Iraq

1RAR INVOLVEMENT IRAQ

Australian Security Detachment – (SECDET) is a Combat Team (CT) of about 110 personnel. The CT comprises two infantry Platoons, one Cavalry Troop. a Military Police Detachment and a Combat Service Support Element. As part of Joint Task Force 633, SECDET provides support to the Australian Embassy-Baghdad in order to facilitate the conduct of the Australian Diplomatic Mission. SECDET utilizes ASLAVs and armoured land cruisers to provide protected mobility for Australian Government personnel working at the Australian Embassy.

1RAR has sent two combat teams to Operation CATALYST Iraq.

B Coy, SECDET VIII 2005-2006

Pre-deployment training commenced months before the troops were deployed. The Combat Teams (CT) conducts continuation and operational specific training. This includes Vehicle Operations, Explosives Hazards and Awareness Training, Urban Ops and Language Training. Both combat teams conducted Mission Ready Exercises (MRE) prior to deployment.

B Company was lead by MAJ Malcolm Wells who deployed on SECDET VIII. B Coy provided close protection to Australian Diplomats and Defence Civilians, security of the Australian embassy in Baghdad and escorts to the Australian Ambassador traveling to Embassies/Ministries throughout the Green and Red zones.

The CT conducted escort duties for the Australian Ambassador in the Red Zone however there were no incidents against the CT during the Deployment. The main threats in the Red Zone were IEDs and snipers.

A number of the Combat First Aiders (CFAs) were provided to the U.S. military hospital to provide support treatment for the large number of American casualties. They provided a high standard of service and received excellent experience with treating mass battle-field casualties. The effort of these CFAs was well appreciated from the US forces.

These following members received a Commendation for Distinguished Service.

  1. LT J.B. Taylor,
  2. CPL C. Caspani
  3. LCPL G. Wheeler.

PTE Rubio and CPL D.J. Vincent received Commander JTF Commendations.

A COY SECDET XI

On 05 Mar 07 elements of A Coy, 1 RAR departed for Iraq to complete the 11th rotation of the Security Detachment Baghdad, commanded by MAJ Micah Batt. The CT also consisted of elements from 2/14th LHR (QMI), 1 MP Coy and 3 CSR. On completion of the thorough handover/takeover with members of the 3 RAR the soldiers of A Coy quickly took to the task of protecting the Australian Diplomatic Mission in Iraq.

During the first 3 months of the deployment the Baghdad environment was the deadliest it had been since the 2003 occupation. The rate and threat of Mortar and Rocket attacks were on the rise. Apart from a daily rocket and mortar barrage by the insurgents, the threat of VBIED and suicide bombers was increasingly high. Although the CT received Mortar and rocket barrages, there were no injuries sustained. The guard room at the Australian Embassy received a direct hit by a rocket fired by the insurgents. There was significant damage to the building, however Cpl Charman (1 RAR) and an MP Cpl, who were inside at the time received no injuries.

SAS Patrolling the Iraqi Western Desert

5th Aviation Regiment Chinook helicopter arriving in the Middle East on the US transport

SAS pass the wreckage of Iraqi aircraft

The Special Forces Task Group captured over 50 Iraqi fighter aircraft at the Al Asad Airbase

Australian F/A-18 refuelling from a US tanker while on a mission over Iraq

On Patrol

Preparing for patrol 2005

Townsville based 1 RAR soldiers back the “Cowboys” in the ARL Grand Final
Pte Brent Mitchell, Kane Nord, Kym Baldock, Lt Brendon Taylor, Brendon Chapman,
Front – Cpl David Wells, Cpl Jeff Dengate and Pte Isaac Rubio
27 – 9 – 2005

Another bunch of football fanatics
27 – 9 – 2005

On Patrol
Pte Carlos Salas on patrol
28 – 12 – 2005

Pte Daniel Holcroft outside the embassy
28 – 12 – 2005

Cpl Jason Walsh
28 – 12 – 2005

Observation post near the Australian Embassy
28 – 12 – 2005

On guard – Pte Benjamin Hewerdine
28 – 12 – 2005

Pte Cameron Henham and Pte Troy Miller build friendly ties with the locals
28 – 12 – 2005

The CDF, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston speaks with 1 RAR soldiers
6 – 2 – 2006

The Commander of the security detachment Major Malcolm Wells briefs the Minister for Defence, Dr Brendon Nelson.
6 – 2 – 2006

Dust Storm