Go Back   Defense Technology & Military Forum > Global Defense & Military > Army & Security Forces
Forgot Password? Join Us! Its's free!

Defense News
Land, Air & Naval Forces






Military Photos
Latest Military Pictures

2A3_Kondensator.jpg

LMV-6.jpg

LMV-4.jpg

LMV-3.jpg
Defense Reports
Aerospace & Defence







Recent Photos - DefenceTalk Military Gallery





Australian Army Discussions and Updates

This is a discussion on Australian Army Discussions and Updates within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; James Button, London November 24, 2006 http://i10.tinypic.com/2heeouc.jpg HE REMEMBERS every detail: a massive explosion in the helicopter, a smell of ...


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 16 votes, 3.75 average.
Old November 24th, 2006   #1
Junior Member
Private First Class
No Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 74
Threads:
Australian Army Discussions and Updates

James Button, London
November 24, 2006

http://i10.tinypic.com/2heeouc.jpg

HE REMEMBERS every detail: a massive explosion in the helicopter, a smell of cordite, bullets ricocheting off the walls, his door gunner trying to get a shot at their attackers, and his co-pilot noticing blood pooling in his lap and realising he had been shot through the chest.

"He was amazing," Scott Watkins says of his co-pilot that day in Iraq, Keith Reesby, whose heart escaped a bullet by two centimetres. "He dressed his own wound didn't complain. I have nothing but praise for the way he behaved."

When Major Watkins speaks of the incident, it sounds as if Captain Reesby was the only brave one. But the British Army did not agree, and yesterday the Queen was due to award the Australian soldier the Distinguished Flying Cross, Britain's third-highest military award for bravery.

Major Watkins, whose two-year secondment with the British One Regiment Army Air Corps included a 4-month stint in Iraq, is the first Australian to win the award since 1973.

Major (then captain) Watkins remained "cool, calm and collected" as he flew the Lynx helicopter to safety while under fire just 15 metres above the ground, according to the award citation.

Two days later, another helicopter he was flying also came under attack 50 kilometres south of Baghdad. Again, he didn't panic but followed his attackers as they sped away in a car, which led to their arrest and the discovery of a cache of grenades, shells and bomb-making equipment in the boot.

The 35-year-old Brisbane-born soldier, who has a mild manner and a ready grin, says about the first incident: "It is always a question a soldier asks himself: 'How are you going to behave in that situation?' To be able to know that you are OK is a good thing." It was November 2004 and the British Army had sent troops from southern Iraq to the Baghdad area to assist the Americans, who were mounting their second assault on nearby Fallujah. After working in the "more benign" area of Basra, the Sunni triangle was a hostile zone, Major Watkins says.

Insurgents firing AK-47 rifles from a ditch hit his helicopter as he flew supplies from Baghdad Airport to a military base 50 kilometres to the south. His gunner was preparing to fire back when the Australian realised his co-pilot had been hit. Getting Captain Reesby home alive was now paramount. That afternoon, as Captain Watkins inspected the damage on his helicopter, a piece of shrapnel from a rocket fired at the base hit the aircraft again, narrowly missing him.

Still, he says, "I really enjoyed myself in Iraq. I flew 115 sorties and only on three occasions do I know I got shot at."

The father of two young children is in London with his wife Karen, father Warwick and mother Dawn. After he learnt he had won the award, he got a text from Captain Reesby, who has fully recovered. Last night the two soldiers were getting together for a meal and a memory.

