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September 16, 2010
POCD Darren Smith was recently presented
with the Meritorious Service Medal by
Chief of Navy, VADM Russ Crane.
The presentation was made in front of staff
HMAS Waller embarked the Fleet
Commander, RADM Steve Gilmore, for a
brief foray into the life sub-aquatic on July
For his first time at sea in a Collins-class
submarine, Waller introduced RADM Gilmore
to a variety of submarine activities including
in-shore operations, damage control evolu-
tions, and simulated weapons firings, all cul-
minating in bottoming near Rottnest Island.
Diver honoured by Chief of
MERITORIOUS SERVICE: POCD Darren Smith
is presented his MSM by VADM Russ Crane.
Fleet Commander goes
and students at the RAN Diving School at
PO Smith recently joined the RAN after
serving with distinction in the Royal Navy
VADM Crane said PO Smith, having
served in a variety of units, had attained the
highest possible skill levels in all of his duties
in the specialist areas of diving and explosive
CN was also on hand to congratulate the
graduates of Basic Clearance Diving Course
75 (BCD 75).
After several months on one of the most
gruelling courses in the ADF, CN passed his
words of wisdom on to the graduates.
BCD 75 students will soon be posted to
various positions in the Australian Clearance
Diving Teams and Mine Hunter coastal ves-
-- CPOCD William Taylor
THE development of a new innovative device to be
fitted to F88, M4 and F89 weapons on exercises will
prevent future injuries to soldiers, sailors and airmen
The bullet-trap blank-firing attachment (BTBFA),
developed by Thales Australia Ltd, is designed to catch
a live round fired from a weapon during a blank-firing
exercise, if live ammunition was mistakenly mixed with
The device is made of steel and allows blank rounds
to be fired. The internal baffles and outer casing will
stop live rounds from exiting the barrel, preventing
injury or death to the weapon firer or bystanders.
Project Manager Stan Williamson, from the Defence
Materiel Organisation, said the new device would
replace existing blank-firing attachments currently in
"The $10 million project involves the purchase of
more than 54,000 BTBFAs for the ADF, with 2000 being
manufactured each month at Thales in Lithgow," Mr
"The first units to receive BTBFAs for F88s were the
Army Recruit Training Centre and the School of Infantry
in early September, with other units to receive them at
More than 35,000 F88 BTBFAs will be delivered,
with the remaining F89 and M4 variants delivered by
-- SGT Andrew Hetherington
VIETNAM Veterans' Day was marked across
Australia on August 18 with HMAS Harman (CMDR
Andy Schroder) officially supporting memorial activ-
ities in Batemans Bay.
Six Harman personnel provided a catafalque guard
and parade support for the event in the NSW south-coast
This year attendance followed an increasing trend,
with more than 200 veterans and supporters turning out.
In addition to the ceremony, two members of the
Harman contingent also visited 222 Australian Army
Cadet Unit to provide a rare visit by Defence personnel.
The trip to Batemans Bay has become an annual fea-
ture on the Harman regional engagement calendar and is
a favourite of the base command team.
-- SBLT Sam Chapman
Harman sailors honour Vietnam
Weapons safety development will
prevent future injuries
AN ADF state health conference has highlighted
hearing deficit as an important issue for Defence,
with many jobs across the Services needing proper
Convened by oral surgeon COL Janet Scott and
attended by permanent and reserve nursing, medical and
dental officers, the one-day seminar was held at South
Australia's Repatriation General Hospital at Daw Park.
A special presentation by LTCOL Moose Dunlop
(Retd) and CAPT Robert Kearney on their involvement
in setting up 'Trojan's Trek' -- a program developed to
assist past and present Defence members with military-
induced stress illness -- was of special interest during the
mental health sessions.
"Trojan's Trek works on the principles of 'warrior
to warrior' delivery, with veterans helping veterans and
their families," LTCOL Dunlop said.
If an ADF member needs more information on how to maintain
good mental health, or wants to take advantage of Defence's
strong mental health support services they are encouraged to
contact the All Hours Support Line on 1800 628 036.
-- MAJ Sandra Turner
Mental health key priority across
A COMMEMORATIVE service honouring
Australia's involvement in peacekeeping
missions was scheduled to be held at the
Australian Peacekeeping Memorial site at
Anzac Parade in Canberra on September 14,
beginning at 11am.
Chair of the Australian Peacekeeping
Memorial Committee, MAJGEN Tim Ford
(Retd), said all Defence personnel, their
friends and families were invited to attend
what would be the 63rd anniversary of
Australia's peacekeeping efforts.
Further details can be obtained by phoning 0406
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