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76th Iraqi Army Brigade Graduation
30 Jun 2015
More than 700 Iraqi Security Force soldiers from the 76th Iraqi Army (IA) Brigade are ready to fight Daesh (ISIL) following the completion of their Building Partner Capacity training which was marked by a ceremony on Sunday 28 June, 2015 at the Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Graduation Parade was an opportunity for senior Iraqi Security Force (ISF) personnel, and their Australian and New Zealand trainers to congratulate and recognise the completion of the eight weeks of training conducted by the Brigade. During their training, Australian and New Zealand soldiers challenged the ISF, exposing them to a broad cross section of situations which included moving from the rural environment to an urban population centre and conducting building clearances whilst combating obstacles including Improvised Explosive Devices. Task Group Taji will now focus its efforts on the 1st Battalion, of the 71st Brigade which commenced training in late June 2015 as part of the BPC mission. The Australian and New Zealand soldiers anticipate other Iraqi battalions will commence training throughout July. Task Group Taji’s BPC contribution is in addition to the commitment of Australian aircraft which continue air operations over Iraq, and Australia's Special Operations Task Group which is conducting an ‘Advise and Assist’ mission in Iraq.
Parade for Army members deploying to Afghanistan
30 Jun 2015
Over 300 Australian Army soldiers, the majority from the Brisbane based 7th Combat Brigade, have finished their preparations and have been officially farewelled on their mission to Afghanistan. The Parade for members of the Force Protection Element 4 (FPE4) and Force Communication Element 3 (FCE3), part of Operation Highroad, took place at the 8/9th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment on 29 June 2015. It was the culmination of months of training and a chance for families and friends to gather with the Australian Army Forces Commander, Major General Gilmore and Federal Member for Ryan, representing the Prime Minister, Ms Jane Prentice officially farewelling the troops. The soldiers role in Afghanistan will be to protect Australian advisors as they provide valuable assistance to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. Australia remains committed to supporting Afghanistan’s security, governance and development.
Iraqi Security Forces Live Fire Shoot
29 Jun 2015
Iraqi Security Forces, supported by Task Group Taji Australian and New Zealand trainers, have conducted live fire range shoots at the Taji Military Complex, Iraq The shoots were designed to qualify soldiers from 76th Iraqi Army (IA) Brigade on a number of weapon systems, including light and heavy machine guns and M16 rifles supplied by the United States. Task Group Taji will continue to train the 76th Brigade until late June as part of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission. Task Group Taji’s BPC contribution is in addition to the commitment of Australian aircraft which continue air operations over Iraq, and Australia's Special Operation Task Group ‘advise and assist’ mission.
7th Brigade at Exercise Diamond Strike
29 Jun 2015
The Australian Army's 7th Brigade conducted Exercise DIAMOND STRIKE, their annual Combined Arms Training Activity (CATA), in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area from 20 - 30 June, 2015. The exercise featured a combined arms live-fire, a Brigade obstacle breach, an air-mobile insertion and clearance operations. Units involved included the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry); 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment; 8th/9th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment; 1 Regiment Royal Australian Artillery; 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment; 7th Combat Signal Regiment; 7th Combat Service Support Regiment; and the Brigade Headquarter element. Enablers from the 16th Aviation Brigade, the 17th Combat Service Support Brigade and the 6th Combat Service Brigade were also involved while Army Reservists from the 5th and 8th Brigades also took part. The exercise was the culmination of a 12 month training continuum which will see the 7th Brigade certified as Army's "Ready" Brigade from 01 July. From 01 July 2015 until 30 June 2016 the 7th Brigade is the Army's contingency Brigade and will stand ready to conduct the full spectrum of joint and inter-agency operations at short notice.
HMAS Melbourne Missile Firing
26 Jun 2015
The Royal Australian Navy Adelaide class frigate, HMAS Melbourne, has successfully fired two Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, reinforcing her war-fighting and mariner skills. The missile firings were conducted off the coast of New South Wales on 24 June against an unmanned aerial target launched from the Beecroft Range at Jervis Bay. Melbourne's MK-41 Vertical Launch System deployed the missiles, controlled in flight, resulting in a successful engagement with the target as part of her operational training program. The Evolved Sea Sparrow is a medium-range, semi-active homing missile that makes flight corrections via radar and midcourse data uplinks. It can be used against Surface-to-Air and Surface-to-Surface targets. The missile is one of the suite of weapons use by Australian frigates. Later this year, Melbourne will deploy to the Middle East as part of Operation MANITOU where she will support efforts to counter and deter terrorism and the trade of narcotics.
AIRMSHL Geoff Brown joins KC-30 flight over Iraq
25 Jun 2015
Air Marshal Geoff Brown, AO, Chief of Air Force talks about Air to Air refuelling operations in the Middle East Region. Australia’s Air Task Group (ATG) as part of Operation OKRA comprises six RAAF F/A-18A Hornets, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft. Nearly 400 personnel have deployed to the Middle East as part of, or in direct support of the ATG. Operation OKRA is the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the international effort to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq. Australia's contribution is being closely coordinated with the Iraqi government, Gulf nations and a broad coalition of international partners.
