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Airfield Defence Guards


"Defending the Eyrie"

 Airfield Defence Guards (ADG) or adgies are non-commissioned Air Force members who provide the specialist ground defence force required to protect air power assets from the effects of hostile ground action in and around Air Force Bases and Installations, both in Australia and overseas. They form the basis of the Air Force's ground combat force, protecting Base assets, infrastructure and personnel against attack by enemy ground forces for up to five kilometres from the airfield perimeter fence. They also instruct other Air Force personnel in relevant ground defence techniques. The mentally and physically demanding nature of the duties carried out by ADGs requires the maintenance of very high physical fitness and physical employment standards. ADGs will frequently be absent from home base and family for several months of the year. During operations, ADGs work in all terrains and climatic conditions by day and night. You must be able to function in extreme conditions for indefinite periods and endure high levels of fatigue.
 “Over the last 40 years ADGs have seen active service in in Ubon Thailand..1967-68, South Vietnam.1967-75, Cambodia, Kuwait, East Timor..2000, Afganistan..2002, Iraq..2003, UN-Egypt and the Solomon Islands”. In more recent times they have operated in Iraq and other regions, serving with distinction.

 The following are except from this website's forum.  It's basically a series of answers to common questions.

 Day to day activities for an ADG
 MemberZ - – “a typical day would start with morning parade(orders, perstats and all that crap). Then off to pt for an hr to hr an half. Then the rest off the day is pretty much training with is taken care off by your respective section commanders. That can radio training, patrol sop's, range time, vehicle drills and so on I'm sure you get the drift. as for it being similar to infantry training I not quite sure the times I have been at the battalions for what ever reason I only ever seen the diggers head back off to the single guys lines and play playstation. I sure this doesn't happen all the time.....”
 4ha - - “SGUY, typical SQN activities in last few weeks:
 1 week Live Fire at Wide Bay, on this, our RFLT managed to field 1 CPL, 5 Troops, 1 SGT & 1 Officer, shoots done were PTL attack, SECT marry up under fire, borrowed another PTL from another RFLT to get numbers, Break Contact from PTL harbour using M18A1's, DFSW - 1 - TPT, 3 - HEAT, 1 - HEDP, 10 - 40mm Prac, 13 - 40mm HEDP, 2 Subcal 66's, 1 66, Night attack patrol in with Ninnox, call in 84 Illum, then SGR, 2 F3 Prac then 6 F3. This was done after completing AGR 2 weeks previously, so a little out of sequence. Because bids are going in for next financial year for ammo, we had to use up all stocks to allow next bid to match last one.
 Today, Remington 870 intinctive shoot at Greenbank.
 PT 2 hrs allocated daily.
 Planning now for month long excersise in Scherger against 1AFDS.
 Planning for MOUT live fire at Townesville.
 We are hurting for numbers, especially this time of year when external courses are being run. We have 6 guys on COMSURV (Combat Survival) Townesville, a section "Doing Stuff" & guys on promotion courses.”
 Training to become an Adgy
 Basic Training
 Duration: 10 weeks and two days
 Location: RAAF Base Edinburgh (near Adelaide, SA)
 No 1 Recruit Training Unit conducts initial recruit training for Airmen and Airwomen. The 10 week and two day recruit course is an intensive period of learning and adjustment to a military lifestyle. The aims of the course are to; provide an orderly transition from civilian to Air Force life; equip the recruit with the basic knowledge, skills and physical fitness to perform his/her future role in the Air Force; and instil in the recruit the motivation to become a dedicated and productive Air Force member
 MemberX – “1RTU is a piece of piss. Just remember that the instructors there are all wannabe tough c**ts. At the end of the day they are techo's who want to be ADGIES! Haha I think the last point is the one which counts. Going jack on your mates is looked down upon no matter which trade you are in. Oh bar MP's and SECPOL. They encourage rat's