DFCs are not easy to win, I would imagine there is a bit more to the story than this.
mickk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24th, 2006   #2
Defense Professional / Analyst
Lieutenant Colonel
icelord's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 1,218
Threads:

As if pilots didn't already have a Big Ego...
icelord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25th, 2006   #3
Defense Professional / Analyst
General
eckherl's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,268
Threads:
A well earned medal if I may say, may God bless men like Major Watkins and Captain Reesby.
eckherl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25th, 2006   #4
Defense Professional / Analyst
Corporal
No Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 184
Threads:
Hmm... technically, foreign awards are supposed to be worn LAST in the order of wearing. The DFC can be worn first but that's for Imperial awards and this is not an Imperial award, so seems to me it should be worn last?? Just before his UN medal anyway.
Simon9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2006   #5
Deaf talker?
General
Todjaeger's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 3,095
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon9 View Post
Hmm... technically, foreign awards are supposed to be worn LAST in the order of wearing. The DFC can be worn first but that's for Imperial awards and this is not an Imperial award, so seems to me it should be worn last?? Just before his UN medal anyway.
I confess, I'm a little confused by this. Which country's armed forces is he serving with? Major Watkins is an Australian, but is he serving in the ADF and attached to a British unit, or is he in the British army? I admit, I don't know enough about current ADF & British uniforms to recognize which one, though I can make out a Roo patch above his right breast pocket.

-Cheers
________________
"I'm doing the same thing I do every night, Pinky..." comment from one lab mouse to another.
Todjaeger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2006   #6
Defense Professional / Analyst
Corporal
No Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 184
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todjaeger View Post
I confess, I'm a little confused by this. Which country's armed forces is he serving with? Major Watkins is an Australian, but is he serving in the ADF and attached to a British unit, or is he in the British army? I admit, I don't know enough about current ADF & British uniforms to recognize which one, though I can make out a Roo patch above his right breast pocket.

-Cheers
That's not a roo patch, that's his AIRN compliancy badge (basically means he's deployable). It's an F88 Austeyr rifle with a wreath around it, see:

http://www.heritagemedals.com.au/ima...rn_lge_med.jpg

That's an Australian uniform, he's in the ADF and was on exchange with the British Army.

Up until 1975 Australians were awarded Imperial medals such as the DFC, but now this should classify as a foreign medal, the same as a Bronze Star would (and quite a few Aussies have been awarded that recently).

Personally I like the Imperial awards better, the new awards were designed in that period of fashion massacre known as the 70s. They look pretty stupid IMHO.
Simon9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2006   #7
Deaf talker?
General
Todjaeger's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 3,095
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon9 View Post
That's not a roo patch, that's his AIRN compliancy badge (basically means he's deployable). It's an F88 Austeyr rifle with a wreath around it, see:

http://www.heritagemedals.com.au/ima...rn_lge_med.jpg

That's an Australian uniform, he's in the ADF and was on exchange with the British Army.

Up until 1975 Australians were awarded Imperial medals such as the DFC, but now this should classify as a foreign medal, the same as a Bronze Star would (and quite a few Aussies have been awarded that recently).

Personally I like the Imperial awards better, the new awards were designed in that period of fashion massacre known as the 70s. They look pretty stupid IMHO.
Thanks for pointing out about the patch, not able to zoom in enough (without degrading pic) to see what it really was.

Incidentally, I checked itsanhonour.gov.au and it appears that the DFC, though not in the Australian system of honours, it still listed in the schedule. It ranks below a CSC but above an MG in the Australian system. From what I understand of the Australian system, the Australian government can only issue Australian honours, but for service to the UK, certain Imperial honours can be issued by HM and worn. Like the GC which would be issued by the Queen or the CV which would be issued by Australia, both awards basically covering the same thing, or various awards of the Royal Victorian Order.

-Cheers
________________
"I'm doing the same thing I do every night, Pinky..." comment from one lab mouse to another.
Todjaeger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2006   #8
Defense Professional / Analyst
Corporal
No Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 184
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todjaeger View Post
Thanks for pointing out about the patch, not able to zoom in enough (without degrading pic) to see what it really was.

Incidentally, I checked itsanhonour.gov.au and it appears that the DFC, though not in the Australian system of honours, it still listed in the schedule. It ranks below a CSC but above an MG in the Australian system. From what I understand of the Australian system, the Australian government can only issue Australian honours, but for service to the UK, certain Imperial honours can be issued by HM and worn. Like the GC which would be issued by the Queen or the CV which would be issued by Australia, both awards basically covering the same thing, or various awards of the Royal Victorian Order.

