Colonel Tim Ford was appointed as the Director of Artillery in Army Headquarters on 17 January 1987. Tim graduated from Duntroon as a RAA Lieutenant in 1966 and had several previous gunner postings including service in South Vietnam in 1970/71 and as CO 4th Field Regiment in 1983-1985.
In 1986 all Corps were administered by staff branches in AHQ with the Arms Directorates established within Operations Branch. The Artillery Directorate (DARTY) was located at Campbell Park Offices with ten staff – including the Director (Head of Regiment then known as DARTY), an SO1 LTCOL DARTY, three Majors looking after personnel, Field Artillery and Air Defence matters (both future developments and current equipment), a Captain (Pers), the Regimental Master Gunner (RMG), a Chief Clerk and two civilian support staff.
During this period the RAA advanced a wide range of equipment, personnel and “tribal” matters. This period saw the introduction into service of the Hamel guns, the TPQ 36 Mortar Locating Radar, the RBS 70 and the B1 upgrade to the Rapier Air Defence system. But unfortunately Corps Directors could then bring little influence to overall force structure arguments, and several poor ADF decisions were also made in this time, including the disbandment of 102 Fd Bty RAA in the 1987 Manpower Review and the loss of the RAAF “Chinooks” (both subsequently reversed).
During 1987/88 Army also decided to relocate the Heads of Corps and some staff to their various Training Schools. In 1989 DARTY moved to the School of Artillery at North Head under the next DARTY Colonel Bob McEvoy. Colonel Tim Ford was posted to the position of Director Plans Operations Branch.