- Powell, Brian, RD
- Battles and operations, History - general, RAN operations
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- March 2008 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Peace Keeping, Post Disaster assistance and a number of other incidents have affected us over the last couple of decades. In the first Iraq war, Prime Minister Hawke’s statement ‘No Australian Soldier’s boot will step on Iraqi soil’ was true. Our Navy was offshore, but the PM said nothing about sailors nor flippers!
Again, in the second Iraq war, as in Afghanistan, Somalia and other trouble spots, Australian continues to play a role. We constantly have RAN ships there patrolling and intercepting. Australian sailors swam near shore at Umm Kasr and were feeling for mines with their fingers in the murky waters to clear the way for troops to storm the beaches. The Commander of all allied naval forces in the area off Iraq, headquartered in a giant American warship, was, in fact, an Australian Admiral.
About the author
Brian Powell RD, born in 1932, joined the RAN Reserve at Port Adelaide in 1950 as recruit telegraphist. He was one of six recruits selected into the first post-war intake into an RANR Officer Training Course; he graduated as an Acting Sub-Lieutenant RANR. Promoted Lieutenant in February 1956, he opted for full time service during the Korean War in 1953 and again saw extended service in 1956. His civilian employment, first in Customs and then the Tariff Board, made weekly Reserve training impossible so he persuaded the Navy League and the RAN to allow him to set up the Sea Cadet Corps in the National Capital in 1957. He commanded T/S Canberra for almost ten years. He retired from the RANR on 12 May 1977. He holds the Australian Active Service Medal (1945-75) with Clasp Malaysia, the Australian Defence Medal and the Reserve Decoration.
Brian is an Economics Graduate of the Australian National University and became a member of his Faculty’s Hall of Fame in 1974. He is also a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, the Chartered Institute of Transport and a Member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.
His private interests are in Economics, History and Politics. He is Senior Vice-President of the Doncaster (Vic) Sub-Branch of the RSL, on the Victorian Executive Committee of the Navy League and a Member of the Box Hill Branch of the Naval Association of Australia.