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Old November 12, 2001, 06:07 PM   #1
Andy the Aussie
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Australian SAS Story

I am not normally one to complain about a story in a Magazine but I guess thisone just jumped out at me...the recent story on the weapons issued to the Australian Special Air Service Regiment, I am not sure who the writer is, or what his link to SASR is but he has a number of serious mistakes in the story...I can really only comment on the sniper rifle as after flicking through this section I put the magazine back on the rack and left it there. I wholehartedley agree that "mistakes" happen and are a fact of life but, if someone wishes to profess a knowledge of someting I believe that he should at least know what he is talking about.

I offer this only in the hope that it will result in a better magazine for all concerned.

Andy
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Old November 12, 2001, 06:38 PM   #2
Dennis
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We're on this.

First, welcome to TFL! Glad you came on-line with us our Aussie contingent seems to have faded out. (No, no, BEFORE the article! )

Next, we'll contact you privately for your comments. We're eager to hear them.
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Old November 12, 2001, 08:49 PM   #3
Denny Hansen
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Andy,

Your TFL profile does not reveal your e-mail addy, but I am interested in getting this straightened out. If there has been an error in our reporting I will point that error out in the next available issue, with an apologey to the brave men of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment.

You can contact me via e-mail at: denny@s.w.a.tmagazine.com

Denny
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Old November 15, 2001, 11:50 PM   #4
Andy the Aussie
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Sorry Denny...I PMed my e-mail to Dennis and have just checked the thread again...I have forwarded you an e-mail that outlines my concerns.

All the best

Andy
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Old November 16, 2001, 10:30 AM   #5
Dennis
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Sorry, Andy. I thought you already had contacted Denny!

Now where IS that ball I dropped?
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Old November 16, 2001, 05:25 PM   #6
Andy the Aussie
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No problem Dennis....I have e-mailed Denny last night....(received a Delay Notice, but these normally go through)...if I haven't heard back by early next week I will re-send it.

All the best

Andy
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Old November 16, 2001, 09:01 PM   #7
Norman Bates
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Since the subject has been brought up i'd like to contribute a little.

A friend of mine brought to my attention that there were inaccuracies as to the weapons the SASR uses that the author of the article chose to fill in from his own imagination and/or assuming that the SASR would do/use whatever the Brit SAS does/carries.

SASR carries HK USP 9mmm as far as I was led to understand, not SIGs. "The USP is the standard side arm of the Australian SAS and most Police "SWAT" style units in Australia" my friend once wrote to me.

My friend, to whom I emailed the link as soon as I discovered it in your magazine, told me that the author was denied access to the Regiment. I'm sorry to say that i can't find the right email because i would not want this to sound the wrong way but that's all i recall. If i find the email in my other PC at work i'll try to post the right wording.

Anyway, after my friend's comment, I decided to look up SASR using Yahoo.com and came up with a lot more info that the one found in the article and all of it more precise.

I'm a little dissapointed with the whole deal now that it has been brought up that most of the info included in the article is hot air. This is the kind of thing that makes people drop their subscritions and loose faith in gun rags. Of course I don't believe this is in any way the Editors fault or responsability but some verification should be conducted on the contents of the articles every once in a while.

NB

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Old November 16, 2001, 11:24 PM   #8
Andy the Aussie
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Funny enough Norman one of the things that was correct in the story was the use of SIGs...I am not aware of the SASR using the USP...and it is certainly not the choice of all the Police agencies here in Skippy Land...QLD Police SERT most certainly do, but NSWP Sate Protection Group, NT Territory Response Group and AFP SOG's use Glocks of one type or another. Of this I am about 99% sure (NSW I am 100% sure )

Not many people get "Offical Acess" of any kind to the working of the SASR out here.

Hope that helps....or maybe just confuses things a bit more.

Andy
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Old November 17, 2001, 03:58 AM   #9
Bud Helms
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Well, this will be a good opportunity to see what the publisher does to correct the situation. Mistakes, based on bad assumptions can happen ... corrections aren't so forthcoming. Let's wait and see.
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Old November 17, 2001, 05:55 AM   #10
Rich Lucibella
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Agreed, Sensop.
Unfortunately, what we have here is two cases of third hand information which contradict, not only the author, but each other as well.

So the question becomes, who to believe? Eitan Meyr is a long time, trusted contributor to S.W.A.T.. Andy's contact and Norman's friend are both anonymous, as yet.

I don't like seeing S.W.A.T. painted with the same brush as gun rags. The best way to avoid that is to investigate such claims agressively and to report the results publicly. This we will do.

Thanks to Andy and Norman for raising the questions. Until we get the answers, I'll give the guy who put his real name on the article the benefit of the doubt. A few months back, one of our authors was accused of plagiarism. The accusation alone caused him enormous problems with his Department. When we looked into it, the charges were unfounded.