-Cheers
Yes all the Imperial awards are still listed in the Australian honours system because a LOT of Aussies still have them. Our recently-retired Chief of Defence Force had the Military Cross and I believe our current CDF has the Air Force Cross. But these were all awarded under the Imperial system to Australian soldiers serving in the ADF.

But the DFC in this case was issued to an ADF member serving with another military so I think it should be in the same category as the Aussies receiving the Bronze Star. Not that I'm begrudging the guy anything - it just seems anomalous that an old British award is afforded higher priority than an American award or a new British award. Anyway, no big deal, I'm just nitpicking!

Interesting to see it announced today that an Australian Commando has just been awarded the first ever Star of Gallantry. Good stuff.
Simon9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2006   #9
Deaf talker?
General
Todjaeger's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 3,095
Threads:
Any word on whether a VC for Australia has been awarded yet? I seem to remember something being mentioned about someone in either SASR or 4 RAR possibly being put in for one. Not that there would be any release on who it would've been given to or why. Still it would be nice to know if one has finally been awarded.

I'll have to read up on the award of the SG since I missed whatever release it was in.

-Cheers
________________
"I'm doing the same thing I do every night, Pinky..." comment from one lab mouse to another.
Todjaeger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2006   #10
Defense Professional / Analyst
Corporal
No Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 184
Threads:
It hasn't. I suspect this is the incident they were talking about as a potential VC. In WWI it was commonplace to award a VC for acts like this, but as I said in another forum, maybe they couldn't really justify it since no Australians were killed or even anything more than lightly wounded.

Incidentally I'm watching footage of the presentation on TV now... all faces hidden and so on. The Sergeant SG winner is MASSIVE. Wouldn't surprise me if the Taliban ran away just looking at him!
Simon9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2006   #11
Deaf talker?
General
Todjaeger's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 3,095
Threads:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon9 View Post
It hasn't. I suspect this is the incident they were talking about as a potential VC. In WWI it was commonplace to award a VC for acts like this, but as I said in another forum, maybe they couldn't really justify it since no Australians were killed or even anything more than lightly wounded.

Incidentally I'm watching footage of the presentation on TV now... all faces hidden and so on. The Sergeant SG winner is MASSIVE. Wouldn't surprise me if the Taliban ran away just looking at him!
Any chance of a clip of that making it's way to here? Being 12k miles away, I doubt I get the channel it's showing on...
________________
"I'm doing the same thing I do every night, Pinky..." comment from one lab mouse to another.
Todjaeger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2006   #12
Defense Professional / Analyst
Corporal
No Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 184
Threads:
Try this news site:
http://au.news.yahoo.com/video/seven/index.html

And go to the story entitled "Governor General critical of Iraq policy." Despite the title, it does in fact focus on the story of the medal presentation!
Simon9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 27th, 2006   #13
Troll Hunter
General
WebMaster's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: GA, USA
Posts: 18,119
Threads:
Threads merged. Please post all discussions and updates related to Australian army here instead of opening many threads on same topic.

Thank you!
________________
Wise man says...
DefenceTalk.com | SinoDefenceForum.com

Got a problem? Need help? Contact me!
WebMaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 28th, 2006   #14
Banned Member
Lieutenant Colonel
No Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,259
Threads:
Land400 considerations

I posted this elsewhere before realising the correct place is probably here, so here it is again

Some thoughts on the subject:

1. Defence projects are first and foremost political decisions. Sure the Forces get their say, but in the case of Land400 the decision will be highly political because the Federal government was/is (as far as I'm aware) on having the design built in Australia (substantially, meaning about 80% of work).

2. Australian Army has a 'history' with design of armoured vehicles, starting with the very first proposed tank which was the model for the actual Royal Navy design. In fact this has been a consistent trend in Australia - no shortage of clever and creative people who produce World-leading ideas, only to be left hanging while the Australian Government opts for something from elsewhere for rarely understood reasons. M113 is a case in point. Does anyone doubt that Australia could not produce an APC in the 60s which is at least equal to if not better then the M113?

