1st Australian Task Force
The 1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF) commanded the Australian
Australian Army
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. It is part of the Australian Defence Force along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of Defence commands the Australian Defence Force , the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army...

 and New Zealand Army
New Zealand Army
The New Zealand Army , is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted around 1946...

 units deployed to South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 between 1966 and 1972. 1 ATF was based at Nui Dat
Nui Dat
Nui Dat in Phuoc Tuy Province was the location of a prominent Australian military base in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The site was chosen by Lieutenant General John Wilton in 1966 and was built mainly by men from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment...

 in Phuoc Tuy Province
Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province
Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu is a province of Vietnam. It is located on the coast of the country's southeastern region. It also includes the Côn Đảo islands, located some distance off Vietnam's southeastern coast...

. While the task force was primarily responsible for securing Phuoc Tuy Province, its units, and the Task Force Headquarters itself, occasionally deployed outside its Tactical Area of Responsibility
Tactical Area of Responsibility
Tactical Area of Responsibility is a prescribed area in a theatre of combat which has been assigned to a unit commander who is responsible for, and has the authority to act on, the development and maintenance of installations and the conduct of tactical operations, area defence, coordination of...

 including during Operation Coburg
Operation Coburg
Operation Coburg was an Australian military action during the Vietnam War. The operation saw heavy fighting between the 1st Australian Task Force and North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong during the wider fighting around Long Binh and Bien Hoa...

 and the Battle of Coral-Balmoral in 1968.


1 ATF's organisation varied as Australian and New Zealand units rotated through South Vietnam and the total size of the Australian and New Zealand force in South Vietnam changed. The task force typically consisted of:
  • Headquarters Company, 1 ATF
  • Two or three infantry battalions
  • One field artillery regiment (with an attached US medium artillery battery)
  • One field squadron (engineers)
  • One APC
    Armoured personnel carrier
    An armoured personnel carrier is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles , or mortars...

     Squadron (M-113
    M113 armored personnel carrier
    The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

  • One Armoured Squadron (Centurion tank
    Centurion tank
    The Centurion, introduced in 1945, was the primary British main battle tank of the post-World War II period. It was a successful tank design, with upgrades, for many decades...

  • One Australian SAS
    Australian Special Air Service Regiment
    The Special Air Service Regiment, officially abbreviated SASR but commonly known as the SAS, is a special forces unit of the Australian Army...

  • One Signals Squadron
  • 1st Australian Task Force Logistics Company
    1st Australian Logistics Support Group
    The 1st Australian Logistic Support Group was a ground support unit of the Australian Army during the Vietnam War located at Vũng Tàu. The unit was formed in 1965 as the Australian Logistic Support Company and was redesignated as 1 ALSG in April 1966.1 ALSG commanded logistic support units to all...

  • 161 Reconnaissance Flight
    161st Independent Reconnaissance Flight (Australia)
    The 161st Independent Reconnaissance Flight was an Australian Army aviation unit. Formed in 1965 during the Vietnam War, in September that year the flight deployed to South Vietnam with two Cessna 180s and two Sioux light obersvation helicopters in order to support the 1st Battalion, Royal...

     (Bell H-13 Sioux)
  • No. 9 Squadron RAAF
    No. 9 Squadron RAAF
    No. 9 Squadron was a unit of the Royal Australian Air Force. The Squadron saw active service in World War II and the Vietnam War before being disbanded in 1989.-Fleet co-operation:...

     (UH-1 Iroquois
    UH-1 Iroquois
    The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet the United States Army's requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter in 1952, and first flew...

  • Two New Zealand rifle companies
  • One New Zealand Artillery Battery
  • One New Zealand SAS troop

The Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
Australian Army Training Team Vietnam
The Australian Army Training Team Vietnam was a specialist unit of the Australian Army that operated during the Vietnam War. Raised in 1962, the unit was raised solely for service as part of Australia's contribution to the war in Vietnam, providing training and assistance to South Vietnamese forces...

 was separate from 1 ATF and reported directly to the Australian Force Vietnam headquarters located in Saigon which provided administrative support to all Australian forces in South Vietnam.


  • Brigadier O.D. Jackson (1966–1967);
  • Brigadier S.C. Graham
    Stuart Clarence Graham
    Major General Stuart Clarence Graham AO, DSO, OBE, MC was a senior officer in the Australian Army, seeing service during the Second World War, the Occupation of Japan and the Vietnam War...

  • Brigadier R.L. Hughes
    Ronald Lawrence Hughes
    Major General Ronald Lawrence Hughes CBE, DSO was a senior infantry officer in the Australian Army, seeing service during the Second World War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Joining the Australian Army in 1937, after graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1939 he served in...

  • Brigadier C.M.I. Pearson
    Sandy Pearson
    Major General Cedric Mandsley Ingram "Sandy" Pearson AO, DSO, OBE, MC is a retired Australian Army officer. He is a former Commander of Australian Forces during the Vietnam War, Commandant of the Royal Military College, Duntroon and Director of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South...

  • Brigadier S.P. Weir (1969–1970);
  • Brigadier W.G. Henderson (1970–1971);
  • Brigadier B.A. McDonald (1971–1972).

See also

  • Military history of Australia during the Vietnam War
    Military history of Australia during the Vietnam War
    Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War began as a small commitment of 30 men in 1962, and increased over the following decade to a peak of 7,672 Australians deployed in South Vietnam or in support of Australian forces there. The Vietnam War was the longest and most controversial war Australia...

  • Australian 1st Brigade
  • Battle of Long Tần
    Battle of Long Tan
    The Battle of Long Tân was fought between the Australian Army and Viet Cong forces in a rubber plantation near the village of Long Tân, about north east of Vũng Tàu, South Vietnam...

  • Battle of Coral-Balmoral

External links

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