1RAR in the 1980s

Lt Col Beale handed over command to Lt Col B J Caligari on the 9th December 1980. The RSM was WO 1 R J May who was replaced by WO 1 W A Webber in May 1980. 1980 saw the introduction of the Operation Deployment Force (ODF) concept. This concept placed the two Townsville based Battalions on a shortened notice to move prepared to undertake service assisted/protected evacuation of Australian Nationals where ever required A cycle of training and readiness which has continued ever since

Lt Col B.J Caligari handed over command of 1RAR to Lt Col P.J. Cosgrove on 14th Jan 1983. The RSM was WO 1 B A Smith. The latter half of 1983 saw the majority of 1 RAR as the enemy for Exercise ‘Kangaroo 83’. The exercise was conducted in the Pilbara region.

Lt Col P.J. Cosgrove, MC; handed over command of 1RAR on 13 Aug 84 to Lt Col J D. McAloney, MC. The RSM was WO 1 T E Wass. The McAloney Shield, which is the trophy awarded for the annual Rugby Union match between 1 RAR and 2 RAR is named in honour of this former CO and his commitment to Rugby

1 RAR won the prestigious Duke of Gloucester Cup in 1986 with the winning team going to England to compete in, and subsequently win, the British Army’s Cambrian Patrol contest. 1986 also saw 1 RAR deploy on Exercise Kangaroo 86 to central Qld.

Lt Col J. D. McAloney, MC departed 1 RAR on 5 Dec 86 handing over to Lt Col J. P. Salter, MC. The RSM was WO 1 R J Milham.

1 RAR received orders for deployment on 21st May 1987 during the Fiji crisis for Operation “Morris Dance”. (See Peacekeepers) B Coy, under command of Maj B.A.R. Scott, was flown onto Norfolk Island and embarked on HMAS TOBRUK. B Coy was not called on to assist the evacuation of Australian Nationals and returned to Coral Lines by 7th June.

1 RAR sent two officers and 15 soldiers for Royal Guard duties as part of the Bicentennial celebrations between 2nd Apr and 28th Apr 1988. Guards were provided for Buckingham Palace, St James Palace, The Tower of London, and Windsor Castle. The contingent commander was Lt Col J P Salter, MC.

1 RAR was presented with the new Colours by the Governor-General, the Right Honourable, Sir Ninian Stevens AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE on 10th May 1988. The parade was attended by some 400 veterans of the Battle of FSB Coral.

Lt Col J.P. Salter MC, handed over command of I RAR to Lt Col J.D. Petrie on the 8th Dec 1988. The RSM was WO 1 R B Dabinet.

1 RAR deployed by both air and road to the Northern Territory in1989 for Exercise Kangaroo 89. Training exercises were conducted at Daly River, Mataranka and Beswick.

The Battle of FSB Coral was celebrated on the 12th May 1990 with an airmobile insertion onto the battalion parade ground with SA-70 Blackhawk and Iroquois gunships. A rifle section commanded by Cpl P Marsh from1 RAR won the Duke of Gloucester Cup in Jul 1990.

The Battalion was presented with the US Meritorious Unit Commendation on 4th July, in recognition of its outstanding service while part of the US .173rd Airborne Brigade in South Vietnam 1965-66.

Lt Col D J Hurley became the Commanding Officer of 1 RAR in January 1991.

B Coy 1981 - Malaysia

B Coy 1981 – Malaysia

4Platoon, B Company, Butterworth, 1987 – Photos from Craig Calder (Slim)