Australia has a complex and wide ranging selection of insignia worn on its uniforms, both in the field and in barracks. This insignia usually consists of a national flag on the left sleeve and a unit patch on the right and today we are looking at an example of the barrack patch that was used by the Incident Response Regiment. This patch features and embroidered griffin on a DPCU background and has the hook part of a piece of Velcro on the back to allow it to be attached to the sleeve of a uniform or removed in seconds:
The Incident Response Regiment was set up in 2002 in the wake of the September 11th Attacks in the USA as a specialist unit to deal with chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive incidents. A report in 2010 gave a detailed overview of the unit:
The Incident Response Regiment (IRR) is an Australian regiment part of the Special Operations Command. Its mission is to provide specialist response to incidents involving chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) and/or explosive hazards, including other hazardous material and situations including fire. As well as forming part of Australia’s counter-terrorism capability, the IRR used to provide emergency response and rescue support to Australian Army bases and field exercises however this role has fallen to the wayside.
The IRR consists of about 300 military and civilian personnel (including Army reservists) and includes intelligence, signals, medical, nursing, ordnance, transport, electrical and mechanical engineers, scientists and catering officers. The regiment is defensive and protective by design and has no offensive capability. Like personnel of 171 Aviation Squadron, members of the IRR do not have to pass through special forces entry tests to join the unit, but an in house test has been developed.
In 2012 the IRR was disbanded and reformed as the Special Operations Engineer Regiment, fulfilling the same role within the Special Operations Command.