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  #211  
Old 07-03-2019, 12:25 PM
Olefin Olefin is offline
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At the time it was about six months training before they hit their Battalion (11 weeks recruit training including basic infantry skills, three more months Initial Employment Training at the infantry centre). Corners can be cut in wartime to almost halve that, but that's really pushing it.
Note that's minimum level for an infantryman too. I've been on both sides of the training both as trainee (of course) and DS. You really get an appreciation of how much more they need to learn when you're on the other side looking in.
I would say then they would start by bringing both the old battalions back on line with a cadre of experienced NCO's and officers, probably from other units, and staff them with recruits to start with - which means six months minimum to get those two battalions back up to strength. Same with whatever support units the division used to have.

Question would be - did Australia have artillery in storage to be able to equip them with artillery support or would they have mortars only?
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  #212  
Old 07-03-2019, 10:25 PM
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Question would be - did Australia have artillery in storage to be able to equip them with artillery support or would they have mortars only?
Not much I think. Might be a few 105's and 155's from the disbandment of 3rd Div, but not much more. Plenty of mortars available though, especially since they're relatively easy to make. IRL many of the Artillery units had their guns taken off them around 2005 (I think) and replaced with 81mm mortars. Still can't work out why this was considered a good idea.....

Fortunately I'm really only going to need to properly equip two of the three Divisions with proper artillery, as the 3rd will be assigned to security and anti insurgency tasks within the Australian borders.

Of course while I'm considering all this, the other nations also need mobilising, but besides New Zealand (which MIGHT muster a Brigade plus perhaps a couple of additional light infantry Battalions), the island nations (Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, etc) probably won't be contributing much of significance - a few company's of light infantry and the like at a guess, mostly used for rear area security/civil defence tasks at home.

I also need to consider what's happening with Indonesia's other neighbours to the north - Malaysia, Brunei, etc. Thinking I'll just have them bolster their defences but have most of their attention focused on Vietnam/China/Korea. Indonesia has less to gain (and more to lose) in attacking them they they do with going east into PNG.
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  #213  
Old 07-03-2019, 10:27 PM
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In regards to artillery, I believe at that time, the Regular Army was equipped with the L118 105mm and the M198 155mm. The Reserve Army artillery units were equipped, if I remember, with the BL 5.5in gun.
There may have been some 25 pounder field guns still in war stores but I believe most, if not all. of them were disposed of by the 1980s (except for use as memorials and so on).
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  #214  
Old 07-03-2019, 10:44 PM
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In regards to artillery, I believe at that time, the Regular Army was equipped with the L118 105mm and the M198 155mm. The Reserve Army artillery units were equipped, if I remember, with the BL 5.5in gun.
There may have been some 25 pounder field guns still in war stores but I believe most, if not all. of them were disposed of by the 1980s (except for use as memorials and so on).
Most of the reserve units I am familiar with had the 105 Hamel or L5 pack howitzer. The 5.5 inch went out of service in 1983.
From memory one of the reserve artillery units of 3 Div had the 155mm M198.

There has been no self propelled artillery (except mortars) in Australian service since the Yeramba SP 25-pounder went out of service in 1957. It was also the only SP artillery Australia has ever had.
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  #215  
Old 07-03-2019, 10:58 PM
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There is no way NZ could muster a full brigade in the 1990s.

The poor state of the Army in responding to Bosnia and to Timor is illustration enough.

This actually resulted in what some people call the "army coup" in NZ whereby the army mounted a covert operation to shaft the other services and recover its lead service privileges. One result was the scrapping of the air combat force. Another was the acquisition of "gold plated" LAVs all fitted with 25mm chain guns in a revolving turret.
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  #216  
Old 07-03-2019, 11:44 PM
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Most of the reserve units I am familiar with had the 105 Hamel or L5 pack howitzer. The 5.5 inch went out of service in 1983.
From memory one of the reserve artillery units of 3 Div had the 155mm M198.

There has been no self propelled artillery (except mortars) in Australian service since the Yeramba SP 25-pounder went out of service in 1957. It was also the only SP artillery Australia has ever had.
Ack! I completely forgot about the L5 - shows how good (bad) my memory is.
The Reserve arty unit in WA in the 1980s was I believe 7th Field Battery and I have vague memories of them having medium guns and not the L5 (and they certainly weren't lucky enough to have the L118 Hamel (WA units were always a poor cousin anyway but the L118 would have been too new to let the Reservist here have them!).
But I'm certain they did not have any 155mm (they would have been kept for the Regs). They were definitely a medium arty unit and not light arty.

