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The recollections of Lieutenant David Grieves and Gunner Michael Baker

Grieves was fresh out of Duntroon and ‘Bakes’ was still dreaming of the Dutch girl he met in Townsville when they both found themselves in a heavy combat zone. Their training and high-tech hardware were all put to the test without notice.

The Coral Sea – 13 July 2028 – HMAS Adelaide’s Flight Deck

Lieutenant David Grieves gazed out over the azure blue of the Solomon Sea. He had never been to sea before. The smooth movement of the large ship pushing through the water was helping him to calm down and dry the sweat on his uniform. He remembered being told at Royal Military College at Duntroon that he could be deployed only months after graduating. He didn’t believe it at the time, and yet somehow, here he was just short of his twenty second birthday; the son of a school teacher and a doctor from Shepparton, on a ship heading to deny access to the northern approaches to Papua New Guinea (PNG). He hadn’t been expecting a planned exercise to be cancelled and for his team to be redirected for a mission requirement. It still surprised him how drastically his body reacted to training in the simulator, considering how little he had physically moved in the last two hours. He had just completed his Tactical Control Officers’ (TCO) annual authorisation check. He had sat through a check like this just before he qualified as a TCO on his Regimental Officers Basic Course (ROBC) only six weeks ago.[1] That seemed like a lifetime ago and the check he had done just now was very different – it felt real.

The firing doctrine, essentially the machine-coded rules of engagement, had only arrived from the Air Warfare Centre two days ago.[2] It had been saved to a USB stick dropped from a passing C-27J Spartan with the mail and fished from the sea by the embarked MRH 90 Taipan.[3] Normally it would have been emailed to the unit, but the boss and the Captain of HMAS Adelaide were both paranoid about using the satellite communications system or, as they put it, ‘emission control’.[4] Now, with the operational firing doctrine for the enhanced National Advanced Surface-to-Air-Missile System (eNASAMS) loaded into the Fire Distribution Centre’s (FDC) Air Defence Consoles (ADC), the Commanding Officer (CO) had insisted that all TCOs conduct their standardisation checks again to be authorised as a TCO for the operation.[5]

The latest TCO check had been the most mentally demanding two hours of his life. The FDCs were deep in the recesses of the ship and they had been networked together using field telephone wire.[6] The CO, as the Sector Air Defence Commander, was running the simulation and checking on the performance of the Tactical Directors at the Battery Operations Centre (BOC) and the troop-level TCOs.[7] The scenario had been developed by the joint team at the Air Warfare Centre based on the enemy’s most likely and most dangerous course of action.[8] It had been a relatively straightforward scenario for the first hour (although he had lost track of time). There had been a few Super Hornets without a functioning Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system coming into and out of Momote Airfield on Manus Island.[9] These were simple to handle using the ‘lame duck’ procedures as part of running a Base Defence Zone in the eNASAMS SOPs.[10] There were also civilian general aviation aircraft and civil airliners not complying with the air space restrictions around the defended asset. Either the wider air defence network or the firing doctrine in the ADC had done a good job of correctly classifying these aircraft based on the air routes they were using.[11] Grieves was very careful to classify tracks only when he had the authority to do so.[12]

One thing that always impressed Grieves was the ‘smarts’ of the system, and seeing the ADC with operational firing doctrine gave him confidence. The eNASAMS system could be set to a manual, semi-automated or a fully automated setting, and it always caused debate in the mess at the Air Warfare Centre when RAAF officers found out that the system could automatically launch missiles with no human input. Right now, Grieves had the system in the semi-automated setting.[13] The ADC classified the tracks, prioritised the threat and then made engagement recommendations for Grieves to action.

He had felt on top of his role. His training had prepared him extremely well for each individual incident. He also had built a good rapport with his Tactical Control Assistant (TCA), Master Sergeant Sean Blundell. The ‘Master’ as a prefix to Sean’s rank highlighted that he was a specialist air defence operator and that he had not done all the command, leadership and management training of a ‘normal’ sergeant. Grieves did not care. Sean made him look good in front of the boss because he understood all the quirks of eNASAMS. They were a good team.

