Vale Terrance John ‘Bluey’ Ireland

Following received from Tab Hunter. It is with sadness I advise of the passing of Terrance John Ireland (Bluey) on the 30th October. Funeral service will be held at Southport Summerville Mary Immaculate church on Monday 7th of November at 1300. The service will be live screamed at  Terrance John Ireland Funeral Service by Video House Margaret can be contacted through Ian 0n 0413 995 738 or Graham on 0409 925 929. Tab Hunter 02 4648 0346...

By Marcus Hellyer* Every year the Australian defence commentariat replays a ritualised dance that goes like this. First, the Australian National Audit Office releases its major projects report providing detailed information on the progress of around 25 of the Department of Defence’s largest acquisition projects. It includes a table titled ‘Budget variations post second pass approval’ (that is, government approval to commence acquisition of a particular capability). Last year, the table summed to $24.2 billion. The media then performs its role and publishes stories about defence budget ‘blowouts’, reinforcing the public’s deeply held view that Defence couldn’t manage a kindergarten bake sale without the cost blowing out by several billion dollars. I then run a piece in The Strategist explaining why the dollar figure for projects exceeding their approved budget is actually much lower. The term Defence uses for this is ‘real cost increase’, which is way less sexy than ‘cost blowout’. Most of the variations come from two factors. The first is increases in scope. You want an additional 58 F-35As? You need to pay for them by increasing the project’s budget. That’s not a blowout. It’s a staged acquisition strategy (or, occasionally, an opportunity to use the defence portfolio’s underspend before it evaporates). The second factor is fluctuations in exchange rates. Defence is compensated for a decline in the Australian dollar in order to preserve its buying power. This isn’t a blowout either. It shows up as a budget increase, but it’s not a ‘real’ increase (and with the Aussie dollar plummeting against the greenback, get ready for some extremely large upward adjustments in the October budget). The truth is, very few of Defence’s acquisition projects actually require real cost increases. Since hope springs eternal, I thought we might be able to escape this version of GroundhogDay if I set the issues out in plain English—which I did in a report earlier this year on the cost of military equipment. Despite that, the dance started a little earlier this time around when the government pre-empted the ANAO by releasing to the media a list of $6.5 billion in ‘blowouts’ that occurred under the previous government. While the figure is less than the ANAO’s $24.2 billion, most of the increases in the latest list are again due to changes in scope and adjustments for exchange rates rather than real cost increases. For example, the $2,366 million increase for the F-35A is mainly exchange rate compensation. The $1,784 million increase for the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft is due to the acquisition of additional aircraft and exchange rates. It’s a similar story for the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. The figure for real cost increases for the projects on the ANAO’s latest list is only a small fraction of the $6.5 billion. Other than a $243 million increase for the civil–military air traffic management system that occurred nearly five years ago, there’s not much there. Defence’s biggest real cost increase was $1.2 billion for the air warfare destroyer project—but that’s not on this list since the project is complete. And once that project’s numbers are finalised, it’s likely it won’t need all of that. Incidentally, one element that is consistently overlooked in the dance is that projects going over budget are more than outweighed by projects that underspend against their approved budgets. Indeed, the Growlers and P-8As will come in under budget, not over. Schedules are a more problematic issue. The government’s list has a total of 1,173 months—almost 98 years—of delays. It’s no secret that many defence projects have experienced delays, but even here the issues aren’t black and white. For some projects there are straightforward explanations. Take, for example, the P-8A project. The government ordered six additional aircraft after the initial eight. If you order them later, they will be delivered later, so the original date for final operational capability will necessarily move. Even the projects with real delays generally have delivered most of their intended capability but haven’t been closed out because there are some outstanding elements. The MRH-90 Taipan helicopter project has a 123-month delay to full operational capability, but its 47 helicopters were delivered years ago and have been in service (their unreliability and high cost of operation that prompted the previous government to announce their early retirement is a separate but not entirely unrelated issue). The Collins-class submarine reliability and sustainment project is 108 months late, but it’s a program delivering a large number of improvements and upgrades, most of which were successfully completed long ago. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see here. There are issues that need attention. On cost, the public obsession with blowouts reinforces the wrong behaviours in Defence. It develops second-pass cost estimates extremely conservatively, putting risk margins on top of risk margins so that there’s virtually no prospect of going over budget. But that can tie up funds that could be used for other priorities. If Defence was operating with a more commercial mindset, it would accept a little more risk and estimate its costs a little more leanly. But that would mean the government (and the media and the public) would need to accept that some projects would go over budget. We also shouldn’t ignore the fact that Defence’s estimates have often increased significantly before the second pass. For example, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles referred to a $15 billion increase in the estimate for the future frigate program from $30 billion to $45 billion. That’s not unique. As a project moves from the recognition of a future capability gap that could have many possible solutions to identification of the actual equipment to be acquired, Defence’s assumptions about threats, requirements, technology, quantity, and so on can change. Consequently, the cost estimate will change, often dramatically. This isn’t a budget blowout per se, since there’s no approved budget to blow. But when numerous projects behave this way, it puts pressure on the overall affordability of Defence’s capability plan. The scrapped submarine program went from $50 billion (inflation-adjusted dollars) to $80–90 billion. A similar trajectory for the nuclear submarine program will be very hard to manage. Regarding schedule, many delays are real and affect delivery of frontline capability. As repeated reviews have pointed out, there are many factors at work: Defence seeking 110% solutions when a 90% solution will do; industry overpromising; a lack of enough qualified people in Defence and industry to deliver; excessive process and documentation requirements; and so on. The delays illustrate the disconnection between our current strategic circumstances and Defence’s business processes. If we don’t have warning time for impeding conflict, we can’t keep choosing capabilities that take so long to deliver—whether they’re on time or not. So it’s a good step that the government also announced a range of measures aimed at improving Defence’s performance. These involve more frequent and earlier reporting to ministers. Closer government attention is a good thing, but nothing focuses the mind like greater public scrutiny, so it would also be good to see more information provided to the parliament and public. Any solution will require multiple lines of effort. Perhaps the most important one will involve all of us abandoning our peacetime mentality around risk and reward. We can’t keep making the same kinds of acquisition choices and employing the same business processes that got us here. A new approach will involve a different risk appetite from the government, parliament, Defence, the media and the public. As the old saying goes, ‘You want fast, cheap and good? Pick two.’ If we want capability fast, we either need to moderate our requirements or accept that it could cost more. If getting capability faster results in sometimes having to pay more than expected, we all have to resist the temptation to run easy headlines about cost blowouts—otherwise, Defence will never change its risk-averse behaviours. *Marcus Hellyer is ASPI’s senior analyst for defence economics and capability. First published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute ...

Les “Blue” Bushell ex-WORS(EW) has just completed six weeks of daily chemo at Fiona Stanley and is now resting at home. Blue’s cancer treatment is ongoing and he is also battling a deep seated infection with attendant pain control problems, Blue’s movements are restricted, but he would appreciate emails at argosy2@optusnet.com.au No phone calls please as his hearing has been damaged. Yours aye David MacLean WA Chapter 0418 917 982...

