Home' Air Force News : February 17th 2010 Contents 5
February 17, 2011
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overran SE Asia
in 1942, Australia
in the front line.
The nation rapidly
mobilized for war,
including the raising
of a 5000-strong force
of combat airfield
'We Prepared The Way'
is a collection of the
memoirs and diaries of
a dozen or so airfield
covering the SW Pacific
campaign during those
As usual, these personal experiences
are full of grit and humour, and include
hilarious stories of happenings
away from the battlefield. Ian Croft
has added the necessary historical
background with political and strategic
influences. The memoirs are woven
into these to provide the reader with
a coherent overview of the campaign,
and the ACS's significant part in it.
mailed to you
Meadow Springs W.A.
to order your copy
HIGH DRAMA: Images taken from the AP-3C show the MV
New York Star using fire hoses and aggressive manoeuvres
to try and avoid the pirates boarding from one of their skiffs
(above), which later returned to its mother ship (below).
Photos: SGT Neil Ruskin
Left, FLTLT Andrew Robinson who was the aircraft captain on
the Orion flight that investigated the pirate attack.
AN AP-3C aircraft on task in the MEAO
came to the aid of a merchant vessel
under attack by pirates in the Arabian
Sea.The 10SQN Orion was conduct-
ing a routine surveillance patrol for the
Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) when
it was re-tasked to investigate a pirate
attack taking place on the MV New York
Star.Aircraft captain FLTLT Andrew
Robinson said they made "best speed" to
the position of the vessel.
"We located the ship and found it
being harassed by two skiffs which were
from a larger dhow-type mother ship,"
"The MV New York Star was defend-
ing itself with high pressure water
pumps positioned all the way around its
hull, as well as aggressive manoeuvring.
We initially observed one of the skiffs
alongside it attempting to commence a
boarding by ladder."
FLTLT Robinson said the two skiffs
continued to harass the MV New York
Star. Vision taken from the AP-3C
showed the pirates firing rocket-pro-
pelled grenades at the vessel during the
"Eventually the pirates regrouped at
the mother ship, tied their skiffs in tow
and tracked away from the MV New
York Star. We reported this to our com-
mand and left the area satisfied that the
pirates had discontinued their attacks,"
A NATO warship, tasked by CMF,
sailed to assist the MV New York Star
and deployed a boarding team. After
securing the merchant vessel, the crew
of the MV New York Star released them-
selves from the ship's anti-piracy strong-
Commander Joint Task Force 633
MAJGEN Angus Campbell said the
Orion crews "operate from a great height
and are usually unseen elements of
Australia's overall contribution to mari-
time security in the Middle East region".
"On this occasion, the pirates knew
they were being closely watched as the
aircraft descended to a lower altitude,"
MAJGEN Campbell said.
This incident comes only weeks after
HMAS Melbourne came to the aid of the
tanker MV CPO China, which was being
boarded by pirates in the Arabian Sea.
"The efforts of HMAS Melbourne,
which has now rotated with HMAS
Stuart, and the AP-3C Orions, under-
pin Australia's assistance to provid-
ing security to maritime trade transit-
ing the Middle East area of operations,"
MAJGEN Campbell said.
"And these are by no means isolated
efforts; they're doing this day in and day
out throughout their deployments to the
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