Defence News

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...

Building a future

Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have contributed to a significant school project during a visit to Phuket, Thailand. Personnel from the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19) Joint Task Force laid turf and built a playground at the Cornerstone Learning Centre in blistering conditions. The Asia Centre Foundation is building the facility with the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian aid program. Foundation Director Roelien Muller said the Cornerstone Learning Centre would help Thai families who travelled to...

Surf training could save lives

Australian and US forces have delivered potentially life-saving training during a visit to Patong Beach, Thailand. Using amphibious vessels launched from HMAS Canberra, personnel from the Joint Task Force for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 and Surf Lifesaving Australia combined in Phuket to deliver equipment and training to the beach-loving community at Patong Beach. Some 1500 life jackets and 20 rescue boards were delivered for surf lifesaving development throughout southern provinces in Thailand. At the sound of a whistle, the children jumped into the water...

G-G farewells Pearce

The outgoing Governor-General of Australia returned to familiar ground during a visit to RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia. An honour guard welcomed General (retired) Sir Peter Cosgrove to the newly refurbished base. The Governor-General is welcomed to RAAF Base Pearce with a Guard of Honour from No. 25 (City of Perth) Squadron personnel. Phtoto: Petty Officer James Whittle. His return brought back memories for the Governor-General. “The last time I was out here, I was boarding a C-130 to undertake a water jump,”...

Aussie RADM to UNHQ Korea

The Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, Jr has confirmed the appointment of the Australian Defence Force’s Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer as the Deputy Commander United Nations Command Headquarters in the Republic of Korea.  The appointment of Rear Admiral Mayer is a great opportunity for Australia to work with the Republic of Korea, the United States and regional partners to further contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula. This is the first...

Growler capable

Initial Operating Capability (IOC) has been achieved for the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies said IOC for the Growler was a significant achievement in Defence’s efforts to improve joint electronic warfare capability. “Over time, this aircraft will work with Army and Navy platforms to enhance our ability to control the electronic environment, and where necessary, deny or degrade the electronic systems of adversaries,” Air Marshal Davies said. “This will provide a capability edge by enhancing tactical options to...

Floating new ideas

Soon-to-be decommissioned, HMAS Newcastle - deployed as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 - is home to one of the Royal Australian Navy’s innovation hubs. The deployable innovation workshop (DIW), which sounds as if it should be in Silicon Valley rather than a warship, is led by Leading Seaman Marine Technician Sarah Battenally. “The centre came out of a necessity for change to happen quicker." The gas turbine maintainer has notched up a series of accolades throughout her 10-year career. “I’ve had a few good gigs,”...

Citations for Viet Nam vets

ANZAC Day this year, saw a select group of veterans marching with shiny new awards for the first time; some dating back fifty-two years The extraordinary gallantry displayed by members of both the RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam in South Vietnam from October 1967 to June 1971, and members of the 1st Australian Task Force (Forward) and associated units deployed to Area of Operations SURFERS during the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral are being recognised by the Unit...

First family visit since 1915

Royal Australian Navy Able Seaman Amanda May is the first military member in her family to return to Gallipoli since her great-grandfather fought there more than a century before. As soon as her proud parents, Darren and Trisha May, heard their daughter had been selected for ceremonial duties with Australia’s Federation Guard at the Anzac Day Gallipoli services, they booked flights from the NSW Central Coast to Turkey. Able Seaman May, a boatswain’s mate, said her great-grandfather, Private Erskine May, was...

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