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Muswellbrook RSL to provide new home for Howitzer gun



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THE HON JASON CLARE MP MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER FOR JUSTICE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE MATERIEL

THE HON. JOEL FITZGIBBON MEMBER FOR HUNTER

MEDIA RELEASE

MUSWELLBROOK RSL TO PROVIDE NEW HOME FOR HOWITZER GUN

5 April 2012

Joel Fitzgibbon, Member for Hunter, today welcomed news that Muswellbrook RSL would receive a howitzer gun for static display.

Muswellbrook RSL is one of 38 RSLs and historical organisations across Australia to receive a gun. The announcement was made today by Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare.

“The Howitzer will be a great addition to Muswellbrook RSL,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“We have a strong local Vietnam Veterans community and I know this display will mean a great deal to them.

“I congratulate the Muswellbrook RSL for their successful application”.

Mr Clare said that an important part of Australia‟s military history will now be preserved by providing Howitzer‟s to RSLs and historical organisations across the country.

“The M2A2 Howitzer Gun has provided outstanding service to Australia,” Mr Clare said.

“They have been a vital component of Australia‟s arsenal and were critical in providing close artillery fire support to the Australian Army in Vietnam.

“During the six years they were used in Vietnam, Howitzers fired thousands of 105mm rounds.

The M2A2 Howitzers were procured from 1959, before being introduced into service in Vietnam in 1967 to supplement the existing L5 „pack‟ Howitzers in use during that conflict.

The Howitzer can be towed by truck, lifted by helicopter or moved manually for short distances.

The gun has not deployed on operations since Vietnam but remained in service.

RSL organisations, Vietnam Veterans Associations and historical organisations were exclusively offered the opportunity to tender for the Howitzers in August 2011 through a Request for Offer (RFO).

Approved recipients will pay for demilitarisation and other costs, such as transport and site preparation, and will need to be approved by United States Government under its International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

Delivery and display of the howitzers also remains subject to any relevant state firearms and planning approvals.

Imagery of the M2A2 Howitzer Guns is available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/opEx/exercises/ts11/index.htm

Media enquiries: Korena Flanagan (Minister Clare) 0418 251 316 Christine Boyd (Fitzgibbon‟s Office) 0488 654 527