‘Suppressed scandal’ of Sydney 1942 The unexploded torpedo, having run ashore near the Kuttabul wreck alongside Garden Island. The sandbag blast wall beyond it was hastily constructed in case the weapon detonated. (RAN)With the release of his new book Attack on Sydney Harbour (Big Sky Publishing) author Tom Lewis looks at the suppressed scandal of the defence of Sydney in the 1942 midget submarine raid.The story of the midget submarine raids on Sydney is one where the senior commanders at the time bungled – and got away with it. Meanwhile the commanders of the small ships that attacked and sunk two of the submarines went unrewarded. On the Sunday night of 31 May 1942, 80 years ago, Sydney Harbour was attacked by three midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy. They had been launched by five large fleet submarines from outside the port. In the raid, the accommodation vessel Kuttabul of the Royal Australian Navy was sunk by a torpedo impacting nearby, and 21 sailors died. In a night of, chaos, indecision, incompetence, but much bravery, the midget submarines were counter-attacked. Two, commanded respectively by Lieutenants Chuma and Matsuo, were sunk, while another – Sub-Lieutenant Ban’s ­–­ was found outside the harbour in 2006. It had fired its two torpedoes but had missed its target of the cruiser USS Chicago – one however had detonated near the Kuttabul. Chuma’s had become entangled in the protective boom net stretched partly across the harbour main channel. When attacking vessels of the Navy were encountered, it was blown up and sunk by its own crew members. Matsuo’s was depth-charged several times by RAN small ships, and eventually it was cornered in Taylors Bay. Its crew shot themselves.Commodore GC Muirhead-Gould in May 1941, before his promotion to Rear Admiral. (Public domain) The man who allowed most of this disaster to happen on his watch was the admiral commanding Sydney: Rear Admiral Muirhead-Gould. On secondment from the Royal Navy, he was ironically well suited to manage harbour defence. In 1939, at the beginning of the war, a German submarine had penetrated the RN base of Scapa Flow, and sunk the battleship Royal Oak, with the loss of 835 lives. Muirhead-Gould was one of three naval officers appointed to investigate how this had happened, and how it might be prevented again. His next posting was Sydney. Despite nearly two years to prepare for the Japanese offensive, and with growing signs they were getting closer – the Battle of the Coral Sea being fought off Queensland, for example – the Admiral did little. Amongst his lapses were failing to get any practise for his small ship commanders in submarine attacks; failing to ensure they were all armed – some weren’t on the night; failing to stop the harbour ferries from operating once the attack started, which would have made spotting a periscope much easier, and even failing to believe that there were any submarines in the harbour at all. When the explosion of the Chuma submarine was heard, the Admiral had cancelled his dinner, and made his way by launch down the harbour to investigate. Arriving on board the same small ships which had attacked the midget, he refused to believe there was one now sunk on the harbour floor beneath him. As he was disputing the point, the Kuttabul explosion further up toward the bridge was heard. Muirhead-Gould never apologised to the men he had doubted, and even left the name of one of them – the commander of Lolita, who he had argued with – off letters of commendation, the only reward the Navy men received.His partner in incompetence was the captain of the primary target: Captain Howard Bode of the cruiser USS Chicago. Bode had actually been dining with the Admiral. It being several hours after dinner had started one must wonder how alcohol affected both their judgements. The Captain made his way back to his command, where his subordinates had done everything right. They were preparing the ship for sea, along with its escort, the destroyer USS Perkins. They had sighted the midget submarine attacking the Kuttabul, and opened fire at it. Bode too refused to believe there were submarines present. He told off his officers; commanded the Perkins to stand down, and ordered a signal made to Muirhead-Gould, apologising for firing in the harbour. Once the Kuttabul explosion happened he changed his mind, and ordered Chicago to sea. On the way out of the harbour they sighted the third submarine – but failed to attack it. Bode later committed suicide over further being the wrong man in the wrong job. A few months later he mishandled Chicago so badly in the Battle of Savo Island that he was the only commander the subsequent inquiry labelled as doing the wrong thing. When he learnt what was in the court’s findings Bode shot himself. Surprisingly, Muirhead-Gould was allowed to do more than just get away with presiding over the whole mess – he was lionised as a dutiful naval officer, even appearing on the front cover of the popular weekly Pix, riding a scooter to work. He wrote his own reports on the matter, and unsurprisingly emerged well. But the federal government collaborated in the whole affair, failing to order an investigation. They had done so for the Japanese carrier raid on Darwin earlier that year, and the admirable Justice Lowe produced a comprehensive document within a few months. Another huge lapse though was the failure to reward valour and competence on the night – in the commanders and crews of the small patrol vessels which had gone into the attack. One in particular, the patrol boat HMAS Yandra, had put up a sterling fight at the beginning: chasing and ramming and depth-charging a submarine as it tried to enter Sydney Harbour. This was the Taylor Bay vessel, and significantly when it was found its torpedo firing levers were in the launch position: it had tried to attack but failed. With its equipment too damaged to continue the crew committed suicide. That the Yandra commander, Lieutenant James Taplin, and the small ship captains of the other vessels which had chased the submarine to its end were not decorated defies comprehension. All of these commanders’ names are known though. It is time they were rewarded. *Dr Tom Lewis OAM is a military historian. Attack on Sydney is his 18th book....

Seaman Communications Information Systems Chelsea Clayton raises the United States flag on-board HMAS Warramunga while berthed alongside Pearl Harbour in Hawaii during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.Seaman Clayton is a Communications and Information Systems sailor aboard the Anzac Class frigate HMAS Warramunga, currently participating in RIMPAC 2022. In her role she works in the ships communications centre, on the bridge as well as flying flags and other whole ships duties....

Royal Australian Navy trainees under instruction in the newly built Communications Centre Simulator at the Defence Force School of Signals - Maritime Wing, HMAS Cerberus.The learning system simulator was developed by Australian company CIRRUS and is based on a generic COMCEN in an enhanced frigate. It was designed to mimic the operational environment at sea, using real-life scenarios that may be encountered by communicators embarked on Major Fleet Units, and will prepare trainees better for the rigors of operating at sea.A pilot course will be run in the new simulator in mid-2019. In the future, it will be used to support training and assessment for basic communicators and operator courses through to advanced courses. Royal Australian Navy sailors aboard HMAS Perth near Jakarta, Indonesia. HMAS Perth recently conducted a logistics and bilateral engagement port visit to Jakarta, Indonesia. A passage exercise was conducted with Indonesian Navy Kwelang Class Stealth Trimaran KRI Golok (688) and shiphandling manoeuvres and exercises conducted with KRI Bung Tomo (357) before Perth continued on operation Able Seaman Communications Information Systems Ashleigh Ryder from HMAS Supply raises the battle ensign as part of the group sail to Exercise RIMPAC.Five Royal Australian Navy ships across two task groups are currently conducting regional presence deployments throughout the Indo-Pacific region. During their deployments the ships and their embarked ADF units will undertake joint exercises and other engagements with Australia’s regional partners. Regional Presence Deployments demonstrate Australia’s commitment to promoting an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific. These deployments play a vital role in Australia’s long term security and prosperity by protecting Australia’s interests, preserving a rules-based order, enhancing cooperation and relationships with regional partners and allies and developing capability and interoperability. During their deployment HMA Ships Canberra, Supply and Warramunga joined five ships from the United States Navy Abraham Lincoln Strike Group and two ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force for the sail to Pearl Harbor for Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2022 (RIMPAC). RIMPAC will see approximately 1,600 ADF personnel participate. This year the ADF contribution is substantial including HMA Ships Canberra, Supply and Warramunga, RAAF P-8A Poseidon aircraft, a submarine, mine warfare and clearance diving capabilities, and a Joint Landing Force led by the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment accompanied by personnel and capabilities from across Australian Army units....

Following received from Joan Mettam. Sadly- Blue John Robert Barlow crossed the bar early this morning. Not sure if you knew him - served up here in the 70’s. I’m very uncertain on dates. He then joined the Airport Firies (AFRSS is hopefully the correct acronym) and had a long career with them. He’s been fighting cancer for some time, so was no surprise to me, but that doesn’t help. I'll keep you posted on any service ...

WA Chapter members will fall in, Section “B” (Naval Section) Position 29 (west of Barrack Street), in front of the “N” class Destroyers Association. Step Off 0900. Post March : Members are invited to join the Naval Association lunch at Tatts Perth Bowling Club, 2 Plain Street, East Perth. Contact : March:  David MacLean 0418 917 982 Lunch : Julia Kleinhanss (H) 9454 5274 (M) 0409 119 067...

8 Feb 2022 A Message from Nathan Cole, Officer Commanding the Defence Force School of Signals – Maritime CIS Wing.  Greetings RANCBA community. I hope this message finds you well and safe. I have been asked by the RANCBA presidency to reach out due to growing concerns surrounding membership decline and increasing distance between the association and the current serving CIS community. There is genuine concern I am told that the RANCBA’s future is in doubt. I have always considered the RANCBA to be a form of family in my life. Have always looked forward to catching up on ANZAC days with those that came before me and many that I have served with to share stories and it has always reminded me that the fundamental aspects of Naval Communications that have bonded us together have not changed. Information superiority: ensuring the right information is in the right hands to make the decisive move. The technologies we have used throughout history since Nelson’s time to the modern day have and will continue to evolve. These evolving technologies continue to present as many challenges as they do benefits. It has been concerning to watch in recent years as our people have been subjected to a consistent level of derisive feedback fed by sense of superiority from those that came before us. I realise this is not unique to RANCBA and can be found throughout the Many Naval associations. I do believe however that it is the actions of a small minority that continue to ruin the experience for the majority. Bearing in mind that we all belong to the Naval family, I would like to ask you to consider the following questions: Would I speak to a member of my family like this? Would I use this tone with my child/grandchild? There are essentially three paths to choose from here. Status Quo. Continue to alienate those that follow the proud traditions of naval communications and contribute to the folding of one of the oldest Naval associations in RAN Consider embracing and supporting today's Communicators. Maybe it is not too late to recover and ensure RANCBA goes on, remembering its many members and Say nothing and allow the afore mentioned minority to continue dragging the community down the current trajectory. I am very proud of the people that were part of the story of Naval Communications before us, those that carry out the roles now, and those that I have the privilege of introducing into our community as our future Communicators. You should be justifiably proud of today’s Communicators. They are a highly sought-after    employee in industry. They live by our Defence Values of Service, Courage, Respect, Integrity and Excellence. See them for who they are, not the technologies they are required to operate. I humbly ask for your consideration and support on behalf of the RAN CIS community and the RANCBA Presidency. In return, I will do everything I can to encourage the current serving CIS community to consider interacting and perhaps joining their local chapter of the RANCBA. I shall also encourage my serving peers and superiors to provide similar encouragement to their CIS staff. Nathan C  ...

