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SECFOR Newsletter Issue 3.

Click on the first page below to view Security Force 1’s  newsletter in full.

State President’s Newsletter – Edition 1

Click on the first page below to view State President Terry Meehan’s newsletter in full.

 

AUSTRALIA’S HEROES IN THE SKIES REMEMBERED

Friday, 1 March 2013                                                                                                                         VA016

 

 

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, has called on all Australians to remember the efforts of the men who served for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, as tomorrow commemorates the 70th anniversary of the battle.

 

“The Battle of the Bismarck Sea was a crucial Allied attack which prevented thousands of Japanese reinforcements arriving in New Guinea. The courage, skill and tenacity shown by members of the RAAF during this important Allied victory will forever be remembered.

 

“Working in coordination with the United States Army Air Forces, RAAF aircrew fought tirelessly in poor weather conditions, demonstrating excellent planning and coordination to deliver a devastating blow to the Japanese,” Mr Snowdon said.

 

On 2 March 1943, the Battle of the Bismarck Sea erupted as Allied forces attacked enemy transport ships making their way to New Guinea to reinforce their troops after recent defeats at Milne Bay, the Kokoda track, the Beachheads and Wau.

 

Thick cloud cover originally shielded the Japanese ships making their way to New Guinea but, as skies cleared, a formation of B17 Flying Fortresses attacked the convoy. These attacks continued throughout the day in relays, with several ships being damaged and at least one transport sunk. It was however the following day, 3 March, when Allied forces were most successful as skies were clear.

 

On the morning of 3 March, RAAF Beaufort torpedo bombers attacked the convoy followed closely by 13 RAAF Beaufighters from Milne Bay that inflicted damage to the convoy. Following further attacks by the United States Army Air Forces, the final aerial attacks resulted in the sinking of all eight enemy transport ships, four escorting destroyers and damage to a further four destroyers.

 

Japanese forces suffered horrendous losses with more then 2,800 killed, while the battle cost the Allies 13 lives and eight wounded.

 

“Records show that few Allied aircraft were lost during this Battle, however we should remember the mental and physical strain placed on pilots and crew during such battles. Forced to fly long hours, with little rest in harsh environments, these Australians did our country proud.

 

“They didn’t take a backwards step and asked for nothing in return. It is only right that we remember their efforts today, on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bismarck Sea,”  Mr Snowdon said.

 

Media inquiries:      Minister Snowdon: Marcus Butler 0417 917 796

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

National President’s Newsletter No 2 of 2013

Here is the latest newsletter from National President Ken Doolan. Click here to read it in full, the first paragraphs of Item 1

Letter from Prime Minister Gillard.   Members of the League will recall that I wrote to
the Prime Minister on 4 October 2012 forwarding a document titled ‘An RSL
Perspective’. The Prime Minister replied to this letter on 4 February 2013 thanking
the League for the submission and noting that the “Australian Government
recognises the role of the RSL as having a specific place in Australia’s identity and
supporting our veterans and families of conflicts past and present.”
The League asked the Prime Minister to ‘respond to our detailed submission about
the indexation of military superannuation and the separation of military
superannuation schemes from other Commonwealth superannuation schemes’……..

Read more here

“We Will Remember Them”

It is that time of year again when at the 11th Hour on the 11th Day of the 11th Month, we remember the sacrifice of all Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen who have served and those who have sacrificed their lives in the defence of our Nation.

The Great War, as World War I became known was thought to be the war to end all wars at the time.  Compiègne Forest where the armistice was signed in a railway carriage in France, was the scene of jubilation in WWII when Adolf Hitler did a victory dance at the same spot following the success of the  German armies Blitzkrieg in 1940.

On September 7th 1920, in strictest secrecy four unidentified British bodies were exhumed from temporary battlefield cemeteries at Ypres, Arras, the Asine and the Somme. None of the soldiers who did the digging were told why. The bodies were taken by field ambulance to GHQ at St-Pol-sur-Ternoise. There the bodies were draped with the Union Flag. Sentries were posted and Brigadier-General Wyatt and a Colonel Gell selected one body at Random. A French honour guard was selected, who stood by the coffin overnight. In the morning of the 8th a specially designed coffin made of oak from the grounds of Hampton Court was brought and the Unknown Warrior placed inside.

