Published: Thu 1 Aug 2013

The Australian Army donates Bushmaster component to Afghanistan exhibition

The Australian Army has today donated a battle-damaged storage bin from the starboard side of a Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle to the Australian War Memorial. The Bushmaster component will feature in the Memorial’s new Afghanistan exhibit as a tribute to the Australian forces operating in the Middle East Area of Operations, and as a testament to the ingenuity of the design, which has saved many lives.

The Bushmaster, ARN 209330, designed and produced by Thales Australia, was damaged by an improvised explosive device on 7 November 2012 whilst operating with Australian forces in Afghanistan. Three Australian soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Task Group received relatively minor wounds as a result of the incident. At the time the vehicle had logged approximately 500 kilometres and 47 hours of use. The vehicle had its storage bin separated from the hull during the blast.

Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial said the addition of this special item will greatly enhance the visitor experience to what he believes will be a powerful and most moving exhibition.

The Bushmaster is a four wheel drive troop transport and patrol vehicle which uses an armoured v-shaped hull to protect its passengers from improvised explosive devices. The sloping sides on the bottom of the hull act to deflect an upward blast away from the vehicle. The external storage bins are designed to be sacrificial, shearing off from the hull in the event of a blast.

This particular vehicle was received by the Department of Defence at Joint Logistics Unit, Southern Queensland (JLU-SQ) on 3 August 2012 from the manufacturer Thales, and deployed to the Middle East Area of Operations on 18 September. It operated in Afghanistan from October 2012 until it was damaged, and returned to Australia in May 2013. The bin is constructed largely from aluminium sheet, and is painted in the standard Australian Army colour scheme of tan and olive drab with ‘36C’ marked in black tape on the hinged door. Significant blast damage is apparent to the bin.

The storage bin was presented to Dr Nelson by Brigadier Shane Gabriel, DSC, Director General Modernisation – Army, who served in Afghanistan as the Commanding Officer of the 1st Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force.

The presentation was also attended by Mr Nigel Blunden, Vice President External Affairs and Communications, Thales Australia.

Afghanistan: the Australian story will open to the public on Wednesday, 7 August 2013.

CONTACT DETAILS

Susan Lang-Lemckert: (02) 6243 4575, 0409 600 038 or media@awm.gov.au

Marylou Pooley:  (02) 6243 4383 or 0412 646 298

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