1. Welcome to the blog – let’s get straight to it! TF Centrelink is a relatively new name but with a much longer lineage. Give me the background…
Our team itself has gone through a few iterations, Task Force Centrelink being the latest. We started out five years ago from the remnants of a US Army SF impression team, with our focus at the time being 2011 DPCU based SASR impressions; being turned onto AUSCAM (DPCU) by other Aussie groups like the Regiment. However, we quickly realized that there was barely anybody running modern, post-Multicam transition era Aussie impressions, and we decided to switch our focus to that.
Our second iteration, which we dubbed “Task Force Aggro”, ran 2011-2013 era SASR Multicam impressions, using a mix of Eagle, Crye, SORD, and Tyr Tactical carriers decked out with SORD pouches, Crye Airframes, and Crye uniforms. However, our kits left a lot to be desired, as at the time we didn’t have much insight or guidance when it came to Australian kit, outside of the couple dozen reference kits we could find on Google. As our knowledge expanded over the years the need to reorganize our group – as well as revamp our kits to not be farb garbage – became more and more obvious to our members.
We reorganized into our third and current iteration, Task Force Centrelink, in mid-2018 to meet this goal; shifting our focus to modern Second Commando Regiment impressions. Over the eight months, we swapped out the majority of our SORD kit for TBAS suite pouches, dropped the majority of our vanilla Crye uniforms for Hard Yakka AMP uniforms, as well as Aussie custom Crye variants (such as their AUSDEV uniforms and FR G3’s), and modernized our small arms collection.
We also sought to expand beyond basic assaulter kits for the sake of realism, and now have a larger variety of impressions, such as our Voodoo medic, with other impressions such as RAAF CCT’s and SOER Sappers still in the works.
2. What’s Centrelink?
Our name comes from Centrelink, Australia’s social security/welfare department. The main reason why we chose to go by the name of Task Force Centrelink is due to our primary mission focus being to function as a CAT (civil affairs team) at Milsim West insurgency format games.
Insurgency format events, for those unfamiliar with them, introduces a civilian populace that you are supposed to interact with and win favor with to gain local support for your faction’s mission – whatever that may be. However, the NATO faction is severely lacking in people who follow the spirit of the event, opting to treat the game as a standard force-on-force game.
When we reorganized, we did so with the intention of filling this niche, to the point where there’s a ROE enforced within our group’s code of conduct when it comes to engaging both civilians and rival factions. We interact with civilians in a friendly manner, hand out items like Australian goods, cigarettes, etc. to gain favor with the civilian populace; and intervene whenever someone wants to turn the event into a war crime simulator – our faction included.
3. Why 2nd Commando Regiment (2CDO)?
There’s a couple reasons behind why we primarily run 2CDO impressions. The biggest one being the kit itself. Australian kit is just about as efficient as you can get. From the TBAS suite to the front mounted dump pouches, everything is well thought out and very high quality. I honestly don’t think any other nation’s issued equipment compares to how nice the Aussies are equipped. Even their grunts get issued Airframes, PVS-31’s, and Crye style uniforms.
To top that off, 2CDO are issued a mix of products from gucci gear brands such as Crye, Ops Core, Tyr Tactical, Arc’teryx, and more; on top of the various bits of private purchase kit commonly seen within SOCOMD. With all that paired with the locally produced kit mentioned above, 2CDO is easily one of the most practical impressions you could run. Definitely one of the sexiest!
The other reason, as touched upon above, is the lack of modern SOCOMD focused impression teams. While there are a handful of dedicated modern impressionists, to our knowledge there are no other Australian impression groups focused on modern kit. Considering all of the above, we thought it was a real tragedy that the modern era was overlooked in favor of the more common DPCU era impressions. We sought to change that.
4. Am I right to say the TF Centrelink family has two chapters?
Yes – we have two chapters. Our main one that emcompasses the West Coast USA and the Pacific Northwest, as well as a smaller chapter that emcompasses the midwestern/southern states and the East Coast.
Our West Coast chapter is currently thriving, with twelve members, with most of them being based out of the southern Californian area. We get together on a monthly basis for training, hitting up local fields/ops, and just hanging out in general.
Our East Coast chapter is a WIP at the moment, but we should be ironing out the issues once people become more active. It should be up to par with our west coaster come 2020.
5. What about leadership and decision making?
We don’t really have much in the way of leadership internally, outside of a few senior members that dictate kit standards, make sure everybody is meeting said standards, and offer guidance to our probies. All of our decision making is based off the reference pics/details shared with us from our friends Down Under, as well as other factors like how people perceive us at events/online.
6. What are the kit standards expected of the chapters?
Our kit standards are pretty high, as it’s the only way we can set ourselves apart from the rest of the crowd. Back when we had more relaxed standards, we had a major issue with people who didn’t know any better treating us like dickheads wearing generic NATO kits who were talking with stupid accents and wearing Australian flag patches.
To combat this, all members are required to wear Hard Yakka AMP/Crye AUSDEV uniforms (with a few exceptions), and must have at least two to three TBAS pouches on their 1st/2nd line before they can start picking out pouches that would be considered private purchase items by our standards. All riflemen are also required to use SORD Tactical Exploitation Dump pouches, which are a huge centerpiece when it comes to our impressions.
Furthermore, we have SOP’s on how we expect our members to wear and setup their kit. Something that can be seen in basically every Aussie SF reference shot is the heavy use of recon wraps, so each of our members are required to own and wear one to replicate this. All of our gunners are also required to run belt kits and keep their 2nd lines as slick as possible, replicating how the vast majority of SOCOMD gunners run their kits. Lastly, our medics are required to run two TBAS/SORD IFAK’s on their 2nd line, which is generally how Voodoo medics set up their kits.