Suddenly all hell broke loose. There was an increase in Air Raid Warning condition to red.[14] Unknown aircraft had been detected at long-range by a supporting Royal Australian Air Force Wedgetail and it looked as if they were forming up for a raid from the north.[15] Hostile aircraft came into range and Grieves received the fire control order from the BOC, but the aircraft turned away once an Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) was fired by the eNASAMS launchers.[16] Grieves had wasted one missile when he fired too early and he was about to waste a second; fortunately, Sean helped him to see that the enemy were trying to get him to expend all his precious missiles when the probability of a kill was too low.[17] Grieves scolded himself; just because he had the authority it did not mean he had to execute the order immediately. There was no room for error where he was going. He was starting to remember the pressure of assessments at RMC. Failure felt closer now than it ever had during ROBC under the watchful eye of the two Instructors in Gunnery.

>He refocused as the interference and jamming started.[18] Communications on the datalinks came and went. Multiple targets appeared all over the ADC. He needed his own reliable set of ‘eyes’. He checked on the system page that emission control was delegated to him, and ordered his CEA tactical radar (CEATAC) on.[19] The sensor was normally remotely operated from the console; Blundell simply pressed the ‘radiate’ button. It was just in time – there were multiple targets and close. He had felt overwhelmed for the moment; how had they gotten so close? Then his TCA started smoothly prioritising the targets for engagement. He had made it through, but he was physically and mentally spent as he opened the door and almost fell down the steps of the FDC to the deck. He glanced back to see Sean stand up and stretch, before walking to the door with a wry grin cast across his face. The three years extra experience meant that it was just another day in the office for him.

The Coral Sea – 13 July 2028 - HMAS Adelaide’s embarked force’s accommodation

Gunner Michael Baker was bored and still angry. He was frustrated about two things and they were both related. First, he had met the girl of his dreams in Townsville, of all places. She was a backpacker from Holland he met on The Strand where she worked at the Mad Cow.[20] She had even given him her number so they could meet up the next day. Now he was seething because, on his arrival back at Lavarack Barracks, he, along with all of his mates, had been confined to base and made to hand over their mobile phones. It was the loss of his mobile that really made him angry. His whole life was on the phone and it was still in Townsville and he was on a very large ship. He had initially been told they would be in Townsville for weeks conducting training with 3 Brigade out at High Range.[21] It did not make any sense. He remembered his sense of suspicion, followed by unbridled euphoria, when one of the lads had told him that the exercise was cancelled. Now he was on some grey hulk in the middle of nowhere. Why did officers never explain themselves?

He was bored because he did not know what to do without his phone. He had been asked to text the new girl and post to Facebook about their training and then surrender his phone. When his phone was handed in, his Battery Commander had been there. “So,” he had asked, “Boss, why do we all have to give up our phones?” Accompanied by a sharp look from the Battery Sergeant Major, the Battery Commander had replied with a smile, “Read Sun Tzu, Bakes, ‘when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away’.”[22] Just then the Troop Sergeant Major came into the Mess Hall and brought him back to the present; “Cheer up, Bakes, I’ve got a set of cards. Come and play arse.”[23] Bloody cards. It was like living in the Dark Ages!

The Bismarck Sea – 15 July 2028 – HMAS Adelaide’s Wardroom

Grieves looked up from his laptop. His troop commander had just walked into the Wardroom and was looking tired and stressed; you would not have guessed that he was only 30 years old. He was one of the last officers to command a troop of RBS 70 in 2020 and now a troop of High Mobility Launchers (HML) in 2028. He was a Captain in his final year before promotion.[24] The gossip was that he was the next Battery Commander.

They had been ‘stood to’ last night as the fleet made its way through the narrow stretch of water between PNG and New Britain overnight. The Commander of the Amphibious Task Group had been deeply worried about enemy submarines, especially as he had not been able to use the Poseidons, and he was steaming hard.[25] No doubt someone was worried that the enemy now knew that the task group was not exercising near Shoalwater Bay. Were electronic eyes and sensors scrutinising their progress? Was the enemy also moving to deny them a foothold at their destination? The Amphibious Task Group had to get to Manus first; surprise and speed were everything! Their mission was to establish an Integrated Air and Missile Defence System for the PNG government.[26] It was a race to secure PNG’s future.

