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TRIMDON and SEA IMP

Operation TRIMDON News

After many years and a lot of good work from a heap of people, there is good news in relation to Trimdon. Below are recent experiences from our members. (many thanks especially to Ian Foster and Dave Charles)

 The Repatriation Commissioner has determined that flight crew that operated from NAS Sangley Point for Trimdon activities would be deemed to have entered the specified operational area which then gave rise to ‘Qualifying Service’, an essential ingredient in obtaining a Gold Card.   There are other considerations of course, but that is one of some substance.   Regrettably, the Lae and Guam types have not been favourably treated (in fact, excluded) from this determination and will need to box on into the next millennium.  

The process is initiated by lodging an ‘APPLICATION TO DETERMINE QUALIFYING SERVICE BY A VETERAN OR MARINER’ located on the DVA website.   Some proof of involvement is required (Log Book extract, perhaps covered in a Stat Dec).   Those who satisfy the requirements and have been previously refused should try again as there has been some success of late. 

“Having recently turned 70, I have just applied for a Gold Card based upon my participation in three sorties during Operation Trimdon.  My application has been successful.

The DVA official informed me that any RAAF aircrew, which flew one or more Trimdon sorties from NAS Sangley Point is also eligible on turning 70 or lesser age subject to an assets and income means test. 

  This is a recent determination. (See below)

Subsequent to my application, I have submitted proof of identity, and a certified copy of my logbook pages, per her request.” 

As you may be aware, DVA has accepted that the 4 crews that recovered to Butterworth following their Trimdon sortie went within 100NM of Vietnam and are entitled to Qualifying Service, DVA now state that the other 3 Sangley crews also went into the Vietnam specified operational area also Qualify. When queried about the Lae/Guam crews DVA stated that they were not being considered as they could not have gone into Vietnam (area 8).

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QUALIFYING SERVICE SEA IMP (Tony Lowe)

In May 2012 Paul Sykes, after a four year battle was found to have rendered Qualifying Service and was eligible for a Gold Card for participation in SEA IMP.  This was in a judgment handed down by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).  In May that year Tony Lowe, Albert Wallace, Al Gibbon and Bev Barry applied to the DVA to be recognized for participation in SEA IMP.  The DVA rejected these applications because they did not agree to the findings of the AAT.  Precedence was not set because the AAT does not follow the Doctrine of Precedence.

The three elements that need to be satisfied for qualifying service are:

(a)    An operational area needs to be determined, (Area 8 is this area.)

(b)   An individual needs to have been allotted for duty under the VEA either on an individual basis or a unit that was allotted; and

(c)    An individual needs to have actually served in the Operational Area in accordance with their allotment. (For information the Transit route from Sangley to Butterworth transits Area 8)

The instrument of allotment is a document signed by Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel in December 1997.  In Schedule B of this document the following is relevant: Aircrew members of Australian Air Force Detachment Sangley Point.

After a two and a half years battle Lowe, Wallace Gibbon and Barry have now been advised by the AAT that they are eligible for qualifying service as defined by section 7A of the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986 (Cth) (the VEA) and are entitled to Gold Cards pursuant to section 85(4B) of the VEA.

One hurdle is that the DVA think that Australian Air Force Detachment Sangley Point existed only for operation TRIMDON in 1965.  They eventually, but reluctantly, relented.

I (Tony Lowe) have soft copies of relevant documentation including Operation Orders, PORs, and The Instrument if anyone is interested. (Email Tony on anthonyelowe@bigpond.com or phone 0247395518)

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Aircrew members of Australian Air Force Detachment Sangley Point

The instrument of Alloltment is  

The Vererans Antitlements Act (VEA) states that

7A Qualifying service

(1) For the purposes of Parts III and VA and sections 85 and 118V, a person has rendered qualifying service:

(a) if the person has, as a member of the Defence Force:

(iii) rendered service outside Australia in an area described in column 1 of Schedule 2 during the period specified in column 2 of that Schedule opposite to that description, as a member of a unit of the Defence Force that was allotted for duty, or as a person who was allotted for duty, in that area; or

  1. the reviewable decision, being the decision of the respondent made on 13 March 2013, is set aside, and in substitution the Tribunal decides that:

 a) the applicant has rendered ‘Qualifying Service’ as defined by section 7A of the Veterans’ Entitlement Act 1986 (Cth) (the VEA);

b) the applicant is eligible for a ‘Gold Card’ pursuant to section 85(4B) of the VEA, with a date of effect of 23 May 2012.

 Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel

Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986

Aircrew members of Australian Air Force Detachment Sangley Point

 

a.       The distance between Sangley Point and Butterworth is 1328 nautical miles. 

b.      The nominal cruising speed of a Neptune P2-E aircraft is 180 knots producing a nominal flight time over this distance of 7 hours 22 minutes. This information is readily available.

c.       The direct route from Sangley Point to Butterworth is through Area 8.  This is easily determined because the Area 8 co-ordinates are published in the Instrument.

d.      The duration of flight has been provided in my Flying Log Book entry of 30 May 1966 as 7 hours 20 minutes which would require the aircraft to fly a direct route.  RAAF Flying Log books are official documents which are.  He also remarks that the term “Detachment” is inconsistent. This term was in common use in relation to detached crews and aircraft.  An 11 Squadron Detachment was formed, it was at Sangley Point and a Detachment Commander, Wing Commander J.A Smith, was appointed.  This can be nothing else but Australian Air Force detachment Sangley Point audited monthly by Executive Officers and annually by commanding Officers.

 

.  He also remarks that the term “Detachment” is inconsistent. This term was in common use in relation to detached crews and aircraft.  An 11 Squadron Detachment was formed, it was at Sangley Point and a Detachment Commander, Wing Commander J.A Smith, was appointed.  This can be nothing else but Australian Air Force detachment Sangley Point.

1.      Both the Repatriation Commission and Professor Grey have taken an incorrect interpretation of the VETERANS' ENTITLEMENTS ACT 1986 - SECT 7A Qualifying service- AB 86.  Both DVA and Professor Grey state that because SEA IMP was an exercise therefore no entitlement exists.  This is incorrect as the VEA Sect 7A (1) (a) (iii) states that as a member of the defence force allotted for duty in an area described in column 1 of Schedule 2 during the period specified in column 2 has rendered qualifying service.  Whether SEA IMP was an exercise or not is not relevant.   It should be noted that all sub-paragraphs are connected by the word, ’or’.

2.       

3.      7A Qualifying service

4.      (1) For the purposes of Parts III and VA and sections 85 and 118V, a person has rendered qualifying service:

5.      (a) if the person has, as a member of the Defence Force:

6.     

7.      (iii) rendered service outside Australia in an area described in column 1 of Schedule 2 during the period specified in column 2 of that Schedule opposite to that description, as a member of a unit of the Defence Force that was allotted for duty, or as a person who was allotted for duty, in that area; or

8.       (iv) rendered warlike service ...

 Firstly an operational area, per s. 7A(1)(a)(iii) and 5B(1), needs to be determined. Two operational areas apply to the Vietnam War as listed in Schedule 2 of the VEA under Items 4 and 8:

Schedule 2 - Operational areas

… 4. Vietnam (Southern Zone).

The period from and including 31 July 1962 to and including 11 January 1973

8. All that area of land and waters (other than land or waters forming part of the territory of Cambodia or China) bounded by a line commencing at the intersection of the boundary between Cambodia and Vietnam (Southern Zone) with the shore of Vietnam (Southern Zone) at high water mark; thence proceeding

The period from and including 31 July 1962 to and including 11 January 1973

in a straight line to a point 185.2 kilometres west (true) of that intersection; thence proceeding along an imaginary line parallel to, and at a distance of 185.2 kilometres from, the shore of Vietnam at high water mark to its intersection with the parallel 21 degrees 30 minutes north latitude; thence proceeding along that parallel westerly to its intersection with the shore of Vietnam at high water mark; thence following the shore of Vietnam at high water mark

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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