Outside of those kit SOP’s, our members are free to customize their setups as they wish. As touched upon above, provided they have the required 2-3 TBAS pouches and team approval, team members are allowed to use just about any other pouch with their kit, which helps us replicate the use of private purchase kit within the units we bb-larp as.
Our standards for probationers are less strict. While it’s expected that they match the standards listed above before they can advance to becoming a member, they’re allowed to use to use vanilla Crye, Arcteryx, and Patagonia uniforms as placeholders while they work on acquiring more appropriate uniforms. They’re also not expected to have as much TBAS pouches as members are, and can even run older era 1st/2nd lines and helmets if they’re in the process of transitioning from an older to more modern Australian impression.
7. Is it difficult outside Aus to source Hard Yakka, SORD, etc., compared with more ubiquitous gear like Crye?
Sourcing modern Australian kit is a lot easier than it used to be, as there’s plenty of TBAS and Hard Yakka that can be had from Ebay and Facebook groups. Plus, some companies like SORD have US based retailers. Putting together a basic Australian impression can be pretty easy, so long as you know where to look.
That said, there is some kit that is difficult and expensive to source, such as Hard Yakka AMCU uniforms, TBAS admin pouches, and TBAS plate carriers. We try to keep a lookout for any that go up on eBay and the like, and reproduce the more rare items locally when possible.
8. Are there any public reference pics which have been influential that you’d like to share?
I’d say our most influential reference pics are from a photoset from when SOTG were preparing to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Okra, which is the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) contribution to the military intervention against ISIS. These images perfectly show off the variety in kit that Aussie commandos use, with plate carriers such as the Diamond Back Tactical AWFAPC and Eagle Industries MMAC being run alongside the issued TBAS Tier 2 plate carriers. They also gave us a lot of insight into other bits of kit like 1st lines and pouches. These images were highly influential when we first started throwing together modern impressions, and continue to help us shape our kits.
Another highly influential photoset are the images that came out from TAG-E/2CDO’s pre 2014 G20 Summit training exercises. Like the first photoset, it shows us a varied assortment of uniforms, gear setups, pouches, etc. This photoset is also a big inspiration when it comes to how we generally set up our helmets.
Finally, here’s a few newer examples. These are what influenced the setup of our small arm builds. They also show off the usage of more recent plate carriers such as the AVS, the adoption of the Troy Alpha rail as the issued rail for the M4A5, and even a rare sighting of an Aussie HK416.
9. Talk me through the setup of the primaries you guys use.
Unlike their ordinary counterparts in the Australian Defence Forces, SOCOMD units have been using the M4A5 instead of the standard FE88 (Australian Steyr AUG). Originally the M4A5s were issued with the KAC 7” rail, but over time the M4A5 has seen the adoption of the Daniel Defense Omega X 12.0 FSP and the Troy Alpha rails. Within Task Force Centrelink, we take our weapons just as seriously as our gear to properly represent 2CDO and stand out from the rest of the crowd. The most common rifle setup nowadays would be a M4A5 with a 14.5” barrel and a Troy Alpha 13” FSP rail.
For example, we have one of our primaries with the Troy Alpha rail which we will go over in detail:
- The standard 14.5” barrel with the FSP is still used, but the FSP is instead chopped down to function as a low profile gas block, as opposed to switching it out.
- The muzzle device in front is the Surefire 4 Prong, replacing the previously issued KAC NT-4; 2DCO have been switching to the Surefire RC1 suppressors.
- The rail of choice for the M4A5 is the Troy Alpha 13” with the built in foldable FSP.
- The accessories on the Alpha rail can vary from the user and whatever the mission dictates, but mounted at this time is an L3 ATPIAL-C PEQ15 on the right side and on the left side is a Surefire M300.
- Both are connected to a Surefire dual pressure switch on the top section of the rail for ambidextrous manipulation.
- The Troy Squid grips have been added around the Alpha rail for extra comfort and grip texture.
- The optic set up of choice is the Aimpoint T2, mounted at cowitness level with an Eotech G33 mounted behind it to allow for quick 3x magnification when required.
- As a backup, the rifle has a Magpul MBUS Pro rear iron sight in the event optics are not useable (rare these days).
- The pistol grip attached is a Magpul MIAD accompanied by a Magpul aluminum trigger guard – although other brands of grips have been used, as well as the original A2 trigger guard.
- The stock is a Magpul CTR, as they are the most commonly seen stock, with a Troy Double Sided QD sling mount in front of it.
- Other stocks like the LMT SOPMOD, Magpul ACS and others can be used; but the CTR is the go to with modern builds.
- The sling attached to the rifle is typically user dependant; this one is a Ferro Concepts Slingster in ranger green.
A majority of the listed items above can easily translate to a build using a KAC 7” rail, but there is one required caveat; a M4A5 with a KAC 7” is no longer used unless in a grenadier setup. The rifle is required to have a barrel mounted, short barrelled M203 attached to it and the M203 grip is allowed.
We also use a variety of other support weapons such as the SR-25, as well as the Minimi and the MAG 58. We’re also in the process of building a couple Mk48’s and acquiring some HK417’s to replace our outdated SR-25’s; as well as a Strikeart mortar system to allow us to function more like a force multiplier.
10. How you want the team to be perceived on social media?
We’d like people to view us as a group of high tempo individuals who take our craft seriously, but are self aware enough to realize that we’re a bunch of adults playing dress up and yelling incoherently in very shitty Australian accents.
11. Closing thoughts?
In the end, we are a group of friends who wanted to pay tribute to an organization of hardcore, yet quiet professionals.
As a group, we are still a work in progress, and we have many great things in the works. Our group is open invite, and if you have an interest in getting in on the action, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.
12. How can people contact you?
The best way to contact us is through our IG account (@tfcentrelink) or our Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/TFCentrelink/).