His immediate boss did not bother him and he turned his attention back to the virtual reconnaissance for the layout of the troop’s defence. There were a number of installations around Lombrum Naval Base on their defended asset list as part of the area air defence plan.[27] He was trying to make sure the troop’s launchers were able to get good coverage to the north and line of sight to the FDC if he was going to use the radios. They did not always need line of sight, but it helped. It was challenging. He needed a launcher to the north, one to the east near Momote airfield, and one to the west near the power station. The line-of-sight algorithm using digital terrain elevation data for the communication’s assessment would not work and give him the required green line, due to the jungle and the hills. It looked like he was going to have to start with reduced coverage, and then over time dig in cables to communicate between the different pieces of equipment – in the jungle! The diggers would hate that.

While the troop was focused on defending the naval base, and it’s northern approaches, Grieves knew he was part of a bigger defensive system. He’d practiced it in training, but had never seen it live. The western sector was controlled by the Air Force, the CO was in charge of the northern sector, and the eastern sector was controlled by the Navy, aboard the Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) HMAS Hobart.[28] The Navy was concerned with maintaining the sea lines of communication to the east and south. Their threats were primarily beneath the surface, with HMAS Hobart there to defend against sub-surface launched missiles. All the air defence sectors would be commanded by the Regional Air Defence Commander back in Australia in the Air and Space Operations Centre.[29]

The Bismarck Sea – 15 July 2028 – HMAS Adelaide’s Welldeck

Meanwhile, Baker was learning that there was apparently an art to putting hessian on his HML.[30] He liked the Hawkei vehicle; it looked cool, which generally meant it was good. Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (Army’s complicated term for the Hawkei) had been a focus of his time at Puckapunyal during Initial Employment Training. He knew how to drive it over all terrain, maintain the vehicle, set up the communications and defend his deployment location. He drove the launcher with his detachment commander, Bombardier Sophie ‘Beardy’ Beard. He had been in Beard’s detachment ever since he arrived at 16 Regiment& RAA in November 2027. It was Beard who was instructing him about the finer points of tearing up the strips of hessian while she was running through the diagnostics checks for the launcher on the remote launcher terminal.[31] Everything looked good and this was the first time that Baker had seen four live AMRAAMs on the HML.[32] The boss must be expecting business at their destination, given the risk of assembling the missiles on the ship. These missiles were a shiny grey with a yellow stripe − clearly alerting him that they contained high explosives−and not as beaten up as the drill missiles used in training. These missiles had been very carefully fitted to the rails and then, with even more care, fitted with the flight controls. Beard had time the procedure with the dedicated missile resupply vehicle and the Troop Commander had been watching. Apparently, it took twice as long with real missiles.

Baker was looking forward to getting back to his room. He had managed to borrow an old book off one of the sailors and it was actually pretty good.

Manus Island – 18 July 2028 – 0903

Grieves had never seen so many tracks on his console. This truly was the realisation of Integrated Air and Missile Defence. If he wanted to, he could zoom and see what was going on in Darwin or Port Moresby, and even across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. Occasionally he did this to improve his situational awareness and to feel reassured by the size of the force. Even with the resources of the United States there was a lot of empty space in the Pacific Ocean. Was this covered by satellites or submarines? Were the empty areas truly empty? Or were there enemy aircraft out there undetected?

He was feeling a lot more confident in himself and their situation. The HML troop was on Manus and the defence was set. They had good coverage of all the defended assets. Every piece of equipment had main and alternate sites to deploy to. They were rotating through these sites roughly every 12 hours, but ensuring that they only radiated with their radios and radars when they were in the alternate location. Right now, the FDC was in the alternate location and was drawing down tracks from the Link 16 Tactical Data-Link.[33] They were using the satellite network as opposed to the UHF radio network, as the power of the radios was lower, which meant there was less chance the enemy would be able to find this critical control centre. They wanted the enemy to know they were there, but not with enough accuracy to become targets.

He looked down at the system configuration screen. He had good communications via radio with all of the systems in the Troop. The Electro-Optical Sensor was on the hill about 500m behind them. Grieves slewed it round to look as the second Landing Helicopter Dock, HMAS Canberra, arrived into port.[34] Apparently, it had the brand-new Land-Based Anti-Ship Cruise missile on board, as well as the second eNASAMS Canister Launcher troop to conduct a relief in place tomorrow.[35] The anti-ship cruise missiles were going to complete the anti-access area denial defence and ensure that if the enemy entered into the weapons engagement zone with aircraft or ships, it would not do so comfortably.

