Published: Tue 11 Jun 2013

Today a ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be presented to the Australian War Memorial by Insitu Pacific Limited, a subsidiary of the Boeing Company. This significant object will be featured in the new exhibition, Afghanistan: the Australian story, which will open to the public on Wednesday 7 August.

Dr Nelson said that this unique item, ScanEagle aircraft No. 274, will enable all Australians to develop a better understanding of the contribution of UAVs to Australia’s operations in Afghanistan.

“We want to highlight in the exhibition the vital operational role of unmanned aerial vehicles, and there is no better way of doing this than to display a ScanEagle, one of the main types of UAV used in Afghanistan. It will form an integral part of the exhibition and will be suspended from the ceiling, as if ‘in flight’,” said Dr Nelson.

The ScanEagle will be presented to Dr Nelson today by Dr Ian Thomas, President of Boeing Australia and South Pacific, and Andrew Duggan, Managing Director of Insitu Pacific Limited. 

“The nature of modern warfare has changed dramatically over the years and the Australian War Memorial does an outstanding job of telling that story,” said Insitu Pacific Limited Managing Director, Andrew Duggan.

“For years, our field service representatives worked alongside the Australian Army and ScanEagle became a part of their daily lives; to have it represented along with the many great historic artefacts within the Memorial is a fitting tribute to the role played by the ScanEagle and its operators in protecting the lives of Australian and Coalition soldiers,” said Mr Duggan.

From 2006 to 2012 ScanEagle UAVs were an ever-present and watchful eye in the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan, accumulating over 41,000 hours over that period, with more than 32,000 of those hours in Afghanistan alone. They provided real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of Australian troops. ScanEagle aircraft No. 274 had its first flight from Talil Air Base in Iraq on 14 December 2006. 

The new Afghanistan exhibition is an initiative spearheaded by the Memorial’s Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and women in the nation’s longest-serving war. The exhibition will depict the experience of Australian service in the Middle East Area of Operations and cover all three services.

“This exhibition will allow today’s veterans to feel confident that their stories are being told for today’s generation, and that their extraordinary efforts on behalf of all Australians will never be forgotten,” said Dr Nelson.

Afghanistan: the Australian story will be officially launched at the Memorial by the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley AC DSC, on Tuesday 6 August. It will open to the public on Wednesday 7 August.



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