Home' Navy News : April 15th 2010 Contents "THEY RE KEEPING THEIR PROMISE TO MY DAD."
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April 15, 2010
By Michael Brooke
IN A move designed to boost the
Navy's medical personnel through
a Defence Force Recruiting-ini-
tiated event, HMAS Kanimbla
(CMDR Tim Byles) opened her
gangway recently to 21 medical
students to give them a glimpse of
life in the RAN.
If they choose to answer the 'call
of the sea', they will enrol in either
the ADF Sponsored Undergraduate
(Medical) or the Graduate Medical
Scheme, which over the years has
enabled Navy to recruit skilled and
qualified medical officers.
The 21 medical students were
given a comprehensive inspection
of Kanimbla by LEUT Richard
Classon in his capacity as the OC of
the Primary Care Reception Facility
The medical students were
surprised that both Kanimbla and
HMAS Manoora were fitted with
PCRFs that provide a Level Three
LEUT Classon, who was
awarded the Queen's Gold Medal
in recognition of his outstanding
performance during the New Entry
Help us help you
Sea King tragedy remembered
taste life in the RAN
Officer Course and also the Military
Advanced Resuscitation Course at
Bandiana, explained how the PCRF
enabled early treatment of casual-
ties.The PCRF consists of a casualty
reception area located forward of the
hangar; a modern operating theatre;
an eight-bed high dependency unit,
with two of those beds able to be
used as intensive care beds; a 36 bed
low dependency unit and x-ray and
He told the students the PCRF
had been used in numerous deploy-
ments, including combat operations
in Iraq and Afghanistan, peace-
keeping operations in the Solomon
Islands, border protection, and dur-
ing humanitarian assistance mis-
sions like Op Padang Assist and Ops
Sumatra Assist I/II.
WORLD OF OPPORTUNITY: LEUT Richard Classon shows visiting
medical students around HMAS Kanimbla. Photo: ABIS Peter Thompson
DEFENCE personnel recently joined
with relatives of those who died in the
Nias accident to remember the Sea
King Shark 02 crash in which nine
young ADF lives were lost while on
humanitarian duties in Indonesia.
Led by Navy Chaplain Garry Lock,
the April 1 service was attended by
Defence Minister John Faulkner, CDF
ACM Angus Houston, Defence Secretary
Ian Watt, CN VADM Russ Crane, CAF
AIRMSHL Mark Binskin, DCN RADM
Davyd Thomas and CAPT George
McGuire representing HMAS Kanimbla.
Addressing the service, ACM Houston
recalled when he first heard of the worst
tragedy that befell the ADF in his time as
the Chief of Air Force.
ACM Houston honoured the nine
men and women and their families. He
also recognised the two survivors, Scott
Nichols and Shane Warburton.
"Today I must acknowledge that for
five years those who were left behind
have had to endure life without [their
loved ones]," ACM Houston said.
"I also extend my gratitude and
esteem to the survivors of this terrible
accident. They too have endured five
years of great challenge. Their courage
and strength in the face of adversity has
"Today, try as I might, no words of
mine will do proper justice to the mem-
ory or the many achievements of these
The service ended with the laying of
wreaths in memory of those who were
lost: SQNLDR Paul McCarthy, LEUT
Matthew Davey, LEUT Jonathan King,
LEUT Paul Kimlin, LEUT Matthew
Goodall, FLTLT Lynne Rowbottom, PO
Stephen Slattery, SGT Wendy Jones and
LS Scott Bennet.
By Fiona van der Plaat
THE future of many veterans' health
care could depend on what the Defence
Military Health Outcomes Program
(MilHOP) finds when it turns the
microscope on tens of thousands of
personnel who have been, and will be,
deployed to the Middle East.
A survey of all members who have
served in the Middle East and ongoing
pre- and post-deployment physiological
tests on future MEAO deployed person-
nel will be the key to proving a crucial
link between illness and deployment.
Professor Sandy McFarlane, principal
investigator for the MilHOP studies, said
nailing down scientific evidence of this
link was critical, both for helping veter-
ans who believe deployment has affected
their health and for finding ways of pre-
venting such illness.
"The best evidence comes from stud-
ies that begin as close as possible to the
deployments of interest, so that is why a
major study of the MEAO deployments
is about to begin," he said.
While psychological conditions such
as post-traumatic stress disorder and
depression can arise from deployment,
Prof McFarlane said researchers would
look at how prolonged exposure to high
levels of stress could disorganise a per-
son's physiology, particularly the ability
to fight infection.
Prof McFarlane said the MilHOP
studies would build on knowledge
gained from past investigations, such as
those from the Gulf War, Bougainville,
Solomon Islands and East Timor and
would take a leaf from modern analyses
of elite athletes.
"Work done with Olympic athletes
has shown that improving performance
depends on careful scientific studies of
physiological and psychological factors,"
Prof McFarlane said.
"If you are a fit and healthy member
of the ADF, you might think such studies
have no relevance to you," he said.
"But the best way to help your mates
is for you to be involved. We need to
understand what keeps people healthy
just as much as we need to find what
exposures make people sick."
CRUCIAL LINK: The aim of the
MilHOP is to find a link between
illness and deployment.
Photo: LSIS Yuri Ramsey
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