The CEATAC Radar was just beneath the crest of another hill about 3km away. It was not transmitting at the moment as they were in the main location. The technology in the CEATAC was the same as the CEAFAR on the Anzac class frigates that had escorted them here. Apparently, the CEATAC was much more powerful and had greater processing ability.[36] Grieves had picked up some tips from a Principle Warfare Officer on HMAS Canberra and he was looking forward to showing his new expertise to Blundell. Everything looked good.

Manus Island – 18 July 2028 – 0905

Baker absent-mindedly scratched his new collection of mosquito bites on his neck. This was his second day in the jungle and it was hard work. The heat and the humidity made everything more difficult. He had not been in for long enough to do the jungle training up at Canungra.[37] He refocused on the task of checking the launcher. Battery power was good, communications were good. There was plenty of fuel in the tank if they needed to restart to move or to recharge the batteries. A recharge of the batteries was unlikely as they had brought with them a new camouflage net that was treated with a polymer resin that actually generated electricity, just like a solar panel.[38] All the equipment was very reliable and that meant less time maintaining it. It certainly wasn’t like the stories he constantly had to put up with from the old Warrant Officers about the RBS 70. He went back to the admin area for some lunch. He was on piquet in 15 minutes. Some things never changed.

Manus Island – 18 July 2028 – 1615

The troop had been set to air-raid warning yellow 15 minutes ago. A report had come through from the Joint Task Force headquarters that a strike was imminent. To the west, his attention was focused on four unknown surface tracks that were just outside PNG’s sovereign waters. He heard the thump of the rotors of a MH-60 Romeo as it flew past on its way to investigate these ships.[39] The aircraft’s IFF transponder was on and working perfectly and the aircraft was in the safe lane. The ADC automatically classified it as a friend.

The tracks were at medium range away and it was going to take about 10 minutes before the crew of Hellcat 02 would get ‘eyes on’ the ships. Grieves continued to work through the SOP for ‘actions on’ at air-raid yellow and then repeated it all over again. This was the real thing and he wanted to make sure that he was not going to get things wrong. The tracks started to update as the MH-60 Romeo’s powerful AN/APS-153 radar released more up-to-date data onto the datalink.[40] Suddenly Hellcat 02 disappeared and the symbol continued to ghost in the ADC. “Did you see that, Sean”, Grieves asked urgently. “Got it, boss, we have lost the track 4053 on the datalink. I cannot see it on the EO/IR, but it is too far out. Do you want to turn the radar on?”

Grieves shifted uncomfortably. There was nothing in his training or SOPs about Navy helicopters going missing while investigating suspicious surface tracks. All of this was new. He checked the tactical data panel again. He was not supposed to have his radar on in the ‘main’ position at this emission control state. “29, this is 219, request EMCON Alpha to confirm location of Track 4053.” Grieves paused, waiting to hear back from the BOC.  If he turned the radar on, it might invite the insidious attentions of an anti-radiation missile. He watched the seconds tick by. Then the radio came to life: “219, this is 29, EMCON A, EMCON A – acknowledge”. Grieves acknowledged the order and turned to his assistant, “Sean, get the CEATAC on. Narrow search, high power on sector 10.” A beam of radiation shot invisibly from the antenna of the CEATAC Radar.[41] The radiation from the advanced electronically-steered array (AESA) collided with objects at the speed of light and reflected in all directions, including back to the receiver. In a fraction of a second the sensor had analysed the echoes and  assigned high-power individual beams of radiation to potential targets, all while continuing to scan more broadly. In moments over the sector Blundell had selected, tracks started to update again… except Hellcat 02. That was gone. Grieves had to tell his boss and then someone in Navy. He started to look up at the communications panel to select the right circuit. “ALARM,” shouted Sean, as four angry red tracks suddenly appeared around the ships. He followed up, “Four assessed hostile tracks, low-level, fast, IFF unknown, out of cover.” Grieves had another decision to make: Should he accept the computer’s recommendation or confirm the identification of these tracks with the BOC? There was not time, “Track 0201, 0202, 0203, 0204 hostile. Sean, single allocation.” Blundell confirmed the identification decision and the single allocation order. In a second, the tracks turned from the dark amber of assessed hostile to the red of a hostile, the system automatically allocating the missiles and launchers. Grieves waited another couple of seconds until the targets were within the optimum engagement range; he pressed the ‘fire’ button while Blundell typed an engagement report over the live chat system.

