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March 17, 2011
AIR FORCE troops in the MEAO
got the chance to dunk their bosses
recently to help raise more than
$12,000 for Australians affected
by the Queensland floods and cy-
The 'executive dunking auction'
was part of a range of fundrais-
ing activities held throughout the
MEAO as deployed members dug
deep for those in need back home.
One of the senior officers to
be dunked was Chief of Staff for
Headquarters Joint Task Force
633, COL Andrew MacLean.
"The generosity shown by eve-
ryone with monies raised through
raffles, car washes -- which includ-
ed washing fire trucks and AP-3C
aircraft -- and special events such
as the dunking of senior officers,
including me, was simply amaz-
ing to experience," COL MacLean
"Our people have raised
$12,556; however, this is only a
small portion of what has been
raised by Australian personnel
operating throughout the Middle
"This money has already been
forwarded to the Queensland
Flood Relief Fund."
Another volunteer to be
dunked was WGCDR Tony
Houghton, CO of the Force
Communications Unit and J6 of
HQ JTF 633,
He said the auction proved
popular with the troops.
"Anyone who put money in
the pot got a shot at the person
in the chair, so members clubbed
together to increase their chanc-
es," WGCDR Houghton said.
"They were absolutely dread-
ful shots but their intent was to
dunk us by whatever means, fair
or foul, so there was no way we
were getting out of it with dry uni-
He said while it was a bit of
good fun, the cause hit home to
many members involved.
"It was poignant for a number
of us as our families and friends
back home were directly affect-
ed by the Queensland floods and
Cyclone Yasi," he said.
"Thankfully, my family
dodged a bullet during the floods
as we were all in Thailand at the
time (on Recreational Out of
Country Leave) while our house
in Queensland was cut off without
power for four to five days.
"If I had been home, I would
have been an Englishman in his
castle with a moat."
WINGING WET: Fundraisers get to work washing an Orion as part of the effort in the MEAO that raised more than
$12,000 for people affected by the Queensland floods and cyclone.
Photo: MAJ John McPherson
To sir with glug
Ops update from MEAO
CPL Zenith King
CDF ACM Angus Houston has said the
momentum in Afghanistan is shifting in
favour of coalition forces.
ACM Houston said the ADF's
training and mentoring of the Afghan
National Army's (ANA) 4th Brigade was
delivering results but progress remained
fragile and required consolidation.
The Commander of Australian Forces
in the Middle East, MAJGEN Angus
Campbell, said the ANA and Afghan
National Police (ANP) were active
across the populated areas of Uruzgan
"The bulk of our capabilities are in
Uruzgan province where the [Army's]
Mentoring Task Force is training the 4th
Brigade of the Afghan National Army
and Special Operations Task Group is
conducting disruption operations deeper
in the province and in the near regions
to undermine the capability of the insur-
gency," MAJGEN Campbell said.
This year would be difficult, he said,
particularly moving into the warmer
"We can expect, through the spring
and summer, a more intense effort by the
insurgency to try to regain control over
areas now characterised by a strong ANA
and ANP presence," he said.
"The nature of war is such that we
still face many challenges; there will
be setbacks, but the ANA is definitely
More than 2400 ADF person-
nel are deployed in the MEAO. They
are securing the Australian embassy in
Iraq, contributing to coalition maritime
security in the Gulf, supporting C-130
and AP-3C operations at Al Minhad Air
Base and supporting or assigned to the
International Security Assistance Force
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