Anzac Day 2016

princessroyalfortress06

The Forts where my Grandfather served in the 1890s

Albany, WA.  Gillett’s have been defending the country since the 1890s when my Grandfather and his brother enlisted in the Forts at Albany. The nation was worried about the Russians as they were snooping around the continent so they built a fort at Albany overlooking King George Sound.

In 1791 Captain George Vancouver claimed the Southern Part of Western Australia for the British Crown.  As he explored the coastline, he discovered one of the world’s finest natural harbours and named it Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound.

During the 19th century, the loss of this strategic port to any enemy was identified as a potential threat to the security not only of Western Australia, but the whole of Australia.  As a result all the Australian states agreed to to pay for the construction of a fort and the British Government would supply the guns.  The Fort was opened in 1893 and was the first federal defence of Australia.

There you go, the states can agree on something!

The Princess Royal Fortress has two gun batteries dug into the hillside of Mount Adelaide -Fort Princess Royal ( 2 x 6 inch guns) and Fort Plantagenet ( 1 x 6 inch gun) .

From 1893 to 1956 the guns of maintained their role as a deterrent and never fired a shot in anger. 

Pity!

Both these guys served in the Boer War enlisting from Albany and both survived.  They went on to serve in WW1 and one of them, my Great Uncle, in WW2.

When the Anzac fleet left King George Sound in 1914 on board were two other Great Uncles, neither of whom survived their war.

Both stayed in France

My father, his brothers and my Mother’s brothers served during WW2 and Dad often came to the port of Albany when his RAN ships were escorting convoys or mine sweeping.

One of my maternal uncles stayed at the River Kwai.

In the early 60s I left to see the world, through the sites of a gun, as the wits of the day would have us believe. But circumstances had it that I would eventually serve in South Vietnam during my 25 years service. A mob of cousins also served in SE Asia in the RAN and Army and one even served in the RAAF. ( don’t know what happened there )

All of which s a bit of a load to carry tomorrow when I participate in the Anzac Day commemorations at Albany.  Marching along Stirling Terrace with the ghosts of my fathers on my shoulders makes it all the more significant.  I’ll go to the RSL later and maybe have a beer or two and remember my mates left behind in SE Asia and pause to toast my Fathers and their service and their mates they left behind.

There were a lot.

Thanks to them, in part, and men and women like them, we are free of the menace of Germans and Japanese and left to develop into a free nation.  Other nations are glad they served as well – just talk to the French and Pacific Islanders about that.

Because of their service, and many other reasons of course, Australia has developed into an amazing place to live.

Thanks guys.

I normally spend the day with my mates from 7RAR but for family reasons I’m in Albany, far away from the main stream commemorations.  To all of you – have a good day and don’t forget to toast the boys we left behind.

RIP

Ship Ahoy!

Albany WA. I’m over in the west looking after my Mother’s estate and learning all about probate and wills.  In between I get some R & R and yesterday I signed on as crew on a tug.  I didn’t do any work, just took pics and asked questions, but you can get away with that when your cousin is the Captain.

Cousin Len started when Albany had a whaling station and spent his days hunting and killing whales working his way up the ranks. After whaling finished he moved to tugs and now skippers the Karoo, one of two tugs working the port of Albany.

karoo

The Karoo

No helm on modern tugs, just a joy stick. The bar above his wrist adjusts the revs and steering is by rotating the control.  The two props rotate 360 degrees independently for maximum agility.  Len’s other hand is on the port control. That’s left for you landlubbers.  2,500 horsepower on each engine making it marginally more powerful than my Rangie V8.

And more thirsty.

 

The engineer had spent 25 years in the navy so we had something in common.  He took me through the engine room and explained the process.

Two cat engines are connected to the propellers via a z -drive IMG_1712which is a type of marine propulsion unit. Specifically, it is an azimuth thruster. The pod can rotate 360 degrees allowing for rapid changes in thrust direction and thus vessel direction. This eliminates the need for a conventional rudder and makes the tug very maneuverable.

