Dear Dr Jensen. As this matter falls within my portfolio responsibilities, your correspondence has been passed to me for response. In preparing a response to the petition, a senior research officer reviewed previous Department of Defence reviews, and extended the research previously undertaken and re-examined all submissions from claimants. The research officer conducted a thorough examination of available official documentation held at the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives of Australia.
These Defence records included:. Exeter Cabinet Company Government and Defence documents from the period clearly indicate the roles of the infantry company were to:. In the event of a security emergency being declared, the infantry rifle company was to assist with the protection of facilities, personnel and families under the direction of the Officer Commanding RAAF Butterworth.
No documented evidence has identified the infantry rifle Rifle Company Butterworth Rotations was ever required in an emergency ground defence capacity, other than for exercise purposes. The Air Force History Unit advises there is no record of any ground defence emergency occurring. The brief history of the Royal Australian Regiment battalions which provided rifle companies on rotation records no events of significance, or noteworthy Quality Printing Company Houston from a battalion historical perspective of the service of the companies which rotated through Butterworth.
It is not reflected in any official history records of Malaysia. The Malaysian Government did not declare this period to be an emergency.
While Australian forces remained in Malaysia following the Confrontation ceasefire on 11 Augustthe Malaysian Government made no further requests for assistance in security operations. Accordingly, Australian forces were not engaged in any operations against hostile forces or dissident elements. The RCB service is appropriately classified as peacetime service. Sincethe Department of Defence has responded to 33 submissions to Government seeking reclassification of RCB service from 12 separate claimants, a number of whom served with an infantry company on rotation through Butterworth.
The previous submissions have generally relied on the research conducted by one or two individuals. Defence has examined all claims made in the submissions and sought to validate the evidence provided.
However, Defence assesses the information contained in the submissions to be selective and subjective. The submissions demonstrate a flawed understanding of the legislation, of the policies and processes governing overseas deployments and of Defence terminology. Defence contends that to ensure training conducted at Butterworth was as realistic as possible, the likelihood of hostile action may well have been overstated to the soldiers and this could explain the misconceptions about the role of the infantry company and the hazards faced.
It is consistent with independent Australian and New Zealand reviews and inquiries, namely:. Yours sincerely. Copies of the background paper can be obtained from the Petitions Committee. Ken has done a fantastic job in bringing together history, policy facts, political facts, intelligence summaries and highlights Defences faulty and prejudiced responses.
When read in conjunction with the Intelligence summaries highlighted in the second dropbox it becomes even clearer. Well done Ken! Appeals Tribunal — Decision under review. We are going to get the further files from this one up to which will show a further increase in the threat and hopefully the minute from the CDF in detailing a concerning increase in the threat at RCB. This proves the assertion that the Defence submissions to Ministers and DHAAT is pack of prejudiced lies aimed at depriving soldiers of recognition and entitlements.
I must particularly thank supporter John Hunt for finding these documents and his investigations into his circumstances detailed elsewhere on the website. Well done John. A letter to the then Parliamentary Secretary For Defence. Senator the Hon. David Feeney. Written by M. Mate if you ever fell off the wall, I am sure there would be many who would pick you up and put back on the wall.
Mick Its a matter of priniple,I can recall we had some Nashos in our section at Butterworth, those blokes would now be 63 years of age and they must have thought about their RCB service and being taken to a level of combat readiness only not to have their service recognised.
How do they exlain to their family about their service, Nashos at that level had it hard, conscripted into the army, sent Rifle Company Butterworth Rotations to a foreign land, armed and on patrol with the prosepect of being shot and told by the government who Rifle Company Butterworth Rotations them there that it was only normal garison duty.
This humpty dumpty will not be sitting on the wall. The same degrees of readiness prevailed. The Labor Government at the time placed us all in a degree of danger, but failed to upgrade the service to Active Service. The Liberal Government also did not choose to do it either. We all did a great job there and that reflects why the base was not attacked. I served on the RCB ,In 73,and The fact that the base was never attacked was due to the Rifle Company presence and diligence!
We were not put there from on,for no reason. However the Labor Government at the time watered it all down……this current govt did as well and will probably continue on the Labor line,because it suits them to do so. Humpty Dumpty. Mate very refreshing to Rifle Company Butterworth Rotations your comments.
As you stated RCB is not and has never been claimed by the RCB group to be the same as service in Vietnam and rightly so however as you have correctly stated the prospect of casualties was there. It would appear that you do not wear blinkers and support former ADF members in their fight for natural justice. Good on you mate. Duty First as always.
Being a Vietnam Vet I reflect on the RCB service as being similar in terms of being taken to a level of combat readinessthere was a likihood of being shot by unknown snipers whilst on perimeter patrol. We had been briefed on the CTs and the threat. Whilst it was not at the same level of intensity as Vietnam and falls away in comparison, it did however elevate our mindset and level of alertness. There was a real potential for casualties to occur.