Some sea-time memories submitted by Drew Mounter. HMAS Stalwart in Java Sea 1977. Mending dress-ship lines. L-R ABRO Al Ashman,  ABSIG Ian Johnson (furthest away), ABSIG Terry Blighton, ABSIG Mickey JeffriesThe lads from HMAS Stalwart comms enjoying a restorative cordial in Noumea 1976.L-R - Ian Johnson (ABSIG), Tony Linley (ABSIG), Mickey jefferies (ABSIG) Mickey Dare (ABSIG), Bomber Brown (ABRO), Me - Drew Mounter ( ABRO).We were there for a week with a makers every day!  Needed a duty to dry out.Melbourne Cup - HMAS Melbourne enroute San Francisco to Pearl Harbour 1974. Runner up Miss Melbourne - Melb cup - HMAS Melbourne en route San Fran to Pearl 1974.No name  - thank heavens!!Al Ashman getting dunked in crossing the line ceremony, HMAS Stalwart Java Sea 1977.L-R ABRO Tom Byrne, ABRO Al Ashman Jahore Baru 1977. CTL ceremony HMAS Stalwart Java Sea 1977.I took this one from the starboard bridge wing of HMASStuart in Bass Strait 1975.  Got in deep shit from the OOW for ducking out to take it in such lumpy seas.Guys were getting thrown out of their bunks, and Rags Hardy (ABRO) got tossed from one side of the wireless office to the other without touching the deck....

HMAS Adelaide departs Fleet Base East at Garden Island, Sydney. Defence is pre-positioning HMAS Adelaide to Brisbane to provide additional HADR support if requested by the Government of Tonga. Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Adelaide departed Fleet Base East in Sydney on Monday, 17 January 2022. Defence is pre-positioning HMAS Adelaide to Brisbane to provide additional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) support if requested by the by the Government of Tonga following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai underwater volcano on Saturday, 15 January 2022. HMAS Adelaide departs Fleet Base East at Garden Island, Sydney.Defence is pre-positioning HMAS Adelaide to Brisbane to provide additional HADR support if requested by the Government of Tonga.Australian Army Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon vehicles are parked at the Port of Brisbane ready to be loaded onto HMAS Adelaide before departure on Operation Tonga Assist 2022. HMAS Adelaide embarks Australian Army CH-47 Chinook Heavy-Lift Helicopters before departing the port of Brisbane, to provide humanitarian assistance to the Government of Tonga.The Australian Defence Force contribution, named Operation TONGA ASSIST 22, includes air reconnaissance using P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, airlift support using C-17A Globemaster III and C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, as well as the deployment of HMAS Adelaide with embarked supplies...

Posted by Gary Swanton It is my sad duty to inform my fellow RANCBA members the sad news of the passing of Chris 'Gags' Gallagher. Gags was an inspirational Signalman, Communicator and a great person. The following reflection of his career has been provided by the current OIC of the Communications School, LCDR Nathan Cole OAM RAN. In keeping with Gags' wishes, there will be no service, it is asked that he is remembered with a beer and stories. VALE Gags Career Reflection by LCDR Nathan Cole OAM RAN I wanted to take the time to reflect on the Naval Career of a mate of mine, LCDR Chris 'Gags' Gallagher who passed away today (12Jan22) after a short but aggressive illness. Gags was a career Communicator and served at the School as a Warrant Officer and Chief Petty Officer. Rest In peace Shipmate. LIEUTENANT COMMANDER C.D. GALLAGHER OAM, RAN, Rtd. Lieutenant Commander Christopher Donald Gallagher joined the Navy via the then Junior Recruit scheme and on completion of basic training he began his career in Communications. On completion of category training he was employed at sea and ashore in communications core tasks working his way through the ranks eventually achieving the rank of Warrant Officer. Sea highlights during this time was the involvement in the Vietnam War that included escort duties to HMAS SYDNEY and in 1971 being embarked in HMAS BRISBANE for the last RAN deployment to Vietnam. Shore highlights included employment in Shore Communications Centres and training roles at the Communications School, HMAS CERBERUS. The years prior to commission he was on the staff of the Maritime Commander and assistant Staff Officer to Commodore Flotillas (COMFLOT). In these positions he was part of the Major Fleet Unit Sea Training Group. He deployed in HMAS DARWIN when COMFLOT acted as the Commander Task Group (CTG) for Damask (I) deployment during the Persian Gulf conflict. On promotion to Lieutenant his first job as an officer was the Staff Officer to Commander Australian Patrol Force (COMAUSPABFOR) based in Cairns where secondary to staff duties he formed part of the Minor War Vessels Sea Training Group. His employment opportunities then included; Operations Officer to the Master Attendant, Sydney, Commanding Officer, Australian Defence Force Recruiting Unit –Townsville where he was selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander and then to Officer in Charge of Personal Services Organisation Cairns. The diversity of these jobs prepared him for his next role as the Executive Officer, HMAS CAIRNS where he completed two years prior to taking up his appointment as Maritime Surveillance Adviser, Tonga in December 2001. From Tonga he was employed as Staff Officer Reserves in the Director Naval Officer Postings (DNOP). On becoming a Naval Reserve Officer he was again appointed as Executive Officer, HMAS CAIRNS for all of 2005 to release the incumbent for a higher priority position. From 2006 until 2008 he again became full time and performed the duties of Executive Officer Naval Headquarters Tasmania (NHQ TAS). In 2009 & 2012 he was recruited by his former Commanding Officer/s HMAS CAIRNS to fill the roles of Executive Support Officer (HMAS CAIRNS), Staff Officer to Chief Staff Officer Establishments and Deputy Director Navy Cadets. It all came to an end in 2013 where he was employed as Staff Officer Operations for the RAN’s International Fleet Review (IFR), consequently, completing almost 46 years permanent /continuous full time Navy service. When not employed full time he conducted part-time service, thus, having an involvement in the RAN for 50 years. His awards include a Queen’s Birthday Order of Australia Medal, a Commander Australian Naval System Commander (COMAUSNAVSYSCOM) Commendation, a Commodore Warfare (COMWAR) Commendation and a HMAS CAIRNS Commanding Officer Commendation. Additionally, he is in receipt of : Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp VIETNAM; Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp FESR; Australian Service Medal with Clasp KUWAIT; Vietnam Medal; Defence Force Service Medal with First, Second, Third, and Fourth Clasps; National Medal; Australian Defence Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal, and, Returned from Active Service Badge. ...

Sad to inform those who know him that David "Dinga"John Bell RO from 12/3/65 - 11/3/85 passed away yesterday at home with Anne and Jodie, after a short battle with cancer.   He will be sadly missed by us, his family, and by all his RAN Mates.   A private family-only farewell is planned.   Anne and David celebrated their 52nd Anniversary only 6 days ago.   Photo with daughter Jodie at their 50th in Broome in 2020 and including their son Jeremy, who they lost in 2014.   On behalf of Anne and Jodie...

Navy’s new Maritime Multi-Cam Pattern Uniform roll-out will commence in October 2021. The new lightweight contemporary uniform utilises the latest technology, enhancing the safety and comfort of members wearing it. Manufactured in Australia, the MMPU has retained its gray tone similar to that of the Disruptive Pattern Navy Uniform (DPNU), but a point of difference are the two variants now available, a flame resistant and non-flame resistant version, depending on the roles of the member. The uniform roll-out has started in the warmer tropical states of the Northern Territory and North Queensland and issued to other units with an expected completion at the end of 2022 Warrant Officer Andrew Lee wears the Royal Australian Navy's new Maritime Multi-Cam Pattern Uniform at HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin, NT.(l-r) Seaman Maritime Personnel Operator Jane Rhodes, Seaman General Experiance Bailey Steenbuck, Midshipman Morgan Schieflebein and Seaman General Experience Gemma Silverstand, outside HMAS Coonawarra Headquarters, Darwin, NT....

