Issue 19
September 2008

80 Pages This Issue

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CONTACT Air Land & Sea

DFSW - Direct Fire Support Weapons - is one of the major support elements native to an infantry battalion. Yet, in the not too distant past, it was a capability on the brink of extinction.
Today, however, DFSW is not only repairing itself, but is set for a comeback that will change the face of infantry.
Of course it's not just DFSW that is changing. Under the 'Hardened and Networked Army' concept, also referred to in some quarters as the '2012 Construct', infantry, as the basic building block of the modern battle group, will be bigger, better and more capable than ever before.

Words Brian Hartigan
Pics Brian Hartigan and ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

What if you had a penchant for leather, chains, patches and riding loud motorbikes and wanted to join a club of like-minded people? As a member of the ADF, subject to posting cycles and rules against drug taking and so on, then 'traditional' motorcycle clubs are out of the question.

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

When it was installed in a purposed-built facility at Oakey in 2001, the Black Hawk simulator cost nearly $40 million and was the first of its kind in the world. In 2008, the same 'first-of-kind' tag can be applied to the Tiger simulator, which cost more than twice as much and is also housed in its own state-of-the-art training facility. Across the road, housed in the former ORs' boozer, aircrewman (formerly known as loadmaster) training is being effectively delivered on a simulation system that cost little more than the average family car.

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Less than three weeks after being commended for cool, calm actions in battle, another member of the Special Air Service Regiment was killed while on patrol in southern Afghanistan.

Pics ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

ADF combat engineers provide mobility support, while construction guys build a patrol base and a river crossing, and the Explosive Ordinance Device team deal with a cache of Taliban weapons.
This is a typical morning for the sappers of Reconstruction Task Force 4 (RTF4) currently operating in the Afghan mountains, north of Tarin Kowt.

Words Captain Douglas McGuire
Pics ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

As last issue's reader will know, I had the great privilege and thrill of spending ANZAC Day in Tallil, southern Iraq, with the men and women of the Overwatch Battle Group West 4. Not only did I participate in a very special Dawn Service with all the trappings but, later in the day, I even went on patrol with Combat Team Waler, in an ASLAV named 'Aggressive Salmon'.

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Several months after our soldiers in southern Iraq handed responsibility for security in Al Muthanna and Dhi Qar provinces to Iraqi security forces, they finally handed over residual 'overwatch' and training responsibilities to soldiers from the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division, pulled down the Aussie flag and came home.
Contingency planning for the drawdown actually started months before any official announcement of a withdrawal was made by the new Rudd government - in fact, from day one of OBG(W)4's entry into theatre, non-essential equipment and stores were slowly shifted back to Australia through the expansive supply chain.

Words Brian Hartigan
Pics ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

The Australian Army Training Team Iraq that recently returned home from Al Muthanna did an amazing and important job while deployed. Approximately 500 Australians rotated through AATTI over five years and in that time they trained more than 30,000 recruits for the new Iraqi Army - that's about 5000 more than the whole of the Australian regular Army!

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan


CONTACT Air Land & Sea - Somalia

I'm sure military historians could give you a list of firsts and interesting facts in regards to 1RAR's deployment to Somalia.
One of those facts is that, apart from one or two individuals higher up in the ranks, the battalion group had no combat experience whatsoever - something that, to my knowledge, had never happened before in the history of deployments made by the Infantry Corp. But don't be misled by this fact, though - in late 1992 the 'Big Blue 1' was motivated, at the top of its game and ready to get dirty.

Words AJ Shinner
Pics Supplied by AJ Shinner, and ADF


Plus...

  • Helipacific Conference
  • Ex Pitch Black
  • Fromelles bodies discovered
  • 102 (Coral) Battery gets unique name
  • Iraqi water-bottling plant
  • OUR OPINION - new defence home-owner scheme

Plus our regular columns;

    • Letters to the Editor
    • The Big Picture - Boeing 707 - End of Service
    • 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
    • Book reviews by Brian Hartigan