Doesn't matter much for a mid-90s timeline as they would have been converting to mortars anyway... but it does lend itself to some extra (albeit obsolescent) arty being in warstores.
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  #217  
Old 07-04-2019, 02:54 AM
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There is no way NZ could muster a full brigade in the 1990s.
Yes, totally agree IRL, however I'm giving them about 12 months warning that hostilities are coming to beef up their strength. Equipment will likely be in short supply, and those units which stay within NZ borders will likely be armed with civilian rifles and the like, but manpower is possible - they did have about 150,000 people in uniform and armed in 1942 when the total population was significantly lower than today.
I'm talking of raising an army of perhaps 10,000, or approximately double what it is today, plus a small increase to naval and air personnel of perhaps 10-20% IRL numbers. Any greater increase to the navy and air force probably wouldn't be justified as there probably wouldn't be the ships and planes to equip them.

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Doesn't matter much for a mid-90s timeline as they would have been converting to mortars anyway... but it does lend itself to some extra (albeit obsolescent) arty being in warstores.
From what I've read to date, the reserve artillery didn't loose their guns until around 2005 give or take. Have you some information that some switched earlier?
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  #218  
Old 07-04-2019, 05:05 AM
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<snip>

From what I've read to date, the reserve artillery didn't loose their guns until around 2005 give or take. Have you some information that some switched earlier?
No, just working from my (increasingly poor) memory and I never had that much info on units outside my direct experience e.g. the arty. I'm probably misremembering things and screwing up the timings. For instance, sometime in 1992 or 93, we were told that in the near future Support Coy would be losing their mortars and refitting as SFMG. The mortars would be going to Reserve arty units who would be losing their big guns to the Regs.
That was the talk but it was not mentioned officially at that time.
I'm obviously putting 2 and 2 together and getting about seven & a half as the answer!
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  #219  
Old 07-04-2019, 04:27 PM
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No, just working from my (increasingly poor) memory and I never had that much info on units outside my direct experience e.g. the arty. I'm probably misremembering things and screwing up the timings. For instance, sometime in 1992 or 93, we were told that in the near future Support Coy would be losing their mortars and refitting as SFMG. The mortars would be going to Reserve arty units who would be losing their big guns to the Regs.
That was the talk but it was not mentioned officially at that time.
I'm obviously putting 2 and 2 together and getting about seven & a half as the answer!
It could also be a case of how governments work. I am guessing they all do things more or less the same. For example the US Military adopted the M9 Pistol (to replace the M1911) in 1985, and officially replacement was completed in Oct 1986. However when I joined the Army in 1993 we still had the M1911, seven years after it was replaced.

On a side note I have to take double takes here a lot, every time I see WA (Western Australia I am guessing) my first thought is Washington where I live.
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  #220  
Old 07-04-2019, 08:48 PM
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It could also be a case of how governments work. I am guessing they all do things more or less the same. For example the US Military adopted the M9 Pistol (to replace the M1911) in 1985, and officially replacement was completed in Oct 1986. However when I joined the Army in 1993 we still had the M1911, seven years after it was replaced.

On a side note I have to take double takes here a lot, every time I see WA (Western Australia I am guessing) my first thought is Washington where I live.
Hehehe.
Yes, WA is Western Australia. In regards to how governments work, yes indeed. When the Australian Army got its Disruptive Pattern Camouflage Uniform (DPCU) to replace the old Jungle Green uniform, there were some cases where Reservist support units in WA ( ) were issued the new cams before Reservist Infantry units... I wasn't alone in thinking that the Infantry units might have needed them more than a support unit.
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  #221  
Old 11-18-2019, 12:02 AM
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In need of a little input at the moment. Given the ANZUS treaty requires the US to assist Australia should another party attack (as Indonesia does in PNG as described briefly in the BYB), what response could be expected in say, 1998?

My initial thoughts are perhaps a missile cruiser (the USS Mobile Bay springs to mind given it was involved with East Timor in 1999) could be dispatched, and/or a battalion of infantry (as usually occurs during joint training exercises). If it's the latter, is there an independent US unit which may be sent?

Of course the treaty doesn't really require much more than the military equivalent of "thoughts and prayers" either especially since Australia itself wasn't directly attacked by conventional forces (I will however have numerous units of saboteurs/guerrillas operating throughout the country).

