17 Signal Regiment

(Home of 110 and 145 Sig Sqn)


by Lieutenant A. Pathania, June 2009

17 Sig Regt

INTRODUCTION

On 30 Aug 06, the 17th Signal Regiment (17 Sig Regt) was formally raised. The mission of 17 Sig Regt will continue the tradition of quality Communications and Information Systems (CIS) support to the Army’s 3rd line logisticians specifically the 17th Combat Service Support Brigade (17 CSS Bde). In its current state 17 Sig Regt consists of 110th Signal Squadron (110 Sig Sqn), 145th Signal Squadron (145 Sig Sqn) and Operational Support Squadron (OSS).

BRIEF HISTORY

17 Sig Regt traces its history as far back as 1954 when the 3rd Army Signal Regiment was raised with its headquarters at Albert Park consisting mostly of the Citizens Military Force (CMF). In 1957 this Regiment was reorganised and named the 3rd Line of Communications (3 L of C). The first ARA personnel were introduced into the Regiment in 1960 when it relocated to Ivanhoe and Westgarth training depots in Melbourne. From 3 L of C, 2nd Signal Regiment (2 Sig Regt) was raised on 11th March 1965. It consisted of 2 ARA and one CMF squadrons. In the following year it was relocated to Simpson Barracks, Watsonia.

 Honor Board from 2 Sig Regt

145 SIG SQN AND 110 SIG SQN

From 1965 – 1967 the Regiment prepared sub-units 709 Sig Tp and 527 Sig Tp to serve in Vietnam. These were incorporated into 145 Sig Sqn. 110 Sig Sqn, also a part of 2 Sig Regt, replaced 145 Sig Sqn in Vietnam on 5th July 1967 and continued its mission and tasks until 12 March 1972. On its return to Simpson Barracks the CMF was restructured and the Regiment became wholly ARA.

On 2nd February 1981 the Regiment formed its organic RAEME workshop. In the same year a fourth squadron was raised; 111 Signal Squadron (111 Sig Sqn) which was only effected for exercises or operational deployments. With the addition of these capabilities the Regiment, consisted of the Administration Squadron, 145 Sig Sqn, 110 Sig Sqn, Workshop and 111 Sig Sqn.

In October 1991 the Regiment committed personnel for the United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC). They worked in conjunction with military observers and support personnel who initially helped maintain the ceasefire and later included running a mine detection and clearance training program for Cambodians. In March 1992 UNAMIC was absorbed by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). In August 1992 the unit reduced, re-organised and re-titled as Land Force Signal Unit (LFSU). In 1995 it was disbanded and 145 Sig Sqn and 110 Sig Sqn were raised as independent sub-units.

 RR in the Sand Hills at Vung Tau   RR at FSPB Coral

Photo Left: 145 Sig Sqn RR Antenna's at Back Beach, Vung Tau 1966
Photo Right:  110 Sig Sqn RR Det Antenna at FSPB Coral 1968

17 SIG REGT TODAY

17 Sig Regt is currently based in Holsworthy, Sydney and commanded by LTCOL Susan Coyle. It consists of 145 Sig Sqn, 110 Sig Sqn and OSS. 145 Sig Sqn is a traditional signal squadron, 110 Sig Sqn providing a step-up and install capability, and Ops Spt Sqn. Where 145 Sig Sqn is capable of supporting an Force Spt Gp headquarters element, 110 Sig Sqn is capable of supporting a smaller headquarters such as a field hospital.

145 Sig Sqn consists of 709 Sig Tp, 552 Sig Tp and 581 Sig Tp. The latter two troops are capable of providing communication nodes on exercise and operations when supporting a Brigade headquarters sized element each of up to 100 personnel. Each troop is equipped to provide military and commercial communications to its users such as deployable IT services, switching, and radio and satellite communications. 709 Sig Tp consists of the Ready Communications Element (RCE) and the Amphibious Beach Team (ABT). They provide a fast deployable capability and are on 48 hours notice to move.

110 Sig Sqn consists of 557 Sig Tp and 127 Sig Tp.  557 Sig Tp provides deployable IT services, switching, and radio and satellite communications. 127 Sig Tp has the only communications maintenance and install capability within the ADF. This troop provides installation and maintenance of fixed telecommunication network infrastructures domestically and on operations.

OSS provides the Regiment with an organic logistic capability so that they are self sufficient on exercise and operations. They provide a field kitchen capable of serving 150 personnel, are capable of carrying 11000 lts of fuel and 14000 lts of water. They also provide a heavy lift capability and can effect recovery of A vehicles from first line combat forces. They also provide two Forward Repair Teams (FRT) for servicing, maintenance and repair of vehicles and weapons. The Q-Store provides facilities for storing weapons, controlled stores, ammunition and rations. They also carry spare weapons and equipment. Lastly, they provide a field power distribution system to power the entire Regiment.

Over the years the Regt and its predecessors have covered operational service across an impressive span including World War II, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bougainville, East Timor, Sumatra, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Sinai, Afghanistan and Solomon Islands. They have also been on Australian inland operations such as Op Gold, Op Testament, Op Cranberry, Op Relex, Op Relex II, Op Resolute and Op Outreach.

2009 is a challenging year for the Regiment. It faces the challenge of a restructure that will see its capability divided between 145 Sig Sqn and 110 Sig Sqn to enable it to have two independent nodes capable of supporting two separate Brigade Headquarter elements. Mid-year the Regiment will participate in Ex Talisman Sabre after which it begins force preparation for deployment in 2010. The Regiment is poised to deploy to the Middle East for an eight month taking over from the 3rd Combat Signal Regiment (3 CSR) early next year.

The last 50 years have seen the birth, rebirth and evolution of 17 Sig Regt from 3 Army Sig Regt and through 3 L of C, 2 Sig Regt, independent 145 Sig Sqn and 110 Sig Sqn to the Regiment we have today. In the early days, even though different in name, it consisted of comparable squadrons which performed similar roles with the same battle tempo. The equipment has changed; the name has evolved, but the spirit of 3 Lof C, 2 Sig Regt and LFSU continues.

Footnote from Webmaster:  After 6 years operation 17 Sig Regt was disbanded on the 13 Nov 2012.   As a result, 145 Sig Sqn is now an independent Squadron supporting the 17th Combat Services Support Brigade (17 CSS Bde).   127 Signal Troop was relocated to 1 Sig Regt.   Sadly 110 Sig Sqn was also disbanded on the 13 Nov 2012 but its unit colour patch (UCP) is reserved.


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