Defence crisis as SIXTY outraged SAS soldiers 'will quit' in protest over squadron being scrapped due to 'war crimes' report - as 'insulting' morning tea farewell is postponed after families vowed to boycott

 More than 60 outraged SAS soldiers may quit in protest against their squadron being disbanded over war crimes by some of its members in Afghanistan.

Chief of Army Rick Burr removed the 2 Squadron of the Special Air Service Regiment from the army's order of battle in the wake of the release of the Brereton Report.

The four-year inquiry uncovered a 'shameful record' of unlawful killings, including cases where new patrol members were told to shoot a prisoner to achieve their first kill in an 'appalling practice' known as 'blooding'. 



Former officer in the Sydney-based special forces 2nd Commando Regiment Heston Russell said SAS members are now in 'absolute uproar' and already have or intend to resign over the 'group punishment'.

The Perth-based 2 Squadron Special Air Service Regiment was removed from the Army's Order of Battle in the wake of the release of the Brereton Report

The Perth-based 2 Squadron Special Air Service Regiment was removed from the Army's Order of Battle in the wake of the release of the Brereton Report

Former officer in the Sydney-based special forces 2nd Commando Regiment Heston Russell said SAS members are now in 'absolute uproar' and already have or intend to resign over 'group punishment'

Former officer in the Sydney-based special forces 2nd Commando Regiment Heston Russell said SAS members are now in 'absolute uproar' and already have or intend to resign over 'group punishment' 


'The 2nd squadron has been there since 1964 and has generations of veterans who fought in Borneo, Vietnam and many other deployments in between, many of whom never even deployed to Afghanistan,' he told The Daily Telegraph.

'Disbanding punishes nearly 60 years, multiple generations, of those who served.'

Because the soldiers are unable to mount a public defence, they have written more than 350 letters to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to 'get their voice out in public'.

The mass exodus comes as veterans blast a morning tea and a parade at the SAS barracks in Perth on Tuesday to wrap up 2 Squadron as an 'insulting' slap in the face.


The event, which was slated to recognise the soldiers' service to Australia, has now been 'postponed' after families of soldiers said they wouldn't attend to take a stand against the disbandment of the squadron.

The ADF will instead wait until there is an implementation plan for what happens after the report to properly commemorate the disbanded unit.

Mr Russell, a former Major in the 2nd Commando Regiment and Voice of a Veteran founder, said members and their families were 'disgusted'.  

'The biggest thing that veterans suffer from when they leave the military is a loss of purpose or a loss of identity,' he told The West Australian. 

'Those that have fought under a unit that was 2 Squadron, and people have died under it. On Anzac Day when they get together that's part of their identity. 

'We're just tearing down these symbols. Families of these old guys are calling me saying "hey it's actually really hurting my grandad".' 

The ADF said it would work with the 2 Squadron veteran's community and ex-service organisations to 'appropriately acknowledge their service'.

The 465-page Brereton report, which blames the killings in part on a 'warrior hero' culture among special forces, recommended that 19 people face criminal investigation and called for sweeping reforms to Australia's military.

One particular incident, wholly redacted in the report, was described as 'possibly the most disgraceful episode in Australia's military history'.  

There was also evidence that troops took part in 'body count competitions' and covered up illegal killings by staging skirmishes, planting weapons and retrospectively adding names to target lists. 

There was also evidence that troops took part in 'body count competitions'. Pictured: Body camera footage from Australian SAS forces in Afghanistan

There was also evidence that troops took part in 'body count competitions'. Pictured: Body camera footage from Australian SAS forces in Afghanistan

Defence chief says alleged killings 'not in the heat of battle'
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One of the killings was described in the report as 'possibly the most disgraceful episode in Australia's military history' but details were completely redacted (Pictured: Chapter 2.50 of the Afghanistan Inquiry report)

One of the killings was described in the report as 'possibly the most disgraceful episode in Australia's military history' but details were completely redacted (Pictured: Chapter 2.50 of the Afghanistan Inquiry report)

Australia's Chief of Army said he was left 'sickened' by the landmark investigation.  

'I was shocked by the extent of the alleged unlawful acts that were described in the report,' Lieutenant General Rick Burr told the Nine Network.

'That is absolutely not what I expect of anyone in our army, anywhere in our army at any time, and why I'm so determined to lead our army through this into a better place.'

The inquiry has also raised questions about how Australia's elite soldiers should be represented at the war memorial in Canberra. 

Defence crisis as SIXTY outraged SAS soldiers 'will quit' in protest over squadron being scrapped due to 'war crimes' report - as 'insulting' morning tea farewell is postponed after families vowed to boycott Defence crisis as SIXTY outraged SAS soldiers 'will quit' in protest over squadron being scrapped due to 'war crimes' report - as 'insulting' morning tea farewell is postponed after families vowed to boycott Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:18 Rating: 5

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