Sen. Lambie supports RCB veterans’ claim for service recognition

Following, a recent briefing by Ted Chitham on Rifle Company Butterworth (RCB) troops’ claim for recognition of its service as warlike, Jacqui Lambie has agreed to support them.

Ted Chitham, Sen. Jacqui Lambie, John Cockburn

Warlike service provides qualifying service for troops under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act (VEA) with access to repatriation benefits. In the period of RCB’s defence deployment (1970 to 1989) 9,000 troops were deployed

The deployment of a combat infantry company (RCB) was approved by the Australian Government in 1969 to protect (defend) the RAAF’s fighter assets including the Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) at Air Base Butterworth (ABB). Both were and still are vital facilities in fulfilling our South East Asia strategic international treaty obligations in Malaysia: a country that was engaged in an Insurgency War (1968 -1989) against communist terrorists who were being supported by both China and Vietnam.

Butterworth was also the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) forward operational air base from which they conducted offensive air and ground operations against its insurgent enemy in Northern Malaysia. The ABB was a potential target for enemy counter actions hence the need for an Australian combat force (RCB) as a deterrent and capable of achieving its mission.

The evidentiary facts discovered by the RCB Review Group researchers from both the Australian and the Malaysian Governments’ own records proves that RCB’s operational deployment was warlike and not as publicised deceptively by Defence for training purposes with the MAF.

Despite those facts being checkable and immutable the Government maintains its decision that RCB service was peacetime and similar to garrison duty in Australia.

After 12 years of experience in challenging the Government’s decision through its grievance process we have lost trust in Minister Chester and his Defence staff advisors to justly consider our evidence and we contend that there are breaches in the Prime Minister’s Ministerial Standards and the Public Service Codes of Conduct and Ethics.

We call upon the Prime Minister to appoint an “independent of government” e,g, a sitting magistrate public inquiry. 

We sincerely thank Senator Jacqui Lambie specifically for her support to our RCB veterans and their families, and generally for her advocacy as the veterans’ voice in Parliament.



  1. It has been long overdue and sad reflection on our govements behaviour. Strange how the Malaysian govement recognised their troops and where happy to also recognise ours. But our government declined their offer.

  2. As an ex serviceman having served at Butterworth in 1975, and probably one of the most active years by the CT in Malaysia, I deplore the governments actions towards its responsibilities.

    It was another government, another time, but dear sir’s the current government should have shouldered the responsibilities of its predecessors, and the decisions taken at the time.

    As the 30 year secrecies act releases more and more documentation, it becoming more prevalent that the government has a case to answer.

    It might have been outside the scope ten years ago, but today we are looking at full 30 years and the secrets out for the public to judge.

    Kon Glekas

  3. Kon, Your are right on target with your comments

  4. The true nature of BAB and Malaysia during this time is long overdue for public airing and recognition. I continue to be astounded by the volume of material that is easily available reinforcing our stand on this important issue and the Governments stonewalling based regurgitation of erroneous past decisions. Thanks to those long suffering stalwarts of the group for their continuing perseverance and determination.

  5. Lawrence ‘Irish’ Shaw
    Stick it toem Jacquie.
    The Malayan Emergency ended in a decisive victory. Despite our success in winning a war that waged from 1948 until 1960, the few who are left from the Far East Strategic Reserve are still waiting for recognition by way of a Malaya Campaign Medal. Next year, 2020 it will be 60 years since hostilities ceased, why the delay?

  6. Served, 1978 B COY 6 RAR. Jacki May be the only way to go. A lady that has also fought for her rights.Keep up the great work.
    Mick Tuckett

  7. The above Gov. Knock back reminds me of my time with The Second Battalion (2RAR) during our service in Malaya 61:63. in 62 each rifle coy spent 3 months on border patrols (Malay/Thai ), chasing the elusive C.Ts, we came across various camps but no enemy cited, later C Coy put a ambush in on one of the camps, the ambush was sprung and a wounded C.T made good his escape, But I do recall our C.O. Lt/Col Stretton warning us any soldier who attracts a charge will be charged under the ‘War Act, That statement came in handy some years back when I applied for medals for service rendered, initially in respect of the Malay?Thai border patrols we were issued the A.S.M.. then later I re-applied stating that statement made by our C.O prior to service on the border, To cut a long story short I applied again and was then issued with Malay?Thai Bar to be applied to my A.A.S M.. and then advised to attach to my A.S.M. bar S.E Asia.. Hope this assists any digger with his medal applications.

The Deception


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