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Aussie Gunners Pull Their Weight In Afghanistan

Defence Media Release

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Aussie Gunners Pull Their Weight In Afghanistan

16 ‘Gunners’ from the Darwin-based 8/12 Medium Regiment are providing vital fire support to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan National Army troops in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Gunners have fired over 140 fire missions involving over 2500 artillery rounds so far in the first deployment of Australian artillerymen in their primary role since ADF operations ceased in Vietnam in 1972.

Brigadier Brian Dawson praised the contribution the Australian Gunners are making.

“They are undertaking an extremely demanding job in some of the harshest and most austere operating environments. The Gunners are required to live virtually beside their guns and are required to react at very short notice to fire missions at any time of the day and night,” Brigadier Brian Dawson said.

Since late March the Gunners have been serving with the British 7th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. They provide accurate and timely artillery fire as part of the wider Task Force Helmand organisation.

“This deployment is unusual in that our Gunners are working as part of a United Kingdom (UK) unit and operating with their equipment. Our Gunners are standing side by side with their UK mates and have been involved in supporting numerous operations, including support to the recent movement of key generator equipment to the Kajakiam in Helmand.

“In the true tradition of our Armies, the Australian and UK Gunners have bonded extremely well and are enjoying this unique, albeit dangerous, experience,” Brigadier Dawson said.

Prior to this deployment the Gunners completed six months training in the UK preparing for their deployment. The Australian gunners employ the 105mm L118 Light Gun, a similar weapon to the ADF’s L119 Hamel Gun.

The deployment is conducted under a bilateral arrangement and will enhance the training and experience of the Australian Gunners. This deployment will be followed by a similar embedding of Gunners from Townsville’s 4th Field Regiment later this year.


© Scoop Media

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