We sailed through Princess Royal Harbour out to King George Sound where the ships were anchored waiting their turn to be taken in. As an aside this is the harbour that the ANZAC fleet left from in 1914. (See map below)

 

 

IMG_1708

One of four ships anchored overnight waiting for the tugs

The ship to be brought in weighed anchor and headed to the port under it’s own steam.  The two tugs come about and match the speed of the ship fore and aft on the port side.  The ship’s deckhand drops a line that is then connected to the tugs towing line on a huge winch that is marginally bigger than the one on my mate’s Nissan.  In fact it’s bigger than the Nissan. That line is hauled in by the ships capstan and that line hauls up the large towing hawser.

 

 

AURORA_LIGHT

The ship, Aurora Light, weighs in at 54,000 tonnes and is a woodchip carrier operating between Albany and Japan.  The two tugs now take the weight and slow the ship down as she enters Princess Royal Harbour and the Port of Albany. The Captain of the ship controls the tugs as they bring the ship to a halt level with the dock but a hundred metres or so away. Then by one pushing and the other tugging, they turn the ship through 180 degrees and then nudge into the dock.

 

 

albanymap

Map of Albany showing Princess Royal Harbour on the left and King George Sound on the right

 

3 hours of bloke bliss, 5,000 hp under my feet and a competent Captain maneuvering the tug like an extension of his hand.

A good day.

 

 

Green sparks indeed

windtowerburningGreen Sparks Flying says Queensland’s Sunday Mail reporter Steven Wardill and  sub heads the article Alternative energy revolution hits Queensland.

OK, you got my attention.

A large scale solar and wind revolution has been sparked in Queensland with 17 proposed projects capable of powering more than a million homes.

Sounds impressive!

Valued at more than $2.4 billion the new Queensland based investments would halt the the exporting of green energy jobs to southern states.  Premier Annastacia Palasczuk said the government’s policies were helping to attract investment, create jobs and combat climate change.

So far, so good.

Combined, the projects would deliver 1000 megawatts of baseload power.

Oops

Solar an wind can’t deliver  baseload power for very obvious reasons and the $2.4 billion costs of the project are going to cost $10.8 billion worth of subsidies to reach the target.

Oh, and the 17 projects are not going to happen at all, at least not in the near future.

And the government will have to attract significantly more investment as well as provide financial support to meet the 50% target to prevent significantly pushing up power prices.

Just in case you thought the article might still have some legitimacy the energy Minister Mark Bailey closes:

While Queensland led the world in household solar installations, the state was behind it’s southern counterparts.

Which to me says we don’t lead the world at all, our southern counterparts do.

Do people really read and understand what these left wing Green idiots are on about. An Alternative energy revolution isn’t going to hit Queensland any time soon

If your hanging in there for a Telsa storage battery then start saving. At the moment Australians gearing to add battery-stored solar energy to grid power can buy Elon Musk’s long-awaited Tesla Powerwall system from today. You’ll pay $15000 or more for a full system.

Yeah…right.  I’ll check my piggy bank.

Assange drums up support through UN

assangeJulian Assange illegally detained, says UN panel.  So do all his left wing, anti US and useful idiot supporters.

Big deal as he isn’t detained at all.

Other than the rape allegations in Sweden he needs to be brought to book over treason and given 20 to life for the damage he’s done to the West’s fight against terrorism.

Assange’s legal team has argued that the favourable ruling means the Swedish prosecutors — who have yet to charge Assange with any crime, but want to question him over a rape allegation — should revoke the arrest warrant and he could walk free.

It doesn’t mean that at all. He should answer the charges.

But any such move may take time. The UN Human Rights spokesman Christophe Peschoux told Associated Press the application of the group’s decisions were rarely immediate and could take months to be applied. Countries can appeal the finding to the working group.

They can also ignore it.

He is not actually detained as he chooses to hide away in an embassy like a cur.  Thus the whole exercise is just to give Assange some oxygen as he fights his real problem – being arrested and extradited to the US to face charges of publishing confidential documents.

Come on you bastard, if your so sweet and innocent, step out on the street and face your accusers.

 

Loose cannon Lambie

lambieJackie Lambie is attacking the Army for it’s alleged dealings with an SASR Trooper Evan Donaldson and gives General Morrison AOTY a serve and a warning.

“I’m coning after you”, she says.  By now you would be aware that I’m not a fan of Morrison but he is at least educated and intelligent.  Lambie is neither and if she’s backing a case then there is a fair chance she has not done her homework and is simply doing it to attack the Army.