Following advice received from Alan (Blue) Higgins Ex Petty Officer   RAN Rtd, R63100. Just like to inform you and your Comms branch members that my brother ex CPORS Murray (Blue) Higgins R93353  crossed the bar in June of this year, He is survived by wife Pat and his 3 children and many grandchildren....

Following received from Andy Cowley (ex LTO)  Ken Seib crossed the bar Saturday 18th September after a long illness. He and his wife were living in Orange NSW. Should anyone wish to contact Ken's wife (ex WRAN) email kpseib@bigpond.com. Phone contact available on request.  ...

ADSO Alliance of Defence Service OrganisationsMEDIA STATEMENT‘CONTESTING’ ANZAC DAYMany parents will undoubtedly know at least something about the Australian CurriculumAssessment and Reporting Authority. It is instituted to ‘….inspire improvement in thelearning of all young Australians through world-class curriculum, assessment and reporting’.But what is ‘world class’ about the Authority looking for a fight?Veterans and many other Australians are curious about why there is now an impetus by theAuthority to question and indeed to transform the way the nation commemorates suchhistorically defining events as ANZAC Day. Why is the Authority seeking to pressurestudents and their teachers to ‘contest’ the notion of ANZAC Day?Authority Chair Belinda Robinson has spoken of “a commitment to, and respect for,knowledge, facts, truth and respect”. Yet the current Draft Curriculum emphasises, indeeddemands, that such defining moments in the nation’s history be “contested”.The words contest, contesting or contested are mentioned numerous times in the draft report.But the words are not defined, nor is there guidance to allow teachers to structure theirlessons accordingly.Is the Curriculum Authority promoting the notion that such defining events as ANZAC Dayand facts around it be disputed? Is the Authority having a bob each way in expressing supportand commitment but then encouraging teachers to dispute the fact and to question thesignificance of ANZAC Day?The group of 18 ex-service Associations that make up the Alliance of Defence ServiceOrganisations (ADSO)1 calls on the Chair of the Curriculum Authority to be upfront withveterans’ and the broad Australian community to explain why the facts around ANZAC Dayand other significant historical events are being disputed.Kel RyanNational ChairmanAlliance of Defence Service OrganisationsPhone: (02) 6265 9530 | Mobile: 0418 759 120PO Box 4166 KINGSTON ACT 2604...

Indo-Pacific Endeavour 21 (IPE21) is Australia’s flagship regional engagement activity, reinforcing Australia’s strong and enduring partnerships in Southeast Asia. Centred on a maritime task group, IPE21 involves HMA Ships Canberra and Anzac and approximately 700 people, including Australian Defence Force and civilian defence personnel, and sea riders from partner nations. Engagements have been modified in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be carried out primarily through contactless port visits, and will include a range of virtual workshops and at-sea activities. Able Seaman Communications and Information Systems Liam Hanly signals Royal Malaysian Navy ship KD Lekiu from HMAS Anzac during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 21.Seaman Communications and Information Systems Sean Dunne signals HMAS Canberra from HMAS Anzac during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 21.Seaman Communications Information Systems Travis Mathews on the bridge of HMAS Canberra during activities with the Republic of Singapore Navy on Exercise Indo-Pacific Endeavour 21. Royal Australian Navy ships HMA Canberra and Anzac with Royal Malaysian Navy ships KD Jebat and KD Lekiu, sail in formation during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021.HMAS Canberra sails through the Gulf of Thailand to take part in regional engagement activity as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 21.Singaporean CH-47 Chinook conducts deck landing exercises during an interoperability capability demonstration on board HMAS Canberra during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 21....

31 Aug 2021 11:23 AM AEST - MEDIA RELEASE - THE HON ANDREW GEE - Honouring our veterans who served in Malaya and Borneo   The Hon Andrew Gee MP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Minister for Defence Personnel Federal Member for Calare   MEDIA RELEASE 31 August 2021 HONOURING OUR VETERANS WHO SERVED IN MALAYA AND BORNEO   Today is Malaya and Borneo Veterans’ Day, when we pause to recognise and remember the 10,500 Australians who served in the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation. Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said he encourages Australians to acknowledge the service and dedication of those who fought in these post-Second World War conflicts in the Malaya and Borneo regions. “Only a few short years following the end of the Second World War, the Malayan Emergency began in 1948, lasting until 1960,” Minister Gee said. “The Malayan Emergency was declared following the murder of three European estate managers who were killed as part of the Malayan Communist Party’s insurgency against the British colonial government. Australia’s military involvement commenced in 1950 and continued with anti-insurgency operations in Malaya until 1963.” One key success of the conflict was a coordinated operation in July 1954 in Perak state. In an operation code named Termite, five RAAF Lincoln bombers and another six Lincolns from 148 RAF Squadron made simultaneous attacks on two communist camps. This was followed by drops of British paratroops, a ground attack, and a further bombing run ten days later. The mission destroyed a large number of guerrilla camps. During 13 years in Malaya, personnel from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force played an important role in bringing the long-running communist insurgency in the region to an end. The Indonesian Confrontation or Konfrontasi started in 1962, ending in 1966.  This conflict was a small undeclared war fought between Indonesia and the newly federated state of Malaysia. “The Confrontation was a dispute over whether the former British colonies of Sabah and Sarawak which bordered Indonesian provinces on Borneo, would become part of Indonesia or of the newly federated Malaysia,” Minister Gee said. “In 1964 Australian, New Zealand and British troops first became involved in the conflict. “On 11 August 1966 Indonesia signed a peace treaty with Malaysia. The treaty recognised that the North Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak would continue to be part of the Malaysian Federation. “This year marks 55 years since the end of the Confrontation and I urge all Australians to pause and remember the service and sacrifice of those who fought for our nation. “Tragically, we lost 39 Australians during the Malayan Emergency, and 23 military personnel during the Indonesian Confrontation. Australia will never forget them and all who served in those conflicts. They made a vitally important contribution to restoring peace and security to our region.” You can learn more about the Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal.     ...

Sydney Harbour will retain the naval presence its had since the First Fleet and “the days of the sail” with Defence formally scotching a public push for them to surrender Garden Island and shift elsewhere along the east coast.NSW is also poised to have a submarines berth for the first time in more than 20 years to strategically boost defences of the most populous side of the nation, with Garden Island at its centre.After countless reviews since the 1960s through to today, Defence has formally ruled “there’s no feasible economic east coast location for the total replacement of the capabilities that are provided at Garden Island”.  Sub Lieutenant Jaycob Humphreys looks out from the quarterdeck of HMAS Canberra as it departs Fleet Base East, in Sydney for a four-month deployment including Talisman Sabre 2021. Picture: DefenceInvestment in the base has concluded it “will remain viable as the sustainment and home port for our east coast major fleet units” well into the future.The only remaining consideration being the continued push back from residents of Potts Point, Woolloomooloo and Kings Cross whose complaints have already forced the Royal Australian Navy to alter its operations. HMAS Hobart leads HMA Ships Stuart and Parramatta out of Sydney Harbour for their Maritime East Asia Deployment. Picture: DefenceThere had been government lobbying from some quarters for Garden Island to be part-surrendered to the leisure cruise-ship industry to boost tourism and economy but that notion did not fit with the bigger picture to have a submarine base on the east coast with resources already in Sydney Harbour at its core.The Federal Government has yet to make an announcement about submarines, which are currently all based in Western Australia, but sources confirmed internal Defence analyses showed a need for a two-ocean basing of a future submarine fleet with a presence on the east coast, at its own base anticipated to be in NSW. Seaman Maritime Logistics Steward Zachary Stokes kisses his fiance Chloie Osborne goodbye on the wharf at Fleet Base East, Sydney. Picture: DefenceThat review also found personnel hiring and retention for the armed forces would benefit if part of the sub fleet were based in Sydney.Defence has been reviewing the push since 2017 when internal polling found Navy was haemorrhaging staff in part due to familial separation with the majority of sub crews hired from the east but based in the west.The submariner ranks have to swell from current 852 personnel to more than 2000 to accommodate the new fleet of French-designed Barracuda sometime in the next decade and maintain a sea-shore capability. Australian Army soldiers from the Australian Defence Force contingent rehearse at Randwick Barracks. Picture: DefenceThere are already plans for infrastructure developments at Garden Island and the RAN in NSW, including 900 new accommodation units potentially to be constructed at Randwick Barracks.Navy Future Infrastructure chief Rear Admiral Philip Spedding described Garden Island as an enduring base “since the days of the sail” that remained viable.“It does, of course, suffer from urban encroachment, so we have to change some of our practices, and we have done so, to be able to accommodate the demands and needs of the resident population nearby, but it is still a viable site for the Navy going forward,” he told a defence committee reviewing infrastructure. HMAS Brisbane departs Fleet Base East in Sydney, New South Wales for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. Picture: DefenceHe described Garden Island and the Sydney basin defence precinct including HMAS Penguin, HMAS Watson, HMAS Waterhen and Randwick Barracks, Chowder Bay fuel storage and Sydney Fleet HQ as an interlocked system.“If you think about moving individual elements out of Sydney, you dislocate the system and introduce inefficiencies and additional costs,” he said. “At the moment, our intention is to remain based on the east coast in Sydney, but, as I said, we balance it up between the west coast and the east coast. If the government, on recommendation, were to accept an east coast submarine base, then you might look at what other capabilities it would be sensible to co-locate in that location, but that advice has not yet been provided to government.” Garden Island, Fleet Base East, Sydney.A defence spokeswoman said yesterday Garden Island upgrades, including a 372m long wharf, were designed to minimise disruption to local residents and Navy had restricted activities which generated noise to “less sensitive times”.“Additionally, recent upgrades to infrastructure at the base will help reduce noise, pollution and ensure ship maintenance is further away from residential areas,” the spokeswoman said....

