the reorganisation of the Army during 1973 due to the cessation of
National Service, 2 RAR and 4 RAR were linked on 15 Aug 73, to form the
2nd/4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.
The Battalion was formed up on the
parade ground by the RSM, WO1 W.T.C. Thompson. The 2nd Battalion was
marched back to the rear lines were 4 RAR resided and the RSM handed
over to WO1 Ken Hall.
The new 2nd/4th Battalion was lead off
the parade ground by the Pipe Major WO2 D. Torenson to the tune of
‘Inverbrackie’ and ‘Ringo’. Through the next twenty years of
history the Battalion enjoyed training in a peacetime army and achieved
many successes on the sporting field and in competitions, such as, Duke
of Gloucester Cup and South East Asia Sniper team competitions.
The new Battalion was charged with the
task of preserving the traditions, associations, museums and
proprietorship of the two original battalions from which it was formed
until such time as the linking is annulled. Because of this, all ranks
of 2/4 RAR were aware of the history of both 2 RAR and 4 RAR and
jealously preserved these traditions, whilst working hard to establish a
distinctive image for their Battalion.
Between 1977 and 1979 the Battalion
concentrated on conventional warfare including night and mounted
operations. On 1 Jul 80, the unit was re-organised on fight scales and
trained as part of the Operational Deployment Force (ODF) in close
country and conventional warfare operations.
On 1 Feb 82, with the official
replacement of the title 'Task Force' with 'Brigade', 2/4 RAR became a
unit of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division.
The Battalion was placed on
operational readiness in 1987 and 1990. On each occasion the Battalion
was prepared to evacuate Australian citizens from Pacific region
countries experiencing civil disturbance.
From 1990 to 1993 many individual
soldiers from the Battalion served with the United Nations in Cambodia.
In 1993, 54 soldiers from the Battalion were detached to 1RAR for
operational service in Somalia as part of Operation Solace.
In May 93, 2/4 RAR was tasked to
provide a Rifle Platoon for Operation Gemini in Cambodia. 12 Platoon
Delta Coy, deployed to Cambodia tasked with providing local security for
Australian Army Aviation Assets.
Aug 94, 114 members of the Battalion mainly A Coy deployed to Rwanda as
part of the Australian Medical Support Force for the United Nation
mission UNAMIR II. The nucleus of the 2/4 RAR contingent was Alpha
Company, tasked to provide security for the Australian Medical Support
Force. Other 2/4 RAR personnel were employed in the Contingent
Headquarters, as medical assistants and in logistic support functions.
It was during the Battalion's
deployment to Rwanda on Operation Tamar in 1994, that the Government made
the decision to unlink the 2nd/4th Battalion. This was a result of the
1994 Defence White Paper that identified the need for an additional
Infantry Battalion to enhance the Army's capability to meet strategic
guidance requirements. On 15 Jan 95, LTCOL R.C. Smith who was
posted to Land Headquarters and had carried out the detailed planning to
raise the Battalion, was appointed Commanding Officer of 4 RAR.
A Project Team for the raising of the
additional infantry battalion was formed on 23 Nov 94, to begin
planning. This consisted initially of the CO, LTCOL R.C. Smith and RSM,
WO1 K.R. Kahler. Shortly afterwards additional personnel with future
appointments in the Battalion were posted to the Project Team.
The Courts Martial Room at Land
Headquarters, Victoria Barracks, Paddington along with numerous
computers and mobile phones, were made available for the Project Team to
commence work. This was the beginning of the new technology Battalion.
Manning was approved for 69 ARA and 103 GRes soldiers in the first year,
building to 3 ARA rifle companies and 1 GRes rifle company by 1998. The
General Reserve would also have proportional elements in Support and
Admin Companies giving respective strengths of 556 ARA and 150 GRes.
Therefore, the total unit strength would be 706.
The 2nd/4th Battalion was unlinked by
the Chief of the General Staff, LTGEN J.C. Grey, AO on a parade at
Samichon Lines, Lavarack Barracks, Townsville at 1500 hrs on 1 Feb 95.
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