Issue 25
March 2010

84 Pages This Issue

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CONTACT Air Land & Sea

EMBEDDED - an Aussie photographer on the front line in Afghanistan.

Words and pics Gary Ramage

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Right or wrong, for better or worse, modern large-scale military deployments rely heavily on the civilian sector. Although this fact has always been evident on my odd jobs in the MEAO, the scale of civilian involvement never dawned on me until my last gig as a cargo flight manager.

Words and pics AJ Shinner

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

"I just want to be left alone and drive me tank without any b*$#@*d tellin me I need a flaminresourse consent or asking if I know how big me flamin carbon footprint is!" Des O'Sullivan, Te Kauwhata turret-head and Mk10 Chieftan main battle tank owner talking about the Men of Steel 2009 armoured vehicles gathering in October.

Words and pics Kiwi Mac

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

On 18 January 2010, while covering a gun battle in Kabul, Afghanistan, a French freelance photographer took a photo of two New Zealand SAS soldiers in the near vicinity of the fighting. The photo was published around the world, sometimes with and sometimes without attempts to disguise the soldiers’ faces. On 20 January, at least two New Zealand newspapers published the photo – and the
Prime Minister reportedly confirmed that one of the men in the photo was in fact New Zealand VC winner Corporal Willie Apiata.
And a proverbial shitstorm erupted.

Words Brian Hartigan
ics NZDF

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

A pilot initiative between the Departments of Defence, Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and Northern Territory Education and Training aimed at Indigenous peoples from remote areas has been hailed a huge success.
The Defence Indigenous Development Program (DIDP) is designed to provide young indigenous adults with the education, training, life skills and confidence – and, as a result, the opportunities – to secure and sustain continuous employment, and to be role models within their communities.

Words Brian Hartigan
Pics Brian Hartigan and Gunner Shannon Joyce

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Suspected illegal entry vessels – or SIEVs – continue to attempt entry into Australia – and the Royal Australian Navy are among those
trying to keep them out.
Typical of the vessels making their way to Australia was SIEV 62, which was intercepted by Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Albany north-west of Ashmore Island just before Christmas.

Words Brian Hartigan
Pics Leading Seaman Helen Frank

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

A cold, grey, wet dawn greeted competitors for the start of the biennial Navy-sponsored George Bass Surfboat Marathon at Batemans Bay on the south coast of NSW. Surfboat rowers and surfski paddlers followed part of the route Royal Navy Commander George Bass first rowed with his crew in 1797 while exploring the east coast of Australia. Commander Bass and six sailors took a whale boat from Sydney in December 1797 and returned in February 1798 having covered some 1000km – half of which was previously unexplored.

Words and pics Flight Lieutenant Trevor Grant

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Defending champions of the International Defence Cricket Challenge – the Australian Army – were soundly beaten in this year’s final in Canberra on 26 November thanks to a polished performance from a minnow of the game.
Sent in to bat, the Royal Malaysian Air Force set about building a total worthy of any international 50-over game.

Words and pics Brian Hartigan

CONTACT Air Land & Sea - Somalia

Although my Al Mar knife led a humble life, I’ve always believed it has epitomised the 1st Battalion of the late ’80s and early ’90s and, what’s more, perfectly reflects the qualities of the 1RAR Battle Group of Operation Solace in Somalia – not particularly pretty or glamorous, not over-sized and cumbersome, a weapon, yes, but more rightly a versatile, quality tool, free of gimmicks or spit and polish – oh, and of course, sharp. Very sharp.

Words AJ Shinner
Pics Supplied by AJ Shinner, and ADF

CONTACT Air Land & Sea - Somalia


  • International exchange by Major (ACC) Ben Robinson
  • Young Endeavour by Lieutenant Brooke Olds
  • Royal Guard by Lieutenant (AAC) Michael Borg, pics Lieutenant (AAC) Stan Hinsby
  • Singleton pics by Cadet Under Officer Pete Whitton



  • WWII diggers reinterred in PNG
  • Afghan convoy
  • M113 ends East Timor tour
  • Boxing Day Ashes
  • Competition Giveaways
    • 3-book pack from Big Sky Publishing - Pure Massacre: Aussie Soldiers Reflect on the Rwandan Genocide - Aussie Soldier Up Close and Personal - Looking Forward Looking Back: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Army.
    • 10 x 2-DVD packs from TimeLife - The Battle of Long Tan - He's Coming South

Plus our regular columns;

    • The Big Picture - HMAS Melbourne fires SM2 missile
    • 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
    • The Transport Yard with Heater
    • The Job's Market" with Jonathan Ryan
    • The Gear Insider