The Newsletter of the Locating Surveillance & Target Acquisition

Assn Inc.                                        


October 2015 Volume 59





Vale COLONEL Tony English



The Eyes and Ears of the Battlefield





Brigadier Don Roach AM

Lt Col Bede Galvin



Joe Kaplun OAM, CMC, JP


Senior Vice President

Phil Swinsburg


Junior Vice President

Maj Russ Hamsey


Secretary/Public Officer

Bob Morrison RFD, JP



Wayne Nash


Minutes Secretary

Tony Foster



Keith Ayliffe BEM


Web Master/Newsletter Editor

Allan Harrison RFD


DVA Advocate

Kevin Maker JP


Merchandise Warehousing & Distribution

Joe Kaplun OAM, CMC, JP


Committee Members:


Ross Baker, Jim Bushel, Joe Elkusch,

Ivan Mills, Allen Morley,

 Bob Owens BEM (Mil), Phil Paton, Bob Smith


Web Site: www.locatingartillery.org

Email: info@locatingartillery.org


                                                                                                                   Branch Presidents:


                                                                             Hunter Valley:                  “Wheels” Campbell

                                                                             Northern NSW:                   Dave Auld

                                                                             STA (formerly SEQ Br):        Phil Swinsburg

                                                                             131 Locators:                    Bob Billiards



Remaining meetings for 2015-16 are as follows:


Sun 22 Nov 2015     at Panania Diggers Club (combined with the Annual Sydney Reunion)                                                                                      


Sun 28 Feb 2016      at Paddington RSL


Sun 15 May 2016     at Panania Diggers Club


Sun 17 July 2016     at Paddington RSL, AGM


This is a trial to gauge reaction to alternating venues, as decided at the Committee meeting which immediately followed the 2015 AGM.








How quickly time flies when you’re having fun!  It seems like only last week that the last LOCREP was sent out.


Since then, we have had the AGM – All previous year Committee members were elected unopposed. I thank them for their continuance and a job well done in the preceding year. There was also a change of webmaster with John Posener retiring and moving to WA. He had been webmaster for most of our existence and I thank him for a job well done. The reins were handed to Allan Harrison, our editor, and I know we will remain in capable and competent hands.


It would be remiss of me not to mention the important voluntary assistance provided by Fran O’Donohoe (meeting minutes and other mundane admin tasks), Fran Sinclair (distribution of electronic LOCREP and snail mail labels), and Jan Nash (secretary to, and overseer of, our worthy Treasurer). We continue to be a strong Association available for all past and present Locators and STA members.


This edition brings some interesting articles from our JVP, Major Russell Hamsey, 2IC of the STA Regiment.


Also a reminder that this year the November meeting and Reunion will be held on the South Side at Panania Diggers Club (RSL) at East Hills. This should be a great family day. The club is not only a great venue for a convivial get together, but also large outdoor areas and lots of things to do for the kids. So bring the kids along and have a great family day.


Detailed information about the Reunion is contained in a separate article later in this edition.




Joe Kaplun




Vale  COLONEL Tony  English AM RFD PhD






It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of COL Tony English, former OC 133rd Divisional Locating Battery RAA, CO 23rd Field Regiment RAA, Commander Divisional Artillery  (2nd Division) and Commander, Land Command Artillery.


He passed away at 8.00pm Wednesday evening 8th July 2015 in hospital after a long illness. His funeral took place on Monday 13th July, at St Paul's Anglican Church, Cobbitty. 


Tony enlisted in Queensland University Regiment in 1962 and was commissioned in 1964. As an infantry lieutenant he spent 3 months in 1965 -1966 in Papua New Guinea on full time duty with the Pacific Islands Regiment. He transferred to the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA) in 1968 and retired with the rank of Colonel in 2000 after 38 years’ service in the Army Reserve, mostly spent in the RAA. His last RAA posting was Commander Land Command Artillery (CLCA), based at Land Headquarters in Sydney.  He commanded two Field Batteries, 133 Div Loc Bty, was CO 23 Fd Regt 1981-84, CDA Second Division 1985-86 and CLCA 1987-98. 


In his book The Gunners. A History of Australian Artillery David Horner (1995) writes (p.516):

In September 1987 Headquarters Land Command Artillery was raised from Field Force Artillery, and command went to a  Reserve officer, Colonel Tony English  As with previous Commanders Field Force Artillery, his task was to advise the Land Commander on offensive fire support issues,, to command assigned units, to exercise technical control over all Land Command artillery units, to set training standards, assess training and plan and conduct Land Command exercises. The only Direct Command

Unit was the 16th Air Defence Regiment.

