Welcome to our Notice Board

Items of interest to Ordnance Field Park members, and Vietnam Veterans in general, will be posted here. If you have any item/s for our Notice Board please
contact us with the details.

Bob Nash (WebMaster)
_________________________________________________________

19 June 2009

THIS NOTICE BOARD IS CLOSED

This Notice Board has now served its purpose and will no longer be updated.

Our new Notice Board can be located by following this link:-

http://ofpvietnam.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=3&Itemid=2

Thank you
Bob Nash
WebMaster

07 June 2009

Request for assistance with book on Personnel who lost their lives in Vietnam

By way of introduction my name is Barry Hampson.

Recently I started researching each of the 521 Australian Service personnel (as recorded on the Australian War Memorial Honour Roll) as having lost their lives in the Vietnam War, in the hope of one day of producing a book documenting and honouring their lives and service in Vietnam, to try and ensure that generations will remember them.

I am writing to you in the hope that may be able to assist me, by possible advertising on your website and pass my details to your members via the old boy network about what I am doing and that I would like to interview anyone who served with any of the 521 Australia’s who lost their lives in the conflict.

To give you a bit of my background, when I initially joining the Army in 1980, most of my all my Corporals, Sergeants, etc were Vietnam veterans and also my father is a Vietnam veteran; as such I hold those who have served in Vietnam with the utmost respect.

I am happy to discuss my research and my plans for the possible book with you at anytime, my mobile number is 0424 750 943. If you are happy to talk to me please email me ( bazz662@bigpond.com ) back and I will ring you.

You can contact Rod White, of the 3RAR Association in NSW, rdw1788@gmail.com tel: 02 94408960 or 0419477179; 40 Gilroy Road Turramurra Sydney NSW 2074 – to confirm who I am and my research, if necessary.

Thanking you in advance, hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Barry

website: http://www.barryhampson.com/

06 June 2009

Letter to Prime Minister from National President of TPI

Attached is a letter to Prime Minister Rudd concerning the outcome of the recent budget. It is important to understand that what we are asking for is only fairness and is what we have consistently asked for over the last 10 years.

Since last year when the government said they were going to review pensions we made it very clear to the office of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and the Repatriation Commission that we expected our disability pensions to maintain their value relative to other government pensions.

Please ensure this letter is passed on to your members, ESO’s and as many veterans as possible and consider placing it in your publications.

Blue Ryan

Letter to Prime Minister (click to open)

27 May 2009

2010 - Anzac Dawn Service Gallipoli Tour

Tony Flanagan is off to Gallipoli for Anzac Day next year. He would like any OFP member who is interested in accompaning him to contact him ASAP.

Details of the proposed tour can be found by clicking on this link:

Please contact Tony for any further information you require.
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21 April 2009

Defence Force Welfare Association May 2009 E-Letter


The is a monthly E-Letter containing items which are of interest to the Service and ex-Service community.

Click on PDF file to open:- Issue 239 - May 2009

Check out the Association's Web Site at:- http://www.rdfwa.org.au/.
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19 April 2009

VETERANS' AFFAIRS - INFORMATION KIT

An updated Veterans’ Information Kit is now available. While the Kit will not answer all your questions, it will give you a comprehensive guide to payments and services available to veterans and their families. This issue contains the current rates of pensions and allowances from 20 March 2009 to 30 June 2009.

The kit is printed, authorised and distributed with the compliments of The Hon. Alan Griffin MP - Minister for Veterans' Affairs.

Click on INFORMATION KIT to view a copy.
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RAAOC SVN BRISBANE 2010 REUNION


1st Update Newsletter - April 2009

Firstly thank you for the great response to the reunion. To date we have received 173 replies and along with 150 partners which will give us a total of 323 attending, but we are expecting over 400, so it should be a huge weekend. Since the original letter we have managed to get costings on the accommodation, merchandise, functions, buses, river cruise and restaurant . Click here for more details (pdf file)

John Dolton- Email: johndolton@bigpond.com (Committee)
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15 April 2009

VALE - BILL EAGLESHAM

We were sad to hear that 22813 WO2 Willian Francis (Bill) EAGLESHAM passed away peacefully on 24 March 2009.