She takes up the case of Trooper Donaldson

After becoming the victim of brutal sexual and other assaults, Evan was seriously injured during a secret training exercise run by the Defence Intelligence Organisation inside Australian territory, involving techniques outlawed under the international convention governing the use of torture.

During the resistance to interrogation exercise, Evan was bashed, bound, bagged, blindfolded, stripped naked, placed in stress positions, deprived of sleep and food for 96 hours and during that time he was sexually assaulted and left bleeding—and we will not go into where

Bashed, bound, bagged, blindfolded, stripped naked, placed in stress positions, deprived of sleep and food for 96 hours. Yep. Code of Conduct course…standard treatment.

In 1968 I was at posted to the Intelligence Centre when it was located at Woodside, SA and acted as staff on what were then called Code of Conduct courses.  NCOs and Officers were given a taste of what Communists would do if they captured them.  Students were bashed, bound, bagged, blindfolded, stripped naked, placed in stress positions, deprived of sleep and food (in my experience they were fed bead and water) for 96 hours (once again, in my experience 72 hours)

Tough, but we were at war and war is tough.  There was no sexual assault and I wonder exactly what Evan experienced that would have him claim assault.  If you strip a man naked and put him in a 4 foot cubed cell (can’t lie down…can’t stand up)with rough gravel on the floor and regularly throw cold water over him (in winter, in Woodside) then in today’s society I guess that would be sexual assault.  It wasn’t then and isn’t now but people’s perceptions do change.

If, on the other hand, he was actually sexually assaulted then people do need to be brought to trial.

My point here is that Lambie is a loose cannon with some military experience.  Diggers are going to her with complaints because they know, being a loose cannon, she will fight for them without to much legal thought and absolutely no consideration of unintended circumstances.

A bit of background on Jacqui Lambie 

She is a senator, a Palmer puppet, mother of two illegitimate children, on a disability pension for ten years, a drug and alcohol abuser, has an abusive father who assaulted a policeman, has a son who has been up before the same magistrate a dozen times (brags his mum), suffered depression.

Lambie  achieved the rank of corporal while in the army but was charged and reduced in rank after assaulting a fellow soldier.

During a field exercise July 1997 she suffered injuries that resulted in severe  back pain. One day away  from   her first operational deployment to  East Timor, in trying on a flak jacket  it was found that she couldn’t bear the weight of the jacket: goodbye East Timor: hello discharge on medical grounds, and claim  for a military disability allowance. The Department of Veterans Affairs deemed she was a malinger – and despite engaging a private observer  to record her performing various household duties (without her being aware?)  they eventually had to accept  her claim.

Bogan tough, not necessarily a bad thing but she definitely has an anti military sense about her and this would make her believe anything negative about the system.

I’m still thinking Loose Cannon, but let’s see how it pans out.

 

More on Morrison, AOTY

Remember the Jedi Council?

‘Friendly fire’: When soldiers survive war, but are massacred on the battleground of Army politics. An article by Robert Ovadia.

It begins;

“Hi Rob, bad news from my front again as I’m back in hospital.”

It was the beginning of a text message I’d received the night before.

‘Hospital’ is where this man had been a number of times since 2013, with mental health issues. This time, though, it’s a ‘hospital hospital’.

“Cut through my wrist but I’m still here,” it continues.

“I’m currently listening to a guy who thinks he is God. All good.”

The ‘PTSD wing’ of a military hospital is a colourful place.

He is a former high-ranking officer in the Australian Army.

Former army chief, Morrison, made a name for himself surfing a tidal wave of support for a brutally eloquent speech castigating men in the army who demean women.

“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept,” he famously scowled through words written for him by someone else.

It made him famous. He became an enigma, the enfant terrible of the Australian Defence Force. He spoke at a United Nations conference alongside Angelina Jolie. He became a champion of feminism, the darling of those who swooned at the narrative of the feminist general and now he is our Australian of the Year. Some republicans even suggest he would make an ideal president of Australia, one day.

Not a good recommendation for a man who is supposed to be leading an Army.

Brave military men left to fight in the dark. An article by Miranda Devind

ON the night of Australia Day, last Tuesday, a former lieutenant colonel we will call “Ken” sat in front of his TV and watched in despair as his old Chief of Army, David Morrison, was awarded the honour of Australian of the Year.