3. Australian Army serves in a unique strategic environment. It is complicated by geography, lack of strong alliance ties with other states in the region, rising cost of fuel (which allows deployment), and its size relative to that of its opponents in possible areas of deployment.
These unique factors suggest that ADF's needs are better served by IFV designs used for other forces in similar situation. As it happens there are only two such forces in the World (global reach, covering all possible contingencies, limited budget, small operational force, limited resources). These are the USMC and the Russian Airborne forces. The reason these are mentioned together is because they are the only troops that use IFV designs specific to their deployment doctrine.

4. The Australian Army is in the process of embracing amphibious warfare as part of its deployment doctrine. This may be surprising since the Australian Army has always gone to war with the help of the Navy, but there you go, never too late to admit the obvious. However this does not include actual beach assaults in the way the USMC still views true amphibious operations. Of course technically speaking 'amphibious' assault would require the assaulting force to approach landing zone using vehicles in fully submersed mode (the turret down equivalent of the ground surface operations).

5. Why are wheeled IFVs so popular? Actually this is a recent trend in the West European and US designs because the Soviet Union had, and Russia continues to produce wheeled APCs and IFVs. In fact Soviet Naval Infantry used wheeled APCs since the 60s. The answer is fairly simple, fuel. Since the dissolution of the USSR, and the mess in Kuwait, not to mention Venezuela, fuel prices have grown consistently. The fuel prices are not helped by the economic growth in China and India. This constant cost to operating AFVs is likely to escalate constantly in future. Wheeled AFVs get better fuel economy, which Soviet Army found out decades ago because their own economy rebuilding after WW2 was unable to support a fully mechanised Army. While fuel price was kept low artificially in the USSR, its scarcity could not be artificially increased for wartime planning, so Soviet generals had to stick to wheeled APCs and adjust their doctrine accordingly.

6. IFVs are designed to be operated by their crews while bringing their dismounted personnel to do battle. After all the discussion on the engines, armour and weapons are finished, what still needs to be added to the IFV design are the human operators and passengers. Australian Army has a scarcity of these. This is only in part due to their volunteer and therefore professional recruitment. Australia as a whole has a shortfall in labour supply and therefore conscription is out of the question because one can not conscript the very labour whos taxes pay for deployments. This is the problem faced by Israel. The problem also forces the Army to design its doctrine and use systems that seek to increase survival of personnel to higher levels then expected in most other armed forces. However these survival enhancements need not be greater amounts of armour that evolve designs from IFVs into light tanks. Keeping designs simple and integrating design and doctrine also allows engineers to keep production and maintenance costs down without sacrificing survivability. This also means that design development phases are short, and there is a lesser chance of sub-system sophistication slowing down development of the whole design.

7. Lastly, if Australia is going to spend 1.5bn on designing and producing its own IFV, it is likely that this needs to be closely coordinated with the operators of the IFVs primary means of deliver, the RAAN. The current project of procuring two large helicopter carriers in Europe therefore needs to be linked to that of LAND400, and the corresponding development of Amphibious Warfare Doctrine as a joint activity. This is likely to save much money for both services, and lead to a decision that God forbid the ships be designed and built in Australia to suit our unique needs.

Cheers
Greg
FutureTank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2006   #15
Just Hatched
Private
No Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11
Threads:
Defence forces get more muscle in $1 billion strategy

THE AGE
Brendan Nicholson
December 15, 2006

A $1 BILLION strategy to tackle the defence recruiting crisis has been approved by federal cabinet.
Prime Minister John Howard today will announce plans to boost the army, navy and air force by 6000 men and women.
A major component will be spending $306 million over 10 years on a military "gap year" scheme that will allow up to 1000 17 to 24-year-olds each year to spend a year in the services within two years of finishing year 12. They would be able to taste the military lifestyle and training, and would not have to stay if they don't like it.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...685825260.html

What are your thoughts? Personally, I applaud the government for shortening the general entry application time and I'd also like to see how far they relax the medical criteria, particularly when it comes to eyesight and orthotics.
RubOneOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:05 PM.