Bill was a member of the original detachment from 1 OFP that arrived in Vietnam in April/May 1966. He was then posted to 2 Comp Ord in Vung Tau in late August 1966.

Bill joined up as a 21 year old infantry soldier in 1943. He also served in Moratai, Japan (BCOF) and Korea. He was discharged as a WO1 in 1973 after 30 years service.

May he rest in peace.

08 April 2009

UPDATE - Army Combat Badge


Please refer to our original post dated 7 June 2008

UPDATE.......We have been advised that MAJGEN Cavenagh (Head of Corps RAAOC) recently briefed Chief of Army. CofA has advised MAJGEN Cavenagh that he is willing to review the matter of the award of the ACB. Deputy Chief of Army (who manages Heads of Corps for CofA) has given some guidance, the implications of which will be investigated further by HoC. HoC will be in touch with us soon with a more detailed response......STAY TUNED !!!

17 March 2009

Yoga for War Veterans and their Partners

Yoga for War Veterans and their partners (adult children also welcome).

Yoga has helped many war veterans and their loved ones to heal from the debilitating effects of post-traumaticstress disorder and other health problems. Yoga offers principles and practices which encourage positive changeand transformation. Many of these are simple and easily applied in daily life. Yoga stretching, breathing techniques, relaxation and meditation all provide practical ways of reducing stress and anxiety by releasing tensions and encouraging the parasympathetic nervous system to become more active. They are also tools for reducing insomnia, managing anger and creating positive feelings and patterns. As well as such techniques, yoga provides a philosophy of life which is positive, creative and open.

Join other veterans and their loved ones for a unique retreat – choose either the weekend or 5 day option. If you want more info they can call the Yoga Centre – 03 6228 28 44, or read the the following brochure (pdf file).
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(This item was sent in by John Galpin for the information of members).
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10 March 2009

Welcome Home - As it should be done

This is the way all returning soldiers should be treated.
An interesting video sent in by Denis Blakey.
Well worth a look at.

video

04 March 2009

2 AOD / RAAOC VIETNAM-BRISBANE 2010 REUNION


JUST A REMINDER

Expression of interest are still being sought
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Refer to the item on our Notice Board (below) dated 23/10/ 2008
---oOo---
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16 February 2009

NASHOS WA


We are a small group of Nashos that got together to try to find our old mates and also create mateship and try to socialise as much as we can.

We are called NASHOS WA and have created our own web site:-
http://www.wanashos.wikidot.com/

We require photos on Nasho platoons or sections with details, as mates are finding others through our site.

Contact details are on the web site.
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21 December 2008

``Charlie Don't Surf, But Aussies Do''

My name is Stuart Scott, and I've just written a book about the Peter Badcoe Club at 1ALSG and how people remember their time there. It is called ``Charlie Don't Surf, But Aussies Do'' and might be of interest to your association's members.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, I'm quick to point out that I'm not a veteran -- missed callup by one day -- but I'm interested in Australian surfing history and heard of the set-up at Vung Tau. As I found out more, about the surfing/sailing/water ski-ing etc, then the lifesavers, the pool, the club etc, I decided it would make a fascinating book. Since no-one else had done it, I decided I should, so I've gathered stories and photos from veterans, and the Aust War Memorial, and got the Amenities Unit/Badcoe Club files opened.

This has been a totally self-funded project, which will never make me rich. Breaking even would be good. No complaints, because I've really enjoyed the work, and have received fantastic co-operation. All that was a long way of explaining what I'm up to, and why I'd appreciate it if you could spread the word that such a book now exists.

