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42 000 New Medal Entitlements - Australia


Media Release
The Hon Bruce Scott MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister Assisting the Minister for
Defence,
Federal Member for Maranoa

Wednesday, 30 August 2000
Min 239/00


42 000 NEW MEDAL ENTITLEMENTS FOR SOUTH EAST ASIAN SERVICE 1955-75

Australian sailors, soldiers and airmen who served in South East Asia between 1955-75 will benefit from an estimated 42 000 new medal entitlements, the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Bruce Scott, said today.

Speaking at the RSL's 85th National Congress in Perth, Mr Scott said the medal entitlements had been identified following a detailed analysis by the Department of Defence into the recommendations arising from the Review of Service Entitlement Anomalies in Respect of South-East Asian Service 1955-75, released earlier this year.

"On the basis of the Review's recommendations, the Department of Defence has determined that:

* an area of operations be established in respect of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) operations off Malaya 1955-60, which will confer eligibility in accordance with the awarding criteria of the Imperial Naval General Service Medal 1915-62 (Clasp Malaya), Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) 1945-75 (Clasp Malaya), the Returned from Active Service Badge (RASB) as well as qualifying service for repatriation benefits under the Veteran's Entitlement Act 1986

* introduction of a separate medal clasp, Clasp SE Asia, to the Australian Service Medal 1945-75, for land service 1955-71

* qualifying service under the VEA 1986 along with medal entitlements towards the Imperial General Service Medal 1962 (Clasp Borneo), the AASM 1945-75 (Clasp Malaysia), and RASB to those who saw service on Her Majesty's Australian Ships Parramatta, Sydney, Vampire and Yarra, off Borneo during the Indonesian Confrontation, and

* qualifying criteria for all operations that earned entitlement to the AASM 1945-75 be standardised to conform with modern criteria afforded to medals earned in warlike operations."

A separate detailed submission, to be completed by the end of the year, would address service in South East Asia after 31 October 1971 with the Australian, New Zealand and United Kingdom (ANZUK) Forces in Singapore and under other treaty arrangements after termination of the Far East Strategic Reserve. Service of the Royal Australian Air Force and the deployed Army Rifle Company at RAAF Base Butterworth, Malaysia, would also be considered.

These measures are intended to recognise the vital contribution of servicemen and women to the stability of South East Asia during a period of significant international tension, Mr Scott said.

Media Contact: Mark Croxford 02 6277 7820 or 0408 645 787

Attachment to Min 239/00 42 000 NEW MEDAL ENTITLMENTS FOR SOUTH EAST ASIAN SERVICE 1955-75

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

* The area of operations for RAN service in support of operations in Malaya 1955-60 will be set at 12 nautical miles.

* This is consistent with the criteria established for the award of the NGSM with Clasp 'Malaya' in accordance with the qualification requirement of 28 days patrolling off the Malayan coast in close support of operations against bandits.

* This also in accordance with the modern criteria approved by Federal Cabinet for the definition of such an area of operations (and, for example, which has been applied to East Timor).

* A Clasp 'SE Asia' will be instituted for land service 1955-71 rather than an extension of the Clasp 'FESR' as it involved service under other security treaties other than just FESR, for example, SEATO land forces.

* The Clasp 'SE Asia' will not lead to 'double dipping' with the Clasp 'FESR' as both Clasps will recognise the one period of service in South East Asia, including that with the FESR.

* The service of HMA Ships Parramatta, Sydney, Vampire and Yarra in Borneo during the Indonesian Confrontation in 1964 will now be eligible for all campaign medals, subject to meeting the relevant qualifying criteria. They will also be eligible to receive the Returned from Active Service Badge and entitlements under the VEA Act 1986.

* The qualifying criteria for all operations involving the AASM 1945-75 and the current AASM will be standardised in line with modern criteria given to warlike medals. This is basically 'one day or more on the posted strength of a unit allotted (or assigned) to and serving in an operational area, one operational sortie into the area, 30 non-operational sorties or 30 days for visitors'.

* A separate review of recognition of service in South East Asia after Oct 1971 including Butterworth Malaysia, which includes both Rifle Company and RAAF service, is being conducted by Defence. It is expected that this will be completed by the end of the year.


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