Manus Island – 18 July 2028 – 1635

“Damn!” said Beardy. “The boss is requesting control of the launcher and we’re at Air Red, get that bloody cam net down – NOW!” Baker sprung forward and ran towards the HML. He could hear Beard letting the FDC know what the issue was. At the moment, the HML had its large dome camouflage system over it. The system shielded the heat signature of the equipment and also made it incredibly hard to see from about 20m away.

He reached the perimeter of the dome and pulled out the emergency release toggle. There was a loud crack as the safety pins came out and then a snap as the dome opened like a hungry mouth. “Control request accepted,” Baker heard Beard say. He had a flash of anger. He was still within the back-blast danger area for the missiles. He was about to remind his detachment commander when the HML turntable started to move. “Get down, Bakes,” was the last thing he heard before the roar.

Manus Island – 18 July 2028 – 1640

Back in the FDC, Grieves was at capacity. They had destroyed multiple anti-ship cruise missiles, but he had used almost two-thirds of his missiles. He needed to get more missiles on the rails. The CO, or CONROD Niner, had put out an all-callsign broadcast highlighting that there were more targets on the way. Since that message was sent, the targets were either still beyond the range of his CEATAC radar or flying below the radar horizon. How much time did he have? “Sean, get on to Beardy and get at least another two missiles on the rails.”

Manus Island – 18 July 2028 – 1645

Baker could only hear a ringing in his ears. Beard was clearly trying to get him to help reload the HML. He nodded in comprehension and got in the car and started it. The Steyr V6 diesel engine throbbed into life.[42] He checked both of the mirrors to ensure Beard had disconnected the umbilical for the remote terminal and the cable from the camouflage netting. He saw the thumbs up and moved the Hawkei towards the spare missiles. This was called the ‘ready use area’, (another meaningless Army term that followed every air defence weapon system).

Beard’s hand was up. Baker put the handbrake on and jumped out to help with the missiles. An AMRAAM C7 weighed around 150kg.[43] The shell for a 155mm Howitzer weighed 40kg and that was challenging for one man to lift. Even with four of them in the detachment, it would have been impossible to lift the missile to the height of the launch rail and then roll it into place. In an emergency there was a lifting gantry to help the detachment reload. It was Baker’s job to set it up while Beard and the others prepared the four missiles that were stored in the ‘All-Up-Round’ shipping and storage container. This was normally an unhelpful shiny metallic colour that had been spray-painted green during the transit from Australia. The ammunition technicians did not like the gunners modifying the container, but they did not have to worry about being located and killed. There was a compartment within the container that stored the wings, fins and buffer connectors.[44]

It took a few minutes to rig the gantry on the front of the Hawkei and to prepare the missiles. Baker swung the gantry round and Beard connected the strops with the spreader to the first missile. With it all connected and Baker’s ears still ringing, Beard gave the universal hand-crank gesture. Baker started to lift the missile gently from the cradle in the container. As the three members of the detachment worked on gently lifting the missile into place, they could all see Beard on the radio to the FDC.[45]

Manus Island – 18 July 2028 – 1701

Grieves was feeling desperate. An Australian Army eNASAMS Fire Unit comprised an FDC, a CEATAC radar, an EO/IR sensor and a number of canister and/or HML with AMRRAMs.[46] On this mission he had two HML and one canister launcher in his troop, which gave him access to 14 AMRAAMs.[47] As he looked at the status screen, all the launcher symbols were red – he was out of missiles. One of the detachments was inexplicably under ground attack. The members of callsign 21 Alpha, with the larger and more easily identifiable canister launcher, were in their weapon pits fighting to protect their lives and their equipment. They were not going to be able to reload.

Callsign 21 Bravo had only just exhausted their missiles and were in reloading. That would take time as they had two sentries out in case of ground attack. That left Beard’s detachment, callsign 21 Charlie. Their launcher symbol went amber as the AMRAAM was rolled into place on its launch rail and the missile started to communicate with the ADC.

“ALARM,” shouted Blundell, as one more red track suddenly appeared at the maximum range of the CEATAC radar. He followed up, “One assessed hostile track, low-level, fast, IFF unknown, out of cover.” Grieves snapped back more confidently, “Track 0207 hostile. Sean, single engagement again.” They both impatiently waited for the time to intercept on the console to count down to launch. They were at five seconds to launch when Callsign 21 Charlie’s symbol blinked from amber to red. “What is going on, Sean?” said Grieves in disbelief. His assistant came back after a moment, “The communications have been cut. Switching to radio… no, still too much interference… we have lost them.” A single bead of sweat appeared on Sean’s brow and cascaded frantically down his cheek. Grieves had never seen Blundell look stressed. He watched helplessly on the screen as Track 0207 moved closer towards the fleet in harbour. “Wait… I have an idea. I will get the bearing to Track 0207 from 21 Charlie and we can fire manually,” said Sean.