Anyway, here is what I tell people: A new book, ``Charlie Don't Surf, But Aussies Do'', tells the story of the Peter Badcoe Club, 1ALSG, Vung Tau, especially the surfing/beach/lifesaving/recreation side of things, and even strays off-target as far as the bars of Vungers and the Victoria Cross awarded to Major Badcoe. It brings together veterans' stories and records from the Aust War Memorial archives, most never before opened. It is packed with photos, most in colour.

Price is $30 plus postage. Details: http://www.charliedontsurf.com.au/

Hope you can help, and thanks for your time,
Stuart Scott
1590 David Low Way
Point ArkwrightQLD 4573

14 December 2008

The Grocers & Gunners Vietnam Tour

Hi folks,

I served with 2 AOD as Chief Clerk in the late 70's early 80's and served in Vietnam (RAASC) 1968-69.

You might be interested in a tour of Vietnam I'm leading in Aug 2009. The trip is great value and 4/5 star all the way. I've attached a flyer and proposed itinerary. (Click on the links to open them)

Anyone interested can contact me direct.

Regards.......... Phil Brookes

PR & MP Brookes
Telephone: 07 3341 2732
Email: brookes1@bigpond.net.au
Fax: 61 7 3341 2735
Mobile: 0418 719 166
.....

02 December 2008

RAAOC BELT BUCKLE


The RAAOC Association NSW Division has RAAOC belt buckles available for $30.00 postage and handling.

Contact is:
Russell Fozzard
24 Lily St
Wetherill Park NSW 2164
Phone: 02-9609-4381.

Postal or money orders only please.
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29 November 2008

VALE - STAN HALL

It is with heavy hearts that we acknowledge the passing, on Thursday 27 November 2008, of one of the OFP's most popular Sergeants. A father to all who served with him during 1968/69.

Stan was more than the stereotyped army sergeant. He was a true friend and natural leader. He was a true mentor. Troops under him never had to be ordered to do anything. There is nothing that they would not have done for this man.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Ruth. To Gary and Michael, we just say thanks for sharing your Dad with us.

He will be sadly missed by Les (Wilko) and Gail Wilkinson and Colin (Crossey) and Rosanne Cross.
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"Lest We Forget"
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11 November 2008

VALE - KATHY AULT

Kathy Ault (Tony Flanagan's partner and our reunion co-ordinator) lost her battle with cancer and passed away on Sunday 9 November 2008.

In Tony's words, "Heaven now has a new angel".

The fact that our reunions got better and better over the years is entirely due to Kathy's great organising ability. She will be sadly missed. Even in her last days, Kathy was making sure that our Adelaide reunion would continue to be an occasion where we could all get together once again. It was her express wish that the Adelaide reunion goes ahead even though she will not be there. So lets all get together and make Adelaide a reunion she would have been proud of.

To everyone who attended our reunions, it was a privelege to have known her - the OFP family has lost a dear friend. Our sympathies go out to Tony and Kathy's family.

As a tribute to Kathy, Lawrie O'Neill has penned the following lines:-

KATHY

IN ALL OUR HEARTS AND MEMORIES
YOU STAND ALONE AS ONE

WHO’S SELFLESS EFFORTS TO OUR CAUSE
HAS ALWAYS MADE THEM FUN

FOR ALL THE TREASURED MEMORIES
YOU REALLY ARE THE BEST

ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS DEAR KATH
GOD GRANT YOU PEACE AND REST

Please feel free to add your comments below.

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30 October 2008

2 AOD / RAAOC VIETNAM - BRISBANE 2010 REUNION

It is proposed to hold a reunion of 2AOD and all other RAAOC personnel who served in South Vietnam over the Queen’s birthday weekend in 2010. We are hoping to get in excess of 300 attending so let’s see you there.

We will keep you informed via regular news updates as arrangements and costs are finalised.