A biennial exercise since 2003, held every two years, TS21 aims to test Australian interoperability with the United States and other participating forces in complex warfighting scenarios. In addition to the Unites States, TS21 involves participating forces from Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.The exercise includes of a Field Training Exercise incorporating force preparation (logistic) activities, amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvres, urban operations, air combat and maritime operations. With Activities will peak over the period from 18 – 31 July across Queensland.TS21 is a major undertaking for all attending nations and demonstrates the combined capability to achieve large-scale operational outcomes within a COVID-19 safe environment. HMAS Ballarat (left) and USS America conduct a replenishment at sea off the coat of Queensland, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. *** Local Caption *** Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21) is the largest bilateral training activity between Australia and the United States, commencing on 14 July 2021. A biennial exercise since 2003, held every two years, TS21 aims to test Australian interoperability with the United States and other participating forces in complex warfighting scenarios. In addition to the Unites States, TS21 involves participating forces from Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The exercise includes of a Field Training Exercise incorporating force preparation (logistic) activities, amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvres, urban operations, air combat and maritime operations. With Activities will peak over the period from 18 – 31 July across Queensland. TS21 is a major undertaking for all attending nations and demonstrates the combined capability to achieve large-scale operational outcomes within a COVID-19 safe environment. Ground combat element soldiers from the Australian Army, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and United States Marine Corp embark HMAS Canberra via light landing craft, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat's MH-60R Seahawk helicopter prepares to launch from the flight deck for a sortie off the Queensland coast during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. *** Local Caption *** Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021 (TS21) is the largest bilateral training activity between Australia and the United States, commencing on 14 July 2021. A biennial exercise since 2003, held every two years, TS21 aims to test Australian interoperability with the United States and other participating forces in complex warfighting scenarios. In addition to the Unites States, TS21 involves participating forces from Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The exercise includes of a Field Training Exercise incorporating force preparation (logistic) activities, amphibious landings, ground force manoeuvres, urban operations, air combat and maritime operations. With Activities will peak over the period from 18 – 31 July across Queensland. TS21 is a major undertaking for all attending nations and demonstrates the combined capability to achieve large-scale operational outcomes within a COVID-19 safe environment. Ground combat element soldiers from the Australian Army, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and United States Marine Corp embark HMAS Canberra via light landing craft, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021. ...

Captain Peter Hore, RN (Retd), the Naval Obituary writer for the UK Daily Telegraph, author of this very engaging new book, Bletchley Park’s Secret Source. will be appearing on ZOOM on Tuesday 24th of August at 1400 to discuss the Australian involvement in the story of the Wrens who provided the Secret Source for the  Bletchley Park Code breakers. Join Zoom Meeting https://us06web.zoom.us/j/91909119189?pwd=TnRYTXZvWXBoMkpqQWt1ME8rYVp2QT09 Meeting ID: 919 0911 9189 Passcode: 099140...

HMA Ships Canberra and Ballarat have arrived in the Western Pacific Ocean for the opening phase of the US-led Large Scale Global Exercise 21. Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said Australia’s participation in the first phase of the activity followed the success of Exercises Talisman Sabre and Pacific Vanguard. “We have just completed some extraordinary training in and around Australia and now we have this exciting new opportunity to consolidate those gains,” Lieutenant General Bilton said. “We’ve got amphibious forces, including United States marines, embarked in Canberra, and a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft involved at various stages as well. “Activities like this build strong operational relationships, which are the foundation for responding to shared security challenges.” Commanding Officer Canberra Captain Jace Hutchison said the exercise would prove invaluable for the crews of Canberra and Ballarat. “Any opportunity for us to test our skills and processes with partner nations enhances our readiness and ability to respond as required,” Captain Hutchison said. All activities will be conducted in a contactless environment, with strict COVID-19 safety measures in place to ensure the safety of all participants. HMAS Canberra, front, conducts manoeuvres with USS New Orleans, left, JS Makinami and USS America during the Large Scale Global Exercise in the Western Pacific. Photo by Leading Seaman Ernesto Sanchez....

The Royal Australian Navy’s most advanced warships are now ready for operational deployment, boosting Australia’s capacity to work with our strategic partners and maintain peace and prosperity in our region, according to a Department of Defence statement. Navy’s Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers have reached final operational capability after the third ship, HMAS Sydney, completed a successful test and evaluation period off the coast of the US and Canada. Chief of the Royal Australian Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan said the milestone ushered in a new era for Navy. “Navy’s three Hobart-class destroyers use a number of systems in common with the US Navy, which allows our ships to be fully interchangeable with the most advanced allied naval force in the Indo-Pacific region,” Vice Admiral Noonan said. “Australian destroyers are a key contribution to the Australia-United States alliance and will be employed in maintaining the peace and prosperity of our region for the next 30 years. “Due to the ever-changing strategic environment, the Hobart class will continue to be upgraded with the latest weapons and sensors over coming years in order to maintain a capability edge.” About 5000 skilled Australians have worked for or on the Air Warfare Destroyer program over the past decade, and more than 2700 different suppliers were involved in Sydney’s construction. Sydney returned to Australia in July after a successful test period, which included missile firings against low-altitude and supersonic targets. Vice Admiral Noonan said the Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers were the most capable warships in Australia’s naval history. “They are equipped with layered defensive and offensive capabilities for above water, surface and undersea warfare,” he said. “Our destroyers are a force multiplier for the Australian Defence Force and a key element of the Joint Force Integrated Air and Missile Defence capability.” HMA Ships Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney conduct officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres in the Eastern Australian Exercise Area. Photo: Peter Beeh ...

Communications Branch expands further Information Warfare (IW) provides the capacity to achieve decision superiority by actively disrupting an adversary’s decision-making process and enhancing and protecting our own. The capability generated through IW is achieved through a range of information activities such as Intelligence, Cyber, Command, Control and Communications (C3) and Information Effects (IE).https://youtu.be/mzq4XaDxfoA ...

