20mm 3D antique brass lapel badge.
Australian forces were deployed in the First Gulf War under the auspices of the UN. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) provided vessels for the multi-national naval force, which formed an interception force in the Persian Gulf to enforce the UN sanctions. The RAN presence included two frigates and the replenishment ship HMAS Success, which, having no air defences of its own, relied on the army’s 16th Air Defence Regiment.
In January 1991 the replenishment tanker HMAS Westralia left Fremantle, WA, to relieve Success. Four warships, HMAS Sydney (IV), HMAS Adelaide, HMAS Brisbane, and HMAS Darwin also served tours of duty in the Persian Gulf. During the operational phase of their deployment they formed part of the anti-aircraft screen for the carrier battle groups of the US Navy. A RAN clearance diving team was also dispatched for explosive ordnance and demolition tasks. In addition to naval units, Australian personnel took part on attachment to various British and American ground formations.
A small group of RAAF photo-interpreters was based in Saudi Arabia, together with a detachment from the Defence Intelligence Organisation. Four medical teams were also dispatched at the request of the US. Although the ships and their crews were in danger from mines and possible air attack, Australia’s war was relatively uneventful and there were no casualties. At the war’s end, 75 Australian personnel were sent to northern Iraq to assist the delivery of humanitarian aid to Kurds living in the UN-declared exclusion zone, while ships of the RAN remained on station, at US request, to maintain trade sanctions.