2 Squadron SASR struck off – secretly

2 Squadron SASR has been dishonourably struck off the Army’s Order of Battle – in secret, without ceremony and despite CDF’s ‘clarification’ that due process would precede.

CAPTION: Former SASR Sergeant Troy Simmonds – who’s front-cover story in CONTACT magazine issue 45 is the most read article in our history – said on Facebook this week he was “Proud to have been a member of 2 Squadron, Australian Special Air Service Regiment, now sadly disbanded due to as-yet-unproven allegations made against a small group in 2012. Thoughts go out to the hundreds of proud 2 SQN Vets since the 1960s who had nothing to do with these allegations and are deeply saddened and hurt by the dishonourable disbanding of their old Squadron. Group pic whilst in role of Counter Terrorism team for the 2000 Olympics (me front row 4th from left)”. 

In the wake of the IGADF Afghanistan Inquiry Report release, certain ‘threats’ of action were made by Chief of Defence General Angus Campbell – including that 2 Squadron SASR would be struck off the Army’s Order of Battle.

A few days later, General Campbell was forced to issue a ‘clarification‘, in which he said Defence was developing a comprehensive implementation plan to action the Inspector-General’s recommendations.

He also said any further action in response to the Inspector-General’s recommendations would be considered as part of the implementation plan, which was being developed with the oversight of the Minister for Defence and an independent Afghanistan Inquiry Implementation Oversight Panel.

A planned parade to mark the reorganisation of SASR (i.e. the disbandment of 2 Squadron) was cancelled.

And yet, rumour came to us that 2 Squadron SASR was indeed disbanded in the interim – with no public announcement from either the CDF or the minister oversighting all further actions and implementations.

Then rumour became fact as one affected person then another confirmed it for us.

So now, we’re left to wonder, what of the CDF’s promise to take no further actions to implement the recommendations of the IGADF Afghanistan Report’s recommendations without public comment or government oversight?

Oh yeah, that’s right – disbanding 2 Squadron SASR was not actually a recommendation of the Brereton report – it was the Chief of Army’s own idea.

So, it would seem we were right to be sceptical and to point out the added confusion caused by CDF’s deliberate and pointed language when he ‘clarified’ his position on 30 November.

.

.

.

.

    .  
...
...
. .
10484 Total Views 2 Views Today

Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

44 thoughts on “2 Squadron SASR struck off – secretly

  • 04/01/2021 at 12:14 pm
    Permalink

    Were is P,M very quite
    Also what about Paul Murray from SKY NEWS The headline hunter

    Reply
  • 29/12/2020 at 5:09 pm
    Permalink

    When the shit hits the fan the top dogs must show leadership. Unfortunately- from the CDF, through to our PM not one scrap of leadership was shown. The above mentioned are a disgrace to the nation !!! It also seems that the lot of them are very busy covering their collective ARSES !!!

    Reply
    • 01/01/2021 at 1:11 pm
      Permalink

      I am not in a position to comment too much, but this sort behaviour goes right against a certain maxim in Law; Scratching my brain or what is left of it, I think it goes…Innocent until Proven Guilty (is that it?)

      Reply
    • 05/01/2021 at 1:38 pm
      Permalink

      you have got it sooo right.

      Reply
  • 28/12/2020 at 4:48 pm
    Permalink

    I served many years in the RAN and worked closely with the Regiment many times during my postings to HMAS STIRLING in support of their boat , diving and water operations courses. I always found them to be thoroughly professional , proud of themselves, their regiment and their squadron and a delight to work with.
    Whilst I accept that anyone, who (following fair and complete legal investigations and the opportunity to defend themselves against any accusations) is PROVEN to have committed an act which may be criminal, should face the full extent of the law.
    But this is NOT what is happening. The Press (generally), CDF and disappointingly MINDEF have all reacted to a series of UNQUALIFIED ACCUSATIONS by nameless people, against people who have been denied an opportunity to defend themselves, and assumed (quite wrongly) that the supposed actions of a few, are generally a shared responsibility of the many thousands who have served their country proudly and professionally.
    CDF’s handling of this whole sad espisode is very disappointing and particularly unprofessional. He has denied the accused any right of natural justice, accepted unqualified and untested accusations and recommendations, as proof of wrong doing, failed in his primary responsibility to support ADF personnel, seriously and adversely effected the morale of all members who have served and are serving, made decisions that were ill considered ( withdrawal of Unit citations and medals, the secret disbandment of 2 Sqn SASR) and generally not supported the good name and reputation of the ADF, in favour of political expediency. He should be seriously considering his resignation before his political masters dismiss him. as they try to cover their own failings . All in All, a very poor example of leadership

