Tony Koch
chief reporter

THE 18 soldiers killed when two Black Hawk helicopters collided on an anti-terrorist training mission near Townsville in 1996 will be acknowledged at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Soldiers will create a tribute to the men by being involved in the Olympic torch relay leading up to the Games.
``The regiment sought permission from the Minister for the Olympics and SOCOG president, Michael Knight, and the Australian Olympic Committee following an article in The Courier-Mail newspaper early this year,'' Lt-Colonel Mark Wheatley said yesterday.
Lt-Colonel Wheatley, commander of the 5th Aviation Regiment, said the newspaper reminded people of the tragedy and asked why there was no involvement of the regiment.
``That has now been changed and we will send back our suggestion on just what we propose,'' he said. ``These men lost their lives training specifically for anti-terrorism at the 2000 Olympics, and it is fitting that their sacrifice be remembered.''
Three aircrew of the 5th Aviation Regiment based in Townsville, as well as 15 soldiers from Perth's SAS regiment, died in the Black Hawk tragedy.
Major John Martlew, Officer Commanding A Squadron, 5th Regiment, said Black Hawk personnel continued to train for their anti-terrorism task.
``If anything positive can come from such a tragedy it is the fact that we now have improved support, resources and training,'' Major Martlew said.
The Defence Force yesterday began two weeks of specific counter-terrorism training using Olympics venues throughout Sydney.
One of the pilots involved in the current exercises is Captain Dave Burke, who survived the 1996 collision and won praise for his skill in landing his stricken craft.