Manus Island – 18 July 2028 – 1706

“You wanna do what?” Beard appeared to say to herself into her issued Defence mobile phone. The task force had deployed with its own 5G mobile phone network and this seemed to be working despite the interference to the military radio communications and the severed landline.[48] “OK, I have got it – stand by. Bakes, move the turntable to 080 degrees and prepare to launch manually.” Baker slung his EF88 rifle and picked up the remote terminal and punched in the coordinates. The HML turntable with the two missiles swung quickly into position. Baker was now trying to remember how to navigate to the manual firing page. He remembered and pushed ‘launch’ – single allocation. Then he waited for the safety warning to flash up. If he could hear properly, he would have picked up the whine as the missile was woken from its electronic sleep, positional data uploaded and readied for firing. Beard grabbed his shoulder. “Bakes, prepare to fire in 3, 2, 1…”, Baker pushed ‘OK’ and the missile streaked off the launch rails almost instantaneously. Rather than flying upwards as they usually do ,  this one arched downwards and jigged as it attempted to intercept the anti-ship cruise missile. There was a flash of light and then Baker heard the loud explosion. “Did we get it?” he asked. Beard nodded: “Target destroyed, set safe and reload. Well done, fellas!”



Contributors: MAJ Owain Griffiths, MAJ Talal Moutrage, MAJ Nicholas Wells, CAPT Brenton Stone, LT Hayley Attenborough, LT Marcell Blackie, WO1 William Gaythwaite and SGT Ash Smith.



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[1] ‘To lead…’, The Australian Army Facebook Page, accessed October 09, 2017,; and ‘Artillery Officer’ Defence Force Recruitment, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[2] Air Warfare Centre, Air Force, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[3] ‘MRH 90 Taipan’, Royal Australian Navy, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[4] Emission Control (EMCON) is defined as selective control of emitted electromagnetic radiation. The aim can be twofold – to minimise the enemy’s detection of radiation and exploitation of emissions gained or to improve the performance of friendly sensors.

[5] Andrew McLaughlin, ‘EXCLUSIVE: LAND 19 Phase 7B passes Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS’, ABDR Magazine, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[6] Data from the fire direction centre is downloaded to the launcher by fibre optic cable, land line or by digital radio. See, ‘Surface-Launched AMRAAM (SL-AMRAAM / CLAWS)’, Army Technology, accessed May 23, 2020,

[7]The Air Defence Commander retains ultimate responsibility for the conduct of air defence throughout the joint area of operation. However, if the overall air defence area, to be defended is large and the intensity of operations is likely to be high, a number of defensive geographic air defence sectors can be established, each under the control of a Sector Air Defence Commander (SADC). Read more in the ‘Joint Warfare Publication 3-63 Joint Air Defence’, UK Ministry of Defence, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[8]Determine threat courses of action is step four in the Joint Military Appreciation Process. See, Australian Defence Force Publication 5.0.1, ‘Joint Military Appreciation Process’, accessed on May 23, 2020,

[9]As of 2019 all ADF platforms are being upgraded with the next generation of encrypted military IFF (Mode 5) which is required to operate effectively with our Allies as deemed by Vice Chief of the Defence Force. This includes the in-service RBS 70. See, ‘Mode 5 IFF interrogator for short range air defence’, Saab Australia, accessed on September 01, 2019,; the CEA Ground Based Multi Mission Radar (GBMMR) has full IFF integration - including modes 5 & S. See, ‘Ground Based Multi Mission Radar (GBMMR)’, Industry Search, accessed May 22, 2020,

[10]Base Defence Zone and Lame Duck procedures are defined in ‘MCWP 3.3 – Antiair Warfare’ of June 23, 2000, US Department of Defence, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[11] Nicholas Wells, ‘Lessons Learned From Blue On Blue For Air Defence Capabilities’, The Cove, accessed on September 3, 2019,