Preliminary Details:

Dates: Friday 11 June until Monday 14 June 2010

Fri 7pm Meet and Greet at Mercure Hotel 85 North Quay Bris.

Sat 9am Bus trips to either:-
Maleny and Montville or
Mt Tamborine Wineries,
Or do your own thing
7pm Dinner at Mercure Hotel North Quay

Sun 9am Service at ANZAC Square Brisbane, bus provided.
11am River Cruise on the Brisbane River (3hrs), bus and boat provided.
7pm Dinner at the Sultans Restaurant Virginia

Accommodation Mecure Hotel, 85 North Quay Brisbane
(Quote “RAAOC REUNION” when booking to get discount, cut off date for discount14 January 2010) - Phone No. 07 32372300 for reservations.

Functions We are still negotiating with the venue regarding costs and it will be confirmed at a later date and you will be notified by newsletter.

If you are interested in attending, please address all enquiries to John or Bill.

John Dolton (secretary)
07 38881656 Johndolton@bigpond.com 0408 075229

Bill Abboud (functions)
07 33557329 boody@optusnet.com.au 0412 088349

IF YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER Ex SVN RAAOC PERSONNEL THAT WE HAVEN’T CONTACTED PLEASE LET US KNOW.
30/10/08

28 October 2008

Vietnam Vets rise up in song.

Australia’s first ever war veteran’s choir has been formed under the name of ‘Veteran Soul’ and proudly acknowledges its legendary performer Patrons, Ms Lorrae Desmond and Ms Patricia Amphlet (Little Pattie).

Subtitled ‘The Vietnam Veteran’s Community Choir, The formation of Veteran Soul not only provides a strong community involvement opportunity for the vets, their partners and families, but also represents an opportunity for the veterans to give to society through delivering charitable performances at fundraisers for various charity organizations.

Choir founder and leader is Vietnam veteran Francis Edwards that many will know through the growing success of his recent CD ‘Vietnam Dreamscape’ which was produced to act as a fundraiser for the veterans’ suicide intervention project ‘Program ASIST.’

Veteran Soul currently has 15 core members and wants to build that up to 24 core members who are willing to commit to the Tuesday and Thursday evening choir rehearsals with a view to becoming a tight vocal unit capable of appearing on any stage anywhere. While the Tuesday night rehearsal is for those committed core members, the Thursday night practice sessions are also open to any and all vets, their partners and family who may just want to come and have a bloody good sing out among the company of their peers and friends.

Veteran Soul has enlisted a qualified choir mistress/ singing teacher to run the Tuesday night practice sessions in tandem with Francis while he looks after the Thursday night sessions that re-enforce the learning of the previous Tuesday evenings effort.

Veteran Soul’s first CD, is being planned for recording in April 2009 with a hopeful release date during June 2009.

The new album will bear the title ‘Angels beyond the Abyss’ and will be the choir’s first charity recording aimed at lifting public sympathy and awareness regarding the plight of Australia’s growing number of homeless people. Profit proceeds will be split 50/50 between Wesley Mission and St Vincent De Paul Society.

Sydney metro based Veterans, partners and children wishing to join Veteran Soul should contact Francis Edwards on (02) 9660 2595 or 0458 993 268 or franced@bigpond.net.au for more information.

Interstate chapters of Veteran Soul will no doubt be formed during 2009 and Vietnam vets wishing to become choir leaders of Veteran Soul in their state or region, should also contact Francis who offers full support to any singer vet who feels they can handle such a project.
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17 September 2008

PANDORA - AUSTRALIA'S WEB ARCHIVE

We are proud to advise that our web site has been considered suitable for inclusion in the National Library of Australia's "Pandora" Archives.

PANDORA, Australia's Web Archive is a growing collection of copies of Australian online publications, established initially by the National Library of Australia in 1996, and now built in collaboration with nine other Australian libraries and other cultural collecting organisations.

