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S 4 Far East Strategic Reserve
Members of the Australian Defence Force serving in what is now known as the Federation of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei had coverage under the VEA for specified periods between 1950 and 1966.
To have qualifying service for a service pension a veteran must have:
- been allotted for duty in an operational area either individually or as a member of a unit, and
- served in the operational area to which the person was allotted.
Between 1950 and 1966 Australian units were allotted for duty under Items 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 of Schedule 2 of the VEA.
Copies of allotment certificates are in the Service Eligibility Assistant in the Legislation Library.
Items 2 and 3 of Schedule 2 - Malayan Emergency
Item 2 of Schedule 2 covers the area of Malaya, including the waters contiguous to the coast of Malaya for a distance of 18.5 kilometres seaward from the coast for the period from 29 June 1950 to 31 August 1957. Singapore is not included in the Item 2 operational area. Units stationed in Singapore during this period were allotted for duty in the Item 2 operational area but the individual must enter the Item 2 operational area to have qualifying service.
Item 3 of Schedule 2 covers Malaya and Singapore from 1 September 1957 to 31 July 1960.
From 1 January 2001, ships of the Royal Australian Navy that served with the Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR) between 2 July 1955 and 31 July 1960 have been allotted for duty under Items 2 and 3 of Schedule 2.
Items 5 of Schedule 2 Malay/Thai Border
The Malayan Emergency officially ended on 31 July 1960. Security operations against Communist Terrorists (CTs) continued to be conducted intermittently on the Malay/Thai border in the northern parts of the states of the Perlis, Kedah, Perak and Kelantan.
Item 5 of Schedule 2 covers the period from 1 August 1960 to 16 August 1964. Operations after 16 August 1964 are included in Item 7.
From 1 January 2001 service on the Malay/Thai Border for the period 1 August 1960 to 16 August 1964 has qualifying service. The applicant's service records will probably not indicate service on the Malay-Thai Border. An advisory to assist delegates in determining claims for qualifying service has been issued.
Items 6 and 7 of Schedule 2 - Indonesian Confrontation.
Item 6 of Schedule 2 covers service in Borneo (Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah) for qualifying service purposes from 8 December 1962 to 16 August 1964.
Item 7 covers service in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei and the waters adjacent to those countries is covered for qualifying service purposes from 17 August 1964 to 30 September 1967. Please note that the instrument covers only the period 17 August 1964 to 14 September 1966.
From 1 January 2001 Army and RAAF units stationed in Malaya and Singapore have qualifying service. (RAN ships have been covered since 1966.) Coverage was extended from 17 August 1964 the date of the first Indonesian landing on the Malay Peninsula to 11 August 1966 the date of the Treaty of Bangkok that ended Confrontation. Units that have the later date of 14 September 1966 are Army units in Borneo and RAN ships at sea that have been covered for VEA benefits since 1966.
Members not allotted
Members of the Australian Army, RAN or RAAF on staff, equipment, public relations, familiarisation or welfare visits to or inspections of Australian Forces in the operational area have not been allotted for duty and do not have qualifying service although they entered the operational area.
Far East Strategic Reserve (FESR)
Australian Army, RAN and RAAF units serving on the Malay Peninsula from 1955 until 1971 were part of the Far East Strategic Reserve. From 1997 operational service was extended to RAN ships for the period 1955 to 1963. From 1 January 2001 qualifying service was extended to RAN ships from 1955 to 1960.
Servicepersons who were allotted for duty and who served in the following operational areas have both qualifying service and operational service;
- Items 2 and 3 of Schedule 2 - Malayan Emergency
- Items 5 of Schedule 2 - Malay/Thai Border
- Items 6 and 7 of Schedule 2 - Indonesian Confrontation.
In addition servicepersons who served in units listed on the allotment instruments for the following operational areas have operational service but not qualifying service:
- Singapore from 29 June 1950 to 31 August 1957, or
- Malaya and Singapore from 1 August 1960 to 27 May 1963.
Please note that from 1997 until 2001 Army and RAAF units were covered by Items 2 and 3 of Schedule 2 and RAN units were covered under s.6D of the VEA. From 1 January 2001, all services were listed in Items 2 and 3 of Schedule 2 and s.6D of the VEA. The end date of Item 3 of Schedule 2 was amended from 1963 to 1960. Army and RAAF units previously covered by Item 3 of Schedule 2 are now covered by s.6D.
Service outside Australia in Non-Operational Areas
Subsection 13(6) VEA provides for claims in respect of death or incapacity to be accepted in limited circumstances where the person did not render operational service in an operational area.
The provision was introduced when cross-border operations were being conducted in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) by the Australian Defence Force during Indonesian Confrontation. Since Australia retained diplomatic links with Indonesia throughout this period, Kalimantan was not included within the operational area of Item 6 of Schedule 2. Cross-border operations (known as claret operations) were conducted by 3RAR and 4RAR as well as the SAS. In mid 1965 an SAS patrol was attacked by a rogue elephant while operating in Kalimantan. One of the patrol was badly gored and died before help could be summoned.