Issue 18
June 2008

76 Pages This Issue

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CONTACT Air Land & Sea

"You don't join the army to hang out in the training areas or the backwater parts of Australia. You join the army to go overseas and do the job for real"
- Private Nik Banbrick, a 21-year-old rifleman with the Overwatch Battle Group (West) 4, eloquently sums up the feelings of the modern Aussie soldier in Iraq.

We’ve established that infantry is the basic building block of the army and examined the basic structure and training of an infantry battalion (CONTACT #16) and, heard from the boss what the future holds for infantry (CONTACT #17). Now it’s time to take a closer look at infantry on operations, applying their skills and knowledge in a complex and dangerous environment.

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon and Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support Mike Kelly officially opened enhanced facilities at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Field Firing Target System (AFVFFTS) range at Mount Bundy near Darwin in April. Enhancements to the facility include structural works on the control tower, targetry system improvement, vehicle-movement-area paving and new shelter for troops.
These new facilities will allow greater access for armoured live-fire training on static and moving targets from static firing points or while the vehicles are moving [see ‘Shooting the Breeze’ in CONTACT #16 for more detail].

Pic Gunner Shannon Joyce


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Mention the term ‘double agent’ to many people and they’ll immediately conjure up thoughts of Jason Bourne or James Bond.
One man who really has lived that life has come in from the cold to tell CONTACT about the pain and the tragic human cost of his double life in one of the World’s worst hotspots.

Words Andrew McAlley
Pics Woods' collection


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Lance Corporal Jason Marks, aged 27, serving with the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) in Afghanistan was killed by Taliban extremists in Oruzgan Province, approximately 25km south east of Tarin Kowt, on 28 April.

Words Brian Hartigan
Pics ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

An historic day for the Royal Australian Navy, Finding Sydney Foundation and indeed the nation dawned on 16 March 2007 as the first traces of the wreck of HMAS Sydney II resolved upon computer screens on a search vessel off the Western Australian coast.

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan
Pics The Finding Sydney Foundation and ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

With the pride of their units and their States on the line, 80 Cadets from all over Australia converged on Sydney to take up the...

CHIEF OF ARMY'S CHALLENGE

Words Captain Ben Robinson
Pics Trooper Michael Franchi


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

AIR WARFARE DESTROYERS BEING BUILT IN NSW!!!
On a beaut little property 10 miles past Tumba-bloody-rumba I found a man in a shed who knows more about Australia’s new Air Warfare Destroyers than just about any salty sea dog you might talk to.

Words & Pics Brian Hartigan


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Anzac Day in Tallil, southern Iraq, was very Australian except for the fact it was a working day just like any other – almost.
It starts with a traditional ‘gunfire breakfast’ – hot coffee to start the heart, reinforced with a shot of rum to make sure you’re awake...

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

It may be an old cliché, but in the case of eight Australian soldiers on Operation Astute in Timor-Leste their blood truly is worth bottling. The soldiers provided blood for immediate transfusion during President José Ramos Horta’s emergency treatment at the civilian-run mission medical facility in Dili, following his serious wounding by rebels on 11 February.

Pics Corporal Rachel Ingram


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Australian Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) soldiers in southern Afghanistan fought off a number of Taliban attacks on a new construction project during the last days of February.
For 35 days, in extreme mid-winter conditions, Australian soldiers and their Afghan National Army (ANA) allies were responsible for the construction of an ANA forward operating base (FOB) and provision of security in Afghanistan’s strategic Chora Pass.

Words Captain Al Green
Pics Corporal Hamish Paterson


CONTACT Air Land & Sea - Somalia

Half way through our deployment, still bleary eyed from a three-day R&R in Mombasa, our platoon was introduced to one of the more interesting tactics cooked up by the brass during Op Solace.
I’m not sure who came up with night vehicle counter-ambush patrolling. I guess one of the officers probably read about the Soviets trying something similar in Afghanistan or the French doing it in Indochina or some such thing. If so, the fact that both got their asses handed to them on a platter must have escaped him at the time...

Words AJ Shinner
Pics Supplied by AJ Shinner, and ADF


Plus...

  • HMAS Rankin wins Gloucester Cup - again
  • New Defence Chiefs profiled
  • Navy fleet concentration
  • RTF pre-deployment training
  • OUR OPINION - the CA's boot policy

Plus...

A $700 ASLAV model, plus game packs to give away

Plus our regular columns;

    • Letters to the Editor
    • The Big Picture - What a Blast
    • Heads up
    • Military Fitness by Don Stevenson - and Military Self Defence by Major Travis Faure - and Military Athlete by Chief Brabon
    • Just Soldiers by WO1 Darryl Kelly
    • Games reviews by Sapper Gameboy