Monthly Archives - April 2019

Recon mission update

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has positively identified a World War Two Catalina aircraft A24-64 following a successful reconnaissance mission in the Philippines.In March 2019, RAAF conducted an inspection of a crash site south-east of Cape Calavite on the north-west end of Mindoro Island, after they became aware of several artefacts at this location in 2014. These artefacts consisted of a small metal tube engraved with the aircraft manufacturer’s logo, a brass crown identified by the RAAF Museum...

New Dassault Falcons arrive

The first of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) new Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft arrived in Canberra today. The new aircraft, being leased by RAAF, replace the Bombardier CL604 Challengers and provide a larger passenger load, modern communication and increased range and endurance. Wing Commander Jason Pont, Commanding Officer of 34 Squadron said the Falcon complements RAAF’s larger Boeing 737 Business Jets. “The Falcon 7X is an advanced business jet designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation,” Wing Commander Pont said. “The jet has a standard crew of three...

Three decades on: Home

WHILE sailing over the Indian Ocean en route to Sri Lanka aboard HMAS Canberra, Private Michael Amarasinghe said he was looking to find a missing link in his life.  “I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, although my family and I left there more than 30 years ago,” Private Amarasinghe said.   “I live in Sydney, and I often see Sri Lankan families arrive in Australia. The culture they bring with them is what I have missed out on, it’s the missing piece...

Evac training to save lives

Force generation activity Exercise Regimen White 19 took place at RAAF Base Amberley from March 11-26 and was the biggest iteration of the exercise yet. For Regimen White, Health Services Wing (HSW) brought together the entire Wing for a bigger and better training experience to practise Air Force’s niche health capability: the Aeromedical Evacuation (AME) System. Officer Commanding HSW Group Captain Kathleen Pyne said Regimen White was important training so the entire Wing could develop a common skill-base. “Air Force owns the...

Navy’s floating hospital

Standing among doctors, physicians and primary health care practitioners, it looks, smells and feels like any other hospital – but it is floating on the ocean. The primary casualty reception facility on board HMAS Canberra is a hive of activity, with the tri-service team providing primary health care and maintenance of the ship’s company and embarked forces while deployed as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour. New Zealand Navy medic Able Seaman Rachel Walton joined the medical team for the duration of IPE19. “Being one of...

Diggers share Canberra’s decks

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) , have swapped the jungles of Sri Lanka for the seas of India as they continue their training mission during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19). Working alongside the diggers aboard HMAS Canberra were some of Sri Lanka’s finest troops, including ground forces of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. Corporal Patrick Mortimore, a recon patrol commander from 2RAR, said he and his team enjoyed integrating and bonding with the Sri Lankans. “It didn’t take us long...

Helos check decks

Indian and Australian air crews highlighted their navies’ interoperability during AUSINDEX in the Bay of Bengal recently. An MRH-90 from HMAS Canberra and an MH-60R from HMAS Parramatta landed on the frigate Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sahyadri and the corvette INS Kiltan, while a Sea King from INS Sahyadri and a Chetak from INS Kiltan cross-decked to the Australian ships. Parramatta’s Flight Commander Lieutenant Commander Damian Liberale said the procedure for landing helicopters on a foreign warship was heavily regulated. “Before we flew, we physically visited each of the ships while alongside at Visakhapatnam,”...

Defence looks to future

During the Rapid Force Projection conference at the Australian Defence Force Academy, speakers recounted a range of past examples of deployments – both short notice and forecast. The conference was opened by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral David Johnston, who highlighted the need to think creatively about how Defence addresses rapid force projection, especially in light of changing global challenges. “As our environment evolves, and more emphasis is placed on our region, we need to think creatively...

Brigadier makes history

Replacing a wounded ally resulted in an Australian brigadier making history during one of the most turbulent periods in Afghanistan’s recent history. Brigadier John Shanahan became the first non-US commander of the 11,000-strong Train Advise Assist Command – South (TAAC-S) since the Resolute Support mission began in January 2015. He led TAAC-S for five months and handed command to US Brigadier General Miles Brown during a ceremony in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on 24 February. The ceremony brought an end to 18 months in...

Indigenous artwork for Defence HQ

A powerful tribute to Indigenous participation in the Defence of Australia will greet Defence personnel and visitors to the Department of Defence’s  headquarters in Russell, Canberra. Unveiled to the public for the first time, Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa (‘Country and culture will be protected by spears’) was painted by artists from the remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and tells the story of Aboriginal Australians defending their land, country and culture. “It tells a story of the importance of protecting land and...

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