Issue 33
March 2012

84 Pages

In Newsagents Australia wide from 2 March 2012 until 1 June 2012

Or, buy the hard copy version of this issue now and have it mailed directly to your home or office

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Click on the images below to read the first 2 pages of each story


CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Heading back outside the base we picked up the boys on the way through. The overwatch vehicle and infantry CS mounted up and moved to our position approx 10m from the green zone. We were in an old riverbed turning to go up to the ridgeline when there was a BOOM! We had hit our first IED of the deployment...
...Over the next few days we talked about what happened and we were not keen for it to happen again. Little did we know, Mirabad valley had a lot more IEDs waiting for us.

Words Trooper David Nicolson
Pics Trooper Nicolson, Lance Corporal Bayley, Trooper Lewin, Leading Seaman Andrew Dakin and Petty Officer Damian Pawlenko

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

As stated many times before, the Australian government's view is that it is in our national interest to be in Afghanistan to prevent Afghanistan from again being used by terrorists to plan and train for attacks in our own region and beyond.
In a regular report to parliament in November last year, Minister for Defence Stephen Smith gave the Australian public an update on the progress made in their name by our Defence forces in a far-off land.
And, while delivering a big-picture overview of Australia's wider commitment, Prime Minister Julia Gillard also touched on the raw nerve of the sacrifices made during our costliest year yet.

Pics Petty Officer Damian Pawlenko, Leading Seaman Andrew Dakin and SOTG

CONTACT Air Land & Sea What are our soldiers issued with when they go to Afghanistan? Before taking up his appointment as Minister for Defence Materiel, Jason Clare had no idea. But that's no surprise. A lot goes into equipping a soldier with the right tools to face a determined enemy in a far-off land. Things to attack an enemy with - stuff to protect the soldier against the enemy's assaults - and just the pure creature-comfort stuff required for survival against the elements. During his time in the role, Mr Clare said he learned that our soldiers were issued with 105 different items, worth about $9650. And that's just their personal kit. Then come weapons, ammunition, radios, vehicles, helicopters and so on.

Pics ADF and Thales

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Up to eight inches of snow fell on Tarin Kot at just the wrong moment in January. The icy conditions closed the base's runway to all but the most foolhardy pilot, stranding a large contingent of Australian soldiers who were scheduled to head back to Australia after their eight-month tour of duty was complete. Members of MTF-3, who had just handed over to MTF-4, and understandably eager to begin their long journey home to loved ones in Australia, were frustrated by up to three days' delay - some venting their frustrations on Facebook, with the RAAF bearing the brunt.

Pics Corporal Raymond Vance and Major Lachlan Simond

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

The Royal Australian Navy's newest ship, HMAS Choules, arrived at homeport Fleet Base East in Sydney before Christmas after being formally commissioned in Fremantle on 13 December 2011. HMAS Choules was renamed after Chief Petty Officer Claude Choules, Australia's last surviving WWI veteran who passed away in Perth in May 2011, aged 110. He served in the British and Australian navies for nearly 40 years and saw active service in both World Wars. The acquisition of this ship will help ensure that the RAN has the amphibious capability it needs for operations or humanitarian support in the period leading up to the arrival of the two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships in 2014 and 2015. HMAS Choules has a cargo capacity equivalent to the now-retired HMA Ships Manoora and Kanimbla, and HMAS Tobruk combined.

Pics Leading Seaman Phillip Cullinan and Warrant Officer Shane Cameron

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

For many, filling up with a tank of fuel at your local petrol station would have no connection to the Royal Australian Navy. Right? Yet a large percentage of the things you buy, including fuel, at the supermarket or the petrol station had to travel through that narrow sliver of water between north-east Africa and south-west Asia - and all that shipping traffic has been provided safe passage by the armed ships of Combined Task Force 150, which includes Royal Australian Navy personnel and assets. ANZAC-class frigate HMAS Parramatta, currently on her fourth rotation to the Middle East Area of Operations as part of Operation Slipper, is the 27th Royal Australian Navy ship to deploy since 2001.

Pics Petty Officer Damian Pawlenko, Lieutenant Commander Tuan Vo, Sergeant Mick Davis andLieutenant Elisabeth Quinn

CONTACT Air Land & Sea

Military personnel from Australia and China came together late last year in a spirit of cooperation to conduct a mutually beneficial and enlightening humanitarian and disaster-relief (HADR) exercise. While Exercise Cooperation Spirit 2011 involved just 15 members of the Australian Defence Force and similarly small numbers from the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the exercise was a significant development in relations between the two countries. Disaster-relief planning specialists from the ADF were involved in the four-day exercise, which commenced on 28 November at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Comprehensive Emergency Response Training Base at Chongyi in Sichuan Province, China.

Pics Sergeant Rob Nyffenegger

CONTACT Air Land & Sea - Somalia

FRONTLINE AFRICA- a new regular column presented by former Australian commando turned wildlife warrior Damien Mander. In this introductory feature, Damienexplains how he went from blowing things up and jumping out of helicopters to protecting animals full time, and bringing his military skills to bear on the plains of Africa.

Pics Davina Jogi

NEWSFLASH - CONTACT is expecting a kid brother!

COMBAT Camera is a new photo-essay magazine of very high production standards. It is a stable-mate of and designed to complement CONTACT Air Land & Sea, which is now in its ninth year. COMBAT Camera will be published twice in 2012 (May and November), and expand to four issues in 2013. It will source official photos from the Defence forces of Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and others - and invites soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines from any country to submit unofficial materiel. While COMBAT Camera is published in Australia, it will not be solely focused on Australian military activities. We intend to use a good percentage of foreign materiel, which we believe is equally interesting to Australian personnel - but will also make COMBAT Camera attractive to foreign markets. COMBAT Camera will be carried by the same newsagents as CONTACT or it can be purchased from this web site. Free subscriptions will not be offered.

Launch Date - 4 May 2012
Pre-order now and receive it days before the official launch

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Photos and brief stories for inclusion in COMBAT Camera can be sent to editor@militarycontact.com
For advertising enquries, see the Advertising page on this web site.

Plus our regular columns;

    • The Big Picture - FLASH - BANG - WALLOP. New Afghan artillarymen live fire for the first time.
    • Heads up - latest snippets from Australia, New Zealand and around the World
    • Military Fitness by Don Stevenson
    • Military Self Defence by Maj Travis Faure
    • Just Soldiers by WO1 Darryl Kelly
    • Cadet Corner
    • Book Reviews
    • The Gear Insider