On top was placed a Crusaders Sword and a shield on which was inscribed ‘A British Warrior who fell in the Great War 1914-1918. For King and Country’. On the 9th of November the Unknown Warrior was taken by horse drawn carriage through Guards of Honour and the sound of tolling bells and bugle calls to the Quayside. There it was saluted by Marshall Foche and loaded onto HMS Verdun bound for Dover…..The coffin stood on the deck covered in wreaths and surrounded by the French Honour Guard. On arrival at Dover the the Unknown Warrior was greeted with a 19 gun salute, normally only reserved for field marshals. He then traveled by special train to Victoria station London. He stayed there overnight and on the morning of the 11th of November he was taken to Westminster Abbey.

The Idea of the Unknown Soldier was thought of by a Padre called David Railton who had served at the front during the Great War and it was the Union Flag he used as an altar cloth at the front, that had been draped over the coffin. The intention was that all relatives of the 517,773 combatants whose bodies had not been identified could believe that the Unknown Warrior could very well be their lost Husband, Father, Brother or Son….

The Tomb of our Unknown Soldier is buried in Canberra, at the Australian War Memorial and not only on Remembrance Day, remember the men and women of the Australian Defence Force by holding your hand over your heart in recognition that we all hold our respect for their sacrifices made for our great Nation.

The tradition of holding our hand on our heart should be observed by all Australians, not just servicemen, as it is in recognition of the Unknown Soldier, buried to represent all soldiers unable to be identified or found. During the internment of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey, the guard of honour was made up of 100 recipients of the Victoria Cross and the guests of honour were a group of about one hundred women chosen because they had each lost their husband and all their sons in the war. Every recipient of the Victoria Cross held their hands, not over their heart, but over their medals, hiding them in recognition that their deeds of valour were indeed nothing in comparison to the sacrifice of those who had laid down their lives.

“Lest we Forget” 

ADF announces the death of PTE Nathanael Galagher | Aussies At War

From Evernote:

ADF announces the death of PTE Nathanael Galagher | Aussies At War

Clipped from: http://aussiesatwar.com.au/adf-announces-the-death-of-pte-nathanael-galagher/

Posted on September 1, 2012 Written by Leave a Comment(Edit)

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It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Private Nathanael John Aubrey Galagher during operations in Afghanistan.

Private Galagher was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on 30 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Private Galagher is survived by his partner Jessie, parents Wayne and Sally and sister Elanor.

Twenty-three year old Private Galagher was born in Wee Waa, New South Wales in 1989. He joined the Army on 22 October 2007 and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR). On completion of his Selection and Training Course and Reinforcement Cycle, Private Galagher was posted to the 2nd Commando Regiment in November 2011. Private Galagher was on his second tour to Afghanistan

Private Galagher always put in 110% in every thing he did. He had a ‘can-do’ attitude, always wanting to get the job done and taking everything in his stride. He was an enthusiastic, young soldier who was very well respected by his mates from the Regiment.

Private Galagher has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp ICAT, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Defence Medal, the NATO non article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF and the Multiple Tour Indicator (2), the Infantry Combat Badge and the Returned from Active Service Badge.

During Private Galagher’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following Operations;

Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2012,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Sep 2009 – Feb 2010.

ADF announces the death of LCPL Mervyn McDonald | Aussies At War

From Evernote:

ADF announces the death of LCPL Mervyn McDonald | Aussies At War

Clipped from: http://aussiesatwar.com.au/adf-announces-the-death-of-lcpl-mervyn-mcdonald/

Posted on September 1, 2012 Written by Leave a Comment(Edit)

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It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Lance Corporal Mervyn John McDonald during operations in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal McDonald was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on 30 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Lance Corporal McDonald is survived by his fiancée Rachael, his mother Myrna and stepfather Bernie, and brothers Percy, Roger and Gary.

Thirty-year old Lance Corporal McDonald was born in Carnarvon, Western Australia in 1982. He joined the Army on 31 May 1999 and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR). On completion of his Selection and Training Course and Reinforcement Cycle, Lance Corporal McDonald was posted to the then 4th Battalion (Commando), The Royal Australian Regiment, now the 2nd Commando Regiment, in August 2008. Lance Corporal McDonald was on his sixth tour to Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal McDonald was quick witted and brought a positive energy to both his unit comrades and all those who served with him. A dedicated and enthusiastic professional soldier, he was always willing to come forward with ideas and solutions. He was a highly professional soldier, but his quiet nature and humility meant he always deflected credit back on to fellow members of his Company.