    Reply
  • 28/12/2020 at 9:09 am
    Permalink

    The answer may lay in a movie I once saw. “You want the truth. You can’t handle the truth.”

    Reply
    • 29/12/2020 at 7:35 am
      Permalink

      To the CDF, Sir you have done the wrong thing in disbanding this fine Unit on your own volition without giving time for any accusations to be proven. I would ask, in all sincerity, to do the Honourable thing, and restore this Regiment’s Honour, for their Sterling past service to our Nation.
      Warren Turner, 3RAR, Vietnam Tour 1971.

      Reply
  • 28/12/2020 at 9:04 am
    Permalink

    Good Morning Brian,
    Can we enlist support from the RSL or some ex serving pollies to make our case; that if 2 SQN SASR is to go – then all the senior management involved in this fiasco have to go as well? Perhaps the blame for lack of proper management in Afghanistan goes all the way to the GG, the Defence Minister and the PM – maybe thats why we are getting no response or support for any of the hard questions. As much as some of our soldiers may be found guilty of war crimes, there must be an allocation of blame and guilt to those involved in the mismanagement of these soldiers. Certainly they have shown they should never manage soldiers again!
    Who do we turn to Brian? The guilty ones in the ADF and Dept of Defence have the resources of the Government to cover up their indiscretions; we seem to be on our own.

    Reply
    • 28/12/2020 at 9:31 am
      Permalink

      Good morning to you too, Iain – and Merry Christmas/ Happy New Year.
      There’s several things wrong with your questions, in my humble opinion.
      First is asking “if 2 SQN SASR is to go” in future tense. The problem with that is, it’s already gone, past tense – and no way they’ll reverse that.
      The big issue I see, however, is that the Brereton Report was the vehicle by which people were initially judged. The next stage is prosecuting those whom they think they can win against. To that end, the officers and politicians have already been expressly exonerated – so, no one above the rank of sergeant will even be looked at by the investigators. The investigators are not in the business of asking why. Their only job is to gather sufficient evidence so that someone else can prosecute charges in court. As far as any blame-game goes, that opportunity was the Brereton Report – and that’s now ended.
      The only other judgement can be in the court of public opinion – which very rarely holds any sway.
      In that respect, the RSL or any other committee-driven organisation is useless to any cause/campaign – given that most office-bearers are likely ex-officers – and committees usually produce camels when asked to design a horse.
      In my humble opinion,
      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor

      Reply
    • 27/03/2021 at 12:41 am
      Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly, for the alleged behaviour to have occurred (I have no knowledge either way) there must have or should have been knowledge further up the leadership chain.
      If there was and no action taken then the leaders should be held accountable, if the leaders had no knowledge then they should be held accountable anyway because they hold the responsibility for discipline within the organisation. (The US forces are particularly strict in this manner, we should be too).
      Further to this one point made in the report was that a leader or leaders should not be held accountable because they were not in that particular theatre at the time, if this is the case how can those individuals be awarded a DSC ? (cannot recall the exact gong) for outstanding leadership?
      The other thing that sticks in my mind is the Peter Principle, I am wondering if this could be applied to some of the current leaders.

      Reply
  • 28/12/2020 at 2:38 am
    Permalink

    Kay, hello, I also think Sengleman has some questions to be answered her as well. Funny 2 Sqn when we stood it up in the early 80’s after its Vietnam War disbandment has had some lousy Sqn Commanders. Burr and Campbell are dammed.
    I feel no shame in serving with the Unit, just a sense of loss. What we did for these bastards can never be known or what we suffered over these last 4 decades.