 Seriously though put in and do the hard yards. Do the extra mile and when you have a task to do such as those pesky block inspections, make sure they are 100%. That way the MSI's have nothing to go off about. Although they probably will make something up anyway. Last of all enjoy it. It's not as bad as it seems.”
 B2Z - Have fun and just realise that it's only 10 odd weeks of your life. You aren't going to die. Just put in the hard yards when you have to and don't take short cuts cause you'll be found out big time! And in the end you'll end up doing twice as much as you should have in the first place.
 When Dig says be the grey man, do it, but when you have to do something, put in the extra effort above what your other course mates are doing. Do it from the start and you'll find the instructors will leave you alone because they know your trustworthy and that you put in the hard yards! Stay off the Radar champ!
 Basic ADG Course - 14.4 Weeks
 Trainees are required to undergo a Basic ADG Course of 14 weeks and 4 days duration at the RAAF Security and Fire School (RAAFSFS) RAAF Base Amberley, QLD. Training is provided on: small arms weapons, high explosive weapons and explosive stores, radio communications, field engineering, battle-craft and tactics, map reading and navigation, nuclear, biological and chemical defence, first aid and casualty handling. The basic ADG course is physically very demanding. Accordingly, students need to have a very high level of physical fitness before commencing training.
 Upon graduation from RAAFSFS, students must be able to perform chin-ups, sit-ups (3 second cadence, feet not held) and run 2.4 kilometres according to age group. For example, ADGs less than 25 years of age are required to perform 10 chin-ups, 40 sit-ups and run 2.4 kilometres in 10 minutes or less. ADGs are assessed twice yearly for physical fitness.
 If I can already do the ADG fitness, (40 sit ups 10 chin ups and 2.4kms in less then 10). Am I ready for training?
 MemberX – “The PFT is just one SMALL part of being an ADG. You also have to complete the 15km pack march in under 2hrs45mins, RDJ under 50seconds, climb the ropes twice and conduct a 100m fireman’s carry.
 Really the physical standards aren't the main thing.
 There are a lot of blokes who are fit but absolutely hopeless when it comes to being an ADG. Same as in any service I suppose.
 But to you’re original question. Yes as it wouldn't hurt. If anything it would put you in a better position as it is one less thing to worry about.”
 As far as the fitness thing goes, yes you may be able to pass the 10min 2.4 in PT gear, but anyone can do this. I am instructing on the course going through now. Some of the kids can do low 8 2.4s, and I do high 9s these days. Took them for a trot in patrol order and had half of them dropping out spewing. Same shit for stomps. Battle fitness is a totally different animal. The kids generally start course in late puberty and are still developing physically. They are usually very skinny with no core strength or endurance. You will develop the type of fitness you need to do the job once you are in, with your regualr fitness and positive attitude forming the basis for this. A lot of people have not experienced serious discomfort up to this stage in their lives and have to learn the difference between discomfot and injury. We had a lad lie on the ground pissing man-tears (very awkward moment for me) saying he could not crawl any further. Days later he is smashing through the scrub on his guts spurting claret and ignoring it. In short, you are fit enough to start course. Your attitude and willingness to extend yourself will determine whether you pass.
 Ok. I am not going to give you a motivational spiel about your fitness to keep your hopes up nor am I going to tell you every detail of ADG Basic Course because one, it's far to long and two, half the excitement and MENTAL CHALLENGE is for you to put up with what is going to come your way. If you want to be here, on ADG Basic Course, you will do what ever it takes and put up with what ever is thrown at you. If you want to be an ADG then again, you will do what ever it takes and put up with what ever comes your way. and that's ANYTHING. That means being cold, tired hungry, sore, very very sore, bleeding, wet, blisters, sleping in mud and dirt and yes, doing what you are told to do. If you can not put up with this then we DO NOT WANT YOU.