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725 Squadron Commissioning12 Jun 2015The strength of the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm was enhanced with the Commissioning of 725 Squadron on Thursday, 11 June 15 at Naval Air Station at HMAS Albatross, Nowra. Minister for Defence, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP joined The Member for Gilmore Ms Ann Sudmalis, Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN and Guest of Honour, Ms Gabby Kennard at the ceremony. Equipped with the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’, 725 Squadron will operate as the training squadron. The maritime combat helicopters are the next generation submarine hunter and anti-surface warfare aircraft. 725 Squadron has a long and proud military history. This is the fourth time the Squadron has formed.12 Jun 2015
HMAS Newcastle narcotics seizure16 Jun 2015Maritime security operations by Australian and New Zealand frigates operating in the Middle East region during the past six weeks have seized almost a tonne of narcotics worth an estimated street value of $811 million. Royal Australian Navy Guided Missile Frigate, HMAS Newcastle netted 724kg of narcotics worth an estimated $597 million. During the same operation, New Zealand ship HMNZS Te Kaha seized 257kg of narcotics worth an estimated $214 million. HMAS Newcastle has been working closely with other CMF ships including the Royal Navy frigate HMS Richmond and French National Navy command and replenishment ship French Ship Var. The combined counter-terrorism and counter-narcotic maritime operation was conducted from 29 April to 15 June 2015. HMAS Newcastle is currently deployed to the Middle East region as part of Australian Defence Force’s Operation MANITOU. HMAS Newcastle is the 60th rotation of a RAN vessel to the Middle East region since the first Gulf War in 1990.16 Jun 2015
Captain Wales concludes his attachment with the ADF08 May 2015Captain Harry Wales has completed his four week military exchange with the Australian Defence Force. After returning to Australia from Centenary of Anzac commemorations in Gallipoli, Captain Wales has completed the final two weeks of his Australian Army attachment, training with soldiers of the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) in Perth Western Australia and the 2nd Commando Regiment in Sydney New South Wales. Captain Wales challenged himself against elements of the gruelling SASR selection course, including a fitness test and a physical training session with SASR selection candidates. Captain Wales also joined SASR members in Perth for live fire shooting exercises with numerous Special Forces weapons at a variety of ranges and completed an insertion training exercise using a rigid hull inflatable boat. In Sydney this week, Captain Wales undertook urban operations training with the 2nd Commando Regiment. Training activities included remotely detonating an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and repelling from a building. Captain Wales also spent time flying over Sydney as co-pilot of an Army Black Hawk and participated in counter-terrorism training on Sydney Harbour with Royal Australian Navy clearance divers. While at the Australian Army’s Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney, Captain Wales visited the high performance rehabilitation wing of the Soldier Recovery Centre and participated in a mountain bike training activity alongside some of the Army’s wounded, injured and ill members. During the first phase of his Australian military attachment Captain Wales spent two weeks in the Northern Territory which included meeting the local Indigenous community, a patrol with the North-West Mobile Force (NORFORCE) in the remote Kununurra region and time with 1st Brigade in Darwin where he flew an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tiger. Captain Wales’ attachment with the Australian Defence Force officially concludes on Friday, 8 May 2015, after which he will depart for an official Royal tour to New Zealand.08 May 2015
Anzac Day in Kabul, Afghanistan25 Apr 2015At the Dawn Service in Kabul, Afghanistan, both Australian and Turkish Defence Force personnel gathered to commemorate this solemn occasion, along with representatives from coalition partners and special guests. On Anzac Day, we remember not only the original Anzacs who died on 25th April 1915, but every one of our service men and women who have died or served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Anzac Day is a time to reflect on the contribution made by all of our past and present service men and women who have displayed great courage, discipline and self-sacrifice in choosing a life of service to their country. The Anzac spirit lives in the hearts and minds of all Australians as we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who contributed so much in shaping the identity of this proud nation. Approximately 2240 ADF members are currently deployed on operations, continuing the Anzac spirit whilst serving Australia’s national interests at home and in many countries around the world.25 Apr 2015
Exercise Diamond Strike23 Jun 2015Commandos from 1st Commando Regiment lined the sky as they dropped into coastal waters off Shoalwater Bay training area as part of an advanced force operation in support of 7 Combat Brigade Combined Arms Training Activity - Exercise Diamond Strike 15 . As a slight storm swept across the coast moments after the insertion, the Commandos gathered together and stormed Freshwater beach to begin scenario based operations. Over the next three days the commandos conducted several raids and direct action missions by day and night around the training area to test the Commandos' collective skills designed to bring them to breaking point in order to identify lessons and to learn from the experience; all in support of 7 Combat Brigade's scheme of manoeuvre. Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) provides Advance Force Operations (AFO) effects to the joint operating environment. Point Of Entry Seizure is one of those key tasks that SOCOMD force elements are trained, equipped and prepared to conduct at very high levels of readiness. AFO involves the precision suppression, neutralisation or destruction of high value targets, seizure of key terrain and disruption of command and control systems in order to shape the environment for follow-on forces. The 1st Commando Regiment, along with the other SOCOMD units, contribute significantly to the generation of this effect. This type of training is a way 1st Commando Regiment 's Reservists can pull together all of their Commando and Specialist Support Staff skills collectively in order to have the desired effect on the ground. Due to operational tempo this type of training has not been conducted for many years within the regiment. The training was highly successful and provided some intense training serials to increase individual and collective skill sets. The 1st Commando Regiment is a unique Special Forces unit within Special Operations Command - Australia. It is a combined Army Reserve and Australia Regular Army unit with its Regimental Headquarters and 301 Signals Squadron based at Randwick, Sydney NSW and the Commando Companies at HMAS Penguin, Balmoral NSW and Fort Gellibrand, Williamstown VIC. Commandos focus on precision strike, direct action, support to domestic counter terrorism and command and control for SOCOMD.23 Jun 2015
A day in the life of a recruit at Kapooka19 Jun 2015Australian Army recruits complete soldier training at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, near Wagga Wagga, before becoming full-time soldiers. The 83-day recruit course is physically challenging and mentally demanding. Over this period, recruits progress through increasing levels of physical and mental challenges, learning the basics of soldiering including the use of infantry weapons, navigation, communications, drill, military ethos and leadership. The training centre’s mission is to develop and deliver quality recruit training in order to produce trained, motivated and fit Australian soldiers. Before ‘marching out’ to commence their initial employment training and career in the Australian Army, the recruits must pass a series of assessments or 'gates' throughout their time at Kapooka, including a final Challenge exercise in the final week of training. While challenging, training is designed to instil a level of resilience and prepare recruits to serve their country whilst upholding the Australian Army values – courage, initiative, respect and teamwork19 Jun 2015
New Australian Jammers Protect Afghan Forces16 Jun 2015Australian-made radio signal jamming devices were provided to the Afghan Nation Army to protect their soldiers against remote controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs). One device, known as “Greengum” disrupts radio waves used to trigger IEDs. After an initial delivery in January, the roll-out began in mid-May with about 1600 Greengum units provided to the Afghan security forces, along with a number of vehicle mounted “Greygum” radio signal jammers to follow. IEDs remain a favoured insurgent weapon in Afghanistan due to their low cost and remote operation. Greengum could protect Afghan soldiers against a significant number of IEDs they encounter.16 Jun 2015
76th Iraqi Army Brigade training well underway11 Jun 2015Operation OKRA is the ADF's contribution to the international effort to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq. Task Group Taji (TG Taji) is a combined Australian-New Zealand military training force located at the Taji Military Complex northwest of Baghdad. TG Taji has been deployed to Iraq to support an international effort to train and build the capacity of the regular Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). TG Taji’s Building Partner Capacity mission is a training mission and as such the ADF and NZDF troops are operating in a non-combat role.11 Jun 2015
Exercise Aces North 201522 Jun 2015Exercise Aces North 2015 is the culmination of FCI course held at RAAF Base Tindal and Darwin over the period 28 May – 25 June 2015. Exercise Aces North is supported by personnel and assets from Number 1 Squadron and Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit. FCI course is run from 12 January to 26 June 2015 at Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit (2OCU). The aim of FCI course is to graduate expert leaders and instructors capable of tactics development, validation and instruction and is run every two years.22 Jun 2015
PTI Deployed to ACES North17 Jun 2015RAAF Williamtown PTI CPL Jay Cockburn deployed to RAAF Darwin as part of exercise ACES North 15 to provide dedicated physical training support to the exercise participants. Exercise ACES North 15 is being conducted over the period 24 May -26 June15.17 Jun 2015
Explosive Detector Dogs Exercise11 Jun 2015Exercise Taipan Detector 15 is an inaugural Certification Exercise for Explosive Detector Dog (EDD) teams. The exercise also aims to further develop inter-agency relations with Federal and State law enforcement groups, which includes EDD teams from Queensland Police, Tasmania Police, Australian Federal Police, Australian Customs and Boarder Protection Service and NSW Police. Conducted at various venues throughout the ACT, the training carried out at Canberra's GIO Stadium was intended to train handlers, and their dogs, to perform clearances prior to the arrival of VIPs and dignitaries to an event held in a public environment.11 Jun 2015
Airfield Engineering Trades at work17 Jun 2015Australia’s Air Task Group (ATG) as part of Operation OKRA comprises six RAAF F/A-18A Hornets, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft and a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft. Nearly 400 personnel have deployed to the Middle East as part of, or in direct support of the ATG. Operation OKRA is the Australian Defence Force's contribution to the international effort to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq. Australia's contribution is being closely coordinated with the Iraqi government, Gulf nations and a broad coalition of international partners.17 Jun 2015