View Full Version : Blackhawks in Sydney

30th Jul 2005, 19:52
I "emboldened" the areas I felt reeked of BS in the following article which was recently published under the nauseating headline of:

"Black Angels to Watch Over Us..." (http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/black-angels-to-watch-over-sydney/2005/07/30/1122144056145.html?oneclick=true) :rolleyes:

Sydney's frontline anti-terror armoury will be dramatically boosted by the relocation of a squadron of combat-ready Black Hawk helicopters to the city.

Federal Defence Minister Robert Hill said the move had been brought forward by a year to enhance Sydney's strike force as "the threat of terrorism has grown".

The Black Hawk is the country's most formidable fast strike weapon and is manned by crack special forces trained to deal with al-Qaeda style terrorist attacks.

Senator Hill described the move as "a major boost in the capabilities of our special forces along the east coast of Australia".

The relocation will involve 12 Black Hawk helicopters from the 171 Aviation Squadron redeploying from Townsville to Holsworthy by the end of next year.

The Black Hawk can carry 11 fully equipped soldiers and a crew of four. It is armed with two 7.62 millimetre machine guns and can be fitted with missiles and 20 millimetre cannon. In addition, Australian Army Black Hawks are to be equipped with warning systems and counter- measures to combat ground attack.

However, the Black Hawk's history has not been without controversy. In 1996 18 soldiers were killed when two Black Hawks collided on a training exercise in Queensland.

In the same year a Townsville-based Black Hawk came close to crashing while carrying then prime minister Paul Keating.

In June 1992 two soldiers were killed when a Black Hawk crashed near the Oakey army training base in south-eastern Queensland.

Senator Hill said the relocation of the squadron was triggered by fears that Sydney or another major east coast location could be targeted at any time.

"We have in mind major cities because it's major cities that have been attacked in recent years," he said. "With this means of transport we can get our special forces anywhere in the Sydney area within a matter of minutes.

"It's also about halfway between Brisbane and Melbourne and closer to Canberra.

"Our special forces are already considered among the most capable in the world. This initiative will further strengthen our domestic and offshore security capabilities."


Yeah I know the S70A can be fitted with additional weapons but will they ever be??

Manned by SF troops like Johnny Rambo! Who needs pilots??

"Sydney's strike force"..... good grief. What about Melbourne's???

"trained to deal with al-Qaeda style terrorist attacks" That's great and I know they're well-trained but why build up peoples' expectations of them? How are they going to deal with an Al Qaeda truck bomb that just went off with no warning?

Seriously, who writes this sh!t???

By the way, the article was accompanied by a very cheesey photo of the Team all standing in one rank (apart from one of the 16 Bde guys who needs to practice his right dress......)

30th Jul 2005, 23:00
so just how the hell is a armed Blackhawk, high above the city, suppost to stop some religios brainwashed coward from boarding a bus with an oversized loaded backpack? but im sure all the background checks and searches of the bus driver will ensure it doesnt happen..

Bin laden and his mates are laughing their arses off in their caves at our reactions with this security Bullshite

Uncommon Sense
30th Jul 2005, 23:20
Terrorists.... (Vote Howard) Queue Jumpers.....(Vote Howard) Security!.... (Vote Howard) Interest Rates!..... (Vote Howard) Lesbians!....... (Vote Howard) Fear Campaign!!! (Vote Howard)...

seems to be working

30th Jul 2005, 23:35
I've got visions of the opening scene in "Team America"


Gotta love Journos'...

(And Pollies...)


Itchy... are you coming down in September?


30th Jul 2005, 23:38
The way that past governments have deployed our forces suggest serious deficiencies within the Defence Department bureaucracy. The BEST police force in the world couldn't predict London and the mightiest military force in the world couldn't prevent September 11. Deploying a first strike unit is a WOFTAM without hard intel.

Like This - Do That
31st Jul 2005, 00:42
The story is full of journo hyperbole and irrelevant crap, as usual. But look at the upside for AAAvn blokes:

An aviation career not in Darwin:yuk: Townsville:yuk: or Oakey:yuk: :yuk: :yuk:

Holsworthy mightn't be paradise on earth but at least the folks who work there can live in a major city. Jobs for spouses, selection of schools, nicer climate,.......
(I know, I know, crime, traffic jams, unaffordable houses etc etc)

Ozbus ... I agree with you but consider this, in light of my rant above. From the early 1990s the government moved half the army to the north. Were they trying to stop the Japanese invading Darwin?

The ADF will be competing more intensively with south eastern employers for bright young things in the years ahead. Given the retention problems the forces are always battling does it make sense to offer employment to society's best and brightest in the tropical north only?

Doesn't the ADF realise that most people would prefer to live - and DO live - in the SE J-curve.

It's not 1942 ... basing brigades in Darwin and Townsville because of some vague "threat from the North through the arc of instability...etc" is nonsense in 2005.

