Defence News

Diamond in the Rough

More than 1200 members from the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade converged on Central Queensland for Exercise Diamond Sprint at Shoalwater Bay Training Area in May. Diamond Sprint was a combined units training activity and 7th Brigade’s largest formation-level exercise of the year. It culminated in infantry conducting assaults with artillery, tanks, engineers, logistics and communication elements in support. Lieutenant Colonel Steve Dickie, the commanding officer of 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, said the exercise ensured troops were brilliant at the basics,...

Just turn up and shoot

It was an usual sight in Canberra as a live-fire range arrived on the back of a semi-trailer at Russell Offices. The Video Positive Identification Range (ViPIR) turned up for an evaluation from May 13-24. ViPIR's Sergeant Robert Brooks, a reservist on loan from Adelaide Universities Regiment and working for Army Land Simulation Program, said the range used a high-definition video projection system with real weapons and live ammunition. “This range allows soldiers to be immersed in a training environment where they’re...

Padres head up support

The two chaplains deployed on Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19) may have different religions but their roles were the same: to counsel and provide pastoral care to all on board. Father Paul Stuart, the Senior Chaplain aboard the Royal Australian Navy’s flagship HMAS Canberra, was on the ship as it visited Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. From Malaysia onwards, he was assisted by Chaplain Mogamat Majidih Essa, the first Muslim imam in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). “Imam Essa’s presence...

Chinese vessels target RAN pilots

Chinese maritime militia vessels are believed responsible for a series of laser attacks on Australian Navy pilots during a recent voyage through the hotly contested South China Sea.  Key points: Defence sources have confirmed helicopters were targeted with lasers during night flights. It comes after Chinese warships closely followed the Australian Task GroupBeijing maintains a robust maritime militia in the disputed South China SeaDefence sources have confirmed helicopters were targeted during night flights, forcing the pilots to temporarily return to their...

IPE19 returns to Australia

The Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE 19) Joint Task Force has returned to Australia following a three-month regional engagement mission to South and South East Asia.  The flagship HMAS Canberra will anchor off Darwin tomorrow, having visited seven nations since March 2019 during the third IPE iteration since its inception in 2017. Chief of Joint Operations, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, said this third iteration of IPE was one of the most ambitious regional engagement activities undertaken by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).  “With...

New Minister for Defence

Linda Karen Reynolds CSC (born 16 May 1965) is an Australian Liberal Party politician serving as Minister for Defence since 26 May 2019, and has served as Senator for Western Australia since 2014. Military service: Australian Army Reserve, 1984–2012, Brigadier. Commander, 5th Combat Support Battalion Awards: Conspicuous Service Cross, Defence Long Service Medal, Australian Defence Medal. In 2013, Reynolds was elected from third position on the Liberal Senate ticket, but her place in the Senate was in doubt after the High Court...

Remembering the fallen

Members of HMAS Canberra have attended a small ceremony at the Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore to pay their respects to those who died defending Singapore and Malaya during World War II. Among the 4400 Commonwealth casualties buried or commemorated at Kranji are nine Indigenous soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice. “This will stick with me forever.” Two Indigenous members of the Australian Defence Force placed a cross at the headstone of one of the soldiers. Petty Officer Shae Bradshaw said it was...

Sailor sees Success

Thirty-three years ago, a junior Royal Australian Navy sailor joined a new ship, HMAS Success, and today he is on that ship’s final voyage. The First Lady of the Fleet, Success was commissioned in Sydney on April 23, 1986. She was the largest ship built entirely in Australia for the Navy and the biggest built in the port of Sydney. “When required, Success has always been there; it will be a sad but proud day when she decommissions." Warrant Officer Werner Stach,...

Take a long ride

Seeing fifty motorbikes roll into town is enough to start a conversation with locals anywhere, which is what the Long Ride 2019 is doing. The rain held off as riders roared off from the Department of Defence Headquarters in Canberra on May 10. They are part of the Australian Defence Force’s  contribution to the fundraising ride and gathered more riders as they went. They will arrive in Darwin on May 18 after riding through regional New South Wales, Queensland and the...

Newcastle navigates world’s busiest waters

HMAS Newcastle, in company with the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19) flagship HMAS Canberra, has made her final transit through the busiest and most complex sea waters in the world: the Malacca and Singapore Straits. The navigation officer on Newcastle, Lieutenant Mitchell Smith, was responsible for getting the ship – which will be decommissioned later this year – safely through the region. "That’s about 50,000 ships passing through an area only 2.7 kilometres wide." “As the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific...

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