The purpose of the PANDORA Archive is to collect and provide long-term access to selected online publications and web sites that are about Australia, are by an Australian author on a subject of social, political, cultural, religious, scientific or economic significance and relevance to Australia, or are by an Australian author of recognised authority and make a contribution to international knowledge.

The Library intends to provide perpetual access to titles archived in PANDORA and therefor our web site will be available for future generations to see long after we're all gone.
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10 September 2008

VALE - GRAHAM ALEXANDER


Graham passed away in Gladstone Qld on Tuesday 2 September 2008, after a short battle with cancer. He had just recently celebrated his 63rd birthday.

Graham was called-up for National Service in April 1966. He arrived at Nui Dat, Vietnam, in March 1967 as part of the advance party for 6 Ordnance Field Park (Det). He completed his tour and returned to Australia in February 1968. He was discharged from his National Service obligations in April 1968 and returned to his civilian job with Wyper Brothers in Gladstone. Graham and his wife Sandra, whom he married before going to Vietnam, settled into life in Gladstone. They raised three children, Paul, Craig and Lee.

Graham was activley involved in community matters in Gladstone, especially in his children's sporting activites. He was a longstanding member of the Gladstone RSL Sub Branch and was the Branch President for many years.

A large attendance at his funeral service on Monday 8 September 2008 was testament to his community spirit. Graham will be sadly missed by his wife Sandra and his children Paul, Craig and Lee, their partners and Graham's grand children as well as the Gladstone RSL community and his OFP Vietnam mates.

As a tribute to Graham, Lawrie O'Neill (6 OFP Det) has penned the following lines:-

GRAHAM OUR MATE.

Mateship is a golden chain that links our friends so near
A chain that can't be broken as we travel through the years
Nothing can destroy it for as long as we all live
So let us all be grateful for what Graham's mateship gives
We all must travel through life's seasons and the winter of our dying
A desolate time of heartfelt hurt, the grieving and the crying
So let's just now remember Graham not by earthly treasures
But by his mates and loved ones, which is how a man is measured


"Lest we forget"
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13 August 2008

Long Tan Presentation

Had a quick look, it will be very interesting especially for teachers and students.....

The contents of this presentations are suitable for school teachers & students as well as Viet Vets and others who are just interested. Not to forget serving members of all forces, including those overseas and in Allied forces.
It's a PC version only (a Mac version may follow, if funded), and runs on Powerpoint version 2003 and later. (Don't try to run it on earlier Powerpoint versions - eg, 97 - it uses features not available before the 03 version.)
It's large - about 5.6Mb - but it's paced to the viewer. May be an hour or more of viewing/study.
Click on Download LONG TAN PowerPoint presentation (I suggest you "save to disk" so you can run it whenever you wish, rather than opening it in Powerpoint?) If you download and view it yourself, please feel free to add comments as you pass the message along.
May I ask you to ask your contacts to also pass it on as well? It's good to see something worthwhile and free on the Internet - let it ping around the web for a while.
Cheers to you all, and thanks in anticipation,
Dave Sabben.
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Exposure to Agent Orange linked to Prostate Cancer in Vietnam Veterans

Essential reading for ALL Vietnam Vets - This is for real - Get yourself checked out.