 Ok. Fitness. 99% of people who enter recruits who want to become an ADG can run well under the required times. It is the chins that most struggle with. However, there are some who enter the system and are somehow fooled into thinking the PTI's at recruits will make you 'super human' fitness machines. This is a load of Bull##**.
 Unfortunately, at recruits, although you may be an ADG trainee (post recruit graduation) you are treated as an equal to a techo, cook, police scope dope, linguist or mechanical trainee. There is no separation or 'selective training' aimed at any particular trade or mustering whilst you are at recruits. This then means that although upon graduation from 1RTU, you will be undertaking the most physically demanding course the RAAF can offer (and that's not hard!) you will do no lead up training to help you before you get there. The only slim possibility you may have is if you are on an all 'ADG' recruit course, however these days, due to political correctness and recruiting demands, this is rare.
 A number of years ago, there were some serious complaints levelled at certain people in regards to their training aspects at 1RTU in a sense that the PTI's were training future ADG's to meet the required fitness levels. And yes, some squeeze made a complaint that the training was too hard and unfair! Why? Because the techo's and cook trainees etc at 1RTU were not subjected to the same intense physical training as he was and as a result, they aren't as tired as he was and that means they are able to perform better during testing of basic recruit skills (weapon handling, drill, inspections etc). When he was booted out for poor performance and threatened to take the ADF (RAAF in particular) to the cleaners because it was not an 'equal opportunity' scenario, the RAAF jumped into the "bend over and take it in the a**, give him anything he wants to shut him up" mode they always seem to do, they changed the program and hence, everyone can only be trained to the same level. This being that for the basic techo on course and the basic RAAF PFT which is a joke.
 Since this is now the case, a large number of fitter people actually lost fitness during their time at 1RTU and upon reaching ADG Basic, took some time to get that fitness back. Again, years ago, ADG Instructors on basic course would, in conjunction with the PTI's undertake PT on the course, and also when it was not during allocated PT times. These 'extra sessions were runs back to the blocks, push-ups (with champs... some will know what I mean. raise raise raise raise…where is your mental tenacity!!!!) pack marches etc. And I remember during every break in the lessons we had, it was the chin up bar or sit up position or push up position to do your max effort. You were so glad to see the back of the instructors at day’s end!!!
 Again, this 'extras' system was abused by some just wanting to try and be Terry Tuff Cun*# and break people, and again, another yobbo cried foul. Now, the only PT you will do will be under the direction of the PTI's and even then it's soft. The whole ADF is so touchy feely these days that it is almost laughable. Having said that, it comes down to your own willpower and personal drive to improve your fitness your self and if you have this quality, amongst others, you will pass the course and helped no end because you can prove to us (instructors and other Squadron members) that you want to be here. Present the opposite approach and you will be encouraged (totally legally!!!!! ) to look for employment elsewhere.
 Improve your fitness before you sign up. Try and get more than the required fitness levels and you will be fine. If you want to be here, drive yourself and push your self hard and you will get here. Get out and see a personal trainer or gym instructor and get a proper structured program to help you. If you go too hard too often you will be burnt out by the time you get here or be carrying in juries that will surface during Basic course. Good luck
 Swimming and being an ADGY
 swimming is not that important to ADG's. There are a vast number at the squadrons who swim like BBQ plates and still hold onto the sides of the pool during swim sessions. Don't focus on it too much but swimming is a great recovery session and the best aerobic work out your joints can have as there is no added stresses like running etc. If you can swim 1500m in 20min clean skinned (or DT's if you prefer them) then you should be doing just fine and pass the course no worries.

