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.