Tony was the only Reserve officer to hold this position, which he did for an unprecedented period. All of his staff were Regular soldiers, and as CLCA he was also a Principal Staff Officer (PSO) on Land Headquarters alongside 5 Regular PSOs. During the first Gulf War (1990-91) HQ LC Artillery deployed 2 RBS-70 anti-aircraft missile detachments on HMAS Success at very short notice. 


We send deepest condolences to his family and many friends and colleagues who knew him in his diverse pursuits in the ADF, Academia and Animal Welfare.



Changes of Address and Email Address


We harp on this subject endlessly but still continue to lose contact with members who move house and/or change email address.


For very obvious reasons, it is critically important that we keep our database up to date and if Hon Secretary Bob Morrison had any hair, he wouldn’t, as members continue to overlook notifying him of change of address/email address information.


We are having a bit of fun at Bob’s expense but the situation is serious. Please keep him informed of any changes at robmor47@ozemail.com.au  



Warning Order Part 4 - Coffs Harbour Re-union 2016


As foreshadowed in LOCREPs Vols 56, 57 and 58, the last in the series of Coffs Harbour re-unions will take place next year on the October long weekend (30 Sep-1-2-3 Oct 2016). Please note this in your calendar and start planning travel and accommodation early.


Some accommodation options were given in previous newsletters and appear on the website www.locatingartillery.org


The theme of the re-union will be to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the deployment of (Det) 131 Div Loc Bty to South Vietnam. More to follow as detailed plans take shape.


  20th  STA Regiment’s  Activities


Regimental 2 i/c and Association Junior Vice President MAJ Russ Hamsey sends us this report on recent activities in 20th STA Regt.


Greetings from the Front


20 STA Regt has had a very busy few months.  For those who remember the old days of peacetime campaigning, this time of year conjures up memories of places like Wide Bay and Shoalwater Bay.


131 Bty kicked off the campaign season with a lengthy deployment to Wide Bay Training Area to assist the School of Artillery UAS Operator Course live flying component.  Imagine, supporting a school course during the day and then conducting bty training through the night.  Then again, the Shadow air vehicle doesn’t care whether it is day or night so the training just continues.


131 Bty then shifted gears to Shoalwater Bay to support the 7th Brigade during its Combined Arms Training Activity (CATA).  Mother Nature vented her rage at the Bty with a mild onslaught of rain.  As Shadow is unable to fly in heavy rain or icing, CATA was a fairly quiet and frustrating time for the Bty.


Shortly after CATA, the big event of the year commenced – EX Hamel.  This is the Army’s largest annual training activity putting a reinforced combat brigade into the field for around a month.  This time Mother Nature was persuaded to behave and 131 Bty flew their hearts out throughout the exercise, providing extremely valuable information for the commanders and staffs within the brigade.


CSS Bty supported the Regt throughout, providing the essential maintenance and logistic support to the UAV Btys.  They really do make it look easy which often goes unnoticed by the average digger. 


After a successful period in the field for 131 Bty, it was then 132 Bty’s turn.  Once again, back to Wide Bay to support the School of Artillery during the day and conduct their own training at night, the Bty began the methodical process of becoming the “Ready” Bty.


Finally, at the end of Aug, 132 Bty deployed to Shoalwater Bay to commence their evaluation exercise.  Over a very intense week for the BC and his Ops party in the Brigade HQ, they worked through the integration within the HQ, joined into the planning that pervades a tactical HQ and conducted flying operations.  132 Bty did well and showed they had definitely learned the lessons that 131 Bty had learned during the previous year. 


The Regt now will focus on bringing 132 Bty along its final stage to readiness, reset 131 Bty for a new start in 2016 and get the unit ready for a change of command.  LTCOL Bede Galvin will hand over to LTCOL Pete Grant in Dec 15.  After 3 ˝ years of command, LTCOL Galvin will take some well-deserved time off before a deployment overseas sees him off to his next adventures.


It has been a very busy 2015 and 20 STA Regt has made excellent progress.  With each new exercise, the btys face new challenges.  Proof positive they are learning with each experience.  Seek to Strike!



Spotting enemy vehicles using the Infrared sensor during EX Hamel 15 in Shoalwater Bay.







 Another Infrared shot – this is of a number of enemy vehicles in a hide during EX Hamel 15.









The Shadow Air Vehicle on its way to another mission….






















                                                                                                …and coming home.


New Directions for our Website


Please send your stories and photos to Allan at allan@harrisonsolution.com.au


A new page entitled “Travellers” has been added and the first story posted. This page is designed to allow members who are travelling to share their experiences with us.


