ARMY TRAINERS RENAMED IN HONOUR OF VIETNAM HEROES
Australian troops assisting with the training of the Iraqi armed forces will now be known as the Australian Army Training Team Iraq (AATTI) in honour of their Vietnam War predecessors, the Chief of Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy announced today.
"The Australian Army is built on a long and proud history and its soldiers are inspired by the deeds of those who have served before us." Lieutenant General Leahy said.
"Therefore it is fitting that we acknowledge the soldiers of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) by renaming their modern day counterparts the Australian Army Training Team - Iraq."
The team, originally known as the Iraqi Army Training Team, has deployed to help develop a complete Iraqi Army Brigade â€“ from the development of its officers and soldiers to mentoring the Brigade as it trains the new Iraqi soldiers.
The Australian Army has had a small team of training advisers working with the New Iraqi Army since July 2003. In May 2004, the main training team deployed to Iraq with the major task of training the Iraqi Army Brigade. The Australian training team currently consists of 50 Army officers and soldiers. The training they provide includes the full range of professional military and practical skills, implementing orders and instructions, fitness, weapons training and protection and has established a strong foundation for an Iraqi Army Brigade.
"The original Australian Army Training Team Vietnam was a small elite team that is one of the most highly decorated units in the Australian Army. They personified the Armyâ€™s values of courage, initiative and teamwork and are an important part of the history of the Australian Army," Lieutenant General Leahy said.
The team was raised and sent to Vietnam in 1962 and remained until the end of 1972. From an original team of 30 it expanded to 100 personnel in 1965 and reached a peak of 200 members. It consisted mainly of officers, warrant officers and sergeants who were experts in jungle warfare. The unit continuously served for over ten years making it the longest serving unit of any service in any theatre of war.
The team was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, US Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm - Unit Citation and members of the team were awarded four Victoria Crossâ€™, a number of Military Crossâ€™ and numerous Mention in Dispatches.
Just one little correction, the Australian Army Training Team - Vietnam IS the single most highly decorated unit in the Australian Army, though for how much longer is unknown. They seem to be handing out medals like "Yanks" nowadays... (No disrespect intended to any Americans here)...
Here's some pics...
Story and photos obtained from www.defence.gov.au[/img]