RCB Doc 4. RCB Supplementary Submission

Introduction

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This submission seeks to determine our claim that RCB service was warlike and

therefore its company members are eligible for the AASM and for qualifying

service for VEA entitlements.

It is an addendum to Reference 2. It specifically addresses:

1. Reference 5. The three conditions required of the The Repatriation

(Special Overseas) Act 1962 within the strategic environment existing in

South East Asia (SEA) at the time and Australia’s involvement in it and

2. References 4 and 5 matters relating to its comments and rejection

reasons.

We assert that the RCB was a strategic deployment by the Australian

government under its Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) to

protect/defend the Australian assets at the RAAF Base Butterworth (which

included the FPDA’s HQ of the Integrated Air Defence System (IADS)) and was a

strategic ready-reaction force on call for deployment by the Australian

Government as required.

We contend that the RCB’s deployment was covered by The Repatriation

(Special Overseas) Act 1962 because it was a deployment for a specific strategic

role related to the FPDA. This involved a specific allotment for duty requiring it to

defend the Air Base within a country that was at ‘declared war’ with internal

insurgents supported by external communist countries, and where the Base was

being used by the Malaysian Armed Forces (air and ground forces) for offensive

operations against its enemy.

We believe that the RCB’s deployment must be considered within the context

and perspective of: strategic events within the South East Asian (SEA) regional

area, the existing security threats and consequent political and policy decisions

made by the Australian Government at that time.

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Comments

  1. Randal McFarlane says

    All that has been written here is in my opinion 100% correct. I was posted to Butterworth from 1975-77 in Air Traffic Control and other supporting operational duties. During this time we worked closely with our RMAF colleagues in assisting helicopter and ground attack operations from there. In 1975 I recall that the RMAF was providing air strikes as close as 5nm from the base near Bukit Metajim. I recall the railway line being attacked north of Butterworth as well as an atrocity by CT’s on a rubber plantation approximately 50km north of the base the day after we played golf there [six workers murdered]. The RMAF, Police Field Force and RRR were certainly on operations. We also assisted with dead and wounded being flown into Butterworth on occasions. the AASM 1975 [Vietnam] medal has been approved for Transport Support Flight Butterworth [C-47 Dakota aircraft] and HQRICDET S [C-130’s] for ops supporting UNICEF. The award is vague in that it mentions personnel assisting these units then. I was one and no AASM!]

    At the time it seemed to me and my colleagues to be quite surreal with Malaysian military wearing side arms or carrying weapons etc, almost daily insurgent activities in the country and nothing in any Australian newspapers. {Censorship????}

  2. Stuart Hansford says

    I support this application.

    • Craig Ellery says

      Is it just me, but I’ve always wondered why this wasn’t queried by the military hierarchy when it all started?