Communications – The Early Years Naval signalling is rich in history and through its origins with the Royal Navy (RN), can be traced back to 1338 with the introduction of the first ‘Black Book’ of the Admiralty, a book of instructions which made some mention of signals. By 1673, the first signal book had been developed and by 1780, codes were in use, consisting of a series of numerical flags, special flags and pennants. This system finally delivered to Flag Officers, Captains and Commanders the ability to make several hundred different and discrete signals. By 1844 Morse code had been demonstrated on land, and by 1874 mechanical semaphore signalling had been adopted at sea. In1862 1 the RN developed their own simplified flashing light code and patented a flashing light signal system. By 1867, the signal system had been introduced into service, and for the first-time ships were able to communicate during both daylight hours and at night time. By 1892 the complete Morse code was adopted for flashing light purposes and included in signal books. In 1905 the emergence of wireless telegraphy (W/T) revolutionised naval warfare. Ship’s communications were no longer cut when out of Visual Signalling (V/S) range and RN senior officers became convinced that wireless communications offered great possibilities. Victorian Colonial navy Prior to 1901 all of Australia’s Colonial Navies used some form of signalling systems and each colony had invested in communication training to varying degrees. Most notable was the Victorian Navy, which established the Williamstown Naval Depot, near Melbourne, in 1870. The Depot consisted of a Naval Base and general training establishment, and it was here that the first Signals School was founded in 1900. Wireless Communications Australian naval communications history was made in Queensland on 9 April 1903, when a successful ship-to-shore wireless telegraphy transmission was achieved. On Friday 10 April 1903, the Brisbane Courier newspaper reported that the Gayundah and Paluma were exercising in Morton Bay and, quote: ‘Last night the following message was received by pigeon post from our special representative on board the Gayundah – Gayundah and Paluma anchored one-and-a-half miles south of Tangalooma Point. Weather hot, perfect communication maintained with Marconi apparatus – Marconi pole stripped to refit as it is slightly bent.’ Royal Australian navy The first Naval wireless station in Australia was established when a wireless mast and station were erected at Williamstown Naval Depot (WND), then called HMAS Cerberus, located near the site of the present Williamstown Dockyard. During 1913, the RAN Signals School moved from Williamstown to Flinders Naval Depot, locate south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. Here Signalmen and Telegraphists received training based upon the RN system and provided by RN instructors. World War I Following the outbreak of WW I, the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1905 was amended on 6 September 1915 to enable administration of the Act to be transferred to the Navy Department. By October 1915, the Coastal Radio Service was organised on naval lines, and local coastal radio staff were taken on naval strength. The Officer in Charge was granted the rank of Commissioned Telegraphist, the next in charge -Warrant Telegraphist, and the remainder as Petty Officers. The Officer-in-Charge was also the Radio Inspector for the Navy and was frequently called upon to investigate unauthorised stations or suspicious signalling. This continued until disbandment of the Royal Australian Naval Radio Service, 28 October 1920 when the Postmaster General’s Department resumed control. HMAS Cerberus The transmitting and receiving stations were built in 1919, within the confines of Cerberus. The Signal School, in addition to its training role in Wireless Telegraphy and Visual Signalling, was also responsible for operation of the Wireless Station. The station conducted the first direct ‘fixed service’ Morse code transmission in 1920-21 to the United Kingdom, thereby linking the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board with the Admiralty in London. The wireless station remained operational as a broadcast station and link with overseas authorities until the outbreak of WW II in 1939, when it was moved to HMAS Harman in Canberra. Prior to the commencement of WW II, Telegraphists were responsible for the maintenance and operation of their own equipment, and they were trained at the Signal School in the necessary techniques to ensure that their equipment was kept serviceable. With the pressure of signal traffic, especially in shore wireless stations, generated by the war, Telegraphists did not have the time to operate and maintain their equipment and the maintenance task passed to an embryonic Electrical Branch. World War II On 18 September 1938, Naval Wireless/Transmitting (W/T) Station Coonawarra was established several miles south Darwin on the Stuart Highway. It was commanded by a Warrant Officer Telegraphist and came under the administrative control of the Naval Officer Commanding North Australia, located in a building called Melville in Darwin township. Upon the declaration of war all naval depots were commissioned and on 1 August 1940, Melville’s official title was changed to HMAS Melville. The naval wireless station at Harman near Canberra began operations on 20 April 1939 and was subsequently commissioned on 1 July 1943. In the lead up to WW II, V/S and the tactical manoeuvring of fleet units (fleet work) had changed very little and was still used extensively across all facets of naval warfare. The RAN continued to utilise RN doctrine exclusively throughout this period. V/S and Fleet work became increasingly important, as the reliance on cryptography increased to counter the early successes of German communication signal intelligence and intercept, and the German submarine war against the Allied supply lines in the Atlantic. The need for tactical radio silence became paramount. Following the United States’ entry into the war in 1941, and the shift in Australia’s war effort focus to counter Japan’s threat in the Pacific and South West Pacific theatres. New codes, signalling procedures and manoeuvring instructions had to be mastered by Commanders and Communications personnel. The RAN operated successfully as an element of the US Task Forces operating throughout the Pacific and continued to do so when the British Pacific Fleet arrived in Australia in February 1945.Operations with large carrier and battleship forces, required complex manoeuvring and V/S procedures. The USN extensively used Radio Telephony (R/T) to manoeuvre the large and widespread formations by voice over early tactical communication frequencies. Successful integration of the Anglo-American fleets in the Pacific theatre contributed to the successful outcome of the war in the Pacific and a close relationship that continued after the war. Women’s Royal Australian naval Service (WRANS) Newspaper advertisements lead to the recruitment of women operators from the Women’s Emergency Signalling Corps. With recommendations made by the Director of Signals and Communications that women be employed and final Naval Board approval eventually led to the establishment of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) and telegraphists were the first to be recruited. On 25 April 1941, 12 of the WRANS were posted to Harman. At this point, women carried a civilian status, however in October 1942 the civilian status was removed. Virtually all of these personnel had volunteered for overseas service but were disappointed when their duties were confined to the Commonwealth. Additionally, many WRANS volunteered for service in Darwin during the early years of the war; however, the Naval Board decided against placing them in danger. Notwithstanding these decisions, the first draft of WRANS arrived in HMAS Coonawarra outside Darwin, in March 1945. Two hundred Telegraphists continued to serve until the WRANS were disbanded in 1948. In 1951 the WRANS were re-established. With the extremely rapid technological advances in communications made during and after WW II, it became necessary to introduce skills previously not required by a wireless operator. The ability to touch type became an integral part of a trainee’s prerequisites prior to passing out as a fully qualified operator. The speed required was between 35 and 40 words per minute (wpm) and this remained the standard until 1998 when it was reduced to 35wpm as a result of the increasing use of personal computers. The next quantum leap in communications occurred in the mid 1950s when Automatic Telegraphy was introduced into ships and establishments. This led to the introduction of new equipment, requiring improved techniques which increased the job requirements of the Communications Category and the complexity of training and the responsibilities of the Communications School. In 1945 a Telegraphist Air Gunner (TAG) was introduced into the communications branch, to allow communications from aircraft to the aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney. By December 1955 the TEL (AIR) and were formed as part of the Communications Branch. The following year the TEL (AIR) name changed, and a new subcategory emerged: • Telegraphist (Air) became Telegraphist Flight (TF). • Telegraphist Special (TEL [S]) branch was established as part of the Communications Branch. In 1958 the title and abbreviations of the Communications Category had been amended to include the following sub categories: • Telegraphist to Radio Communications Operator (RO). • Signalman to Tactical Communications Operator (TO). • Telegraphist (S) to Radio Operator (S). Ranks were abbreviated. For example, Leading Seaman Radio Communications Operator were LRO, Petty Officer Radio Supervisor to RS, Petty Officer Communications Yeoman to Yeoman and Chief Communications Yeoman to Chief Yeoman. Data operators were introduced into the RAN in September 1963. These individuals were employed to operate computers for Electronic Data Processing (EDP) ashore. EDP commenced in the RAN in 1966, with the intention to operate computers when they were installed on fleet units. On 16 September 1967, a USN communications base was opened at North West Cape, near Exmouth, WA and by 1974 the RAN shared the facilities and responsibilities for the base. Naval Communications Station Harold E Holt, through its high-frequency transmitters and receivers, tied the US and Commonwealth into naval communication worldwide. Harold E Holt became one of the most important links in the US global defence communications network, maintaining reliable communications with submarines in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and providing communications for the USN’s most powerful deterrent force, the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. The communications base was the most powerful output in the US network. On 1 January 1974, another change to the title and abbreviations of the Communications Category occurred. This change created the following sub categories of the Communications Sailor: • Tactical Communications Operators became Signalmen. • Radio Communications Operators became Radio Operators. • Radio Operator (Morse) became Radio Operator (S). • Data operators were disestablished. With the closure of RN communications facilities at Mauritius, Singapore and Hong Kong in 1975, the Director of Naval Communications formed the Naval Communications Area Master Station Australia (NAVCAMSAUS) to coordinate fleet support communications to cover the South East Asian and Indian Ocean areas. NAVCAMSAUS was part of a world-wide Defence communications management organisation that had counterparts in the US, Canada, NZ and the UK. NAVCAMSAUS was based in Canberra at Harman with staff that carried out the long and short-term communications planning, maintenance of technical standards and configuration control of all shore-based assets, while Watch Officers provided a 24-hour point of contact for all users. The NAVCAMSAUS organisation controlled shore-based assets which consisted of Naval Communications Stations Darwin, Canberra and Harold E Holt, and Naval Communications Area Local Stations (NAVCALS) at Fremantle, Sydney and Cairns. On 28 July 1978, NAVCALS Fremantle commenced operation at HMAS Stirling. The local communications station provided HF support and Local Area Teletype broadcast support to fleet units. The Radio Operator Teletype category was disbanded in 1988, with the last of the ROT classes remaining after graduation to complete a RO conversion course before departing Cerberus. The communications branch now consisted of the Radio Operator, Signalman and ROEW sub-specialties. Due to the Seaman Category Rationalisation Study (SCRS) the ROEW sub department ceased to be part of the communications category in 1992 and became part of the Combat Systems Operator (CSO) category. The Communications Category now consisted of the Radio and Signalman sub-specialties. In 1995 a review of the maritime CIS organisation was conducted with the original report being presented in early 1996. As a result of this initial review and more detailed second phase was commenced, and the RAN Communications and Information Services (RANCIS) report was delivered in April 1997. One of the major recommendations to be accepted was the amalgamation of the Radio and Signalman branches and the inclusion of Information Systems (IS) in the revised category. The Communications School ceased teaching aural morse code in January 1996 and it was subsequently removed as a communication medium in the RAN modern communications methods had made it redundant. In 1996, computer Local Area Networks (LANs) began appearing in fleet units, with administration falling to anyone with an interest in IS. The systems evolved to administered by an individual of the Weapons Engineering Electrical branch, and finally in 1998 the Communications Branch assumed responsibility for the administration and management of information systems in fleet units. On 2 December 2002, the RAN Communications and Information Systems School, the Army School of Signals, and the RAAF CIS Training Section of the RAAF School of Technical Training amalgamated to become the Defence Force School of Signals (DFSS). The RAN CIS School was renamed the DFSS – Maritime CIS Wing (M-CIS-W) and remains at Cerberus. The Communications Category has kept pace with evolving workforce requirements and technologies. CIS sailors posting ashore are located within the Navy, Chief Information Officer Group and Army programs, and undertake an equally diverse range of employment duties. As in the past, the communicator’s job continues to expand and change, and will challenge the CIS sailor both at sea and ashore. The communicator’s job skills now include the management and operation of visual communications, fleet work, radio, Communications Security (COMSEC), Operational Security (OPSEC), multiple information system domains, boarding operation communications, combat survivability voice and board markers, military satellite communications and broadband satellite communications. As the CIS role continues to evolve, the current training systems will be continuously reviewed to reflect these changes both in employment and technology. The CIS sailor is employed at sea on every RAN vessel and ashore, providing operational support to ADF units nationally. Previous Rate badges The rate badges for the RAN’s Communications Categories were adopted from the RN, with the Telegraphists wearing the wings of Mercury with the lightning bolt. Mercury is a god in Roman mythology with a winged helmet and sandals. Additionally, he also carried a winged ‘caduceus’ and brought messages from the gods to mankind. The lightning bolt is said to have been thrown by Zeus and was considered an expression of supernatural power bringing fire and destruction on the earth. The signaller’s rate badge consisted of crossed signalling flags, and while the meaning of these flags has evolved, the current single meaning of flag Juliet is ‘I have a semaphore message for you’. CIS Category badge and history The following article was printed in the Navy News on 24 August 1998. ‘In the modern Royal Australian Navy there are many ways of “communicating.” Flags are still used, so is the Aldis lamp. More convenient is radio including the signals bounced off satellites. Training in communications is now a single entity with the first class of trainees beginning their course on July 6. Semaphore signalling using hand flags ceased to be used as a formal communications medium in the RAN on 24 November 2005. 5 It was realised there was a need to have a uniform rate badge which reflected all facets of communications covered by the course and the specialists’ ongoing duties in the RAN. A request went out to uniformed personnel to design such a badge, and a total of 156 designs were submitted. The winning badge depicts a sphere indicating the global reach of CIS, the Southern Cross indicating uniquely Australian origin and a lightning bolt as outlined above. The first Tier 1 class graduated on 9 April 1999, and were the first personnel to receive the new CIS Category badge. Professional Training The CIS training continuum consists of the initial training course (Tier 1) of 41 weeks duration, intermediate course (Tier 2) with a duration of 16 weeks and the 12 week Tier 3 course. Generic Sea duties and Posting Options All ranks of the CIS category are required to do sea service. Sailors are either employed on Major Fleet Units home-ported at Garden Island East, NSW and Garden Island West, or on Minor Warfare Vessels located at either HMAS Cairns or Coonawarra. The main employment areas for each rank are: a. WOCIS at sea, duties include employment in Sea Training Group (STG) and as the SCO of on LPA. Signalman’s Category badge Radio Operator Category badge CIS Category badge b. CPOCIS at sea, duties include employment in STG Minor Warfare Vessels (STG MWV) and employment on all Major Fleet Units. c. POCIS at sea, duties include employment in STG Minor Warfare Vessels (STG MWV) at sea duties include employment on all Major Fleet Units. d. LSCIS and ABCIS can be employed at sea on all vessels in the RAN. ...

