Unit History: Ordnance Field Park
The first Ordnance Field Parks were established during the Second World War. They served with distinction in the Middle East, in Syria and at the siege of Tobruk, and later on in the New Guinea campaign. From 1955 to 1966, RAAOC was represented by a small group of personnel posted to the 28thCommonwealth Infantry Brigade Ordnance Field Park (28 OFP) during the Malayan Emergency.
The Order of Battle (ORBAT) for Vietnam was announced in March 1966 and included a detachment from the 1st Ordnance Field Park (1 OFP), stationed at Moorebank in Sydney, to be named the 1st Ordnance Field Park (Detachment). The detachment and the 1st Composite Ordnance Company (1 COC) were the only independent RAAOC units listed on the original ORBAT for Vietnam.
The original Ordnance Field Park detachment consisted of fourteen personnel (one Officer and thirteen Other Ranks) to service the needs of two infantry battalions (5 RAR and 6 RAR) plus the supporting arms and service elements. The absurdity of the situation could be best demonstrated by considering that the staffing level of the 101st Field Workshop Stores Section, also committed to service in Vietnam was one Officer and sixteen Other Ranks. The strength of the full Ordnance Field Park at home, carrying out similar work to that of the detachment, was three Officers and forty seven Other Ranks. The fourteen personnel selected for active service with the detachment were the cream of Ordnance soldiers at that time.
The Ordnance Field Park Detachment quickly established its position on the hill in the Task Force Administrative Area (TFAA) and began providing limited direct support to the Task Force almost immediately. Included in this were issues of fast moving items from the stock holding of the Task Force Commander’s operational reserve of weapons (eg. flame throwers) and controlled equipment, providing a distribution centre for ordnance items issued from 1 ALSG and Australia and assisting in water distribution in the Task Force Base.
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