The 16th Air Defence Regiment (16 AD Regt) is the youngest regiment in the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery (RAA). Its origins can be traced to the formation of two independent batteries, 110th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery and 111th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, at Woodside. The amalgamation of these two batteries on 2 June 1969 was the foundation of the 16th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (16 LAA Regt).
At this time the Vietnam War was at its peak and many personnel were deployed with other units (Field Artillery and otherwise) in Vietnam. Although no Australian LAA unit served in Vietnam, personnel from 16 LAA Regt manned 40mm Bofors guns during this time on the landing craft of the 32nd Small Ships Squadron while on operations in South Vietnamese waters.
In 1971, acute manning shortage restricted manning to only one Battery (111 LAA Bty), although 110 LAA Bty was not disestablished and was still on the Australian Order of Battle (ORBAT).
Discussions throughout the 1970s about the requirement for Low Level Air Defence (LLAD) in the Army resulted in the Australian Government committing to the purchase of Rapier in 1977. 110th Air Defence Battery was raised on 1 July 1978 and the unit was renamed 16th Air Defence Regiment (16 AD Regt) the same day. 16 AD Regt Workshops was raised to provide repair and recovery support for the Regiment.
110 AD Bty received the first Rapier equipment from 1979, and it was officially brought into service in 1980. and the Radar Trackers (providing all weather, day/night capability) arrived in 1981. In December 1984, replacement for Redeye was announced, and in March 1987, RBS-70 was introduced into 111 AD Bty (Lt).
In 1991, RBS-70 detachments from 111 AD Bty (Lt) were deployed aboard HMAS Success and Westralia for operational service during the Gulf War. This was repeated in support of the International Coalition Against Terror (ICAT) aboard HMAS Kanimbla and Manoora during 2001-2002 and more recently a RBS-70 detachment was used aboard HMAS Kanimbla during The Coalition War disarming Iraq.
In May 2003, 16 AD Regt was allocated 83 million dollars to be used to replace the Rapier Missile system with an up-graded RBS-70 system. This replacement will be completed during 2005. In August 2003 a contract was signed for a new simulator trainer to be built at 16 AD Regt. This new simulator will be state of the art and allow far more realistic training for the operators of the RBS-70 system.
History of 111th Air Defence Battery (111 AD Bty)
111th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery. Was raised as an independent battery from elements of the 103rd Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery, Royal Australian Artillery. The raising of the independent 111th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery (111 LAA Bty) at Middle Head, NSW, on 21 May 1957 where it was equipped with 40mm Bofors Mark III Anti-Aircrcaft guns. Within a year, these guns were replaced by electrically powered 40 mm Bofors number 12 guns. The Battery moved to Holsworthy as part of the 1st Infantry Brigade in August 1957. The Battery enjoyed a short stint at North Head, Manly, in 1959 but moved back to Holsworthy the same year.
111 LAA Bty was redesignated 111th Surface-to-air Guided Weapon Battery in late 1961.Training began in anticipation of the Hawk missile system being introduced into the Australian Army. However, the cost, coupled with the fact that the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was equipped with the Bloodhound missile system, training was cancelled and Battery reverted to its original name - 111 LAA Bty.
In May 1964, 111th Battery was ordered to deploy to RAAF Base Butterworth, Malaysia, during the Malaysian/Indonesian Confrontation. Within three weeks, the Battery was aboard HMAS Sydney. The original six month was progressively extended until June 1966 (two years later). 111 LAA was replaced at Butterworth by 110th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery (110 LAA Bty), and returned to its new location, Woodside.
111 LAA Bty retained the 40 mm Bofors Gun even after the formation of the 16 LAA Regt in 1969 and subsequent fielding of the Redeye Surface to Air Missile (SAM) by 110 LAA Bty in 1970. In 1971, however, a unit manning crisis resulted in the non-manning of 110 LAA Bty - all the Redeye detachments and command post (CP) personnel and equipment were posted to 111 LAA Bty.
On 6 June 1973, the Bofors Guns was paraded for the last time. The unit was to change title, and a new establishment authorised. Under the new unit designation, 111 LAA Bty became 111th Air Defence Battery (Light) (111 AD Bty (Lt)) and was formally equipped with the Redeye SAM.
In 1976 a new training establishment came into effect and 111 AD Bty (Lt) exercised with the 1st Division as "Corps Troops" under the guise of Divisional Air Defnce Battery (Light). In 1978, 111 AD Bty (Lt) was officially redesignated 111th Divisional Air Defence Battery (Light) and allocated to 1st Division, but was retained under command to 16 AD Regt (Lt) for local administration.
In 1987, 111th Air Defence Battery (Light) was re-equipped with the RBS-70 surface-to-air weapon system. In 1991, RBS-70 detachments from 111th Air Defence Battery (Light) were deployed aboard HMAS Success and Westralia for operational service during the Gulf War.
In 1998, the procurement of a Clip-on Night Device (COND), coupled with the acquisition of a P-Star Radar in 1999, provided an early warning and 24 hour capability for RBS-70.
From October 2001 - July 2003 has seen three RBS-70 detachments serving on either HMAS Kanimbla or Manora as part of the War against Terrorism and more recently The war to disarm Iraq.