Lance Corporal McDonald has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp East Timor and ICAT, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Service Medal with Clasp East Timor, Timor Leste and CT/SR, the Australian Defence Medal, the United Nations Mission in Support of East Timor Medal, the Timor Leste Solidarity Medal, the NATO non article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF and Multiple Tour Indicator (2), Commander 1st Division Commendation, Infantry Combat Badge and the Returned from Active Service Badge.

During Lance Corporal McDonald’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following Operations;

Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2012,
Operation Norwich (Australia) Nov 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Apr – May 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Feb – Mar 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Mar – Jun 2010,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Mar – Jul 2009,
Operation Astute (Timor-Leste) Mar – Jun 2007,
Operation Astute (Timor-Leste) May – Sep 2006,
Operation Citadel (East Timor) May – Oct 2003,
Operation Tanager (East Timor) Oct 2000 – Apr 2001.

ADF announces the death of LCPL Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic | Aussies At War

From Evernote:

ADF announces the death of LCPL Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic | Aussies At War

Clipped from: http://aussiesatwar.com.au/adf-announces-the-death-of-lcpl-stjepan-rick-milosevic/

Posted on September 1, 2012 Written by Leave a Comment(Edit)

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It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Lance Corporal Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic on operations in Afghanistan on 29 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Lance Corporal Milosevic, known as Rick to his family and Milo to his comrades, deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group and was from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, Queensland Mounted Infantry (2/14 LHR (QMI)) based in Brisbane, Queensland.

Lance Corporal Milosevic is survived by his wife and their two children.

Lance Corporal Milosevic was born in Penrith, New South Wales, in 1972. He enlisted in the Army in 2008. He was posted as a Cavalryman to the 2/14 LHR (QMI) in Brisbane in 2009 on completion of his basic training and initial employment training. His potential was quickly identified and he achieved outstanding course results in a short period of time; being promoted to Lance Corporal in 2011 and becoming a light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) crew commander. He was a highly-qualified soldier with a strong future.

Lance Corporal Milosevic was a much liked and respected member of the Regiment. His leadership and professional abilities stood out in the unit, on the rugby field and on operations. He was also a devoted family man. He will be sorely missed by his family and comrades.

Lance Corporal Milosevic has been awarded the following honours and awards:

• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasps IRAQ 2003 and ICAT
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Iraq Campaign Medal
• Australian Defence Medal
• NATO Non Article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF
• Army Combat Badge
• Return from Active Service Badge

During Lance Corporal Milosevic’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following operations:

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) June – August 2012
Operation KRUGER (Iraq) June – September 2010

ADF announces the death of PTE Robert Poate | Aussies At War

From Evernote:

ADF announces the death of PTE Robert Poate | Aussies At War

Clipped from: http://aussiesatwar.com.au/adf-announces-the-death-of-pte-robert-poate/

Posted on September 1, 2012 Written by Leave a Comment(Edit)

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It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Private Robert Hugh Frederick Poate on operations in Afghanistan on 29 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Private Robert Poate was a member of the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group and was from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR), based in Brisbane, Queensland.

Private Poate is survived by his parents Hugh and Janny, and his sister, Nicola.

Private Poate was born in Canberra, in 1988. He enlisted in the Army in 2009. On completion of his basic and initial employment training, he was posted as a rifleman to 6 RAR. Private Poate was a highly qualified soldier, having completed specialist training as a Protected Mobility Vehicle Driver in 2010 and Protected Mobility Vehicle Commander in 2011.

Private Poate was known for having outstanding leadership potential, which led to him completing a promotion course for Corporal in 2011. He will be fondly remembered by his ‘Brothers by Choice’ in 6 RAR as a larrikin and an incredibly professional soldier. Private Poate had a reputation for creating mischief without getting caught, and was proud of his family, his military service, his Canberran origins, and his red hair, which he vehemently defended as being ‘strawberry blonde’.

Private Poate has been awarded the following honours and awards:

• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp ICAT
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Australian Defence Medal
• NATO Non Article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF
• Infantry Combat Badge

During Private Poate’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following operation:

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) June – August 2012