The first story is a tongue in cheek account of Ross Baker’s latest caravan odyssey north with partner Lynne. Clearly, we don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.


See a separate article in this issue for extracts of the wider Ross Baker story.


The website address is www.locatingartillery.org and Allan would be pleased to get your feedback on how the website is shaping up, at his email address above.



Electronic Banking


More and more members are taking advantage of Electronic Banking to do business with the Association and that’s a plus for us all.


Please use BSB 032 082 and account number 229365 to transact.


It is absolutely vital that you identify yourself and the nature of the transaction, so that the funds can be properly allocated, e.g.


“Joe Bloggs – membership” or “Bill Brown – merchandise”.


In Search of Terry “Tiny” Welsh


Association Member Les Falkai is trying to get in touch with Terry Welsh with whom he served in Det 131 Div Loc Bty SVN as a Surveyor in 1971.


If anyone can help, please email your details to the Webmaster Allan Harrison at allan@harrisonsolution.com.au and the info will be sent on to Les. 


The Baker Odyssey


Lance Bombardier Ross Baker spent time in 4 Fd Regt before finding his niche as Transport NCO at 131 Div Loc Bty. His exploits in that posting make Ernie Bilko look like a paragon of virtue.


Ross and Lynne embark regularly on their caravan odysseys since Ross retired from digging ditches in his plumbing business. They have sent in this report on their latest adventure.


The trusty old Land Cruiser having been given a decent burial, Ross tucked his canary yellow Corvette away, hitched the van to the shiny new Prado and he and Lynne set off North (is there any other way?) on 2 May.


First stop was Singleton where they went on a family history hunt and found farms and houses where Ross’s family had lived. 


Next stop was again family history oriented going to Coonabarabran where Ross used to spend his school holidays working on his uncle’s farm. Here they encountered campfire singers who travel the country singing and entertaining at campsites.  Lots of fun was had by all.


After that came a long awaited visit to Lightning Ridge and the opal mines.  The Black Hand Mine did not prove profitable and so the miner began doing sculptures on the walls and now that is all he does.  


Sculptor at work on the Last Supper





                                                During their trip they visited the Australia Zoo, near Beerwah (QLD) and encountered this fella who sends his regards to 105 Bty.










 Ross is not noted for being a particularly fast driver (except when at the wheel of his beloved Corvette) but it became embarrassing when they were overtaken at speed by this guy on the highway in Queensland. Lynne’s high speed shutter work is remarkable.






They also visited this magnificent War memorial at Emu Park near Rockhampton in Queensland





Lynne took time out from chopping wood for the barbie to record Ross diligently testing the folding chairs. The man just never stops. WHS rules!












Lynne’s wood- chopping complete, Ross is still hard at work ensuring that the fire does not go out, ever ready to call for Lynne to turn the steaks, while continuing to test the folding chairs. This is commonly known as multi-tasking.


Thanks guys for your photos and stories. Take it easy Ross.  We understand the stress. We also never let the truth get in the way of a good story.


As well, we understand that several of our members attended a RNZA event in Wellington NZ a while back. We are following up on that. Please keep us informed of your travels and adventures, your mates want to know about it! Ed.



Aussie Hero Quilts and the Former Locating Artillery Association Logo


In late July this year, the Association was approached by CPL Tanya Clancy of 1st Psychology Unit (Enoggera) in the following terms:


 I am desperately trying to locate an image of the "old" logo. I am currently serving and my husband is a Field Artillery Officer. We have both received Aussie Hero Quilts while we have been deployed and I have just had a message from one of the amazing quilters who has had a request for the logo to be put on one of the quilts she is making for a deployed member. The image they have is unclear and will not be good enough quality to use for the quilt. If you could help me out with a quality image I would be greatly appreciative.... and I am sure the recipient of the quilt would too.


We were of course keen to help and promptly sent Tanya artwork of the logo, viz:

Tanya sent back an image of what looked like our former banner, commenting that this is what the request was seeking and that the quality of the image sent to the Quilt Maker wasn’t good enough. 


A search of our artwork archives couldn’t unearth artwork to match so the graphic artist who created our current Logo (from the 20th STA Regimental Emblem) was asked to re-do the old artwork. 