History of 110th Air Defence Battery (110 AD Bty)
In 1964, a decision was made to raise a second light anti-aircraft battery to provide trained reinforcements. The 110th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery (110 LAA Bty) was subsequently raised at Woodside, South Australia, on 10 May 1965.
On 14 June 1966, 110 LAA Bty departed on active service to relieve 111 LAA Bty at RAAF Butterworth. 110 LAA Bty returned to Woodside after 6 May 1969.
In 1970, 110 LAA Battery was re-equipped with the Redeye surface-to-air missile system. In 1971, however, a unit manning crisis resulted in the posting of all 110 LAA Bty Redeye detachments and command post (CP) personnel and equipment to 111 LAA Bty. 110 LAA Bty was not disestablished and remained on the Australian Order of Battle (ORBAT), but was to be essentially unmanned until 1978.
In 1978, upon the Australian Government commitment to purchase the Rapier surface to air missile system, 110 LAA Bty was renamed 110th Air Defence Battery (110 AD Bty). 110 AD Bty received the first Rapier equipment (B1 version) in late 1979, and it was officially brought into service in 1980. The Radar Trackers (providing all weather, day/night capability) arrived in 1981.
The equipment was upgraded in April 2002 under Project Land 140 (Rapier Life of Type Extension) and will remain in its current configuration (version B1M).
Rapier was replaced by RBS-70 in 2005.
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Woodside Barracks History
1836 - Inverbrackie Settlement established by a local settler named Payne, used as a rest stop for travellers to Adelaide. Consisted of a pub and church and numerous houses (the pub and church still exist today). The church was used as a school briefly during the late 1830's. Inverbrackie was populated almost entirely of Scots.
1882-1889 - The Bird in Hand mine was the main source of employment for the residents of Inverbrackie. The mine was flooded by underground streams after gold was discovered. These streams were later used to supply fresh water to the army camp.
1922 - The commonwealth government put 20 pounds to secure the mine for future use, the mine was then purchased in 1926 for 2000 pounds.
1926 - 319 acres of land compulsorily acquired from WW1 Digger, Mr J.T. Murray, a soldier settler. Mr Murray complained as he was the only Australian in the area where many German settlers resided. This would cause much embarrassment as anti-German feeling was still prevalent being only 8 years after the Great War.
1927 - December 15, 2 portions of land totalling 420 acres were purchased from local residents for 33 pounds an acre. This land is the Woodside military area. Units occupying Woodside camp at this time were the 43rd and 48th battalions, and Artillery sub-units. In the following years prior to WWII 13 Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery (RAA), and a Light Horse Unit were located in the area now occupied by the married quarters.
1939 - September 3rd, WWII declared, the 10th and 27th Battalions were called up for compulsory training for 3 months under 3 Brigade HQ. The 43rd and 48th Battalions were called up a short time later.
1939 - Numerous Battalions were raised and trained at Woodside camp. These units were predominantly Australian Imperial Force (AIF) units and they included:
2/43rd, 2/48th, 2/10th, 2/27th Battalions
2/6th, 2/9th Division Cavalry Regiment
2/6th, 2/8th Field Ambulance
2/7th Field Regiment
48th, 49th, 50th, 113th Field Batteries RAA
A US Army Artillery Regiment was located at Woodside for a brief period
The Cairns and memorials for these units are still located in front of the 16th Air Defence Regiment's Regimental Aid Post and Regimental HQ.
1947 - Woodside camp used as an immigrant camp; however Citizens Military Forces (CMF) and Cadet units still paraded here.
1951 - Woodside camp was home to the 16th National Service Training Battalion upon the introduction of compulsory military service, this scheme lasted until approximately 1956.
1956 - The camp once again used as an immigration camp with the exception of 2 Field Ambulance located nearby.
1956-1963 - Woodside camp used by cadets and CMF.
1964 - 4 RAR raised at Woodside and departed for Malaysia in 1965.
1965 - 10 May, 110 Light Anti-Aircraft (LAA) Battery raised at Woodside, beginning a 42 year anti-aircraft occupation of Woodside which is still going strong to this day. 3 RAR returns from Borneo to Woodside Barracks where they remained until 1981.
1966 - 9th June, 111 LAA Battery returns from Malaysia into Woodside Barracks, they were located in Holsworthy from 1960-1964 and Middle Head from 1957-1960. They occupied the live in lines of 110 LAA Battery who had earlier departed to Malaysia to replace 111 Battery.
1967 - 9 RAR raised at Keswick Barracks, relocated to Woodside Barracks a short time later, then relocated after its tour in Vietnam in 1968.
1969 - 110 LAA Battery returns from Malaysia to Woodside Barracks, the 16th LAA Regiment was then formed. The 1 Division Intelligence Unit and Intelligence Centre were also occupying Woodside camp at this time.
1974 - 1 Division Intelligence Unit and Intelligence Centre relocate from Woodside. 16 LAA Regiment is renamed 16th Air Defence Regiment (light) with the removal of the 40mm BOFORS and the introduction of the Redeye SAM.
1975 - Woodside Barracks houses evacuees from Darwin's Cyclone Tracy.
1983 - Woodside camp redevelopment commences.
1987 - Woodside Barracks totally rebuilt.
1981-2009 - 16th Air Defence Regiment the sole occupant of Woodside camp, also the only regular Army air defence unit in Australia.
16 Air Defence Regiment History
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