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 4:08 pm
    Permalink

    In my humble opinion, these two Senior Officer’s, unlike Sir Peter Cosgrove, who served with distinction as a Platoon Commander in my Battalion in SVN, Should never be allowed to wear their disgusting amount of medals until they have witnessed life at the front with the rest of the troops. PS: Maybe it is the one thing they could not qualify at.

    Reply
    • 27/12/2020 at 4:48 pm
      Permalink

      Sorry William – I realise you are angry, like a lot of people – but if you’re going to throw stones, you might want to do a little research on your targets.
      To his credit, General Campbell passed SASR selection and served as both a troop and squadron commander. He also commanded 2RAR in East Timor.
      On the ‘negative’ side of his ledger, he also commanded all Australian troops in the Middle East during the period in which alleged war crimes were committed – and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for this command.
      In my humble opinion, this latter fact should disqualify General Campbell as a dispassionate, unbiased, ‘independent’ witness for the prosecution.
      Lieutenant General Rick Burr spent most of his military career in SF too, including two tours in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003.
      However, he was also in direct command of special forces in the Middle East in 2008, within the alleged ‘war crimes’ window. For this reason, he too should also be disqualified as a witness for the prosecution.
      IMHO
      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor

      Reply
      • 29/12/2020 at 9:57 pm
        Permalink

        Brian
        It seems to me that Brereton has been careful to negate responsibility for leadership failures due to lack of proximity to the action. Such may be fine by Australian legal process, but is quite irrelevant with regard to the issue of war crimes and the Yamashita standard. If the Australian Government is to initiate proceedings against soldiers and ignore dealing with the relevant leadership during that period then it would also seem appropriate to refer this fact to the International Criminal Court due to want of action by the Australian government.

        Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 3:07 pm
    Permalink

    My father was a Company Commander on the Kokoda Track which included the terrible fighting around Isurava. At which point my father and a party of men, including the wounded, were was cut off from the rest of the battalion, an ordeal that took him six weeks to return to his own lines, and in the process, his wounded and one of their party were found by the Japanese and all executed. That’s another story. However on his return my father wrote a report in which he stated that if they wanted prisoners to be taken then they must provide Military Police and the means to take care of them ‘the prisoners’.
    One would think by the time you commit soldiers, the time for talking is over. I am sure our next adversaries would not have a problem with that concept. Also if soldiers are charged with war crimes they must be allowed the due process. This bloodletting to the world stage prior to anyone being convicted has not helped Australia case at all.

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 2:10 pm
    Permalink

    I for one would put more faith in the unit – than the weak pandering people that were responsible for this premature decision.
    I guess this outcome was inevitable, given the recent domestic and international slimy negotiations being made for politicians personal gain.
    The news hounds and “politically correct” minorities need to remember that the only reason they can sleep soundly in bed is because “hard men” are prepared to endure discomfort, danger and crappy criticism to keep them safe.

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 1:14 pm
    Permalink

    Sad another proud Squadron bites the dust, but nothing is being said of the politics around the redevelopment of the land at Swanborne
    HenRAE

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 1:11 pm
    Permalink

    I am 73 now served 20 yrs in my lifetime I have never been so disgusted in the handling of a unit that outperformed all others in its short history. As usual, it seems that the chair born warriors and civies had there way.
    I strongly suggest to all members of the ADF support those that have been affected by this as this sets a precedent as it may happen to any unit that they feel should go.
    The sacking of the CDF would be a good start

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 12:16 pm
    Permalink

    We are planning a march to Canberra…I for one will be handing back my medals and my citation in support of the SASR…

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 11:28 am
    Permalink

    Absolutely pathetic example of leadership by the CoA and CDF. I have seen better leaders amongst the junior ranks than displayed by this pair of useless examples of self righteous, self serving excuses for so called leaders. Considering they were both senior officers when the supposed crimes were committed, why are they still in possession of their DSC’s. If they were in any way real leaders both would have, long ago, returned these undeserved awards instead of trying to punish the many for the unproven sins of the few.
    In trying to shore up their own positions for future rewards I feel positive that they have both soiled themselves sufficiently that no-one will ever touch them with a bargepole.

