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More Defence news: 20 April 2009 - 26 April 2009

Minister for Defence visits Afghanistan | Australian Troops Battle With Taliban Insurgents | Ashmore Reef incident sequence of events | Wreckage of missing Canberra bomber located in Vietnam | Wreckage of RAAF Aircraft found in Vietnam | Navy ship farewelled


Minister for Defence visits Afghanistan

The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP

25 April 2009 - The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP and Keith Payne VC, visited the troops in Afghanistan and participated in Anzac Day commemorative services.

More: Tarin Kowt visit | Dawn service | Video | Audio


Australian Troops Battle With Taliban Insurgents

Lieutenant Bradley Freeman (rear right) a Platoon Commander with Combat Team Tusk, refers to his map and radios instructions as his soldiers go firm to support other members of his platoon, as they advance during Operation Shak Haliwel in the Kakarak region of Uruzgan Province.

25 April 2009 - Major combat operations involving Special Forces and the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force targeting Taliban insurgents have been completed.

More: Image Gallery | Video | Media Release


Ashmore Reef incident sequence of events

15 minutes after the incident on Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel (SIEV) 36, HMAS Albany's RHIB is recovered by Childers to disembark casualties that are unable to walk/climb.

24 April 2009 - The events surrounding the incident occurred in the following order:
* An explosion occurred on board the intercepted vessel at 8:15 am (AEDT).

* 9 ADF personnel were on board the intercepted vessel at the time of the explosion.

* HMAS Childers and HMAS Albany recovered all survivors from the water within about 15 minutes. The search continued.

* Multiple casualties resulted from the explosion with three people deceased and two people reported missing.

* All ADF personnel were accounted for.

* Medical assistance was rendered by ADF personnel via triage to casualties.

* 5 ADF personnel presented with minor injuries and were administered first aid.

* Headquarters Northern Command (HQNORCOM) arranged Casualty Evacuation supported by the Northern Territory and West Australian State and Commonwealth agencies.

* Air Force AP-3C Orions and Customs and Border Protection DASH 8 aircraft conducted a Search and Rescue operation for the two missing persons under the control of AMSA (Rescue Coordination Centre).

* The Patrol Boats proceeded to FPSO Front Puffin for casualty evacuation.

* AP-3C Orions conducted a box-drop of additional medical supplies to the Patrol Boats.

* A Medical Triage facility was established at Truscott and on the Front Puffin.

* HMAS Childers and HMAS Albany transferred the high priority casualties to Front Puffin for triage and evacuation.

* HMAS Childers remained alongside Front Puffin until all casualties had been evacuated.
HMAS Albany departed after disembarking her high priority casualties for high speed transit to Darwin.

* The high priority casualties were transferred from Front Puffin to Truscott by CSC helicopter.

* At Truscott the casualties were again triaged and flown to specialist facilities in Darwin, Broome, Perth or Brisbane hospitals for medical assistance.

* Upon arrival in Darwin HMAS Albany was met by paramedical staff and other government agency staff to assist the casualty reception on 17 April 2009 at 1.30 pm (AEDT).

* HMAS Childers arrived in Darwin on 17 April 2009 at 4.30 pm (AEDT).


Wreckage of missing Canberra bomber located in Vietnam 

Possible Royal Australian Air Force Canberra bomber wreckage found in thick jungle in an extremely rugged, remote and sparsely populated area of Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, near the Laotian border.

23 April 2009 - The Acting Chief of Air Force, Air Vice- Marshal Geoff Brown and Major Brian Manns have confirmed that the wreckage of the missing Canberra bomber flown by Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver, has been located.

Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver are the last two missing Australian Defence Force members from the Vietnam conflict.

The aircraft wreckage is in thick jungle in an extremely rugged, remote and sparsely populated area of Quang Nam Province, Vietnam.

Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver were lost with the aircraft on 3 November 1970 while returning to base following a bombing mission.

More: Media release | Image Gallery


Wreckage of RAAF Aircraft found in Vietnam

Canberra Bomber

21 April 2009 - Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver disappeared on 3 November 1970. They had conducted a bombing mission and were returning to base when their Canberra bomber was lost without trace.

The Australian Defence Investigation Team are confident they have located the Royal Australian Air Force Canberra bomber wreckage in thick jungle in an extremely rugged, remote and sparsely populated area of Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, near the Laotian border.

The Defence team has spent a week in the isolated province gaining information and hiking in to the wreck site. The recovery team deployed to the site by foot on Wednesday 15 April.

While no human remains were found, a number of military artifacts have been discovered including a club badge which was unique to RAAF’s No. 2 Squadron.

More: Image Gallery | Media release


Navy ship farewelled

Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Richard Austin saying some last minute goodbyes to his 3 month old son, Jack prior to departing in HMAS Ballarat for the Northern Trident deployment.

20 April 2009 - Northern Trident is an important six-month international deployment which will take Sydney and Ballarat to ports in Western Europe, North America and West and North Asia.

The deployment will enhance bilateral relations between Australia and countries visited, whilst actively demonstrating and supporting Australian Defence Industry capabilities.

Highlights of the deployment will include port visits to the East Coast of the United States in reciprocation of the 2008 Great White Fleet activities in Australia.  Sydney and Ballarat will also have the opportunity to exercise with foreign Navies including India, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Ballarat will sail from Fleet Base East, Sydney on Monday 20 April 2009. Sydneywill sail later in the week and rendezvous with Ballarat.

Ballarat is the sixth of eight Anzac class frigates to be commissioned into the RAN.  In her four years of RAN service Ballarat has voyaged around Australia and overseas, including a six-month active service deployment to the Persian Gulf in 2006.

Sydney is an Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigate (FFG-03) commissioned into service, on the 29 January 1983.  Sydney has recently undergone comprehensive upgrades and can effectively counter simultaneous threats from the air, sea surface and under water.

More: Image Gallery