SAS Sqn in the western desert of Iraq during Op Falconer
... the squadron has won the ADF's first Unit Citation for
Gallantry. Photo provided by SOCOMD
A member of 1 SAS Sqn in the turret of his LRPV during the
major combat phase of Op Falconer. The unit did not lose
a single member to enemy fire.
Photo provided by SOCOMD
Maj Peter Tinley, SASR
Pte John Wellfare
ABSOLUTE commitment to training and professionalism is the key to
the SASR's success according to a soon-to-depart member, decorated
for service during Op Falconer.
Peter Tinley, who served as the Deputy Commander for the Special
Forces Task Group in Iraq, has been made a Member of the Order of
Australia, for his role in the planning and coordination of the
Tinley said 1SAS Sqn's entry into Iraq was a significant culmination
of the planning that had occurred.
got a very good feel for it because we were on the radio with them
at the time," he said.
was an approaching Iraqi vehicle convoy off the right flank of our
guys. They were lights out, at night, clearly identified through
night vision equipment that it was Iraqi military vehicles.
was that pregnant pause between that recognition and the fact that
this is time to engage the enemy and that was the thing that snapped
them into what they needed to be focused on."
Tinley spent three months involved in planning in the US before
deploying to the Middle East.
Government hadn't committed us at that stage ... but you can't just
arrive at those things and expect a place at the last moment.
planning was tying up all the possibilities, all the credible options
for the deployment and our operations in western Iraq.
was the right fit for us. It was a strategically important mission
that we were given to ensure that these Scuds weren't launched,
because if one had got away, it potentially could have fractured
what ... support there was."
Tinley said the campaign had also demonstrated that the squadron
had proven the unit's approach to training and individual skills.
quality of the individuals and the junior leadership that was shown
by the NCOs and the young officers really came to the fore and validated
the fact that our training methods are right."