[12] US Department of Defense, Joint Publication 3-01: Countering Air and Missile Threats, (May 2018), accessed on May 17, 2020,

[13] A good article that discusses levels of automation is ‘Patriot Wars: Automation and the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System’, Center for Security Studies, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[14] Air Defence Warning condition is given in the form of a colour code corresponding to the degree of air raid probability with yellow standing for when an attack by hostile aircraft or missiles is probable; red for when an attack by hostile aircraft or missiles is imminent or is in progress; and white for when an attack by hostile aircraft or missiles is improbable. For more information see US Department of Defence, Joint Publication 3-01: Countering Air and Missile Threats, (May 2018), accessed on May 17, 2020,

[15] LAND 19 Phase 7B is designed to be integrated with the ADF’s existing network that includes…the RAAF’s E-7A Wedgetail AEWC in McLaughlin, Andrew, ‘World Leader! LAND 19 Phase 7B progresses to Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS solution’, ADBR Magazine, (MAR-APR 2019, Vol 38 No.1), 26; and ‘E-7A Wedgetail’, Air Force, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[16] ‘US Govt approves AMRAAM sale for ADF’s LAND 19/7B NASAMS’, ABDR, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[17] The probability of kill (Pk) is a statistical measure of the likelihood that the target will be incapacitated. See, ‘Damage Prediction’ Federation of American Scientists, accessed on May 23, 2020,

[18] For an excellent discussion of the techniques of electronic warfare that relate to radars, see ‘Chapter 11 Countermeasures’, Federation of American Scientists, accessed on May 23, 2020,; and ‘Radar jamming and deception’, wikia/.org, accessed on May 23, 2020,

[19] ‘CEATAC and CEAOPS radars for Land 19 Phase 7B’, Australian Defence Magazine, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[20] ‘Partying Til The Cows Come Home Since 1997’, The Mad Cow Tavern, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[21] In June 2014 the Townsville-based 3rd Brigade conducted a Combined Arms Training Activity on High Range Training Area. To see more: ‘Australian Army (3rd Brigade) Combined Arms Training Activity 2014’, Australian Defence Force, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[22] Shang Yang, Sun Tzu The Art of War: The Book of Lord Shang, (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature, 1998), 22.

[23] Arse, or President has many alternative names: Scum, Asshole (in Britain: Arsehole), Rich Man Poor Man, Bum, Landlord, Emperors and Scum, Root Beer, Butthead, Capitalism. To understand the rules see ‘President’, Pagat Card Game Rules, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[24] A proposed solution for the High Mobility Launcher integration with the Thales Hawkei PMV in McLaughlin, Andrew, ‘World Leader! LAND 19 Phase 7B progresses to Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS solution’, ADBR Magazine, (MAR-APR 2019, Vol 38 No.1), 24.

[25] ‘P-8A Poseidon’, Air Force, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[26] The ADF’s integrated air and missile defence system will also be enhanced to improve the accuracy and speed of ADF systems’ response to air and missile threats, and to integrate and share air and space surveillance information more effectively. The Government will increase investment in capabilities to better connect the communications, sensor and targeting systems of various platforms so that they can more effectively combine their capabilities, generating greater potency and lethality. Read more here: ‘Strike and Air Combat’, 2016 Defence White Paper, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[27] ‘Australia and Papua New Guinea Sign Lombrum Joint Initiative MOU’, Department of Defence Ministers, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[28] ‘Destroyer, Guided Missile (DDG)’, Navy, accessed on May 17, 2020,

[29] ‘What is the Air and Space Operations Centre?’, Air Force, accessed on May 17, 2020,

[30] ‘LAND 19 Phase 7B passes Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS’, ADBR, accessed on May 16, 2020,

[31] The launch vehicle is equipped with a remote terminal unit with voice and data communications. See, ‘Surface-Launched AMRAAM (SL-AMRAAM / CLAWS)’, Army Technology, accessed May 23, 2020,

[32] The proposed solution for the High Mobility Launcher integration with the Thales Hawkei PMV shows four AMRAAM. See, McLaughlin, Andrew, ‘World Leader! LAND 19 Phase 7B progresses to Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS solution’, ADBR Magazine, (MAR-APR 2019, Vol 38 No.1), 25.