I hope this will turn out the same way. But, either way, y'all will get straight answers.
Rich Lucibella
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Old November 17, 2001, 10:55 AM   #11
Norman Bates
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Well, i do appreciate people getting involved into this.

I'll ask my friend if i can use his name or if he wants to get involved in this thread.


Rich: My sincerest apologies to you. I don't mean to use the expression "gun rags" as an demeaning one. Although my english is fairly close to excellent, my spelling certainly is compared to most of what i see, it is still mostly self tought and i do love to use expressions for what i understand of them. Sometimes the expression has a larger sense that i might fail to grasp. I just said "gun rags" as a generic term, no offense meant.
Once again, i apologize.


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Last edited by Norman Bates; November 17, 2001 at 11:17 AM.
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Old November 18, 2001, 05:58 AM   #12
Rich Lucibella
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No offense taken, Norman. And your English is perfect. Mine was more a comment on how I do not wish S.W.A.T. to be perceive than how you perceived it.
Rich
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Old November 18, 2001, 08:04 AM   #13
Norman Bates
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OK guys, here's what i got.

" The USP was introduced in .40 back in 1996 to replace the Browning Hi Power...

...

There was an artical in the Guns Australia back in 96/97 when the USP was first accepted as the Australian SAS side arm "

There is a "Neither Confirm nor Deny Policy" involved here. I hope you'll all understand, as i do. This does not mean that you can not crosscheck your references and draw your own conclusions.

It is my understanding that Andy should be in agreement now with this. I have not contacted Andy in any way. Our sources are different.


This is turning to be a nice and interesting thread. Would it be possible to get the author of the article also involved?


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Old November 18, 2001, 09:05 AM   #14
Bud Helms
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Norman,

Rich is enroute to a Thanksgiving Holiday location. He may be a little slow responding.

- sensop
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Old November 18, 2001, 12:23 PM   #15
Denny Hansen
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sensop-
Thanks for filling in.

First, a little history:

The author, Mr. Eitan Meyr is a former assistant to the Counter-Terrorism advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister. His main fields of expertise are counter-terrorism and hostage-rescue. Currently engaged in several security projects in the private sector, he holds an MA degree in Criminology and BA degrees in Military History and Political Sociology. In short, he does know what he’s talking about.

I was able to contact him just before he was leaving to serve with the IDF for the next week. Since he will not have access to a phone or a fax, let alone the Internet to answer directly, he asked me to respond for him. Mr. Meyr asked me to state that he unequivocally stands behind the accuracy of the article, and that he checked his information through three separate, official sources. He also agreed that the Accuracy International SR-98 is a current issue sniper rifle for the ASASR, and he should have included that weapon. IMO this is a simple omission—not inaccuracy.

Before someone asks if I asked him to identify his sources, the answer is no. I would not place him in such a position, as naming names in a public forum may cost lives or careers, and I will not be a party to such actions. I can only hope that the members of TFL respect this stance.

Denny Hansen
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Old November 18, 2001, 01:54 PM   #16
Norman Bates
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The sources/security issue is absolutely understandable and paramount.

Unfortunately we have run out of manouvering space since this only leaves us with what each one of us believes to be the truth, coming out our own reliable source.

Nevertheless, this has been a great experience and exercise. Each one of us trying to contribute in search of the most accurate info for the benefit of all. Even stuck, I do feel satisfied because we all tried, did our very best and never got into a macho ******* contest, which is the way this thing go more than often.

c u guys in another thread,

NB
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Old November 19, 2001, 01:30 AM   #17
Andy the Aussie
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I guess this is one of those times when we have to agree to disagree.

Andy
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Old November 19, 2001, 10:21 AM   #18
Denny Hansen
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Andy and Norman-

A sincere thanks for your interest and participating here.

Denny
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Old November 19, 2001, 07:13 PM   #19
Norman Bates
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My pleasure,

Thanks to Andy for bringing it up and for proving once again that it's a small world
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Old November 19, 2001, 08:06 PM   #20
Nigel
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Sorry fokes I have been umming and aahhing deciding whether to sit this one out or not.

I am afraid that Mr Meyr after checking with his sources (Tomato, BBQ, and Chilli ???) Has still got it wrong on even basic points that are unclassified.

1) Your artical states that the the Australian SASR was created in 1964. The Australian SAS was first created on the 1st of April 1957 by the then Deputy Chief of General Staff. The 1st SAS Company did not however become operational until 25th July 1957 under Major W.W Gook. In 1997 the SASR celebrated its 50th Anniversery. According to the artical that anniversary will not happen to 2014 ??

2) Your artical states that the SASR is some 550 men strong. The exact numbers are classified and media guesses range from 300- 900. You can ask any 5 SASR troopers with the exception of the CO of the exact numbers and you would get 5 different answers. The basic structure outlined by Mr Meyr is however correct.

