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3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
Active 12 October 1945 – Present
Country Australia Australia
Allegiance Queen Elizabeth II
Branch Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Light Infantry
Part of 3rd Brigade
Garrison/HQ Lavarack Barracks
Nickname(s) Old Faithful
Motto(s) Duty First
March

Our Director (Band)

Highland Laddie (Pipes and Drums)
Engagements

Korean War

Malayan Emergency
Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation

Vietnam War

East Timor
Iraq War
Operation Astute
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation (United States)
Presidential Unit Citation (South Korea)
Commanders
Colonel-in-Chief HM The Queen (Australian Infantry Corps)
Notable
commanders
Charles Hercules Green
Francis Hassett
Insignia
Unit Colour Patch INF1003 - UCP - 3RAR.PNG
Tartan Royal Stewart (Pipers kilts and plaids)[dead link]

Members of 3 RAR move forward during the Korean War in 1951

3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) is an infantry battalion of the Australian Army, based in Townsville. 3 RAR was initially formed in 1945 as the 67th Battalion and has seen active service in Japan, Korea, Malaya, South Vietnam, East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Battalion is a rapid deployment light infantry unit which makes up a major part of Australia's Ready Deployment Force.

History[edit | edit source]

Formation[edit | edit source]

3 RAR was initially formed on 20 October 1945 as the 67th Battalion. The Battalion was intended for occupation duties in Japan and was formed from volunteers from the 3rd, 6th, 7th and 11th Australian Divisions. The battalion was redesignated the 3rd Battalion of the Australian Regiment upon the Regiment's formation in November 1948. The 'Royal' prefix was appended in March 1949.

The 67th Battalion arrived in Japan as part of the Australian 34th Brigade in February 1946. As with the rest of the occupation force, the Battalion did not encounter any significant resistance or civil unrest. The Australian force in Japan was gradually downsized, with 3 RAR being the only Australian battalion left in the country at the outbreak of the Korean War.

Korea 1950–1953[edit | edit source]

3 RAR was rapidly committed as Australia's main land force contribution to the United Nations forces in the Korean War. After a period of intensive training and reinforcement in Japan, the battalion arrived in South Korea in late September 1950. The battalion formed part of the 27th Commonwealth Brigade and took part in the United Nations offensive into North Korea and the subsequent retreat into South Korea following the Chinese offensive in the winter of 1950–1951. In October 1950 the battalion distinguished itself at Chongju during UN northward advance to the Yalu River. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Green, it attacked and captured a large North Korean defensive line in a combined arms operation with tanks and artillery. Green was later killed in action. It was one of three units to receive the Presidential Unit Citation (US) after the Battle of Kapyong 22–25 April 1951.

In July 1951, Major Archer Denness briefly commanded 3 RAR between the departure of Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Ferguson and the arrival of the new commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Frank Hassett.[1] 3 RAR remained in Korea until the war ended in 1953.

U.S. General James Van Fleet inspects members of 3 RAR after awarding a Presidential Unit Citation to the Battalion in December 1952

Malaya 1957–1959[edit | edit source]

The next major conflict that 3 RAR was involved in was the Malayan Emergency. The Australian Government first committed a battalion in 1955 to assist Malayan Government counter incursion of Communist Terrorists (CTs). However, it was not until October 1957 that 3 RAR arrived in theatre; it then commenced a period of acclimatisation at the FARELF Training Centre Kota Tingi (later to become the Jungle Warfare School). 3 RAR then moved to company base camps at Kuala Kangsar (BHQ), Lasah, Sungei, Siput, Penang and Lintang. The unit was engaged in anti-communist terrorist operations in northern Malaya. Operations began in November 1957 and as a result many terrorist camps and food dumps were located and destroyed. 3 RAR was credited with killing 14 terrorists and was responsible for the capture of 32 others. 3 RAR casualties over the two years were two wounded and four non-battle casualties.

Malaya and Borneo 1963–1965[edit | edit source]

3 RAR also served in Malaysia and Borneo during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation and was involved in a series of highly successful cross-border missions under Operation Claret. During these operations the battalion had four major contacts with Indonesian forces on the Sungei Koemba river, at Kindau and again at Babang between May and July 1965.[2]

South Vietnam[edit | edit source]

3 RAR served two tours in Vietnam, the first during 1967 and 1968 saw the battalion stationed in Phuoc Tuy Province.[3] The battalion took part in several operations and was involved in mine clearing, counter mortar and rocket tasks and reconnaissance in force operations. As the ready reaction force at the 1ATF base 'A' Company 3 RAR was responsible for clearing and securing the nearby provincial capital of Ba Ria (Phuoc Le) during the Tet Offensive of February 1968. During 26–28 May 1968, 3 RAR, while stationed at FSB Balmoral in a battalion defensive position, withstood two determined assaults by regimental sized units of the North Vietnamese Army during the Battle of Coral–Balmoral.[4] In 1971 the battalion returned to Phuoc Tuy Province. During the second tour the battalion took part in several minor actions before returning to Australia by the end of 1971 after an eight month tour.[5]