We sent the artwork off to Tanya and she has sent us photos of the finished item. The photos, showing the full quilt and an enlargement of the Logo are below:



We can’t identify the recipient of the quilt, but whoever it is, clearly has an affinity with Gunners and more specifically Locators, Surveillance and Target Acquisition. He has returned from deployment and sent the following thank you message to the quilt maker (Pamela):

“Hello Pamela,

Unsure of the protocol for responding to receiving my quilt, so apologies up front for contacting you direct (your email was on the letter enclosed with my quilt), however I felt the need for a more personal thank you for the marvellous quilt that was waiting for me when I returned from deployment. It was without understatement, exquisite. I posted a photo of the quilt on our Artillery Locator’s Association website and have been swamped with ‘likes’ for the work done and of course the Locator Logo received particular kudos. It will be displayed with great pride among my other military memorabilia and at Locator Association gatherings. I hope you won’t mind me attaching a place-card next to the quilt with your name on it letting everyone know how much I appreciate your work.   

Once again Pamela from me and on behalf of past and future recipients of your great work; a heartfelt thank you very much.

Best regards,”

We are delighted to have been involved and thank Tanya for her initiative. She has kindly sent us information about Aussie Hero Quilts and we are pleased to pass that on:

Aussie Hero Quilts (And Laundry Bags) is a volunteer organisation which has been sending homemade quilts and laundry bags to soldiers, sailors, airman and Defence civilians deployed overseas since 1st January 2012.  It is one way of letting our troops know that their service and the sacrifice that service asks of them and their families is appreciated.

The quilts and LB’s are a symbol of home, a constant visual reminder that someone other than the member’s family cares about them. The LB’s are also a practical item that makes the day to day a little easier. No more lost washing.

Recipients can request their preferences of colours, hobbies and interest etc. but are not guaranteed to receive them though we do try.  Our quilts and laundry bags are a work of heart, not works of art.

As of the end of July this year we have sent over 4500 quilts and nearly 6700 laundry bags since 1 January 2012. 

We also provide Wounded Warrior Quilts to those injured whilst on deployment and Fallen Warrior Quilts to the families of those who make the ultimate sacrifice.

The organization is coordinated via blog http://aussieheroquilts.blogspot.com.au/  and our Facebook page and has members all over Australia.

For further information or to get involved contact

Jan-Maree Ball, Founder and Coordinator.  Ph. 0422227019 Email friendsofAHQ@gmail.com




Members wishing to purchase items of merchandise should contact Joe Kaplun on (02) 9774-1473 or by email at joekaplun@optusnet.com.au


Don’t forget that we are able to have the Association Logo embroidered on pretty much any item of

clothing or material. Just let Joe know what you want done and it will be arranged.


We are likewise interested to know if there are specific merchandise items you’d like added to the range. Again, Joe is the Point of Contact.


On that point, the Committee is looking at introducing (in time for next winter) a Harlequin style Rugby jersey in the Artillery colours of Red and Blue, with white sectors symbolising the White Lanyard.

For those unfamiliar with Harlequin designs, this is what we have in mind.





The example illustrated is the Canterbury Clothing Company (CCC) 2015 Rugby World Cup short sleeved style.


We will be investigating a number of sources of supply, not necessarily CCC, and ours will be specially made for us, with long sleeves and of typical football jersey material. The Association Logo will be on the left breast.


These jerseys are not cheap, with NRL club and State of Origin designs retailing for well in excess of $100. We will do much better than that and expect to sell them for around $75. We will purchase to order and do not anticipate carrying stock, in view of the higher than normal purchase price.


In the first instance we need to test members’ reaction to the idea and seek expressions of interest (non-binding) in buying the item. We expect that the chosen supplier will impose a minimum order of 20 or thereabouts, so we need to know if we can sell at least that many.


If you are interested, please email or call Joe Kaplun on joekaplun@optusnet.com.au or tel. 02 9774 1473.








Following the huge success of the 2014 National Gunner Dinner, the Australian Artillery Association has acceded to massive demand that it be held again. Full details are on the Association’s website www.australianartilleryassociation.com


Speaking as a 2014 attendee, it was a tremendous success and not to be missed.  Ed







The Association’s (Sydney) Reunion this year will be held at PANANIA DIGGERS (RSL) CLUB, 28 Childs St, PANANIA, 2213, on Sun 22 November.  A quick committee meeting will be convened at 11.00, followed by the reunion.


The event will be held at “Panania Junction”, an undercover outdoor area near the club’s children’s playground. So bring the kids or grandkids and watch them have fun. Guests are welcome.


Finger food will be provided by the Association.  A contribution of $5 per non Association member guest and $2 for children over 10 would be appreciated to help cover costs. A family bistro is also available. Drinks will be at bar prices.


Bring the kids, grandkids friends and anyone else for a great fun family day.