Dedication Day - 8 August 2021
The format for the dedication of the Amiens Memorial Bridge was decided in February 2020 immediately prior to the Coronavirus 19 pandemic. Unfortunately, as a consequence of the pandemic all plans have been held in abeyance until further notice. The dedication of the bridge has been postponed until 8 August 2021. More details to follow.
However, the general idea for 8 August 2021 may follow along similar lines to the original plan. This is it:
- 6 and 7 August 2021. Meet and greet in Amiens at a place and time to be confirmed.
- 8 August 2021. Gather at a time to be confirmed in the University of Picardy called the Citadelle in Avenue du General De Gaulle There is a parade ground in that campus that has been used several times for military occasions. Bring your HKFF and medals. Those people who are honouring their veterans of WWI are invited to join with us and wear their hero’s medals over the right breast.
- Last minute preparations for the march including confirmation of the location of the saluting dais and a quick recapitulation of the “eyes right” on the march.
- Form up with banner at front and committee of 1 FD SQN GP RAE Association together with any dignitaries who may wish to march with us forming the forward echelon of the parade. Parade form up in three ranks (if there are sufficient attendees).
- “Quick March” accompanied by a band from Amiens.
- March from the Citadelle into the Rue des Deportes, followed by the Rue de la Resistance, give an “eyes right” to the dignitaries on the dais and arrive at the bridge site. Halt – fall out. Congregate at the gates of the bridge.
- Short speech to dedicate of the bridge – to be confirmed with the Amiens City Council. The first (of several) ribbon-cutting ceremonies to declare the bridge open. This is an opportunity for anybody to form a group and have photos taken cutting the ribbon after the official party has done so.
- Cross the bridge into the botanical gardens and follow the signs to the official reception.
- At the reception, more speeches between the French and Australian speakers followed by the National Anthems of Australia and France.
- Enjoy the French hospitality at the reception.
- Gather in town for a celebratory “Bridge” dinner at a time and place to be confirmed.
- Travel the battlefields at your own arrangement and visit the Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux.
This format was arranged for 2020. However, it may be changed due to the situation in Amiens on 8 August 2021. Please refer to this website for information after February 2021.
Our memorial bridge to be built in Amiens France has been overtaken by the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel bans and restrictions have forced the postponement of the build and dedication of the bridge to 8 August 2021, when hopefully, this international calamity will be a thing of the past. More information on ceremonial and dedication arrangements will be passed on during the coming months.
Our Patron - Brigadier John Carey CSC MSM
The Head of Corps of RAE, Brigadier John Carey CSC MSM has accepted the role of the Patron for 1 FD SQN GP RAE Association. BRIG Carey mentioned that he would scribe notes for a future HOC to fill the role of our Patron going forward. This means that when BRIG Carey moves on in his career, the incoming HOC will also be offered the role of being our Patron automatically.
Brigadier Carey is the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Joint Operations Command, a position he has held since May 2019. He is also the Head of Corps, Royal Australian Engineers.
Brigadier Carey as a Sapper officer has commanded at multiple levels. As a Lieutenant, he served as a combat engineer troop commander in the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment and the School of Military Engineering. As a Captain, he commanded a specialist training wing at the School of Military Engineering. As a Major, he commanded the 16th Combat Engineer (Ready) Squadron, 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment in East Timor. As a Lieutenant Colonel, he commanded the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment in support of the 7th Brigade during operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, South-East Asia, Pacific and the Queensland Floods. As a Colonel and a Senior United Nations Military Observer, he commanded the Australian Contingent in South Sudan.
Brigadier Carey has served on operations in East Africa (South Sudan and Uganda ‘16); Afghanistan (‘10 and ‘11/12); Middle East (Israel and Jordan ‘98); East Timor (‘99/00 and ‘03); and in the South West Pacific (Bougainville ‘98). He has operational experience in complex environments including counterinsurgency, war fighting, humanitarian, peace keeping, stability and disaster relief missions.
His other appointments include service as an instructor at the School of Military Engineering in Sydney; and on exchange at the Royal School of Military Engineering in the United Kingdom; and the US Army Engineer School in the United States. He has also been a tactics instructor at both the School of Armour and the Royal Military College - Duntroon. His employment as a staff officer includes: Headquarters Joint Operations Command as the Director of Global Operations, responsible for military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Africa, Ukraine and the Indian Ocean; and Army Headquarters in both the Directorate of Army Operations and the Directorate of Soldier Career Management - Army.
Brigadier Carey is a Fellow at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies and is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy, Royal Military College - Duntroon, Australian Command and Staff College, University of New South Wales, Deakin University, The Cranlana Programme, ADF Commander Joint Task Force Course and the Combined Joint Force Land Component Commander Course at the U.S. Army War College. He holds postgraduate qualifications in management and international relations, and has completed training with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Harvard Business School.
Brigadier Carey is married to Aly (1996) and has two children, Grace (19) and Jack (16). He has travelled extensively throughout the world, supports many charities and is a keen sportsman.
A teleconferencing meeting was conducted by the executive committee of the Association on 30 March 2020 where the location and format of our next reunion was debated. The majority vote went in favour of continuing our reunions at Twin Towns Services Club (The Mantra Hotel) in Tweed Heads. The format will be similar to reunion 2019 and more details on cost and discounts for accommodation etc. will appear in the next edition of “Follow The Sapper” as well as on this website.
Warrant Officer Class One Sean Chainey, DSM
Warrant Officer Class One Sean William Chainey was born and educated in Brisbane, Queensland. After completing an apprenticeship as a metal worker he enlisted into the Army in 1991 and was allocated to the Royal Australian Engineers.
On completion of his initial employment training Warrant Officer Chainey, was posted as a Combat Engineer to the 1st Field Squadron, 2/3 Field Engineer Regiment which was later re-named the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment. Whilst serving at the unit Warrant Officer Chainey deployed with the United Nations Transitional Authority Cambodia in 1992 and the International Force East Timor in 2000.
In 2001, Warrant Officer Chainey was posted to the School of Military Engineering where he served as a Demolitions Instructor and was promoted to Sergeant in 2002. He subsequently returned to the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment and served as a Troop Sergeant until 2004, where after successful completion of his Explosive Ordnance Disposal course, he transferred employment categories. Warrant Officer Chainey served as a Divisional Sergeant at the Australian Defence Force Academy before being promoted to Warrant Officer Class Two in 2005 and being posted to the 4th Combat Engineer Regiment as an Army Reserve Recruiting Officer.
Warrant Officer Chainey was posted to the Incident Response Regiment in 2007 as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Troop Warrant Officer. During this time he conducted multiple deployments to Operation Slipper with the Special Operations Task Group and in 2010 was appointed the Squadron Sergeant Major of A Squadron. 2012 Warrant Officer Chainey was posted to the 6th Engineer Support Regiment where he served as the Search Warrant Officer conducting certification of all deploying RAE search teams.
Warrant Officer Chainey was promoted to Warrant Officer Class One in 2015 and served as the Wing Sergeant Major of Specialist Engineering Wing, School of Military Engineering before being appointed the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment in 2017. Warrant Officer Chainey, assumed his current position as Corps RSM in January 2019.
Warrant Officer Chainey was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (for service in Afghanistan 2009) and during his service has received commendations from Special Operations Command and Forces Command.
Warrant Officer Chainey is married to Zhaohui. They enjoy home renovating, gardening and travel.