individuals share with me the joy of finding a routine and getting out and about again. For many people with PTSD simply leaving the house is difficult, the assistance dogs have helped turn that right around,” Minister Keogh said.

“It is truly incredible the impact these dogs are making to help our veterans with day-to-day activities and gain back their independence.”

To be eligible for the Psychiatric Assistance Dog Program, veterans must have a Veteran Gold or White Card, have a current diagnosis of PTSD from a psychiatrist and be engaged in treatment with their mental health professional for a minimum of three months.

The free Provisional Access to Medical Treatment program provides access to medical treatment for twenty of the most commonly claimed conditions to veterans who have lodged a claim with DVA.

“We know veterans waiting for claims to be processed need support – this is a challenging time and dealing with a medical condition can make it even more stressful,” Minister Keogh said.

“I am very conscious of the compensation claims backlog, with some veterans waiting too long for their claims to be processed. This is unacceptable, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) has been under resourced for too long.”

“The process of fixing that backlog by rebuilding DVA is now underway, with the Labor Government committed to employing more permanent staff in the Department.”

“This funding will ensure veterans can continue to access medical treatment for their condition while they wait for their claims to be processed. Ensuring veterans have access to treatment earlier can make a big difference to their recovery.”

“The Government is committed to a better future for veterans and this program will provide them with access to medical treatment when they need it,” Minister Keogh said.

To learn more about the Provisional Access to Medical Treatment program, visit the DVA website

For more information on the Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Program, visit www.dva.gov.au/dogs

 

Infantry Company sent to Butterworth air base 1970

Submitted by LTCOL Russell Linwood, ASM, (Rtd) Previously, OC B Coy 1 RAR (RCB) Christmas 81/82.

The Inquiry into medallic recognition for service with Rifle Company Butterworth during the Communist Insurgency in Malaysia 1968-89 is in its early stages. The RAAF were already serving there when the war broke out and with the withdrawal of the UK forces, the security of the air base was a major concern. Australian, and then NZ and UK rifle companies were initially deployed to provide an on-base Quick Reaction Force to afford close-in protection to the RAAF aircraft, personnel, dependents and other assets replaced in Sep 73 with the much larger RCBs sent directly from Australia for the remainder of the war. The following data shows the deployments of RCBs:

32 coys from the FESR (28th Commonwealth Brigade) based at Terendak or Singapore. Of these, 14 were Australian, all deemed eligible for the ASM, but served under warlike conditions from 1 Nov 70 to 29 Aug 73. ALL NZ personnel deployed were deemed eligible by their government for the NZ Operational Service Medal on 3 Nov 21 for performing precisely the same duties. 66 reinforced coys (132 men and on some occasions, a female RAAEC officer) were then deployed direct from Australia – also deemed eligible for the ASM, but served under the same warlike conditions from 29 Aug 73 to 2 Dec 89). 31 Dec 89 was the cut-off date for the award of the ASM. The first coy to deploy was C Coy 1 RAR whose advance party arrived on 1 Nov 70. It was followed by the main body soon after. Infantry Company sent to Butterworth air base (F04471) is an official Army film showing C Coy deploying, and is accessible at https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C274464. A detailed description of the film is on that website.

How The C-5 Galaxy Became the King Of The Sky

Enter the awe-inspiring Lockheed C-5 Galaxy. This large cargo aircraft is among the largest military aircraft in the world and certainly one of the most impressive to look at. Incredibly, this giant aircraft first flew back in 1968, but it is still very much at the forefront of the modern United States Air Force.

US AMBASSADOR’S ACCOLADE

My thanks to the Australian Commando Association for sending this article.

If you missed the recent streaming of the US Ambassador to Australia, Ambassador
Caroline Kennedy, daughter of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy links up with Coastwatchers Jim Burrowes and Ron (Dixie) Lee, your chance to see it is here.
see below.
Dick Pelling
———————————————————————————————————
Hi all, I was recently privileged, together with fellow Coastwatcher Dixie Lee, to spend time with the new US Ambassador to Australia, Ambassador
Caroline Kennedy, daughter of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

This meeting held as part of a commemorative event at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra was organized by the US Embassy so that
Ambassador Kennedy could acknowledge the role of Australian and Solomon Island Coastwatchers in rescuing her father, later US President Kennedy,
during World War II.

I have now had a chance to post an account of this commemorative event on my website. If you are interested, you can read about it by clicking
the following link:

‘Ambassador’s Accolade’

https://thelastcoastwatcher.wordpress.com/ambassadors-accolade/

Warmest regards; Jim Burrowes

US, Indonesian soldiers hold drills on Sumatra amid China concerns

Photo: An Indonesian, left, and a U.S. soldier patrol together during their annual joint combat exercises in Baturaja, South Sumatra province, Indonesia, Wednesday, Aug 3, 2022. (AP)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The United States and Indonesian militaries began annual joint combat exercises Wednesday on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, joined for the first time by participants from other partner nations, signalling stronger ties amid growing maritime activity by China in the Indo-Pacific region.

More than 5,000 soldiers from the U.S., Indonesia, Australia, Japan and Singapore were participating in this year’s exercises, making them the largest since the drills were established in 2009. The exercises are designed to strengthen interoperability, capability, trust and cooperation in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement.

 

“It’s a symbol of the U.S.-Indonesia bond and the growing relationship between land forces in this consequential region,” Gen. Charles Flynn, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, said in the statement. “Because land forces are the glue that binds the region’s security architecture together.”

Flynn and Indonesia’s Military Chief Gen. Andika Perkasa opened the joint drills with a ceremony on Wednesday morning in Baturaja, a coastal town in South Sumatra province. The exercises will last until Aug. 14, encompassing army, navy, air force and marine drills.

Photo: U.S. Airborne troopers parachute from C130s during the annual joint combat exercises in Baturaja, South Sumatra province, Indonesia

The planned two-week drills opened after China’s Defence Ministry said Tuesday night it would conduct a series of targeted military operations to “safeguard national sovereignty” in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to self-governed Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory to be annexed by force if necessary.

China has also been increasingly assertive over its claim to virtually the entire South China Sea.

U.S. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the number of intercepts by Chinese aircraft and ships in the Pacific region with U.S. and other partner forces has increased significantly over the past five years, and the number of unsafe interactions has risen by similar proportions.

“The message is the Chinese military, in the air and at sea, have become significantly more and noticeably more aggressive in this particular region,” Milley said last month during a trip to the Indo-Pacific that included a stop in Indonesia.

 

Milley said Indonesia is strategically critical to the region and has long been a key U.S. partner. Earlier this year, the U.S approved a $13.9 billion sale of advanced fighter jets to Indonesia. And in Jakarta last December, Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed agreements for enhanced joint naval exercises between the U.S. and Indonesia.

While Indonesia and China enjoy generally positive ties, Jakarta has expressed concern about Chinese encroachment on its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety.

The U.S.-Indonesia military exercises coincided with Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan late Tuesday, as the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island. Beijing views visits by foreign government officials as recognition of the island’s sovereignty.

Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force is participating for the first time in the exercises, saying it promotes a “free and open” Indo-Pacific vision of security and trade with the U.S. and other democracies in the region.

The expanded drills are seen by China as a threat. Chinese state media have accused the U.S. of building an Indo-Pacific alliance, like NATO, as a means to intentionally provoke conflict.

 

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”.