Description: 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment – Hat Badge – 1st pattern – circa 1985/1986.
Maker’s Name: N/A
Condition: Very Good
Comments: 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment – Hat Badge – 1st pattern – circa 1985/1986.
A scarce and highly desirable hat badge to a current Australian Army unit. This is one of the harder badges of the post 1960 period to find. Note the wording on the badge – 51st Battalion instead on 51st FNQR. Missing some paint on edges else a very hard badge to find.
Complete with 2 pins.
The 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment (51 FNQR) is a light infantry battalion of the Australian Army. The battalion serves as a Regional Force Surveillance Unit (RFSU), carrying out reconnaissance and surveillance tasks as its primary role. Every operator in the unit is cross-trained in a variety of “low-visibility” skills such as weapons, survival, sniping, medic, small boat handling, driving, tracking, air ops etc. It is the only battalion of the Far North Queensland Regiment, and draws its lineage from an Australian Imperial Force (AIF) battalion, which was raised for service during World War I.
In the late 1970s, the Australian government decided that an increased military presence was needed in the far north of the country to provide early warning in the event of incursions in to Australian territory. To achieve this, three Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSUs) were established to carry out ground reconnaissance and surveillance. The first two units, the North-West Mobile Force and the Pilbara Regiment, were raised for service in Western Australia and the Northern Territory in 1981-1982. To extend this to the northern regions of Queensland, it was decided to reform the 51st Battalion. In 1985, the 51st Independent Rifle Company was removed from the order of battle of the Royal Queensland Regiment to become the 51st Battalion, Far North Queensland Regiment once again. The inaugural Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel (Kel)vin Ryan.
Area of Operations
The current mission of the 51st Battalion, FNQR is that of an RFSU, with the unit tasked with conducting land based and littoral surveillance and reconnaissance in support of national security operations in the inhospitable areas along the northern coast of Australia. As the regiment’s name suggests, it is responsible for patrolling the north of Queensland, with its Area of Responsibility covering from Cardwell in north Queensland, north to the Torres Strait, including Cape York and the Gulf Country and west to the Northern Territory border; in total some 640,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi).
On 1 March 2010, 51FNQR became part of the re-raised 6th Brigade. It is currently manned by Reservists supported by a cadre of Regular personnel. A high proportion of the regiment’s personnel are Indigenous Australians.