Hello Members, It is with great disappointment that I have to let you all know that due to the current lockdowns in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains and the uncertainty of what will be happening in August, with Covid-19 lockdowns, that the Committee has no alternative but to cancel this Year’s Memorial Day. It is obviously a decision that is as disappointing to all our members as it is to the Committee. Although we won’t be holding our Memorial Day I’d like to think that on Wednesday the 18th August – Long Tan and Vietnam Veterans’ Day that we take the time to reflect upon this Day. Australia’s actions in Vietnam started in 1962 with the arrival of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATV) affectionately known as the Team. Almost 60,000 Australians, including ground troops and Airforce and Navy personnel, served in Vietnam, 521 died as a result of the War and over 3,000 were wounded. Our Association is honoured to have two (2) members who served in D Company 6RAR at the Battle of Long Tan – Terry Ryan and Tom Humphries, we salute you Gentlemen. They mingle not with their laughing comrades again, They sit no more at familiar tables of home, They have no lot in our labour of the daytime, They sleep beyond Australia’s foam. Stay safe during these difficult times and if you require any assistance, ring the Association’s office telephone number (02) 4751 8528 and your call will be diverted to one of our Association member’s mobile phones, who can assist you. Best regards Chris Chris McKay Secretary Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans & Associated Forces Inc. Blue Mountains Theatre & Community Hub 104-108 Macquarie Street, Springwood. NSW. 2777 Postal Address: Post Office Box 55 Springwood. NSW. 2777 Office: (02) 4751 8528 Tuesdays & Thursdays 1000hrs until 1400hrs Mobile: 0427 794914 Email: secretary@bmvets.com.au and/or c.mkay@bigpond.com Website: http://www.bmvets.com.au/ ...

Sad news received from Douglas Edward Charles Moore that R.O. (S) Graeme (Buzzy) Luttrell crossed the bar on Tuesday afternoon 13/7/2021 at the Bupa nursing home South Hobart. Buzzy was a Junior Recruit who joined the navy in January 1961. He was also a HMAS Voyager survivor, who was medically discharged approximately 3 years after the collision.RIP Buzzy ...

Exercise Sea Explorer is the 2nd of three exercises in the annual Sea Series to hone and certify Australia’s Amphibious Task Forces. The first - Exercise Sea Horizon was a planning activity in preparation for the subsequent Sea Explorer and the final Sea Raider exercise. During Exercise Sea Explorer almost 1800 soldiers, sailors, and aviators aboard HMAS Canberra and HMAS Choules practiced amphibious landings of soldiers, vehicles, and equipment onto Cowley Beach in North-Eastern Queensland from 2-15 June 2021.https://youtu.be/5HDtcxXnxyU...

Back on the water! #HMASPerth was lowered out of dry dock last week, after upgrades to her radar capabilities, communications systems and crew-habitable areas were completed, which are a major part of the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program. Perth is 118m long, nearly 15m wide and weighs 3900 tonnes, the complexity of the manoeuvres to get her back in the water required precise coordination. https://youtu.be/KOJTeVfWMXI?t=9...

The WA Chapter will hold a lunch at the Bayswater Quality Hotel at 12.00 on Friday August 6th. RSVP for our first function since COVID lockdown to Brian, Arthur or David by Tuesday August 3rd please. Yours aye David MacLean President WA Chapter RANCBA 0418 917 982...