Ken drank too much that night and then he tried to kill himself. It was his second suicide attempt since Morrison stripped him of his command, destroyed his career, and publicly shamed him by incorrectly identifying him as a member of the so-called Jedi Council “sex ring”.

Loyalty is supposed to be a two-way street.

And then this appears in today’s The Australian

Former army chief David Mor­­rison is charging up to $15,000 for speaking engagements as Australian of the Year, up to three times more than his predecessor Rosie Batty asked for each appearance.

I’m actually offended by the fact that he is receiving vast sums of money simply because he made a speech denigrating the Army.

Time to go General.

I note in the pic above he is wearing a Stop Violence Against Women ribbon award.  I see your white ribbon general and raise you an Infantry Combat Badge. The ribbon is not a military award and should not be worn on Uniform.  The Generals in the Army I served in mostly had Active service medals and Bravery awards as would be expected of men charged with leading fighting soldiers.

This man sports a white ribbon.

I don’t think I’d fit in today’s military.

UPDATE:  Michael Smith notes the absence of an ICB as well

PS – Morrison calls himself a Veteran.   He joined the Army in 1979 and was commissioned into the RA Inf.   He must have worked very hard to avoid exposure to the ICB over those 36 years.   ICB, no, white ribbon apparently makes up for it.

 

Cat fight

morrisonand kateAfter being  bouyed and lifted by the Sgt Troy Simmonds’ interview we have this embarrassing picture and article as headline news in today’s The Australian.  For those who don’t know, the woman was a man and Lieutenant Colonel in the Army who changed sides. The guy is retired Major General Morrison, named yesterday as the Australian of the Year (AOTY).

She is having a cat fight and isn’t happy that she didn’t get AOTY.

It is supposed to be unifying, dignifying and above reproach. But the freshly minted 2016 Australian of the Year award is embroiled in bittern­ess, recrimination and division with a finalist from the beaten brigade, transgender military officer Catherine McGregor, shooting down the choice of David Morrison as “weak and conventional”.

A rift between RAAF reservist Group Captain McGregor and her former boss, retired Lieutenant General Morrison, the former chief of the army, was aired in a gay and lesbian journal, the Star Observer, as the nation went back to work after Australia Day celebrations.

“He’s on a steep learning curve when it comes to LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) and trans issues, he needs to learn a lot and rapidly,’’ Group Captain McGregor, a former polit­ical adviser, told the journal.

Catherine, nobody needs to be on learning curve about LGBTI issues be they steep or flat.  We aren’t interested in your medical condition and if you don’t believe that try and raise the subject in your local pub.  Shut up about it and go on with your life.  No reasonable person would condemn you for your affliction but we don’t need to hear about it every second day in the  media.

It’s bad enough that the panel chose another activist as AOTY without cat fights from losers.

While the good Sergeant was fighting the good fight his boss, the General commanding the Australian Army, was fighting  for gender equality in a video that went viral as a pidgeon pair with Gillard’s misogyny speech. (Scripted, I might add by Catherine when she was Malcom). It became his claim to fame and it is obviously the main consideration in his selection.

What must  the western world think of us.  Our allies will be sniggering and the ADF simply embarrassed by it all.

 

Sgt Troy Simmonds on Afghanistan

Troy Simmonds joined the Australian Army in 1991 and completed one tour of Somalia, three tours of East Timor, two tours of Iraq and six tours of Afghanistan.

Watch the video and give silent thanks that men like him are watching over us. It’s 30 minutes so if your busy now set time aside to watch later. The video is an AWM production and gives brief mention of Donaldson’s VC.

Enjoy.

Australia Day

I could’ve picked the AOTY by just selecting the last person I would choose for the honour. Well, it used to be an honour and I used to think they were far better men or women than, me but over the last three years at least, it is not the case.

Three years ago we had an Aboriginal whose claim to fame were as follows;

He could play football,
He publicaly ridiculed a teenage girl accusing her of racism, and
He  found it hard to say “I am proud to be Australian” after seeing Pilger’s ‘Utopia’ 

Not proud to be an Australian…John Pilger…Utopia

We then had a woman, a long term victim of domestic violence, who left her young son in the care of the main perpetrator of this violence, whereupon he beat the kid to death with a cricket bat!

