Monthly Archives - March 2019

Sri Lankan Defence engaged

The first leg of Indo-Pacific Endeavour will be Australia’s largest ever Defence engagement activity with Sri Lanka. It will build on last year’s engagement, which included the integration of Sri Lankan force elements in Australian military exercises and senior delegations that attended air, land and maritime events. “It is important for the task force to re-establish our relationships politically, militarily and personally.” Commander Joint Task Force 661, Air Commodore Rick Owen, said maritime lanes that connect the Indian and Pacific Oceans were...

Maryborough heroics revisited

Just before midnight on May 26, 2017, the crew members of HMAS Maryborough were woken from a deep sleep – the ship’s engine room was on fire. What happened next has earned them widespread praise. While it was a close call, Lieutenant Commander Tom Mobbs, who was commanding officer that night, said the crew’s efforts were magnificent. “They are professional war-fighting mariners,” Lieutenant Commander Mobbs said. “When the alarm sounded, they knew what to do and responded well within Fleet standard times.” "Maryborough’s engine room fire...

Sniffing out threats

Our ever-adaptable, four-legged personnel proved their worth as they provided an enhanced layered security approach for the Australian International Airshow. Explosive detection dogs (EDD) and military working dogs (MWD) were put through their paces as they sniffed out potential threats to the public and ADF personnel and assets. For EDD handler Corporal Jesse Smith and his dog Cowboy, the opportunity to support security operations through EDD search, which included VIP areas both at Avalon Airport and in Melbourne, was hugely beneficial...

Skilled at arms

The Combined Arms Training Centre at Puckapunyal has hosted some of the best combat marksmen from the Army, Navy and Air Force for the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meet (AASAM). The ADF’s premier service weapons shooting competition has occurred annually since 1984. Director AASAM Lieutenant Colonel Craig Burn said the competition had evolved from a traditional sports shooting activity into a more operationally based approach. “We’ve turned more into a capability based shooting competition,” he said. “If you as a soldier want...

Hupfeld to be next CAF

Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS) Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld will fly back into the Air Force fold as Chief of Air Force (CAF) on July 4, following a Federal Government announcement on March 28 at Russell Offices in Canberra. Apart from his time at Headquarters Joint Operations Command, Air Marshal Hupfeld will also bring experience as Air Commander Australia, Director Combined Air Operations Centre and Head Force Design. "His experience in these roles makes him ideally suited to continue the development...

New-age tech self-heals

Comparable to the human body’s ability to self-heal, a team of academics has developed a material that could see ships, armoured vehicles or aircraft able to self-repair damage in under 10 minutes. Lead researcher Professor Adrian Mouritz, Executive Dean of the School of Engineering at RMIT University, said the aim was to change the way Defence sustains and maintains its fighting platforms. “At the moment, if you damage a composite, whether it’s an aircraft, a ship, a wind turbine blade or...

Vision of the future

The evolving fifth-generation capabilities of Air Force were on full display for people of all ages in the Jericho Precinct at the Australian International Airshow, which ran from February 26 to March 3 at Avalon Airport, Victoria. In a range of tents on one side of the precinct, industry personnel, defence staff and academics demonstrated a range of new capabilities. These included passive radar, the use of CubeSats (which are small enough to be held in one’s hand and can be...

ADF assists Trevor evacuees

The Australian Defence Force helped shelter hundreds of evacuees at Katherine Showgrounds as part of the largest ever pre-cyclone evacuation in the Northern Territory. Evacuees from remote communities poured into one of the NT’s largest towns as Tropical Cyclone Trevor barrelled towards the coast and East Arnhem Land last week. Royal Australian Air Force personnel from RAAF Base Tindal and Australian Army personnel from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR) worked tirelessly setting up tents and stretcher beds to...

Defence buzz at drone races

The 2019 Australian International Airshow hosted a world-first with a drone racing arena, attracting competitors from the Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force and defence industry. The Royal Australian Air Force Drone Racing Team (AFDRT) also kept up with the pace of the current and former world champion drone racers from Australia, 15-year-old Rudi Browning and 19-year-old Tom Bitmatta. The Air Force drone racers came from a diverse range of trades and ages. The association president, Flying Officer Jake Dell-O’Sullivan,...

Navy to issue Commendation

Navy says it's proud to confirm that a Navy Group Commendation will be presented to all members of HMAS Westralia’s Ships’ Company who were serving on board during the fatal fire of 5 May 1998. Four crew members died when fire erupted in the ship’s engine room. The Group Commendation recognises in a small way the heroic actions and the lasting impact that day had on all those on board. A commemorative service will be held at HMAS Stirling, Fleet Base...