 Weapons used by ADGs
 MemberX - All the basic Infantry weapons plus MP5's. A lot more emphasis on pistols than the Infantry.
 “The equipment that Infantry generally uses is the F88 Individual Weapon or the F89 Minimi Light Support Weapon. Infantry soldiers are also equipped with the M18A1 Claymore, Grenades and Night Fighting and viewing equipment. You can also use heavy weapons such as mortars, anti-armour weapons and the Mag 58 (GSMG) General Support Machine Guns.”
 Role of ADG’s in recent times
 Iraq - MemberX - Stayed in Iraq for just over 5 months. We went there with the first Air Traffic Controllers detatchment in end of April 2003. There was 8 ADG'S.
 Pretty much limited to what we did there. We did foot patrols up to 5km out.The yanks had a lot of troops around BIAP so there was no action for us. We got one or two stray mortar rounds and that was about it, apart from perving on every kind of SF Operators. 4ha has some good stories as well.
 There are no more ADG'S in Iraq now, only in the MEAO.
 IRAQ - - “Royal Australian Air Force Airfield Defence Guard detachment patrol the roads around the Australian section of Baghdad International Airport.
 The controllers and RAAF support staff are protected in their location by a detachment of Airfield Defence Guards.
 The detachment conducts regular foot patrols around the Australian section of the airport, ensuring a precise knowledge of the ground and potential threats in the area.
 Royal Australian Air Force air traffic controllers have commenced full operations at Baghdad International Airport.
 The team of 13 controllers has taken over from their United States Air Force counterparts at the airport, which is similar in size to Tullamarine in Melbourne. They monitor up to 450 helicopter and 55 fixed wing movements per day.
 All communications to aircraft are conducted through RAAF communications systems” INFORMATION FROM “”
 Bravo2zero - Ok. ADG’s in Timor.
 The original role that the ADG’s were required to undertake, was in fact a vast contrast to what actually took place in the overall scheme of the Timor concept. Originally, OP Spitfire (I thin it was called) was a tasking that ADG’s had been warned about some time prior to the ultimate fiasco that ensued after the General Election East Timor in August 1999. 2 Flights worth of ADG’s, around 60 odd people, were pre- positioned in Townsville ready to undertake a task similar to what they had done in Cambodia a few years before. This task was the removal of Foreign Nationals and dignitaries from Dili and surrounding areas through Service Assisted Evacuation. This task was to simply fly in with RAAF Hercs, deploy in point protection for aircraft security and evacuate expat’s and identified foreign dignitaries.
 Once the scope of Op Spitfire was seen to be a minor factor in the grand scheme of things, the remainder of the Squadron, that being 2AFDS, joined the initial push north and hence began the countdown.
 Once on the ground in Timor, 2AFDS began to take over from 1 RAR at the main airhead and supply route in to Timor, Komoro Airfield. I suspect that this location was also well and truly secured by some members from the West, though you never know. The ADG’s role here during the initial stages was that of:
 1) Securing the Main airhead and close approach areas into Komoro airfield. This entailed ADG’s conducting sustained patrols (yes, like the infantry) in small half section lots in and around the local area. Whilst providing the security in the close approach area’s and identifying NAI and TAI’s(Noted Areas of Interest/Tactical Areas of interest), a flight of 2AFDS was tasked with maintaining security and point protection on the main handstand and Terminal area of the airfield.
 Keep in mind at this point in time the TNI and Indonesian SF were still enemas within their respective compounds inside the airfield perimeter and surrounding close approach areas. Although it was never ‘officially confirmed’, it has been claimed that various malitia groups were in fact TNI and Kopassus soldiers, just wearing civvies and doing some ‘extra training’ after dark. From all reports there were numerous tense moments and occasional confrontations that lead to some close confrontation of international relations.
 2) In turn with the above, ADG’s also provided some specialist capabilities in aircraft security and protection throughout Timor. Numerous IDP (international Displaced Persons) and UN humanitarian, as well as ADF tactical flights took place involving RAAF aircraft ranging from Hercs to Caribou’s. ADG’s provided point protection and aircraft security to these missions on a regular basis, rotating amongst its members to enable sufficient rest and recovery time.
 3) ADG’s again showed some ingenuity in their thinking by developing the ‘Shopfront’ method of operations. These ‘shopfronts’ were in fact, old abandoned houses or former police (Polri) buildings. In a nut shell, once the ADG’s deployed to a designated AO, They would, leave half a section or more at this building and the remainder would continue to conduct sustained patrols throughout the area.
 The idea behind these ‘shopfronts’ were to allow a central, known location of friendly Australian troops to be easily accessible to the local population in the event of an attack or return of the mailitia. It would allow the locals to turn and locate the exact, common spot for these patrols. Effective and versatile. It also allowed the locals the chance to regularly interact and socialise with the troops and hence, build rapport.
 4) during the latter stages of Operation Stabilise, 2AFDS were further tested in their ability by being asked to man and secure not only Komoro airfield and maintain the security that such a large scale airfield undertook, but also, to aid in the assistance and evacuation of IDP and the security of such persons in the IDP facility. This took place only a few short kilometres from the airfield.
 This involved allowing access to and from the IDP facility and aiding in processing IDP’s to and from the facility. As well as this, 2AFDS was then tasked to secure the Dilli Heli- port and aid 5th Aviation group in maintaining their air capability. Once again, sustained patrols were conducted around the area in an attempt to nullify or prevent and hostile action or threats that might have affected the troop carriers (helicopters) from gaining flight. So effective was this that 5 Av as they are known as, asked a small number of troops to remain behind and maintain their operational tempo and security for a number of weeks after the greater majority of the squadron had departed for home.
 5) CPP (close personal Protection) ....... body guarding of selected dignitaries and VIP’s
 There are a few other minor things that occurred, such as doing some security on Dilli Hospital, Vehicle check points etc. In fact., 2AFDS actually located a large malitia Headquarters Now, shall I continue or should I hear you say sorry?
 4ha - Postings for Airman below the rank of CPL is slowly improving, now you can either go to Canberra or Richmond for 1-2 year postings mainly pertaining to aircraft security operations.
 Besides that most airman remain at either 1,2 or 3AFDS until they reach the rank of CPL, as most jobs outside of the SQN's are instructional duties, either at Recruits, SFS, ADFA, OTS or at an armoury conducting weapons training & field craft continuation skills for the rest of the RAAF.
 You may be posted to any Air Force Base within Australia, with limited opportunity for overseas deployment.


Note: this page was compiled from posts by a forum member. As with several other pages on this it is for information purposes and the veracity of it's content


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