It is interesting to note that the US invoked the treaty after 9/11 (first time in it's 50 odd year history). This is why Australia was subsequently involved in Iraq and Afghanistan (and is still in the latter country nearly two decades later).
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  #222  
Old 11-18-2019, 05:20 AM
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On a tangent, at one time when the Philippines was talking about all US bases out of their country, one of the potential replacement USN home ports was in Indonesia.
Now that would make for some "interesting" diplomacy in the T2k Indo-Australia conflict.

But anyway, onto your question. Maybe some USMC infantry from the base in Japan? I think it's on Okinawa. Assuming they weren't in Korea or dealing with Russia.

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 11-18-2019 at 05:21 AM. Reason: clarifying the information
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  #223  
Old 11-18-2019, 10:51 AM
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In need of a little input at the moment. Given the ANZUS treaty requires the US to assist Australia should another party attack (as Indonesia does in PNG as described briefly in the BYB), what response could be expected in say, 1998?

My initial thoughts are perhaps a missile cruiser (the USS Mobile Bay springs to mind given it was involved with East Timor in 1999) could be dispatched, and/or a battalion of infantry (as usually occurs during joint training exercises). If it's the latter, is there an independent US unit which may be sent?

Of course the treaty doesn't really require much more than the military equivalent of "thoughts and prayers" either especially since Australia itself wasn't directly attacked by conventional forces (I will however have numerous units of saboteurs/guerrillas operating throughout the country).

It is interesting to note that the US invoked the treaty after 9/11 (first time in it's 50 odd year history). This is why Australia was subsequently involved in Iraq and Afghanistan (and is still in the latter country nearly two decades later).
Real world it would likely have been the USMC if (BIG IF) they had a unit afloat near there, but if a unit needed to be sent most likely the 82nd Airborne or 75th Rangers.
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  #224  
Old 11-18-2019, 04:15 PM
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Real world it would likely have been the USMC if (BIG IF) they had a unit afloat near there, but if a unit needed to be sent most likely the 82nd Airborne or 75th Rangers.
They're all otherwise occupied in 1998 T2k though.
I don't want a full US Division, or even a Brigade as they'd drastically change the balance and make it more a US show. Australia will have a TOTAL of 3 short Divisions, one of which is assigned to mainland defence, about a Brigade of the second assigned to Korea, leaving perhaps 5 Brigades total for PNG.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has about 20 Divisions worth of units. About half of them are internal security, but that still leaves the defenders outnumbered upwards of 10 to 1 (although more likely about 8 to 1 once I include New Zealand and units from the Pacific Island nations).
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  #225  
Old 11-18-2019, 05:40 PM
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My thoughts are that, with three very active fronts (Europe, Korea, Iran), the U.S. wouldn't be in a position to send much of anything to Australia, other than what happens to be there at the time (probably a few ships/aircraft/troops in transit to other theatres, and that only on a very temporary basis.

There's just nothing left to send, by '98, and that's straight from the canon.

I think your "thoughts and prayers" comment is right on the money. To put it in T2K terms, though, it'd be "Good luck. You're on your own."

One thought that just occurred to me is that a few hundred/couple thousand U.S. military personnel could be in Australia on leave (common enough during the Vietnam War) when the Indonesians attack. With no safe way to return to their posts (likely in Korea), they're stuck there and formed into an Ad Hoc "American Legion" under Aussie command. This could be a fun way to incorporate American PCs from any of the U.S. Army, USMC, USN, USAF or even USCG units in the Korean canon (which the KPSB follows closely) into an Australia-based campaign.

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  #226  
Old 11-19-2019, 09:07 AM
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ANZAC might get a something along the lines of a few Team Yankees, or a Battalion Task Force on the ground. now it could get a few subs, surface ships or aircraft that were moved out of Pearl, Philippines, diego Garcia, or johnston atoll


now that is a thought what would be at johnston atoll in this time line?
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  #227  
Old 11-19-2019, 07:58 PM
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Bear in mind I'm not kicking hostilities off in PNG until it's clear the major world players are tied up elsewhere. Just doesn't make much sense for a 2nd rate military power to attack if there's 1st rate armies available to spank them for it.

My thoughts are one, maybe two ships (could be a support vessel, LST or the like instead of a "proper" warship), or a small unit of number of units. The question really is which ones might be available for more than just a brief visit on the way to somewhere else.

Note it doesn't even have to be a combat unit - medical team, engineers, intelligence, etc would all be suitable in my mind. Could even be civilians, or a unit made up of people found somewhat less than suitable for military draft but still very keen to help out in some way.

So lets hear some ideas, wilder the better!