August 5, 2008
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — UC Davis Cancer Center physicians today released results of research showing that Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and even greater risks of getting the most aggressive form of the disease as compared to those who were not exposed.
The findings, which appear online now and will be published in the September 15 issue of the journal Cancer, are the first to reliably link the herbicide with this form of cancer by studying a large population of men in their 60s and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to screen for the disease.
"While others have linked Agent Orange to cancers such as soft-tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, there is limited evidence so far associating it with prostate cancer," said Karim Chamie, lead author of the study and resident physician with the UC Davis Department of Urology and the VA Northern California Health Care System. "Here we report on the largest study to date of Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange and the incidence of prostate cancer."
Chamie also said that, unlike previous studies that were either too small or conducted on men who were too young, patients in the current study were entering their prime years for developing prostate cancer. There was also the added advantage that it was conducted entirely during the era of PSA screening, providing a powerful tool for early diagnosis and tracking of prostate cancer.
More than 13,000 Vietnam veterans enrolled in the VA Northern California Health Care System were stratified into two groups — exposed or not exposed to Agent Orange between 1962 and 1971. Based on medical evaluations conducted between 1998 and 2006, the study revealed that twice as many men exposed to Agent Orange were identified with prostate cancer. In addition, Agent Orange-exposed men were diagnosed two-and-a-half years younger and were nearly four times more likely to present with metastatic disease. Other prostate cancer risk factors — race, body-mass index and smoking — were not statistically different between the two groups.
"Our country's veterans deserve the best possible health care, and this study clearly confirms that Agent Orange exposure during service in Vietnam is associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer later in life," said Ralph deVere White, UC Davis Cancer Center director and a study co-author. "Just as those with a family history of prostate cancer or who are of African-American heritage are screened more frequently, so too should men with Agent Orange exposure be given priority consideration for all the screening and diagnostic tools we have at our disposal in the hopes of early detection and treatment of this disease."
Now a banned chemical, Agent Orange is a combination of two synthetic compounds known to be contaminated with the dioxin tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD) during the manufacturing process. Named for the color of the barrel in which it was stored, Agent Orange was one of many broad-leaf defoliants used in Vietnam to destroy dense forests in order to better visualize enemy activity.
It is estimated that more than 20 million gallons of the chemicals, also known as "rainbow herbicides," were sprayed between 1962 and 1971, contaminating both ground cover and ground troops. Most of the rainbow herbicide used during this time was Agent Orange. In 1997, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassified TCDD as a group 1 carcinogen, a classification that includes arsenic, asbestos and gamma radiation.
The study was funded by the UC Davis Cancer Center. In addition to Chamie and deVere White, study authors were Bryan Volpp, associate chief of staff, clinical informatics, VA Northern California Health Care System; Dennis Lee and Joon-ha Ok, UC Davis resident physicians with the Department of Urology; and Lars Ellison who, at the time the study was conducted, was an assistant professor with UC Davis and chief of urology with the VA Northern California Health Care System. Ellison is now affiliated with the Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Maine and a major in the U.S. Army Reserve currently serving active duty in Iraq. A copy of the study can be requested by e-mailing Amy Molnar at amolnar@wiley.com.
Prostate cancer is the second most common malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. It is estimated that there will be about 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2008 and about 28,660 men will die of the disease this year.
Designated by the National Cancer Institute, UC Davis Cancer Center is leading the way in identifying the molecular pathogenesis of carcinoma of the prostate, enhancing therapeutic response and identifying chemopreventions. For more information, visit the Cancer Center Web site.
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What Happens to Your Partner When You Die?

I suppose as we get older, there are some things we may not want to think about but should consider......What Happens to Your Partner When You Die?
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Check on the DFWA website - www.rdfwa.org.au/widows.htm - for some important information on this subject. Experience has shown that the same problems seem to surface repeatedly and that some forward planning would help relieve some of the burden and distress to your partner when death occurs –
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ARRANGEMENTS PUT IN PLACE NOW WILL SAVE YOUR PARTNER GRIEF AND EFFORT WHEN THE TIME COMES.

08 June 2008

Web Site Update

This will be our third major touch-up/remake of our web site since it was launched in June 2006. Our last update was in September 2007. Each time I have updated our site I have made some changes which I hoped would make our site a place where you will come back to from time to time.

Tha addition of a Members Forum last year was designed to create a 'communication centre' for you guys to use. Unfortunately, it was not very user friendly and was only used by a few brave soles. I had my doubts about the Forum but thought it was worth a go to see if it would work.
My next brave step is to get rid of the 'Members Forum' and introduce a "Members Blog'. I know some of you guys are thinking - "he's losing the plot altogether" - but I hope that this medium will be more user friendly.

