Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan has asked for an investigation into the issue of unit recognition for service with the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam (RANHFV), and service at the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral.
FILE PHOTO (2002): Soldiers from 1RAR participate in Exercise Balmoral. Photo by Corporal Belinda Mepham.
The independent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal will conduct the investigation.
Fighting at the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral was some of the bloodiest and most intense fighting by Australians in the Vietnam War where 26 Australians lost their lives and many more were wounded.
Mr Tehan said the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam had served with distinction over four rotations of about one year each, between October 1967 and June 1971.
“I have asked for an inquiry after listening to veterans, their families and members of the public who believed the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam deserved a decoration for its service, Mr Tehan said.
“The independent tribunal will take submissions and will give careful consideration to both of these matters.
“I encourage all of those former members and those with an interest in these matters to take advantage of this opportunity to make a submission.
“Military honours are a special recognition for service and sacrifice and they are not awarded lightly.”
Submissions to both inquiries are open until Friday 16 June 2017.