Brigadier Shane Gabriel being interviewed on 7RAR’s homecoming from Afghanistan
A FALLEN soldier has had his legacy cemented with a road near Robertson Barracks in Palmerston named in his honour.
Mathew Hopkins killed in Afghanistan while serving with 7RAR has a road named after him in Darwin
Dedication of CPL “Mathew Hopkins Road”
On the 16th November 2013 at 1100 h the NT Government and 1 BDE will conduct a dedication and opening ceremony for Mathew Hopkins Road.
Mrs Victoria Hopkins Alex will be in attendance.
Members of the 7 RAR Ass, MRTF-1 and 1 BDE are invited to attend, dress can be neat civilians or DPCU.
Location is corner of Mathew Hopkins Road and Thorngate Road as per map below.
I look forward to meeting with you all at the ceremony in fitting recognition of Mathew’s service and sacrifice.
D.J. ALLEN, OAM
Warrant Officer Class One
FROM “dogboxes” to “Club Fed” – South Australians Diggers are today celebrating new digs worthy of heroes at RAAF Base Edinburgh, two years after The Advertiser revealed single service people were living in dodgy dongas.
A $900 million national investment in housing for single service people means SA-based soldiers who served in Afghanistan this year have returned to motel style accommodation, instead of broken down huts with no heating or cooling.
The self-contained units, each housing one person, have an ensuite, kitchenette – including microwave and refrigerator – balcony and parking, all within walking distance of an indoor pool, gym, tennis courts, squash centre, basketball courts, football field, bar, restaurant and shops.
They are a far cry from the temporary huts used when 7RAR relocated from Darwin to Adelaide in 2011, which prompted soldiers to complain the portable tin sheds were not big enough “to swing a cat”.
Single soldiers, including 11 women, have moved into the new development and the dongas are being removed.
Soldiers living at the $90 million Federal Government complex have dubbed it “Club Fed”, while saying it will help retain people in the Australian Defence Force.
“There is a real community feel about it, it feels like a village … or a resort,” Private Christopher Andreou, 19, said.
“I was in the old dogboxes and you could not stretch out without hitting something. The heating and cooling broke down, there was nowhere to put anything, this really is luxury. It’s just awesome.”
Unveiled this week, the 432 units are part of the LEAP 2 program which delivers 3015 units in 14 bases across the nation, under a contract with the Plenary Living group which will maintain them for 33 years.
Federal MP Nick Champion and State MP Leesa Vlahos joined Parliamentary Defence Secretary Senator David Feeney to open the project which was completed on budget. The project created 300 jobs during construction.
“The old barracks just didn’t cut the mustard and these new units are part of our effort to ensure that after investing a lot in recruiting and training our servicepeople, we retain them,” Senator Feeney said.
Private David Sanders, 23, of Clare, is one of the first to move into the units.
“They are clean, modern, fully furnished, everyone is very happy with them,” he said.
“We’ve got lots of facilities here and I love this life.
“I like the physical side of the work and doing 90 minutes of physical training every day before we start works really suits me.”
For Major James O’Hanlon the new units are a sign of changing times.
When he joined the Army 21 years ago, there were four people to a room.
“Times do change and it is good to see these sorts of developments to help keep single people in the ADF,” he said on Wednesday.
The project was completed with no waste going to landfill.
New Task Group takes the lead in Afghanistan
The 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group (7 RAR Task Group) handed over the role of advising the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) 4th Brigade to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Group (2 CAV Task Group) during a Transfer of Authority Ceremony in Tarin Kot on 15 June 2013.
The lowering of the 7 RAR Task Group flag and the raising of the 2 CAV Task Group flag at Multi National Base–Tarin Kot represented the formal change of command authority for one of Australia’s largest force contributions to Afghanistan.
Commanding Officer 7 RAR Task Group Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Wells said the soldiers under his command performed to an exceptional level during their deployment from November 2012 to June 2013.
“The 7 RAR Task Group represented the ADF as a professional and adaptive force at a crucial stage of the transition to Afghan security responsibility,” Lieutenant Colonel Wells said.
Through the Afghan winter and into the traditional summer fighting season, 7 RAR Task Group advised the 4th Brigade in its conduct of more than 13 independent brigade-level operations to maintain relentless pressure on the insurgency.
Afghan forces conducted clearances of Langar, Shahid-e-Hasas, Char Chineh, Dizak, Khaz Uruzgan, Charmestan, Chora and Kajran to protect and secure the local population.
Lieutenant Colonel Wells said the success of the 4th Brigade, 205 Corps was not so much measured in the deeds done by Australian soldiers, but by what the 4th Brigade had achieved during the period of advising.
“The 4th Brigade, 205 Corps has achieved significant milestones during the deployment of the 7 RAR Task Group,” Lieutenant Colonel Wells said.
“Successful advising ensured the Afghan National Army enhanced their skills in the key enablers of modern warfare, including counter IED, aero-medical evacuation, offensive support, leadership, literacy and logistics.”
The Transition of Authority Ceremony was attended by Commander Joint Task Force 633 Major General Michael Crane, ANA 4th Brigade Commander Colonel Kandahari and acting Commander Combined Team Uruzgan Colonel Douglas Cardinale.
2 CAV Task Group will shift its mission focus gradually reducing advisory support as the ANA moves to independence in their Brigade Headquarters, the Combat Service Support Kandak (Battalion) and the Garrison Support Unit.
Commanding Officer 2 CAV Task Group Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bye said the change in the Task Group’s mission focus reflected the enormous progress made by the ANA’s 4th Brigade, 205 Corps.
“The success of the 4th Brigade is a source of pride, not only in the 205 Corps, but to the people of Uruzgan,” Lieutenant Colonel Bye said.
