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June 9, 2011
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THE ADF can look forward to new
neighbours following a decision to
open up the Woomera Prohibited
Area for mineral exploration and
Defence Minister Stephen
Smith, Resources Minister Martin
Ferguson and South Australian
Premier Mike Rann announced
the decision when they visited the
Woomera Test Range on May 3.
Aerospace Operational Support
Group, GPCAPT Reg Carruthers,
and the Director Woomera Test
Range Dr Doug Gerrie welcomed
the party, after which they watched
an F/A-18 fighter aircraft release a
high explosive bomb on to the
Lake Hart Target Site, followed by
a display by an Abrams tank.
The decision follows a review
by former Defence Secretary Alan
Hawke that recommended the area
could be opened for mining on a
time-share basis without compro-
mising Defence activities there.
The area is assessed as con-
taining about $35 billion in poten-
tial mineral reserves, particularly
copper and uranium but also gold
and iron ore and the Australian
Government currently has 120
licences for exploration in the area.
THE evolution of the Aerospace Op-
erational Support Group (AOSG) as a
Force Element Group (FEG) in its own
right was officially recognised when
AIRCDRE Noel Derwort assumed
command of the group from GPCAPT
The event took place at RAAF
Base Edinburgh on May 11.
The AOSG comprises the
Information Warfare Wing, which
is responsible for providing elec-
tronic warfare and intelligence sup-
port, the Development and Test Wing
(DTWG), which provides a wide
range of ground and flight tests on
aircraft, as well as the Institute of
Aviation Medicine and the Woomera
While it is a new FEG, the restruc-
ture of command positions reflects the
equal contribution and value of the
AOSG to Air Force and ADF capabil-
ity as its sister FEGs.
AOSG's capability and product
is leading the way internationally on
how the future of defence and how the
warfighter will operate with electronic
warfare capability and intelligence
AOSG's profile has been raised
across all user groups within the ADF
and defence industries, and the change
reflects the current and future operations
and the direction of the ADF.
"If people are what define the
greatness and strength of an organisa-
tion, then we are a world-class group,"
GPCAPT Carruthers said.
The establishment of new rank
positions has come an opportune time
for another member of AOSG.
WGCDR Richard Larking is the
OC of the DTWG. He was promoted
to GPCAPT on May 11 and will con-
tinue as OC DTWG.
SIGN HERE: Incoming Commander AIRCDRE Noel Derwort signs
the transfer certificate while the outgoing Commander GPCAPT Reg
Carruthers looks on.
Photo: LACW Shannon McCarthy
and officials at the
Lake Hart Trials
site where they
viewed a live-firing
demonstration at the
Woomera Test Range.
Photo: LACW Nicci
Woomera opened to miners
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