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September 3, 2009
By CPL Andrew Hetherington
AFTER six months of hard, hot work
supporting ADF personnel in Iraq and
Afghanistan, Force Support Unit 1 (FSU-1)
has returned to Australia.
FSU-1 officially took over the Billabong
Flats barracks in the MEAO from the previous
unit, the Force Logistics Level Asset -- rota-
tion five on February 11.
XO SQNLDR James Pritchard said the
unit, which is staffed by Navy, Army and Air
Force personnel, performed to a high stand-
"We've been successful as a unit," he said.
"There was a good mix of the three
Services and during the time each Service
learnt something from the others."
Over the term of FSU-1's deployment in
the MEAO, it had many different roles which
it constantly and consistently completed.
"We also were a cargo focus point, dis-
tributed equipment, stores and spare parts
throughout the MEAO and provided camp
maintenance personnel who worked in
Kandahar and Tarin Kowt," SQNLDR
For AB Kevin Morgan who worked in the
unit's stores warehouse, being a part of FSU1
was a rewarding experience.
"I liked being a part of helping all of the
other personnel deployed in the MEAO sup-
plying them with whatever they needed," he
"We've achieved such a lot in such a short
time moving all of the cargo we did."
SQNLDR Pritchard said one of FSU1's
major achievements came with the introduc-
tion of the RAAF C-17 to the MEAO.
"We were able to make the cargo system
work a lot better utilising the C-17 to move
FSU1 returns from MEAO
equipment to where it was needed or send it
home if it was broken," he said.
For SQNLDR Pritchard the highlight of
the deployment was the way the unit was able
to play a part in transporting fallen soldiers
back to Australia.
"We had an important role in making
sure the soldiers were received here and sent
home in a dignified way, ensuring it all went
smoothly," he said.
"Unfortunately we had to perform that
FSU1 officially handed over Billabong
Flats to FSU2 on August 11.
HOT WORK: (Above) AB Kevin Morgan and LS Kelly
Hodgens inspect a unimog truck before it is sent
back to Australia at FSU1 in the MEAO.
(Inset) AB Morgan at work on a fork lift in the stores
warehouse at FSU1HQ.
Photos: CPL Andrew Hetherington
SIX RAN officers and one RNZN officer
were presented with their wings as they
graduated from Basic Observers' Course
(BOC) 57 at RAAF East Sale recently.
LEUT Mat Geurtsen, SBLTs Tom
Craig, Martin Talbot, Will Calvert, ASLTs
Shaun Charlton and Tim Craig and SLT
Christiaan Robertson RNZN, completed
their basic flying training on the Super
King Air to earn their observer wings.
The new RAN observers will join
HMAS Albatross to continue their flight
training while SLT Robertson posts to
No. 6 Squadron at Whenuapei to undergo
Seasprite conversion training.
ASLT Charlton was awarded the prize
for best practical observer on the course
and SLT Robertson was awarded the prize
for academic achievement by the reviewing
officer, Commander Fleet Air Arm CDRE
Anthony Dalton, during the graduation
SBLT Calvert was awarded the Head
of Warfare Community Medallion for the
BOC student who has shown the best over-
all commitment to Navy core values.
Family and friends of the graduates
enjoyed watching flypasts during the
parade by Squirrel and A-109 helicopters
from 723 Squadron (CMDR Don Dezentje)
and King Air aircraft from 32 Squadron
(WGCDR Mike Oram).
New observers earn their
wings at RAAF East Sale
HIGH FLIERS: Reviewing Officer
Commander Australian Navy Aviation
Group CDRE Anthony Dalton (fourth from
left) with graduates of Number 57 Basic
Observers' Course at RAAF East Sale.
The RAN officers have now joined HMAS
Albatross to continue their flight training,
while SLT Christiaan Robertson, RNZN,
has returned to New Zealand.
Photo: AC Terry Hartin
AWM seeks sailor memorabilia
THE Australian War Memorial (AWM) is seeking donations
of memorabilia from sailors to keep their collection fresh
and exciting. A short DVD highlighting the AWM's collection
activities can be viewed on the Navy's website at www.navy.
To register interest in donating items to the AWM, email
DSTO adds science to HMAS
Sydney II inquiry
THE Defence Science and Technology Organisation's (DSTO)
reconstructive work in support of the Commission of Inquiry
into the loss of HMAS Sydney II has been praised by Defence
Personnel, Materiel and Science Minister Greg Combet.
Mr Combet commended the efforts of DSTO and the
Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), which helped
uncover the circumstances surrounding the loss of the ship.
"The expertise of DSTO and RINA was invaluable in
assisting the Commission's determination of what happened
to Sydney II," he said.
A key piece of evidence placed before the commission
was a computer-generated simulation produced by DSTO to
depict the final hours of the ship.
The simulation, based on extensive scientific computer
models, exhaustive analyses of video imagery and photo-
graphs of the wreck site, as well as historical documents and
photographs, illustrated the extent of the torpedo and shell
damage sustained by the vessel.
A copy of the report can be found on the Defence inter-
net site at http://www.defence.gov.au/sydneyii/finalreport
AWD project progressing well
AN ICON in Tasmania's shipbuilding industry, Taylor Brothers
Slipway and Engineering, has won a contract worth more
than $25 million with the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD)
Taylor Brothers will deliver a range of accommodation
products to the Hobart class AWDs including cabin and
sanitary modules, on-board furniture and galley, pantry and
Established in 1936 it has a long and successful history
of working with both domestic and international marine-
The AWD Alliance has also signed a contract for the pro-
vision of what will be Australia's biggest crane.
The crane, with a capacity of more than 900 tonnes, will
be supplied by Manitowoc Crane Group Australia at a cost of
about $14 million.
At ASC's shipyard in Adelaide it will be used to assemble
the ships bringing together the blocks that will make up the
AWDs. The blocks will measure up to 18 metres wide and
weigh up to 250 tonnes.
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