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As the war in Ukraine grinds on for more than 500 days Russia’s initial thoughts of a quick conquest have quickly turned into a long-drawnout conflict. This is due in the main part to the preparation and determination of the Ukraine people. This conflict brings into focus Australia’s own preparation for our defence. Recent media attention on the AUKUS Agreement and, in particular, the nuclear submarine program. I found it interesting to read of the far-reaching preparations for the arrival of our nuclear submarines. Already there are three RAN officers training at the USN Nuclear Power Training Unit in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. A further 30 RAN officers will undergo further training shortly.

Planning is underway to eventually have an Australian Nuclear Power School. Since AUKUS additional USA submarines have been visiting ports in Australia, principally at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia. Present planning is for the first three RAN officers who have completed their training to serve in USA submarines for an extended period of time.

Whilst bearing in mind these several things we will shortly commemorate the end of World War 2 on 15 August with a wreath-laying ceremony at Boronia Park Cenotaph. We should also remember the Battle of Long Tan in which 17 Australians lost their lives in a battle against a vastly superior force of Viet Cong.

Following on from these activities we will commemorate Remembrance Day on 11 November which marks the day on which the guns fell silent in World War One.

 Brian Swan AM

sub-Branch President