Monthly Archives - February 2019

Joint Statement on Pacific

The close defence relations between Australia and New Zealand are enduring and deeply rooted in our shared military history. In 2018, our two Defence Ministers reaffirmed our mutual commitment to this alliance through a refreshed Joint Statement on Closer Defence Relations. We identified in the Statement three focus areas, which have guided our continued joint work, including through the Building Partner Capacity mission in Iraq, and our other shared Middle East contributions. Particularly pertinent, however, are our enduring interests and [...]

CA visits GMEO, Africa

Australian and Fijian soldiers of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) paraded in front of Australia’s Army Chief in a drill square in Egypt in February. Despite their distinctive terracotta-coloured headgear, the Australian MFO contingent is a little-known part of the ADF’s operations, which were being visited by the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, and the new Commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) 633, Air Vice Marshal Joe Iervasi. Australians have been part of the MFO – implemented as [...]

Kicking goals

A family dynamic where one sibling is a major and another is a captain sounds fairly routine to most military families. However, the Wood family, of Camperdown in south-west Victoria isn’t like many others. “My brother Easton is the captain of the Western Bulldogs,” said Major McLeod Wood of Task Group Taji 8. Major Wood is deployed as the Officer Commanding Training Team Victor, based at the Taji Military Complex, 20 kilometres north of Baghdad. Task Group Taji 8 is Major Wood’s third [...]

Melbourne nurse’s contribution

A small military hospital in Afghanistan is a long way from one of Australia’s busiest emergency departments. It’s where Australian Army Reserve soldier Captain Gerry McMahon exemplifies the mutually beneficial relationship between the full-time Australian Defence Force and its Reservists. As a full-time nurse in the emergency department at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Captain McMahon works at the leading edge of his profession. “I enjoy working at St Vincent’s emergency department because of the variety of people I get to help [...]

RAAF Provides Urgent Fuel

The Royal Australian Air Force is providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief to isolated regions of flood-affected Queensland. Personnel from No. 35 Squadron have responded swiftly to deliver personnel and urgent fuel stocks to Mt Isa and western Queensland in C-27J Spartan aircraft.  The first two flights to western Queensland on 9 February were the first flights of the year for the squadron and marked the start of flying operations two days earlier than had been scheduled from their new base at Amberley. Loadmaster [...]

Radji Beach Massacre

On 12 FEB 1942 the Sarawak royal yacht Vyner Brooke left Singapore just before the city fell to the Imperial Japanese Army. The ship carried many injured service personnel and 65 nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service from the 2/13th Australian General Hospital, as well as civilian men, women and children. The ship was bombed by Japanese aircraft and sank. Two nurses were killed in the bombing; the rest were scattered among the rescue boats to wash up [...]

The Fall of Singapore

15 FEB 1942: World War II and the fall of Singapore. Over 15,000 Australians were taken prisoner after the Japanese had bombed the city and captured Singapore's reservoirs and pumping stations. The bombing, fighting and heavy shelling continued; many of the troops, separated from their units, wandered around aimlessly and the hospitals were crowded and overflowing. Some troops were deserting and others had become separated from their units. Hard fighting continued but on 15 February Lieutenant General Arthur Percival, [...]

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