One point I need to stress is PNG has an absolutely ABYSMAL transportation network. There's very limited roads, of which only a tiny percentage is sealed. No railroads at all, except for some short narrow gauge dating from pre WWI which have been neglected for 80 years. They were originally built by the Germans (back when it was still one of their colonies) to service a handful of old mines. Most bulk transport is by small boat along the coastline and up the rivers, and some air transport to very primitive bush airstrips. https://youtu.be/sy_HNd6N4IE
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  #228  
Old 11-19-2019, 08:22 PM
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I could easily see an ad hoc American unit being formed from stranded sailors, airmen, etc. that get stuck in Australia do to various reasons

Heck even just the men and woman manning places like Pine Gap could give you at least a small force to help the Australians out. Add in things like US Marine Corps Marine Security Guard detachments that are in various Asian nations being evacuated to Australia after the war starts from places like Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.. and you have the beginnings of a couple of companies at least - maybe even more.

The Company C Headquarters is located in Bangkok, Thailand and is responsible for 18 detachments located in the Far East, Asia and Australia. You could at the least see the HQ being relocated to Australia in 1997 after the nukes fly, perhaps earlier with embassies being evacuated out of hot spots

Especially if you add in a stranded USN ship or even nuclear sub and its crew being turned into infantry.
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  #229  
Old 11-19-2019, 08:50 PM
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The more I look at it, the more I think logistics is the key in PNG rather than another company or two of infantry. Yes, fighting troops are important, but they're useless without supporting units. Stranded US crewmembers might be better utilised running supplies along the coast in commandeered civilian craft rather than handed a rifle and sent to the front line. Their skill set would lend themselves more to that I think.
This opens up a whole new range of possible RP opportunities - US crew on a supply mission gets into trouble in some way and finds themselves behind enemy lines. Or, why not have them shipwrecked somewhere in the Indonesian controlled area and have to get themselves to friendly, Australian lines.
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  #230  
Old 11-19-2019, 09:05 PM
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GOOGLE the US ARMY'S USAV Major General Robert Smalls with its 13-foot draft, more than 10K kilometer range, and its 6000-ton displacement.

Then GOOGLE USMC "gator fleet."
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  #231  
Old 11-19-2019, 09:47 PM
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GOOGLE the US ARMY'S USAV Major General Robert Smalls with its 13-foot draft, more than 10K kilometer range, and its 6000-ton displacement.

Then GOOGLE USMC "gator fleet."
This brings up an interesting potential situation. The ship is part of the General Frank S. Besson class and they started building them in 1987. There's only eight of them in service and I would argue that a major reason for that is because the collapse of the Soviet Union removed the need for a larger fleet.
So the potential situation is that without the "peace" from the end of the Cold War, more of the class could have been constructed.
Meaning that as a sourcebook/module writer or GM, you could expand the fleet and add a few of these ships where you needed them.

In a similar "what if", the Philippines Navy had two logistics support vessels built in the early 90s based on the Besson class with the most significant differences being a helicopter pad at the rear of the ship, a roof over part of the main deck and the ability to carry two LCVPs.
So for game purposes, it's not too far fetched to have the US Army also put that variant into service to compliment the Besson class. A helo/LCVP capable version would allow for certain operations that the conventional class wouldn't i.e. small team insertion by air/LCVP, wider range of SAR abilities and so on. There's no hangar but with the relatively calm oceans in the PNG area, transporting a helo on the pad wouldn't be so problematic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genera...support_vessel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacolo...support_vessel
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  #232  
Old 11-19-2019, 10:46 PM
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...the relatively calm oceans in the PNG area...
Hehe.
It's funny seeing people driving up to Darwin with surfboards on the roof to take advantage of the legendary huge surf up there!
Even funnier seeing their faces when they arrive and lay eyes on the MASSIVE 6 inch waves!
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  #233  
Old 11-19-2019, 11:22 PM
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Examples of how you could get US military personnel to Australia

US Marine detachment sent to help guard the Pine Gap facility - could easily see the US sending a couple of platoons given the importance of that facility and could have the US reinforce their embassy detachment in Canberra as well - or have detachments from other countries evacuated along with embassy personnel to Canberra

US logistics troops sent to Australia to assist shipments to South Korea and China from Australia - possibly with the US establishing depots for materials being transshipped there from the US

US military members of the Pine Gap facility (mostly communication/intelligence/signals personnel)

USN personnel from ships damaged by Soviet attacks that made port in Australia and that were never re-assigned or marooned by lack of fuel