My role model would’ve kept the kid away from the bastard, not hand him over for slaughter.

Now today we have a retired General who’s only claim to fame is a speech he gave accusing the military of misogyny telling them if they didn’t like women in the the ADF they should get out. This seemed to be based on the fact that some male soldiers were hitting on some female soldiers. Some cases were criminal or offensive but the rate of such offenses in the military was much less than the civilian rate and anyway, if soldiers commit offences then charge them and if warranted discharge them. You don’t start with the premise that problems are rife when they clearly aren’t. The speech was written by an Army officer who was a man but now claims to be a woman.
FFS

The General says his main points over the tenure of his honour will be domestic violence, diversity, the gender pay gap and the republican movement.

I would like to think the AOTY award would recognize people who had excelled in their field  thus representing what’s best about Australia, not some doom and gloom activist whose whole outlook is concentrating on the minuscule number of hormone driven offences, slaughtered babies or teenage football fans.

Those indigenous of the perpetually offended type call it Invasion Day.  Some fool even had a pic of himself with a banner accusing Cook of invading in 1788, some years after Cook’s death.  Phillips, who was actually the guy who came in 1788 was very fair to the indigenous, tried to help where he could and showed restraint when attacked, but apparently the great unwashed occupying Facebook and Twitter don’t even know of Phillip.  The indigenous have done well from us whities but there are plenty of fools who would wish we had never came; what with our medicine, transport, alcohol, decent and plentiful food, roads, railways, sit down money and money for grants the whole thing makes me think of the Monty Python Sketch on What did the Romans ever do for us?

The Left attack any sign of patriotism.  Flags are a no no as is lamb (currently cooking in my BBQ) and we all  should bow to the God of Multiculturalism.  Most who have come from overseas have fitted in well but the later Muslim wave is a worry.  They will always put religion before nation and seem to go out of the way not to fit in.

Open borders would leave us in a fools paradise and if we’re not careful we well may experience the associated problems in Europe where member nations are asking Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel “What have you done?”

Reminds me of Rudyard Kippling and his poem on the problem;

This was my father’s belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf–
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children’s teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.

Makes me think.

But no too much as I have to get the lamb roast just right for tonight’s dinner.  I’m using the BBQ for the first time and all seems well.  Apple pie and custard (my Mum’s recipe) will follow.

I’ll be thinking of what makes Australia great and that’s  a whole lot more than what might be wrong with this great nation.

Have a good day and ignore the whingers.

UPDATE:

Quadrant has more on Morrison’s appointment.

What we don’t hear often are the voices saying that Morrison demoralised the army with his “feminisation” of the service, which scandalously included taxpayer-funded sex-change operations. Or that his concerns about gender-bashing came very late in his career. The enthusiasm for his YouTube clip effectively snuffed out any analysis of the Morrison style: the fierce, almost jihadist fanaticism in his eyes, the tightened facial muscles, what might be taken by some to be a self-righteous vindictiveness lurking in his delivery.

Those who puzzled as to why the Chief of Army needed to deal so publicly with an internal disciplinary matter involving spotty cadets and a hidden video camera might just have glimpsed the unleashing of a political ambition fettered for four decades by military discipline.

And Miranda Devine has a go.

While Australian soldiers were dying in Afghanistan, Morrison was talking about social ­engineering concerns such as gender equity. Fourteen soldiers died between July 2011 and July 2014 in that dangerous and confusing war, when Morrison was chief of Army.

But instead of the leadership that ​soldiers at the frontline may have ​craved, they got flowery speeches decrying masculinity and patriarchy to mark International Women’s Day at the United Nations.

 

GM foods now OK

Leading Anti GM activist apologises.

By Mark Lynas – I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologize for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.

Full report here

Greens leader Richard Di Natale questions party’s GM food ban

Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale has partially broken with his party’s policy, saying that he does not believe genetically modified crops pose a significant risk to human health.

Full report here

So, after millions of dollars lost in production and untold numbers of poor people dead from starvation that could have been averted, the insane Greens now say they were wrong.

They need to be a billed for the damage they cause.

Coal mining could be next…nah…they’ll maintain their impracticable stance and cost the country billions.

Should be open season on the bastards.

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