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Army Intelligence Celebrates 100 Years Of Service


Australian Army Intelligence Celebrates 100 Years Of Service

The Australian Intelligence Corps celebrated 100 years and officially recognised their soldiers and officers who saw active service in the Army during a plaque dedication ceremony in Canberra earlier today.

The Corps has seen service in both World Wars, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and more recently Somalia, Rwanda, Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Corps has been represented on duties in various United Nations and multilateral peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

The contribution and professionalism of the Australian Intelligence Corps was officially recognised by Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, AC, who watched as Honorary Colonel of Australian Intelligence Corps Major General John Hartley, AO (Rtd), and serving soldier, Sergeant Donna Haigh, unveiled the plaque.

"The activities of the Australian Intelligence Corps are critical to the Army and will remain so in the future," Lieutenant General Leahy said.

"The battle space we operate in is complex and its threats numerous, lethal and often unbound by international laws and norms. I commend the Corps for its efforts in the past 100 years and charge it to continue to ensure the Army is forewarned and forearmed."

Senior serving officer of Australian Intelligence Corps, Major General Steve Meekin, AM, also attended the moving ceremony.

"This is a proud moment for the Corps, and all current serving members owe a debt of gratitude to our predecessors who established and built on the reputation of the Corps over 100 years," said Major General Meekin.

"The Australian Intelligence Corps is an integral part of the Australian Army's capability and a significant element within the Defence intelligence community."

***

BRIEF HISTORY

Australian Intelligence Corps 1907-2007

The Australian Intelligence Corps (AIC) was formed on the recommendation of the first Chief of Intelligence, Lieutenant Colonel W.T Bridges, who went on to become Major General Bridges and was later fatally wounded in Gallipoli.

The AIC was officially founded on 6 December 1907 and Corps headquarters were located at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne, with sections established in each of the six states.

Although the Intelligence Corps was administratively disbanded in September 1914, many former corps members, including Generals William Bridges, John Monash, and James M'Cay, served in the AIF in the First World War. And before the disbanding had taken effect, Captain Reginald Travers of the Intelligence Corps left the country with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force. Travers fought with distinction in New Britain and accepted the surrender of several German establishments in the area.

The Australian Intelligence Corps was re-established in October 1939. In the early stage of the Second World War the activities of the corps came to prominence when Lieutenant Matthew Bigge was responsible for the recapture of a high-profile escaped German internee.

After Japan entered the war in December 1941 the Intelligence Corps expanded and its functions proliferated. There were now AIC personnel at force, brigade, division, corps, and army level, and AIC activities included signals intelligence, photographic interpretation, and special operations. Members of the AIC also operated the Security Service, the wartime pre-cursor to ASIO.

Although scaled down after the war, the Intelligence Corps contributed to the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in post-war Japan, especially in the areas of field security and linguistics. This association with British Commonwealth forces continued during the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, and the Indonesian Confrontation. In addition to being attached to various Australian battalions, AIC personnel served in Commonwealth staff positions in all these conflicts. During the Korean War AIC member Sergeant Alfred Harris was awarded the Military Medal after being wounded in action while leading a team of agents into enemy territory.

Throughout Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War the AIC maintained a continuous presence in the country, with corps personnel present at the headquarters of both the Australian Force Vietnam and the 1st Australian Task Force, and within the 1st Australian Logistics Support Group and the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. Tasks performed by the AIC in Vietnam included interrogation, document analysis, and counter intelligence. From 1967 AIC members serving in Detachment 1st Division Intelligence Unit mounted a series of intelligence-directed "Acorn Operations", which consisted of selective area searches accompanying infantry cordon-and-sweep operations.

AIC personnel have served in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the world, and the AIC currently supports operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Timor-Leste.

ENDS

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