East Timor[edit | edit source]

Soldiers from 3 RAR conducting a parachute jump from a C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft in 2005

3 RAR played a key role in the Australian-lead intervention into East Timor in 1999. The Battalion arrived in Dili by sea and was initially responsible for the city. The battalion later secured the enclave of Oecussi. 3 RAR returned to Australia in February 2000 and served a second 6-month tour of East Timor in 2002. In May 2006 the 3 RAR Battalion Group was deployed to restore order to East Timor as part of Operation Astute. An online company group was deployed at short notice in February 2007 for four months and replaced by a second company group in June 2007 for 7 weeks. 3 RAR deployed again to East Timor in 2008 as the Timor Leste Battle Group. A main objective of TLBG 4 was to apprehend the rebels that attempted to assassinate President Horta.

Solomon Islands[edit | edit source]

3 RAR deployed to the Solomon Islands on Monday 24 January 2005 to reinforce the military component of RAMSI (Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands). The 3 RAR company of soldiers consisted of approximately 100 personnel to provide added support to the local and Australian Federal Police in enforcing the rule of law and restoring order in the Solomon Islands.[6] The soldiers tent lines at RAMSI base were named the "Private Jamie Clark Lines" in March 2007 after the accidental death of Clark in March 2005. Renewed violence in March 2006 again saw a company group deploy to the capital Honiara, returning to Australia in May 2006 after a successful mission.

Iraq[edit | edit source]

In late 2003, 3 RAR was warned to provide a Company Headquarters and a four rifle section platoon for security duties in IRAQ on Operation Catalyst. This group was deployed to Baghdad from December 2003 to May 2004. It provided specific local protection to the Australian Diplomatic Mission in Baghdad (SECDET). From February 2006 until March 2007 the Battalion returned companies to Baghdad as SECDET IX and SECDET X. Both tours were eventful with several contacts, a rocket attack that injured four soldiers, and the accidental death of Private Jacob Kovco in April 2006—Australia's first casualty in Iraq and the subject of intense media attention.

Afghanistan[edit | edit source]

2009 saw the Battalion deploy a company group to Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan as the Security Task Group (Combat Team Dagger) component of the Reconstruction Task Force 4 (RTF-4). Highlights of the deployment include the establishment of a Patrol Base in the Baluchi Valley and the short-notice, high-priority deployment beyond the RTF Area of Operations to construct key bridges over the Andar and Moqur Rivers in Zabul and Ghazni Provinces.

Current composition[edit | edit source]

3 RAR currently consists of:

  • Battalion Headquarters
  • 3 Rifle Companies – 'Alpha', 'Bravo' and 'Charlie'
  • Support Company
  • Administration Company

Role[edit | edit source]

3 RAR provides to the Government of Australia, a high readiness infantry capability. The Battalion was moved to Townsville from the start of 2012 to join the rest of 3 Brigade. 3 RAR no longer holds a parachuting role and has moved to be a high readiness infantry force.

Alliances[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Butler, Argent and Shelton 2002, p. 123.
  2. Coulthard-Clark 2001, pp. 274–277.
  3. English 2008, p. xi.
  4. Coulthard-Clark 2001, pp. 289.
  5. English 1999, p. 143–145.
  6. "3RAR Deployment to RAMSI". Department of Defence. 23 January 2005. http://www.defence.gov.au/media/DepartmentalTpl.cfm?CurrentId=4568. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 

References[edit | edit source]

  • Butler, David; Argent, Alf and Jim Shelton (2002). The Fight Leaders: Australian Battlefield Leadership: Green, Hassett and Ferguson 3AR – Korea. Loftus: Australian Military History Publications. ISBN 1-876439-56-4. 
  • Coulthard-Clark, Chris (2001). The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles (Second ed.). Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-634-7. 
  • English, Michael (1999). The Riflemen: The Unit History of 3RAR in Vietnam 1971. Loftus: Australian Military History Publications. ISBN 1-876439-54-8. 
  • English, Michael (2008). Brave Lads: 3RAR in South Vietnam 1967–1968. Loftus: Australian Military History Publications. ISBN 978-0-9805674-0-3. 
  • Horner, David (1990). Duty First: The Royal Australian Regiment in War and Peace (1st ed.). Sydney: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-442227-X. 
  • Kuring, Ian (2004). Redcoats to Cams: A History of Australian Infantry 1788–2001. Loftus: Australian Military Historical Publications. ISBN 1-876439-99-8. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 33°58′23″S 150°56′57″E / 33.97298°S 150.94906°E / -33.97298; 150.94906

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