I'm also introducing a 'Photo Gallery' which will contain photos of reunions etc. I'll be using a photo sharing site called "flickr" run by Yahoo. The Australian War Memorial also uses "flickr". So if it's good enough for them them, it's good enough for us.

The web site itself now has a new look to it. I hope it's easier on the eye and less cluttered.
If there are any special featrures you would like to incorporate into our web site, please let me know.

I'd also appreciate your comments on what you think of our web site.

07 June 2008

Army Combat Badge



What and why is it?
Members will be familiar with the Infantry Combat Badge (ICB), introduced by RA Infantry in July 1970. This device introduced considerable division within the Australian Army regarding the relative “worth” of the individual/ unit/ service. Other Corps and notably other Arms rejected proposals to implement similar corps specific devices.
Lt-Gen Leahy, when introducing the Army Combat Badge (ACB) is reported to have said. “We see now in our combined arms teams that infantry, armour and combat service support are all essentially doing the same job” and their efforts deserve to be recognised.
Eligibility criteria is detailed in DI(A) PERS 119-1, which can be seen in full at http://www.defence.gov.au/army/PUBS/downloads/ap119_01.pdf .
However, the following extracts should be sufficient for most.

Introduction
The Army Combat Badge (ACB) is awarded to any member of the Australian Regular Army (ARA) or Army Reserve (all elements) on Continuous Full-time Service (CFTS) or other Reserve member in exceptional circumstances, for service in warlike operations or situations. This award does not replace the Infantry Combat Badge (ICB).

Purpose
The purpose of the ACB is to recognise any member of the Army who was force assigned to an infantry, armour, artillery, aviation or combat engineer based combat team/battle group, or similar unit/sub-unit, and who has served for a specified period of time on warlike operations.

Eligibility
Any member of any Corps who were force assigned to an infantry, armour, artillery, aviation or combat engineer based combat team/battle group or similar unit/sub-unit, and has given either continuous or an aggregate of 90 days satisfactory service on warlike operations for a single deployment or operation is eligible to wear the ACB. The Chief of Army may alter the eligibility criteria depending on the operation or deployment.

The current situation in relation to the eligibility of OFP Members to wear the ACB
Several members who were at FSB Coral during the battles in May 1968, and who have been invited by the Government/DVA to attend the 40th Anniversary commemorations, applied to the Army for approval to wear the ACB in view of the warlike experiences at FSB Coral.

The Army, in its infinite wisdom has reply as follows:-
“Thank you for your email of 31 March 2008 requesting the awarding of the Army Combat Badge for your service with 1 OFP in South Vietnam in 1968.
In coming to a decision, the Director General Personnel - Army considered the original intent of the award which was to closely align the eligibility criteria for the Army Combat Badge with the Infantry Combat Badge and recognise non infantry soldiers’ service in an Arms Corps unit or battle group in an operational area. The Director General Personnel - Army also took into consideration the outcomes of other requests for special consideration that he has received. Taking those factors into account, the Director General Personnel - Army has determined that while there is no doubt that you and other members of 1 OFP were exposed to a degree of risk whilst on operations, that you and your colleagues were not force assigned to an infantry, armour, artillery, aviation or combat engineer based combat team/battle group and therefore ineligible to be issued and wear the Army Combat Badge.
I appreciate that this decision will be a source of disappointment to you and the other members of 1 OFP. I trust that you and the other members will understand that in matters affecting awards, the integrity of the eligibility criteria must be observed. All the best to you and your colleagues.”

