A small group of ADF artillery specialists were trained in Britain and then deployed in Helmand province for six months in 2008-9 with the British Royal Marines, mainly based in FOB Armadillo and FOB Kajaki As of mid-August 2010, a detachment of 16 Gunners was deployed with British forces in Helmand province.
Operation Herrick, Force Elements Currently Deployed as part of JTF633, Australian Operations in Afghanistan Fact Sheet, Department of Defence [accessed 14 August 2010]
A detachment of 16 Gunners from the Darwin-based 8th/12th Medium Regiment, Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, are deployed as part of the United Kingdom’s Task Force Helmand in Helmand Province. The Australian gunners are with the UK task force under a bilateral arrangement to further enhance the training and experience of the Australian Army’s offensive support capability.
Op Herrick, Image Galleries 2009, Operation Slipper, Department of Defence, 21 April 2009
About to return to Australia, sixteen 4th Field Regiment soldiers were deployed as part of the United Kingdom’s Task Force Helmand (Operation Herrick). The Australian gunners operated with the UK task force under a bilateral arrangement to further enhance the Australian Army’s artillery capability, The six month deployment attached to the British 29 Commando Regiment, 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, followed six months lead up training in the UK. During their deployment 4th Field Regiment soldiers worked with their British counterparts in support of NATO forces and the Afghan National Army (ANA), often supporting ground troops fighting with the Taliban. The majority of the deployment was spent in remote Forward Operating Bases and Patrol Bases in Helmand Province.
Aussie Gunners pull their weight in Afghanistan, Media Release, Department of Defence, MSPA 304/08, 18 September 2008.
16 ‘Gunners’ from the Darwin-based 8/12 Medium Regiment are providing vital fire support to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan National Army troops in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Gunners have fired over 140 fire missions involving over 2500 artillery rounds so far in the first deployment of Australian artillerymen in their primary role since ADF operations ceased in Vietnam in 1972.
Since late March the Gunners have been serving with the British 7th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. They provide accurate and timely artillery fire as part of the wider Task Force Helmand organisation. Brigadier Brian Dawson said: “This deployment is unusual in that our Gunners are working as part of a United Kingdom (UK) unit and operating with their equipment. Our Gunners are standing side by side with their UK mates and have been involved in supporting numerous operations, including support to the recent movement of key generator equipment to the Kajaki Dam in Helmand.” Prior to this deployment the Gunners completed six months training in the UK preparing for their deployment. The Australian gunners employ the 105mm L118 Light Gun, a similar weapon to the ADF’s L119 Hamel Gun.
Updated: 14 August 2009