Hang in there guys. And watching the old RAAF truck coming round the perimiter track to pick us up in the morning. It seems only yesterday but the years have added up very fast, soon be 40 years since the deployment. Maybe the politicians are playing the long game and waiting for us to drop off the perch, that way no decision needs to be made. And we must keep on trying in our quest.
Same story mate, fully gunned up on sandbag emplacements around the base at night and on QRF call outs. The five patrols addded up to 82 days as one of the patrols were for four weeks. We were briefed by Intelligence staff at Butterworth of the dangers and current conflicts in our border patrol area. I have only been awarded the Overseas Service Medal with S. Asia clasp. I have no active service entitlements or benifits.
As far as the defence deparment is concerned, my documentation only shows service in Singapore 69 to Jefferies despatched me as Company Medic on the five Border Patrols. We were informed that the enemy was the Communist Terrorists in the area and that we would carry out the Rifle Company Butterworth Rotations and quick reaction duties in order to protect Australian and Malay assets at the Airbase Butterworth.
I was under no illusion that we were going into a hostile area and would be in danger; this was reinforced when we arrived. During my time there, the dangers were reinforced several time, when we heard shooting from out side the fence line and sometimes could see the shots being fired at night, not too far away. The point of this story is that we had live ammunition, in the action condition and we were in extreme danger, as a result of our briefings and our duty statement, our state of mind was such that we were prepared to shot the two guards.
These are of course the memories of a very young lad, many years ago. I was interested to find this article. Very interesting. It seems clear that Malaysia was on an active service footing from the late 60s onward. I think that many of us can relate anecdotal evidence in relation to carriage of front line ammo and Xinhua Film Company our case Patriot Lighting Company a Malay Brigade move into our supposed training area on operations as we left it?
It would be nice to see a new government take another look at our claims. I do recall the incident you are referring to. Five of us and one Malaysian soldier, Singapore Augmented Reality Company again during that period the whole platoon was on QRF not just a Section, and yes we had live ammunition plus 50 rounds for the M60 we had with us.
What we need is as Peter Cross has requested many times, is for blokes like yourself to write to their local Federal Minister and the Defence Minister whoever the winner is in this coming election and tell them about the facts of RCB, that it was Rifle Company Butterworth Rotations normal Australian peace time garrison duty such as manning the gate at 1 RAR in Townsville.
So mate your memory is correct about the F5 protection etc. I now understand the frustration that the Korean vets went through for all those years. We were in full patrol order and had live magazines for our rifles and the Bren gun. When the Malaysian Service Police infiltrated the base to check on our readiness, without informing us that they were doing so, they were spotted and the duty platoon was stood to, we were already at the aircraft and were told to load our live magazines to protect the aircraft.
We were stood down in the end with no one hurt and congratulations for spotting the Service Police. If anyone else remembers this, they might like to comment. Dave Evans 1RAR, This was in addition to the active service medal for their members so on OP service there. Some good reading on this review of RCB entitlements. Another important factor in RCB service is that all members were subject to military law, whilst on war service, obviously meaning that offences meant harsher penalties.
Therefore troops were disciplined under the war service act, but was not recognised by the Government for their entitlements, some what of a slap in the face to troops ordered overseas. Skip to content. The Government and Defence documents from the period clearly indicate the roles of the infantry company were to: provide a ground force presence in Malaysia; to conduct training; to assist in the security of RAAF Butterworth if required; and to provide a quick reaction force if required.
Humpty Dumpty says:. Mick Connolly says:.
The 9,000 men of Rifle Company Butterworth (RCB) are fighting to have their deployment and its risks recognised as warlike service. EXCLUSIVE – PAUL MALEY 28th February 2020 ‘We were put into harm’s way’: Ray Fulcher served in the Second Malayan Emergency…
Rifle Company Butterworth is an Australian Army infantry company based at RMAF Base Butterworth in Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia. Rifle Company Butterworth was established in 1970 to provide a protective and quick-reaction force for RAAF Base Butterworth during a resurgence of the Communist insurgency in Malaysia.…
Rifle Company Butterworth has 1,843 members. Australian personnel on strength at Butterworth Air Base (BAB) during the period of the second communist...…
After September 1973, a company group was provided from an Australian-based battalion. It was around January 1980, that the infantry rifle company located at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Butterworth on rotation assumed the title of Australian Army Rifle Company Butterworth, it became known as Rifle Company Butterworth in 1987.…
Nov 29, 2011 · The first rifle company rotation occurred in November 1970 with C .Coy -1RAR rotating from Singapore.The were transported from Singapore on a 36hour voyage on the logistics ship Sir Lancelot along with vehicles and heavy stores.In March 1970 the Butterworth Air Base was officially handed back to the Malaysian Government.Mr Gordon had announced ...…
infantry rifle company rotations between 1970 and 1989. It is estimated that up to 19,000 members of the Royal Australian Air Force also served at Butterworth during the same period. In addition, there were Australian public servants and teachers working at or near the base.…