As you can appreciate, this bureaucratic response from the Army has not gone down well with the ‘Coral Boys’. A decision was made to make a submission to the Chief of Army for special consideration to the awarding of the ACB to the OFP as a Unit. There was not a lot of time available to seek input from every OFP members so the ‘Coral Boys’ (Les Wilkinson, Colin Cross and Tony Flanagan) in conjunction with Bob Nash, put together the submission on behalf of everyone.
This submission was also rejected with the following comment from the Chief of Army:-
“It is widely acknowledged that RAAOC members and other combat service support soldiers conducted vital combat related duties in the support of 1 ATF.”

Members of the OFP are only seeking due recognition for the dual role they played in the support of all units attached to the 1st Australian Task Force. We intend to pursue this matter until we receive this recognition.
Members are encouraged to add their comments regarding this article.

Dedication of Unit Plaque at AWM

In 2000 the Director of the Australian War Memorial (AWM), Major General Steve Gower AO, introduced a scheme whereby units, squadrons and ships which had seen active service could dedicate a plaque to be placed in the AWM's Western Courtyard to recognise the sacrifice and service of their members. So far over 130 plaques have been dedicated and there are more on the waiting list. Eventually the entire Western Courtyard will be surrounded by these plaques and they are already attracting visits from thousands of pilgrims and visitors.

This program has become very popular, with associations across Australia applying to have their active service commemorated by a simple cast bronze plaque being installed in the gardens. A high level of interest in the plaque dedication program, which aims to provide a lasting tribute in the grounds for those units who have seen active service, has continued. The high standard of organisation by the AWM staff of all public events adds significantly to their importance and prestige in the eyes of the public.

Les Wilkinson (1 OFP 1968), on behalf of all who served in the OFP in the Vietnam War, undertook to investigate this scheme and arrange for an appropriate plaque. The design and manufacture of the plaque is in the process of being completed and now we invite all OFP Vietnam Veterans, and their guests, to the Dedication Ceremony to be held on the 14th October 2008 at 10am, in the Western Courtyard, AWM.

The Dedication Ceremony is currently in the planning process by specialised staff at the Australian War Memorial, and it will follow the following standard format.
14 Oct 2008
09.30am
– Gather in the Western Courtyard, Australian War Memorial (AWM), Canberra
10.00am – Dedication Ceremony commences which will last approx 30 minutes. Complete details of this ceremony will be advised, in due course, to those attending.
10.30am - After the service morning tea will be served in the Courtyard Gallery. Following this the AWM will provide official guides to conduct tours of the Memorial for members attending the service. This will be an excellent opportunity to view the new ‘Conflicts 1945 to Today’ gallery opened in February 2008.

This is an important occasion for everyone who served with the OFP in Vietnam. Because we were a small unit, our service in Vietnam has gone largely unrecognised. The installation of a Unit Plaque at the Australian War Memorial, dedicated to the OFP, will ensure that our service will forever be recognised long after we’re gone. If nothing else, we will not be forgotten by future generations.

The purpose of this posting is to:-
 Let you know about the Commemorative Plaque and what it means
 Give you as much notice as we can so that you can plan to be in Canberra on 14 October 2008
Stress on you that this will be a family affair and we would strongly urge you, if possible, to include as many family members, friends etc as they will be most welcome. If we can get 100 plus to attend the ceremony, the AWM will include some extra special features for us during the ceremony. So those of you who live in Canberra, or close by, please keep this in mind.

The next step in the planning process is to get an indication of how many will be attending the Dedication Ceremony. An invitation has been mailed out to all OFP Members, whose address we have, requesting they return a form to Bob Nash regarding their attendance/numbers etc so that we can get things moving along.

Once we’ve got an indication of the numbers attending we will be able to finalize arrangement with the staff at the AWM. Those who have indicated that they will be attending the Dedication Ceremony will be sent a letter outlining final arrangement etc by the end of August 2008.
We look forward to getting as many of you, as possible, to this special ceremony.
If there are any family members or friends of the OFP out there who haven't received an invitation, and would like to join us at this dedication ceremony, could they please contact us by Email at :- administration@ofpvietnam.asn.au .
You are most welcome to attend.