“The 2 CAV Task Group’s mission reflects the high level of competency within the brigade, with advisory support being given to the headquarters and in the areas of combat service support and garrison support.”
The deployment of the 2 CAV Task Group marks the culmination of an extraordinary military and whole-of-government journey in Uruzgan Province, which has seen great progress from the deployment of the Special Operations Task Group in 2005 and the Reconstruction Task Force in 2006.
“The soldiers of the 2 CAV Task Group are extremely proud to be part of the operation in Afghanistan,” Lieutenant Colonel Bye said.
“We recognise the efforts and sacrifices of our comrades who have gone before us, and will display the same tenacity, focus and courage required to conclude the long mission in Uruzgan.”
Like the 7 RAR Task Group, the 2 CAV Task Group will continue to provide force protection support to Australian and International Security Assistance Force elements in Uruzgan and support the process of security transition in the province which will see governance and security firmly in the hands of the Afghan people.
Imagery is available from the Defence Image Gallery.
Soldiers from the 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group and AusAID advisers inspecting a new boys school in Uruzgan province were on a special mission, April 27 2013. As well as inspecting the new AusAID funded Salambaba school in the Mirabad valley, the team aimed to make a dream come true for nine year-old Brisbane boy Mac Millar. Mac Millar’s goal was to donate soccer balls to kids in Afghanistan so they could share his love of football. With the support of Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Australian Defence Force logisticians he despatched 100 soccer balls for diggers to hand out in Uruzgan province.
Individuals and businesses coming together to recognise the sacrifice our soldiers make for our country. Care For Soldiers is not a forum for political debate, it is a place to show your support for our troops.
From the SA Branch;
This is being run by the wife of one of the 7RAR diggers presently in Afghanistan.
I think it is a great idea, and SA is going to be behind it wholeheartedly.
Check out their Facebook page and help
An advisory task force based on the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, has replaced personnel from the Townsville-based 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.
Lowering the 3 RAR flag and raising the 7 RAR flag at Multi National Base Tarin Kot represented the formal change of command authority for Australia’s primary force contribution to Afghanistan.
A reversal of our 2nd tour of South Vietnam when the 7RAR flag was lowered and the 3RAR flag raised at Nui Dat.
Keeping in mind 7RAR will be in Afghanistan shortly I have included their postal address. You may want to send them parcels for Christmas or even ANZAC Day next year
REGT DETAILS (or “Any 7RAR Soldier if you don’t have a name)
HQ OP SLIPPER
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE
SYDNEY NSW 2890
If they address it to HQ then they will distribute to various sub-units as they see necessary, bearing in mind that Christmas is coming up and ANZAC Day next year.
As I understand it, AFPO 13 is 7RAR so your parcel should advantage a Pig and not some other ordinary soldier
What to send and what is not allowed; (Taken from http://oceanskykhaki.blogspot.com.au/)
NO HOMEMADE Food items unless you know the soldier as they get thrown away.
If sending liquid or food products, place them in a snap lock bag in case of leakage
drinking choc (individual sachets)
individual small cereal boxes
individual ring pull tuna cans or sachets
long life milk (small packs)
microwave rice (reject shop $2)
oatmeal (individual sachets)
pepper (individual sachets)
powdered energy drinks
salt (individual sachets)
sauces & condiments like mustard etc (individual sachets are good, ask Macca’s if you can have some and why…)
spices – to go with lamb/goat for example, rosemary, garlic, thyme, greek spices
sugar (individual sachets)
twisties (can also be used as packing in spaces in the box)
NO PORK AT ALL TO BE SENT
aftershave (they complain they smell)
air fresher (non aerosol sprays & the cardboard card ones)
baby wipes (bulk & travel size)
deodorant (non aerosol)
lip balm (chap sticks)
razors (NOT the real cheap ones like Bic! Personally I use Schick and I’d only send those, we don’t want them cutting/slashing themselves to shreds!)
shaving cream (non aerosol)
soap (normal & travel size)
socks (black & white)
tissues (medium & travel size)
toilet paper (one roll in a box)
if female troops then add the following
female hygiene products
gel or hair spray (non aerosol)
hairbrush (only send 1)
Misc & entertainment
blank cards (for troops to send home)
board games (some marines have a wonderful photo of them playing twister)
book (try not to send romance novels)
cheap dvds please write on cover & disc in permanent marker “Aussie troops property” to avoid theft
footballs/basketballs (and a pump)
magazines (nothing rude)
music CDs (Please write on cover & disc in permanent marker “Aussie troops property” to avoid theft)
other sporting goods
sport sections of newspapers
tennis balls (if you have tennis courts nearby you can buy second hand balls cheap – I got some from the University tennis courts $1 each, Slazenger and other brands)
NO Alcohol to be sent to any troops
DO NOT SEND CLOTHING except socks
What not to send:
Aside from and in addition to any items prohibited by Australia Post and the destination country, the following are prohibited to be sent to AFPO13 Operation Slipper:
clothing other than socks
magazines with naked women
any religious materials
THE largest group of Australian soldiers have been farewelled at Edinburgh RAAF base, bound for what is described as a place of sand, snow and violence
Four hundred and fifty troops, from the 7th Battalion, are bound for Afghanistan to work as advisors to the Afghan National Army 4th Bridgade.
Friends, familiy and loved ones of the Adelaide-based soldiers held back tears as a brass band played Waltzing Matilda at the farewell ceremony, held this morning at the RAAF Base at Edinburgh, just north of Adelaide.
Corporal Daniel Trevena, a father of two, was among the soldiers embarking on the eight-month journey.
“I feel proud to be going back over – it’s my second trip – but what we’re going to be doing over there has changed a lot,” he said.
He said leaving his family was the hardest part of the deployment.