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 10:59 am
    Permalink

    Seems that Angus Campbell is an even worse CDF than he was a Sqn Commander. Which Squadron? Oh, that’s right it was 2 Squadron SASR. The same Squadron that saved his bacon [a time or two (specifics removed by editor to keep this discussion on topic)].
    Angus you will go down in history as the [personal-attacking words removed by editor] that you are and always have been.
    You are a disgrace to the SASR and the ADF.

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 10:21 am
    Permalink

    Apparently certain members of 2 SQN SASR betrayed the trust of the ADF, and now the ADF leadership responds in a childish manner by disbanding the whole Squadron, and casting doubt upon the whole SASR…… I am afraid and dont understand this tit for tat approach to leading and managing soldiers. If this is a demonstration of senior leadership within the ADF and its response to managing unproven crisis, then God help the rest of the Army when the next issue emerges.
    Burr, Brereton, Campbell, the ADF leadership and the other Department of Defence toads may not have been directly involved in the Afghanistan murders, but as senior managers they have a duty of care and a responsibility to ensure that they know what their personnel are doing, and where they are doing it. Its plainly industrial Health & Workplace Safety laws that have been breached by the ADF leadership.

    Reply
    • 27/12/2020 at 11:20 am
      Permalink

      Talking of standards and responsibilities, the one thing that has been ignored is the “Yamashita standard” . “Command responsibility referred to as the Yamashita or Medina standard is the legal doctrine of accountability for war crimes”, the term is also refers to the duty to supervise subordinates and the liability for the failure to do so in government and military law (Wikipedia).
      Given this definition and historical use both after WW1 and 2, I am unable to understand how the Brereton report seeks to have those “leaders” to be only held accountable morally and can only conclude that he was seeking to provide an excuse for those further up the tree to avoid being held accountable – mind you I do not have a legal background and this opinion is sheer conjecture on my part and as such may also be wrong.
      Applying the command responsibility approach, those on top of the tree should accept responsibility for their failure in this matter. As they have already cast judgement on the troops they should have the courage to cast judgement on their role and responsibilities and resign.

      Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 10:13 am
    Permalink

    Nothing nice to write…it’s just a fucken disgrace Campbell

    Reply
  • 27/12/2020 at 9:57 am
    Permalink

    I am totally appalled at the actions of CDF Campbell and CofA Burr. The presumption of innocence has been discarded, and the assignment of “guilt by association” has been applied with no thought or Respect for the Soldiers, past and present, of 2 Squadron SASR. That this disbandment has occurred by stealth reeks of a conspiracy by those at the “top of the tree”. I was always always taught that respect in Leadership was something one ‘commanded’, rather than ‘demanded’. However, it was also something that could be lost in an instant. In this case, the respect I had for these two Generals, and their Leadership(?), has been greatly diminished by their actions.

    Reply
    • 27/12/2020 at 10:50 am
      Permalink

      G’day Butch,
      Just a little disagreement, respect is earnt by deeds and actions. From this deed the CDF and CofA have proven they are not worthy of any respect at all. I also wonder if they will be lining up to hand back the medals awarded (not sure they were earnt).
      Cheers
      PJ

      Reply
  • 24/12/2020 at 7:01 am
    Permalink

    Start the retrenchment from the top down

    Reply
    • 27/12/2020 at 10:25 am
      Permalink

      How can the Diggers have any trust in the upper echelon of so called leaders, what a bloody disgrace.
      I would refuse to be led by these men.

      Reply
      • 27/12/2020 at 10:58 am
        Permalink

        You & I would like never to have these types again of leaders again, I feel that they & other high rankers make a call prior to their decision announcements ( all a friend ? next rank above or the PM too A=SE COVER).I personally served 37 years 62=/= 99 ( iron sides ). Seen & retrieved several patrols in need so please don’t tell me they are/were killers of innocents, lets see the photos of 5 mins prior to any killing as I am sure their weapon is in the grass after being chucked. I hope someone of NOTE will support this group of men SOO wrongly judged.

        Reply
  • 19/12/2020 at 7:24 pm
    Permalink

    This is the greatest betrayal by a former unit member that anyone could possibly imagine. CDF is building brownie points for GG and politics. Cosgrove never burnt any unit he served in nor the current GG. SHAME. You have forgotten the men that you lead or are you hiding something you did CDF?????

