Home' Air Force News : July 19th 2012 Contents 2
July 19, 2012
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CDF GEN David Hurley has called on all
ADF members to keep an eye out for
each other following the public release
of the DLA Piper Review into allega-
tions of inappropriate behaviour.
"My primary concern at this time
is for the welfare and wellbeing of all
those who are affected by the DLA
Piper Review," GEN Hurley said.
"Defence has put in place support
arrangements to assist serving and
former ADF members who may be
experiencing difficulties as a result of
The review identified 775 plausible
allegations dating back to 1951. While
these allegations are yet to be tested,
the CDF said any form of abusive
behaviour in the ADF was unaccepta-
"I have said publicly that there is
no place for inappropriate behaviour in
Defence and any serving member who
is proven to have engaged in abusive
behaviour will be dealt with," he said.
The CDF said given the nature of
the allegations it was critical that they
be addressed as soon as practicable.
"Australians need to be assured
that when they choose to enlist in the
ADF they will be afforded every oppor-
tunity to pursue a rewarding military
career in a safe and supportive work
It is GEN Hurley's strong belief that
the review does not define the ADF.
"I have served in the ADF for 40
years and I know that the ADF is not
characterised by abusive behaviour.
"While the overwhelming majority
of ADF members live up to the high
standards expected of us, at times,
some members have acted in a man-
ner that has harmed people. This is not
acceptable and as members of the ADF
we must ask ourselves 'how could this
happen?' and 'how do we ensure this
does not happen again?' "
Government is considering a num-
ber of options presented in the review
which may be adopted to address
plausible allegations of past abuse.
The final report of the review has
been under consideration since April
and the Government is expected to
announce a response in the near
For volume one of the DLA Piper Report
and for more information on the review
Who to call
AIR Force was involved in bring-
ing home the 33rd soldier killed in
Special Air Service Regiment patrol
commander SGT Blaine Diddams was
shot during a small-arms engagement
while on a mission targeting a known
insurgent commander in the Chorah
Valley on July 2.
The patrol's advanced first-aider
provided immediate first aid.
A helicopter evacuated SGT
Diddams to the Role 2 Medical
Facility for further treatment, but he
succumbed to his wounds.
On July 5, members of the
Special Operations Task Group
(SOTG) farewelled SGT Diddams
with a traditional Memorial Service
and Ramp Ceremony at Camp
Russell at the Multinational Base at
Soldiers from SOTG and other
Australian, Afghan and coalition per-
sonnel lined the route to salute SGT
Diddams as his casket was carried
to a waiting C-130 ready to fly him
to Al Minhad air base in the United
Arab Emirates in preparation for his
final flight to Australia.
The commander of the Australian
Defence Forces in the Middle East,
MAJGEN Stuart Smith, said the loss
of SGT Diddams was deeply felt by
"SGT Diddams was an elite sol-
dier, working with a professional team,
on a vital mission to support security
and safety for the people of Uruzgan,"
MAJGEN Smith said.
SGT Diddams' journey home
ended on July 9 when a 36SQN C-17A
landed at RAAF Base Pearce in front
of his family, friends, members of
the SASR, CDF GEN David Hurley,
Defence Secretary Duncan Lewis,
DCA MAJGEN Angus Campbell
and Special Operations Commander
MAJGEN Gus Gilmore.
SASR soldiers formed a guard of
honour and bearer party to escort SGT
Diddams' casket from the aircraft.
MAJGEN Campbell said the
impact of SGT Diddams' death went
far beyond his unit.
"Today, Blaine returned to the
care of his family and loved ones,"
MAJGEN Campbell said.
"My deepest sympathies are
extended to Blaine's family, but also
to all those in the wider Army family
who came to know this remarkable,
selfless and dedicated soldier.
"Today, both families recognise the
sacrifice this fallen soldier has made in
service to his country."
SGT Diddams was born in
Canberra in 1971. He enlisted in the
Army on April 24, 1990, and was post-
ed to 1RAR on 2 November 1990.
He subsequently completed his
SASR selection course and was
posted to the regiment in 1995.
This was his seventh tour to
Afghanistan since 2001.
He had deployed four times pre-
viously -- to Somalia, East Timor
and the Solomon Islands.
At the time of going to print, SGT
Diddams' funeral was scheduled to be
held in Perth on July 14.
SALUTE TO A
as the casket
of SGT Blaine
marched off the
C-17 at RAAF
Photo: CPL Chris
was killed during
with insurgents in
Uruzgan. It was
his seventh tour
and he had
also served in
Timor and the
in wake of
Counselling or assistance is
available for current and former
ADF personnel: 1800 628 036
Former ADF and APS employees:
1300 361 008
Defence APS employees: 1300
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