FYI - This is what Head Quarters Joint Ops Command (HQJOC) looks like. Staff work in re-designed Joint Operations Room at Headquarters Joint Operations Command, New South Wales.Headquarters Joint Operations Command opened their new Joint Operations Room (JOR) on 11 June 2021, christening the occasion with a ribbon cake cutting.The re-designed JOR still features the " monitor wall" as the centrepoint, but aims to ensure the right people are able to respond to incidents, as well as removing obstacles from collaboration.Headquarters Joint Operations Command is a three-star headquarters, responsible for command and control of Australian Defence Force operations, both domestic and foreign. It is staffed by personnel from all services of the Australian Defence Force, Australian Public Service, international liaison officers and staff from other government agencies. ...

OC DFSS MCISW Speech on the occasion of 100 Years of Communications Training at HMAS Cerberus 1 July 2021   Introduction - General CDRE Matt Doornbos RAN - Director General Navy Information Warfare, COL Edmund Wunsch Commandant - Defence Command Support Training Centre, COL Anthony Lias – Commanding Officer Defence Force School of Signals, CMDR Martin Holzberger AM CSC RAN Executive Officer HMAS Cerberus, Warrant Officer Deb Butterworth OAM, CSM + Bar Warrant Officer of the Navy, Distinguished guests, Staff, Students and Trainees of the Defence Force School of Signals Maritime CIS Wing, thank you for your attendance and welcome to this gathering on the historic occasion of the 100th anniversary of Communications Training at HMAS Cerberus. On the 1st of July 1921 A purpose built facility was opened at the southern extremities of the recently completed HMAS Cerberus. This building was named the Royal Australian Navy School of Signals and replaced the preceding training facility located at Williamstown Victoria which had been in operation from the establishment of the Royal Australian Navy in 1911, throughout World War 1 and beyond. The Man to see this new facility into operation was then Lt (S) William David Hunter, RAN an Australian born man who had joined the Royal Navy in 1904 as a Boy Signals and come back to Australia onboard HMAS Australia in 1913 as a Yeoman of Signals. He was subsequently one of the original members of the Royal Australian Navy. William saw service in Guinea during the early stages of World War 1 and bore witness to the loss of Able Seaman Signals William Williams in 1914 who was one of the first Australian casualties of World War 1. William accepted commission to Signals officer eventually achieving the rank of Lt Cdr. He retired in 1931, falling ill and passing away in 1934. William is buried in the Presbyterian section of Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney. Sadly, his grave bears no recognition of his service to Naval Communications. In recognition of his contribution to establishing the School of Signals at Cerberus, a plaque will be laid at his final resting place detailing his service as the inaugural Officer in Charge of the facility to ensure his legacy is known to all who visit his grave. Following those early years, 68 People have followed William, stewarding RAN communications training for both Sailors and Officers through the last century of our Navy’s service to the nation. Today is dedicated to the thousands of Men and Woman who have been part of this story over the past century. Those who have passed through our doors and gone on to serve in the Navy, those who have returned to the facility to impart their experience on their successors, and those civilian members who have been there throughout our history in support of our training outcomes. Introduction – CDRE Doornbos, RAN We are honoured today to have CDRE Matt Doornbos, RAN Director General Naval Information Warfare present as our first guest speaker. Commodore Matthew Doornbos is Australian Defence Force Academy graduate completing a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems in 1992. He completed various sea and shore postings in Australia and overseas. He commanded HMAS GEELONG and HMAS Ballarat. Commodore Doornbos is a Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) specializing in Surface Warfare and Communications. He has two Masters Degrees, a Master in Business Administration and a Master in Business Administration (Maritime Logistics Management). Commodore Doornbos is currently the Director General Naval Information Warfare, leading the Navy Information Warfare Branch, Navy Strategic Command. Ladies and Gentleman, Commodore Doornbos. DGNIW Speech…. Sir, thank you for taking time out today to share your insights with us. We look forward to having you down at Cerberus when circumstances permit in the near future. Introduction – Warrant Officer Deb Butterworth OAM, CSM and Bar I am humbled to have the honour of introducing our next guest speaker. She needs no introduction as her reputation precedes her. But I will regardless. WO Butterworth enlisted into the Royal Australian Navy as a Stores Naval Sailor in 1989. WO Butterworth has enjoyed serving in various ships and establishments both in Australia and overseas as a Stores Naval Sailor. She has had an exceptional career and has been recognised on a number of occasions for her dedication to service. CPO Butterworth was awarded a CSM in 2006 in recognition of her service in Newcastle during OP CATALYST. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for meritorious service to the Royal Australian Navy in the field of logistics management in 2012. WO Butterworth assumed the role of Ship’s Warrant Officer in HMAS Success in December 2011, and was recognised with a bar to her CSM in recognition of her service in Success following that posting. In 2017, WO Butterworth was appointed Command Warrant Officer Training Force and in 2019 she was appointed to the role of Warrant Officer of the Navy, our most senior sailor in the Royal Australian Navy. WO Butterworth holds a Master of Military and Defence Studies. Ladies and Gentleman, Warrant Officer Butterworth. WO-N Speech… WO Butterworth, we are honoured to have you with us today. Thank you for your involvement and support. You are an inspiration to our people and testament to the opportunities life in the Navy offers to those willing to give it a go. Conclusion This concludes the formal phase of this mornings events. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our guest speakers and our visiting VIP’s for their support to allow today be proceed. The future looks bright for Naval Communications and you are all part of the next chapter of this story. You should be justifiably proud of your roles in the future of Communications. I would also like to thank our Centenary Committee including WO Shane O’Gradey, CPO Leo Vredenbreght, PO Deb Navin, PO Fane Cokanauto and LS Peta Binns. Without their efforts we would not have been able to give today the recognition it has had. I would like to invite you all to join me at Club Cerberus where we will cut the Centenary Cake, share a feast of smally eats and dodgy war stories provided by CPO Lennie Marshallhttps://vimeo.com/570184269...

A big day for all at the home of Communications category training, DFSS-MCISW, HMAS Cerberus with a formal presentation to mark the occasion of the Centenary of Communications Training at HMAS Cerberus. The day commenced with a formal march past comprising of all DFSS-MCISW staff, students and trainees with DCSTC COL Wunsch taking the salute with CO and XO of DFSS and both RSMs also present. All personnel then marched as a formed parade to the base cinema for the formal online presentations. Director General Navy Information Warfare (DGNIW) CDRE Matt Doornbos, RAN and WO-N Deb Butterworth joined in the celebrations online and presented to the gathered audience with both participating in a Q & A session. On completion of the formal presentations, all personnel enjoyed a morning tea and the obligatory cutting of the Centenary of Communications Training at HMAS Cerberus cake. The images provided below will be complemented with official images once they have been cleared for publication. The march past and presentations were captured on video and once I have done the editing, the video will be made available to page members once approved. BZ to all involved with todays event and here's to the next 100 years of CIS training at HMAS Cerberus ...

 Information supplied by Sonja Hellier RANCBA Qld. Murray Ross Higgins (Blue) 05/11/1945 - 23/06/2021 R93353 12.07.61 - 12.07.81 Ex CPORS Murray peacefully passed away in Mildura Victoria at 2136 last night 23rd June surrounded by his family. Loved husband of Pat loving father of Damien,Tia, and Aamon and their families. RIP...

25 Jun Vale Nigel Harris For those of us who are unaware, Nigel Harris (ex-POEWO & LSROS) passed away in a tragic accident in the Finke Desert Race on Monday 14 June 2021. Nigel was a true gentleman, one of those guys who’d give you the shirt off his back. I don’t think I ever heard him say a bad word about anyone. Nigel had recenly retired, recently become a grandparent, and was on his “trip of a lifetime”. He is survived by his loving wife Sheryl, their two children, and their granddaughter. Vale Nigel – thank you for your service. Taken from us far too soon. Here is a link for the live stream of Nigel’s memorial service, 1030 on Monday:https://www.norwoodpark.com.au/service-streaming/client/?nid=2dcbf502-0376-437d-a488-5425058ac089 ...

The following email was received, I believe it says volumes and should be published for all to read. Congratulations on getting the communicators website back up and running. I look forward to the opportunity it provides to stay in touch with former shipmates and the wider navy comms family. My main purpose in this email is to acknowledge the decades of hard work and dedication the former web manager, John Curbishley, put into creating and running this website. Over the years John’s efforts kept us informed and in touch with “stepping oppos” from years past and provided the impetus for reminiscing on the runs ashore we enjoyed as well as notable incidents from our commcen or flagdeck days – and nights. Our numbers are thinning and the vale notices becoming more frequent, but that’s life, and this website gives us the means to look back on how we lived it. I’m sure I can speak on behalf of all navy communicators when I say “Thank you John – Bravo Zulu.” We are grateful to you and honoured by the dedication you have shown over many years. Regards, Rod Beckinsale ...