    Reply
    • 27/12/2020 at 10:55 am
      Permalink

      I would hope that the position of GG evades him.

      Reply
      • 27/12/2020 at 11:01 am
        Permalink

        Peter Jackson, it is unlikely mate his Freemason mates will look after him no doubt.

        Reply
  • 19/12/2020 at 10:04 am
    Permalink

    This is just an idea, but how about a March On Canberra, by veterans group’s, to show our support for The Troops and our disgust with The Armchair Generals?

    Reply
    • 27/12/2020 at 12:14 pm
      Permalink

      We are planning a march to Canberra…I for one will be handing back my medals and my citation in support of the SASR…

      Reply
  • 18/12/2020 at 5:43 pm
    Permalink

    Well said Kay, David and Megan. This is an absolute disgrace on many levels and as an individual who wore a Naval uniform, and who volunteered for combat roles, my disgust can only be measured in comparative size to galaxies. Generals Campbell and Burr and anyone who backed this vile act should be held to account. Those personnel have rights. But as it appears, these men were good enough to get on their knees and crawl through hostile territory, they were good enough to defend Australia’s alleged interests in the area but they are now held in contempt by the very men who gave them their orders. Where is the Gov general on this issue? Where is the incumbent Prime Minister, or should I say, Prime Monster?

    Reply
  • 18/12/2020 at 1:18 pm
    Permalink

    Chief of Army Rick Burr will go down in the annals of the Regiment’s history as a weak individual who put political appeasement over the presumption of innocence. Shame on you Burr and shame on all those attempts of bullying that came from the Command on to the SAS Veteran community… willing us all into silence. Many of us in that community do not believe a word that comes out your mouth now. You and CDF have shown poor decision making in my opinion, and I am not alone by the looks of it. Time to retire I think and to bring back the loyal trusty knight and those brave band of brothers…from Cowley Beach. Time to rethink what you call RESPECT… It sucks to be you!

    Reply
    • 27/12/2020 at 10:59 am
      Permalink

      The C of A will be remembered as a weak second to the CDF, I think he is more concerned with his future Army career than looking after the rights of the troops and their families.

      Reply
    • 28/12/2020 at 2:38 am
      Permalink

      Kay, hello, I also think Sengleman has some questions to be answered her as well. Funny 2 Sqn when we stood it up in the early 80’s after its Vietnam War disbandment has had some lousy Sqn Commanders. Burr and Campbell are dammed.
      I feel no shame in serving with the Unit, just a sense of loss. What we did for these bastards can never be known or what we suffered over these last 4 decades.

      Reply
  • 18/12/2020 at 12:23 pm
    Permalink

    Bad timing General Campbell, With Australia trying to throw itself into a Conflict with China (and its Allies) we need all the experienced Troops we can muster. The Chinese Military isn’t only a very effective Fighting Force it certainly isn’t the Peasant Army we were up against in the Korean affair (that fought us and our Allies to a standstill). This is not the time to be disbanding any Units is it? PS Don’t go looking for me amongst your Records of Service. I was in the NZDF several Wars ago.

    Reply
    • 27/12/2020 at 11:00 am
      Permalink

      Given that we need experienced leadership perhaps it is time for a turnover within the senior leadership as there is not a lot of combat experience there.

      Reply
  • 17/12/2020 at 8:51 pm
    Permalink

    I am so sorry that this squad and all veterans who have served in it are not being afforded the presumption of innocence for the few that have been accused and that they are punishing the group as a whole. I’m not sure as a civilian how I can help but know that I am forever grateful for the sacrifices that all men and women who serve are making on behalf of the rest of us.

    Reply
    • 18/12/2020 at 10:32 am
      Permalink

      Good comment we all need to support our soldiers who put their live’s on the line for freedom

      Reply
      • 27/12/2020 at 8:57 am
        Permalink

        The CDF shpuld be sacked before he can resign in disgrace!

        Reply
        • 30/12/2020 at 10:52 am
          Permalink

          If you send people over there for over 10 years, what do you expect to happen to them. Shutting a squadron for this is insane at these times.
          Where was the justice in this system from the start.

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

SUBSCRIBE TO CONTACT

And get our Weapons of the ADF viewee-twoee guides FREE