[33] Brigadier Vagg confirmed L16 was the datalink solution for eNASAMS in McLaughlin, Andrew, ‘World Leader! LAND 19 Phase 7B progresses to Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS solution’, ADBR Magazine, (MAR-APR 2019, Vol 38 No.1), 31; additional information on L16 can be found in ‘Tech Brief – ‘Data Link 101’’, ADBR, accessed on May 16, 2020,

[34] ‘HMAS Canberra (III)’, Navy, accessed on May 16, 2020,

[35] ‘The ADF’s land-based anti-ship missile ambitions: wishful thinking?’, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, accessed on May 16, 2020,

[36] McLaughlin, Andrew, ‘CEA unveils Hawkei-mounted CEATAC radar for LAND 19 Ph 7B’, ADBR, accessed on May 23, 2020,

[37] ‘Return to the Jungle: a Renaissance of Close Country Warfare’, Grounded Curiosity, accessed on May 16, 2020,

[38] ‘Why polymer solar cells deserve their place in the sun’, Science Daily, accessed May 16, 2020,

[39] ‘Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk’, Navy, accessed on May 16, 2020,

[40] The [MH 60R] helicopter’s radar is the Telephonics AN / APS-147 multi-mode radar, which has inverse synthetic aperture (ISAR) imaging and periscope and small target detection capabilities. Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract in July 2008 to develop a new radar system named AN / APS-153 radar, with automatic radar periscope detection and discrimination (ARPDD) capability. See, ‘MH-60R Seahawk Multimission Naval Helicopter’, Air Force Technology, accessed on May 23, 2020,; and ‘$360m Romeo upgrades to stay in sync with US’, Australian Defence Magazine, accessed on May 23, 2020,

[41] CEATAC radar is an active electronically-scanned array (AESA)…that provides high-volume scan for GBAD, airspace and counter, rocket, artillery and mortar applications in McLaughlin, Andrew, ‘World Leader! LAND 19 Phase 7B progresses to Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS solution’, ADBR Magazine, (MAR-APR 2019, Vol 38 No.1), 26-27. For a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of AESA technology see, Fuchs, Jürgen S, ‘Understanding AESA: A Game-Changer in RADAR Technology’, Bliley Technologies, accessed on May 23, 2020,

[42] ‘Hawkei Light Protected Vehicle’, Army Technology, accessed on May 14 , 2020,

[43] The United States State Department has approved sale AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $240.5 million to Australia… These items are in support of Australia’s purchase of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS). See , ‘US Approves Sale of 108 AMRAAM Missiles to Australia for $240 Million…’, Defence World.Net, accessed on May 22, 2020,; and ‘Australia – AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles’, Defence Security Cooperation Agency, accessed on May 22, 2020,

[44] ‘Shipping and Storage Solutions’, The PDI Group, accessed on May 14, 2020,

[45] A demonstration of AMRAAM reloading for NASAMS is available on YouTube. See, ‘AMRAAM surface-to-air missile first firing for the Dutch Army source Dutch Ministry of Defence’, YouTube, accessed on May22, 2020,

[46] McLaughlin, Andrew, ‘World Leader! LAND 19 Phase 7B progresses to Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS solution’, ADBR Magazine, (MAR-APR 2019, Vol 38 No.1), 30-31.

[47]The M2 canister launcher is the latest generation canister launcher for NASAMS…It can hold up to six missiles. The article also shows the HML holding four AMRAAM. See, McLaughlin, Andrew, ‘World Leader! LAND 19 Phase 7B progresses to Gate 2 with the Enhanced NASAMS solution’, ADBR Magazine, (MAR-APR 2019, Vol 38 No.1), 30.

[48] Future military organisations may become operators of their own 5G networks that will reach out to utilise commercial 4G/5G networks as the opportunities arise. See, ‘Long Term Evolution (LTE) / Fifth Generation (5G) mobile networks for military use’, Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, accessed on May, 23 , 2020,

Cite Article
(Mankowski, 2020)
Mankowski, M. 2020. 'The Race to Manus: 16 REGT RAA’S Foray Into Competition And Conflict 2028'. Available at: (Accessed: 02 December 2023).
(Mankowski, 2020)
Mankowski, M. 2020. 'The Race to Manus: 16 REGT RAA’S Foray Into Competition And Conflict 2028'. Available at: (Accessed: 02 December 2023).
Mark Mankowski, "The Race to Manus: 16 REGT RAA’S Foray Into Competition And Conflict 2028", The Forge, Published: November 23, 2020, (accessed December 02, 2023).


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