Rant over

31st Jul 2005, 01:38
You can just see the London Met officers saying - we put eight bullets in him but if only we had 7.62 and Hellfire like the boys in Sydney... :hmm:

31st Jul 2005, 02:29
The reason I left the army reserve many many years ago was the belief that any scarce assets like surface to air missiles (manpads), helicopter gunships and all the high tech stuff the services advertise and show off, would be located in a tight little ring around Canberra or Sydney in the event of a threat, leaving the average soldier(me) without adequate support.

All it means is that terrorists will either drive to Brisbane or Melbourne to launch their attacks.

Congratulations Al Qaeeda, you have sidelined a stack of helicopters and troops in a pointless "feel good" exercise without firing a shot.

This also demonstrates how the "Sydeny" creeps hog Australia's resources

Howard Hughes
31st Jul 2005, 02:54
From the early 1990s the government moved half the army to the north. Were they trying to stop the Japanese invading Darwin?

No, I think the interpreted threat was to our North North West and still probably is, however I don't think an attack will come from that direction though!!

31st Jul 2005, 03:25
All because of a bureaucratic white paper process by learned academics, advised by "Expert" Civilian members of the ADF given to an elected government who hasn't got an idea of what is wheat or chaff. Nothing has changed, we have learnt nothing from history. Build a line in the sand. Every line ever built was defeated by mobility and controling the theatre of operation.

Terrorist theatre of operation is urban and individual. Assimilate with your target then strike at your own choosing. No standing army can protect us from that.

31st Jul 2005, 03:43
Anti Terrorism is Good Intel, pure and simple, always has been , always will.

31st Jul 2005, 04:22
I don't see the issue. More of our infantry battalions will soon have co-located access to rotary wing support. The Blackhawks that are being moved will be replaced with NH90s.

How does this equate to: surface to air missiles (manpads), helicopter gunships and all the high tech stuff the services advertise and show off, would be located in a tight little ring around Canberra or Sydney in the event of a threat, leaving the average soldier(me) without adequate support.

31st Jul 2005, 04:57
$100,000 a year
Housing allowance $450 a week
PT down at Manly
Skiing in the winter
Surfing in the summer
Troop trainers to the snow
Beach runs
6 weeks leave a year
free medical
Even more interesting noise complaints (than Townsville, always fun to listen to the answering machine when you are the Duty Officer)

No deterrent to terroism? who cares!!!
What a life!!!!
I think I'll sign back up!!!

PS: The ONLY reason the units moved to Darwin was to try and stimulate the NT/Darwin economy:cool:

31st Jul 2005, 05:09
The Blackhawk move a good example of what will be a slow, expensive shift in policy.

As the war on terror drags on, milking resources and army the the visible front line, there will be pressure on defence procurement policy. The army will be the winner and the RAAF/RAN may lose out significantly.

The navy will probably still get their destroyers, but the RAAF may only get half of it's desired new fighters. The RAAF/RAN may want to put inter-service rivalry aside and debate the merit of a triservice expeditionary capability with relevance to a war on terror- air warfare frigates, amphibious assault ships with new RAAF fighters and army helicopters onboard.

Otherwise, I believe the RAAF will be lucky to get more than a few squadrons of JSF when defence planners recognise long range Orions with missiles and army special forces, far more efficient terrorist killers than medium range stealth fighters, that can fly invisibly into third world nations ( usually without radar anyway ) and drop bombs.


I think you will find the Adelaide Hills, not Sydney, the most well defended airspace in Australia- reference Army SAM's.


That looks like a better package/lifestyle than a lot of airline pilots in Oz are getting at the moment.

31st Jul 2005, 05:54
171 Aviation Squadron redeploying from Townsville to Holsworthy by the end of next year.

Wow, that's only 17 months 'til the cavalry arrives.:confused:

31st Jul 2005, 09:58
Holsworthy already has an airfield with facilities. And 4RAR have a lot of their own specialist facilities set up there now, too. Makes more sense (IMHO) to move the heloes there and maybe pick-up some bullsh!t-based political points for having Australia's "de facto" capital city a little better "defended", supposedly. But to infer they will be able to better prevent an "Al Qaeda-style" attack is a complete crock.

Melbourne has 2 Coy and Perth has SASR. It's only Bris Vegas who're lacking their own super-grunts to protect them... oh and Adelaide.

Thanks, S70IP, for pointing out the gravy... I was hoping no one would notice that side of it so as to lower the odds for later on when I apply!! Dunno about advertising PT and runs though.....!

I guess the 171 gig will be the plum job now, unless your idea of heaven is a 30mm gun you never have to clean.

Divo, no plans for Sept, am I missing out on anything? I was thinking of either the J with our friends or else a couple of weeks of bitch-slapping in about Nov.

I'll drop you a PM.

As for all the toys being ringed around Cantberra, in addition to Gnad's mention of the Rapiers in SA, all the gunships (in those days) were up in Qld.

But with all the cash around nowadays, it's a different world.

These heloes are hardly "side-lined". They have to be based somewhere and 4RAR have to be based somewhere. Where would you suggest? Sounds like someone's got a Sydney/Melbourne issue!

Sorry you weren't happy in your chocko job but what did you expect joining a pogue unit!!!