3) Some of the weapons data is either incorrect or outdated. Some of the data is correct while other weapons are totally ommited. As NB and Andy the Aussie have said the USP is the standard handgun of the Australian SASR.

4) The SASR does not have UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters for rapid deployment. Those Helicopters belong to the 5th Aviation Regiment some 4000kms away in Queensland. Deployment is by RAAF C130 or Commercial Airliner and arrangments are in place for priority seating and "baggage" space. This arrangment is also used by many of the worlds CT / Special Forces Teams. Once in the area of operation Blackhawks may be deployed to mate up. The only Military Helicopter in Western Australia is the SASR helicopter at Pearce Airbase and that is owned by a private contractor, LLoyds Helicopters who currently hold the SAR Contract. The Helicopter is a S76 that is painted in civillian SAR Colors (Red & White).

I have been careful to ensure that the data I have given is freely available and in the public domain. While I have no reason to doubt Mr Meyr's qualifictions or his previous history that Denny Hansen outlined however this story DID contain errors and omissions. I hope these errors or omissions can be corrected in a later isssue as you do have a fine magazine.

Nigel
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Old November 19, 2001, 09:37 PM   #21
Rich Lucibella
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Nigel-
If this got you to register at TFL, we've already won by your presence. Thanks. I'm not certain exactly how to respond, without sounding defensive...which, believe me, I'm not. We set this Forum up to get exactly this type of feedback and you all have been real gentlemen in this .

I've been intimately involved with this issue since it surfaced. Here's what we have and what I've been able to learn:

- Eitan is who he says he is.

- The omission of the AI Rifle is unfortunate...and can be corrected. However, as you point out, it hardly diminishes Eitan's credibility (or S.W.A.T.'s)

- From sources that we've checked, we've learned that the SAS is like every other Elite Team out there....they have wide latitude in individual choice of weapons and frequently experiment and/or change. (Look only to the number of knives that claim to be "Official Navy SEAL"...and they all are, in the sense above.) This is the danger in writing articles on any special team....your information will always be less than complete in all the details.

- Deadline for acceptance of December articles was July 24. That's the nature of of the magazine business. (This is only different for news magazines or rags willing to "review" products or teams before the info is available). Therefore, Eitan's info would be dated a bit.

Your points are all worthy and spur us on to more precise (if not concise) reporting. We've not been unwilling to publish a correction in S.W.A.T.. However, other than the ommission of the AI rifle (and a check of the dates you've provided- thanks), I don't believe that Eitan's article was substantively incorrect in it's information. In fact, I think it was a pretty good piece.
Best regards-
Rich Lucibella
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Old November 20, 2001, 12:01 AM   #22
Mal H
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One small point Nigel and forgive me for bringing it up. You say the SASR celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 1997 and also that they were formed in 1957. One of the two numbers is incorrect. Perhaps it was their 40th?
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Old November 20, 2001, 07:04 AM   #23
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Mal,
Thanks for the correction as it was the 40th anniversary. I should have looked at my key ring a bit better or paid more attention to maths back at high school all those years ago.



Rich,
Thankyou for your comments as well. I agree that there is frequent experimentation and/or change but troopers do not get to select their own weapons. There are standard weapons and there are mission specific weapons that can be chosen. Its an old wives tale that you can have anything you want. In the case of side arms you can have either the H&K USP or the Browing Hi Power. If rotated into CT then the USP is the only side arm used. The USP HAS been in use since 96/97 so the deadline of July 24 2001 really is irrelevant

As Andy the Aussie said earlier, I guess this is one of those times when we have to agree to disagree.
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Old November 20, 2001, 07:48 AM   #24
Radagast
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G'day gents. I thought I'd buy into this as well.
My understanding is Sig & Browning pistols and AUG Rifles are issued to the commando regiment (reserves), H&K USP & Browning pistols and m4 carbine(?) are standard issue with SASR.

One of my mates is in the commando regiment, I'm holding a USP for him while he awaits his civilian licence, he bought it so he could practise with what the 'big boys' have.

Regardless of who got their story right, and I don't claim to be an expert, I think you may all enjoy looking at
http://www.teamadrenalin.com.au/main.htm it's the site for the unofficial SASR IPSC team.

Regards, Radagast

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Old November 20, 2001, 09:50 AM   #25
buzz_knox
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I have absolutely no information on this subject but just wanted to jump in to congratulate all participants to this issue. Most such threads degenerate rapidly. You gentlemen (and ladies, if appropriate) have acted with a dignity not often observed on the 'net.

I'd also like to applaud Mr. Hansen and Mr. Lucibella for welcoming constructive criticism. It says a lot about the people running the show and the magazine.
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