USAF personnel supporting long range transport and cargo operations that were stranded in Australia due to lack of fuel

None of which would require a unit of any size to actually be located there either pre or post 1998
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  #234  
Old 11-20-2019, 01:29 AM
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Hehe.
It's funny seeing people driving up to Darwin with surfboards on the roof to take advantage of the legendary huge surf up there!
Even funnier seeing their faces when they arrive and lay eyes on the MASSIVE 6 inch waves!
Hahaha
Oh yes indeed! There's a reason the beaches on either the east coast or the west coast are rated as the best surfing spots in Australia. I recall a statement about surfing in the Northern Territory with it's "one or two months a year if you're lucky, waist high at best, waves and please keep an eye out for the saltwater crocodiles who are one of the stealthiest predators in the world", as being "unpleasant".

There's a reason why people have used small, open boats (like the 12ft dinghy) to nip back and forth between Far North Queensland and PNG and it's not simply because it's a (relatively) short distance.
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  #235  
Old 11-20-2019, 07:22 AM
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I have a blurb on the Australian Battle Rifles page, under the versions of the FN-FAL they had, about the "Brisbane Black Window," a good sniper who is merely a civilian Australian who has mad skills with her rifle. Anyone want to add this into the official record?
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  #236  
Old 11-20-2019, 07:37 AM
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I have a blurb on the Australian Battle Rifles page, under the versions of the FN-FAL they had, about the "Brisbane Black Window," a good sniper who is merely a civilian Australian who has mad skills with her rifle. Anyone want to add this into the official record?
See, that's exactly the sort of thing I want to include in the book!
Although I'm not sure she'd like being called a "window"...
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  #237  
Old 11-20-2019, 03:45 PM
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Examples of how you could get US military personnel to Australia

US Marine detachment sent to help guard the Pine Gap facility - could easily see the US sending a couple of platoons given the importance of that facility and could have the US reinforce their embassy detachment in Canberra as well - or have detachments from other countries evacuated along with embassy personnel to Canberra

US logistics troops sent to Australia to assist shipments to South Korea and China from Australia - possibly with the US establishing depots for materials being transshipped there from the US

US military members of the Pine Gap facility (mostly communication/intelligence/signals personnel)

USN personnel from ships damaged by Soviet attacks that made port in Australia and that were never re-assigned or marooned by lack of fuel

USAF personnel supporting long range transport and cargo operations that were stranded in Australia due to lack of fuel

None of which would require a unit of any size to actually be located there either pre or post 1998
FYI one very possible source for US characters could be USAR personnel that were originally deployed to support port operations in Australia to support US operations in the Gulf and Korea and then were cut off in Australia after the reduction in fuel supplies cut them off

they could be elements of a Transportation Terminal Battalion deployed to Australia in 1996-97 along with a couple of transportation companies to help with port operations - which would be a perfect addition for the sourcebook
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  #238  
Old 11-20-2019, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
This brings up an interesting potential situation. The ship is part of the General Frank S. Besson class and they started building them in 1987. There's only eight of them in service and I would argue that a major reason for that is because the collapse of the Soviet Union removed the need for a larger fleet.
So the potential situation is that without the "peace" from the end of the Cold War, more of the class could have been constructed.
Meaning that as a sourcebook/module writer or GM, you could expand the fleet and add a few of these ships where you needed them.

In a similar "what if", the Philippines Navy had two logistics support vessels built in the early 90s based on the Besson class with the most significant differences being a helicopter pad at the rear of the ship, a roof over part of the main deck and the ability to carry two LCVPs.
So for game purposes, it's not too far fetched to have the US Army also put that variant into service to compliment the Besson class. A helo/LCVP capable version would allow for certain operations that the conventional class wouldn't i.e. small team insertion by air/LCVP, wider range of SAR abilities and so on. There's no hangar but with the relatively calm oceans in the PNG area, transporting a helo on the pad wouldn't be so problematic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genera...support_vessel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacolo...support_vessel
Don't forget the Cyclone PCs! They were being used in the Philippines as well as the Gulf of Mexico for anti-piracy, drug enforcement, and general patrol. The Philippines was actually given USS Cyclone as a patrol ship.

This is something that is OFTEN overlooked when the LCS class ships are discussed. They were intentionally give "shoal-drafts" specifically for operating in this region because they replaced the OHP class Frigates (also having a shallow draft) that were also used in the shallow waters of the Asian Basin and the Persian Gulf where the much deeper drafted Burkes and Ticos could get into trouble trying to sail there.
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