150th birthday of Australian artillery
The Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery (RAA) today marked the 150th Anniversary of Australian artillery.
CAPTION: Soldiers from the Australian Army’s 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, engage a target with M777 Howitzer during a firepower demonstration at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. Photo by Corporal Madhur Chitnis.
A Commemorative Service was held in celebration to honour past and serving members of the Royal Australian Artillery and its forerunners.
Between August and December 2021, the RAA will execute a series of commemorative activities to celebrate and highlight the commencement and ongoing continuous service of the RAA and its various Australian Artillery forebears.
Minister for Defence, the Hon Peter Dutton MP said the Royal Australian Artillery remains an ever-present feature of the Australian Army’s land warfare capability.
“Now is a fitting time to reflect on the establishment of an enduring Australian artillery capability: the batteries, the equipment and most importantly, the Gunners who have served and protected Australia and its national interests for 150 years,” Minister Dutton said.
“As we reflect, we must also look to the future of the RAA, an arm that continues to adapt and brings together many of the Australian Army’s multi-domain effects – land, air and electromagnetic – into a unified and potent outcome.”
Today, Artillery’s role extends across multiple combat disciplines and domains of warfare, including guns, mortars and missiles, drones, radars and joint fires coordination.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the defence men and women of the Australian Artillery provide fundamental capability to the Australian Army and to our country.
“Since before the Federation of Australia, the story of the Australian Artillery originates on 1 August 1871, when the NSW Colonial Government funded and raised its first permanent battery, Minister Gee said.
“There will be many proud family members and friends today as we recognise the contribution of our Artillery members and enjoy the services taking place across the country in recognition of this significant anniversary.”
The RAA’s traditional motto of Where Right and Glory Lead encapsulates Defence’s values of Service, Courage, Respect, Integrity and Excellence. It underlines the ever-expanding scope of modern day Artillery combat roles which have greatly expanded over recent decades.
The Australian Army’s longest continuous serving permanent unit is ‘A’ Battery, currently part of 1st Regiment, RAA. Today, ‘A’ Battery perpetuates the history of that original NSW Artillery Battery.
Chief of army order of the day
On the 150th anniversary of the Australian Artillery – 1 August 2021
On this day 150 years ago, the Colony of New South Wales raised its first permanent battery, known as the New South Wales Artillery. This marked the origins of the first substantive, professional Australian artillery force – a continuous presence enduring to this day, which has evolved into the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery.
The service of Australian Artillery is long and distinguished, from its foundations in garrison artillery and coastal forts.
Australian gunners contributed to the pre-Federation campaigns in Sudan and the Boer War; served staunchly in WWI, “the Gunners War”; defended Australia’s shores from the air and sea during WWII and the campaigns in the Middle East, Europe and the Pacific; and served in the conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Malaysia and Vietnam.
In recent times, the men and women of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery have supported many global peacekeeping operations, protected Australian naval vessels from air attack in the Persian Gulf, defended Australian and coalition troops from hostile fire, and delivered vital fire support, surveillance, targeting and coordination in the Middle East Area of Operations.
Wherever the Australian Army has served, Australian gunners have been there; steadfast alongside their comrades, a vital part of the combined-arms team for Australian and coalition troops alike, and a testament to their singular battle honour – Ubique.
In the next decade, the Australian Army will introduce next-generation artillery ammunition, gun, missile, air defence, target acquisition and surveillance systems. These advances will increase the lethality and connectivity of the ADF.
The versatility and dedication of the professional men and women of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery is the foundation of these new capabilities. These traits endure, from those who served before them over the past 150 years, to those who now uphold the Regiment’s motto, “Where Right and Glory Lead”.
Today, the Australian Army recognises all forms of service to our community and the nation by Australia’s gunners – volunteer, militia, reserve, permanent and regular; at home, and overseas; defending assaults from the sea, in the sky, and on land; and advising, defending and supporting, always accurate, responsive, dependable and joint. The Australian Army acknowledges and celebrates the unstinting service of the Royal Australian Artillery and its forebears from 1871 to the present day – Ubique.
Lt-Gen Rick Burr Chief of Army