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Exercise 'FARRAN'


7 - 8 February 1958: A tactical exercise without troops, was used to discuss aspects of planning a small-scale raid on an industrial site (South Fremantle Power Station).



First Major Exercise


10 February 1958: The 1st SAS Company departed Perth by rail for the 1st Brigade concentration at Holsworthy in New South Wales, and its first major exercise with the 1st Brigade in the Kangaroo Valley region south of Sydney. Their role was to act as a controlled enemy, engaging in infiltration and harassment. In this, they were highly successful, already showing the benefit of their earlier intensive training in Western Australia. At the end of the exercise, training in parachuting, canoeing and minor tactics was conducted in the Gan Gan – RAAF Williamtown area of New South Wales, under instructors from the Sydney based 1st Commando Company.



First Social Event


6 June 1958: The 1st SAS Company hold its initial social event - a Company Ball.



Exercise ‘PERDAR’



16 June - 22 July 1958: A vehicle mounted reconnaissance exercise consisting of 40 personnel and led by Major Eyles, ranging from Perth to Darwin and return was successfully conducted. The main aims of the exercise were to: assess the feasibility of future long range vehicle patrols in the Kimberley Ranges in Northern Western Australia; assess long range communications; undertake repairs and maintenance of vehicles in remote areas; and practice navigation in areas of poor roads and tracks. The Reconnaissance Patrol followed the North West Highway to Port Hedland, the Great Northern Highway via Broome, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek and then to Katherine and Darwin. The return trip was inland from Katherine via Wave Hill, Halls Creek, Marble Bar, Port Hedland and Meekatharra.




Exercise ‘DRYSDALE’


18 August - 8 October 1958: A composite group called the 1 Platoon Group, 1st SAS Company, commanded by Captain R.L.Barnard, deployed by vehicles to Wyndham in the East Kimberley Region in Western Australia.



The purpose of the deployment was to construct helicopter landing zones and light aircraft landing grounds, between Gibb River Station and Kalumburu Mission. Heavy stores to support the construction were shipped by coastal steamer between Perth and Wyndham. The vehicle convoy to Wyndham followed the inland route via Meekatharra, and the return journey at the completion of the tasks, followed the coastal route back, via Port Hedland and Carnarvon.




Major Eyles Visits British SAS


October 1958: Major Eyles spent two weeks in Malaya observing operations with the British SAS. It was a valuable experience, but he realised that the Australian SAS could not merely copy their British counter-parts way of doing things. The 1st SAS Company had to develop its own methods of operation. At that stage, the SAS Company was manned as an infantry/commando type organisation and did not adopt the four-man patrol concept being used by the British SAS at that time. Apart from this two-week visit, there was little liaison between the SAS units of the two countries.



1 February 1958:

Major L.A. Eyles assumed command of the 1st SAS Company, Royal Australian Infantry.


7 - 8 February 1958:

Exercise ‘FARRAN’.

(See article right)



10 February 1958:

First Major Exercise.

(See article right)



6 June 1958:

First social event.

(See article right)



16 June - 22 July 1958:

Exercise 'PERDAR'.

(See article right)



18 August – 8 October 1958.

Exercise 'DRYSDALE'.

(See article right)



October 1958.

Major Eyles visits British SAS.

(See article right)





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