Issue 22
June 2009

84 Pages This Issue

Buy this issue now and have it mailed directly to your door

Your Location

CONTACT Air Land & Sea Until October 2008, Australian Army missions in Oruzgan Province, southern Afghanistan were clearly split between the rebuilding efforts of the Reconstruction Task Force and the combat missions of the Special Operations Task Group. One entity concentrated on the building of local skills and infrastructure, while the other was responsible for taking the fight to the insurgents who continued to enforce their will on the local population – or at least tried to.
The distinction between reconstruction and combat operations was taken to the next level with the creation of the 1st Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force. MRTF-1 has been conducting operations since October 2008 and, in a double first, is the first contingent of Australians to conduct an eight-month deployment in the MEAO.
While the reconstruction of vital infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools and bridges remains an important ‘line of operation’, the primary focus of MRTF-1, is the mentoring of an Afghan National Army (ANA) kandak, or battalion.

Words Brian Hartigan
Pics Corporal Ricky Fuller

 

 


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Avalon gave me a BOne - that's right, the B-One Lancer. I’d seen the ‘BOne’ at Avalon before, but only sitting on the ground. This year the sleek monster – ‘Symphony of Destruction’ – took to the air. And when it did – God help anyone who didn’t have ear plugs or fingers already plunged into their aural cavities.
If you weren’t there, it will be hard to imagine. But, assuming that many of you (because you’ve attended RAAF airshows around the country) by now know what an F/A-18 Hornet or an F111 ‘Pig’ sound like at close range – well, double or even treble the effect of that noise and you might begin to comprehend.

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Corporal Mathew Hopkins was tragically killed in action on 16 March 2009 during an engagement with insurgents while serving with the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF) in Afghanistan.

Words Brian Hartigan
Pics ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Sergeant Brett Till, a highly-respected explosive-ordnance disposal technician from the Incident Response Regiment at Holsworthy, New South Wales, was killed by an explosion that occurred during a route-clearance task in southern Afghanistan on 19 March 2009.
He was serving as a member of the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG), attempting to render safe an improvised explosive device discovered during a patrol. The bomb detonated and Sergeant Till was killed.

 


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

The next generation of Australian soldiers brainstormed and footslogged their way through a tough challenge in Sydney, carrying the pride of their units and their states on their young shoulders. Eighty cadets from all over Australia converged on Holsworthy Barracks, Sydney, in March to take up this year’s Chief of Army Cadet Team Challenge.

Words and Pics Brian Hartigan


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

At around 8:15am (AEDT) on Thursday 16 April 2009, an explosion onboard a suspected illegal entry vessel, which was intercepted the previous day in the vicinity of Ashmore Reef, sent shockwaves across Australia – and cast the Royal Australian Navy into a lead role in a major maritime rescue mission, a chronology of which would embody acts of bravery, courage and professionalism by all personnel involved.

Pics ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

In the last issue, Adam Hammond stepped us through the history and development of the underrated art of combat tracking.
This issue Adam takes us through the Combat Tracker Course at Ft Huachuca – in Arizona’s Geronimo country.

Words Adam Hammond
Pics ‘John’, TTOS, ‘Soldier Z’ and Gunner Shannon Joyce


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

In the aftermath of the fires that obliterated swathes of country Victoria in February, the Army moved quickly to provide support to recovery efforts.
Hundreds of soldiers and tonnes of equipment poured in to the area, relieving an overwhelmed and scared community.

Words Warrant Officer Class Two Graham McBean
Pics ADF - Reproduced courtesy of ARMY newspaper


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

The Royal Australian Air Force is confident it has located the wreckage of a Canberra bomber missing in action for nearly 40 years.
Flown by Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver, the bomber disappeared after completing a mission in Vietnam on 3 November 1970.

Pics ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

After seven months in Iraq, the crew of V23C is pretty familiar with Route Irish.
The once notorious road to Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) is a lifeline for the soldiers of SECDET XIV (Security Detachment 14), who have made ‘sustainment runs’ from their base in the International Zone 134 times.

Pics ADF


CONTACT Air Land & Sea - Somalia

At a BBQ, while getting shitty with an armchair expert whose only claim to fame was reading Blackhawk Down, I finally articulated the one thing that every man and woman who served with the 1RAR Group could claim without ever being challenged on. “Well mate”, I blurted out, taking a swig of beer and shrugging my shoulders - “We were winning when I left.”

Words AJ Shinner
Pics Supplied by AJ Shinner

 

NEW NEW NEW
Introducing
the new "Transport Yard" with 'Heater'

Who's 'Heater' you ask?
Well, while there's no stigma attached, 'Heater' will remain anonymous for now.
There's also no prize for guessing who he is, nor will we kill him off if he's exposed.
But, he is here to stay!

ALSO NEW NEW NEW
Introducing "Catet Corner" - a new regular column just for Cadets

Plus...

  • Witness to a battle
  • Kokoda historical tours

Plus our regular columns;

    • Letters to the Editor
    • The Big Picture - See the China Sea - Navy visit China for Anzac Day
    • Heads up - latest snippets from Australia, New Zealand and around the World
    • Military Fitness by Don Stevenson - Military Self Defence by Major Travis Faure
    • Just Soldiers by WO1 Darryl Kelly
    • Games reviews by Sapper Gameboy
    • Book and DVD reviews