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inTeLLigenCe AnD SeCuRiTy
If you are in uniform, or suppor t
someone who is, chances are that
geospatial information and ser vices
contribute to your daily work.
The Defence White Paper 2009 identified
that future operations of the Australian
Defence Force will be shaped by advances
in military technology.
These new technologies are increasingly
reliant on geospatial information and
services (GI&S) in order to achieve their full
But it’s not only the Defence inventory
that has a critical dependence on GI&S.
Defence’s specialists and analysts, both
ADF and APS, provide support to military
operations in theatre, national security,
border protection, counter terrorism efforts,
counter proliferation, critical infrastructure
protection, disaster recovery, and Defence
estate and personnel management.
In today’s knowledge economy, creating
an environment in which Australia can
achieve a knowledge edge through
geospatial information superiority is
This future knowledge edge was the
backdrop for an important milestone for
the Defence geospatial community. On
December 16, 2010, the Vice Chief of the
Defence Force (VCDF), Lieutenant General
David Hurley, and the Deputy Secretary
Intelligence and Security, Mr Steve
Merchant, co-signed the Defence Geospatial
“The signing of the Strategy represents
the culmination of a long period of
consultation and a significant effort by my
staff in, who worked so well with all the
relevant stakeholders, to bring the strategy
to fruition,” Mr Merchant said.
“It also represents an excellent example
of coordination and cohesion between
all the Defence geospatial agencies and
“I am delighted that LTGEN Hurley agreed
to jointly endorse this important document.
Through our respective responsibilities
as the Joint Capability Authority and
the Capability Coordinator for Geospatial
Information, we have a key interest in this
Strategy because it covers almost every
The Strategy is a comprehensive guide
for the capability development and
coordination activities that need to occur
during the next five years.
The vision is to create an integrated,
coordinated Defence geo-domain supporting
Australia’s security and national interests
through geospatial information superiority.
“The coordination of geospatial
information collection and production
capabilities, and the delivery of this
capability to the ADF and wider Defence
customers, is fundamental to network
centric warfare,” Mr Merchant said.
“Additionally, in the future, Defence
will play an increasingly important role
for whole-of-government national security
support, as we progress towards the
acquisition of Australia’s first remote
The pervasive impact of GI&S on
Defence’s daily military and business
operations means that the Defence
Geospatial Strategy is relevant for almost
everyone in Defence.
Systems, platforms, simulations,
munitions, people, personnel systems,
estate and envonmental systems, just to
name a few, rely on trusted GI&S.
The levels of precision now demanded
by commanders and Defence business
managers cannot always be delivered by
the various well known providers of internet
Many of these providers are using, or
moving to, non-authoritative third party
information. Information sourced on
the internet this way may have reduced
location accuracy and issues with reliability,
consistency, completeness or currency.
“To safeguard our people involved in
operations it is vital that Defence has
the most accurate geospatial information
possible. The Strategy aims to guarantee
reliability, redundancy and responsiveness,”
Mr Merchant said.
“We can only achieve the objectives
laid out in the Strategy by working across
Capability developers manage the various
contributing and interdependent projects.
The Defence Materiel Organisation
delivers the right systems to the Chief
Information Officer Group’s Single
Defence geospatial specialists and
analysts use GI&S to create easy-to-use,
trusted and authoritative products and
solutions tailored to the unique needs of
The Defence Science and Technology
Organisation researches state-of-the-art
concepts for leading-edge capabilities.
And leaders and planners focus on early
forecasting of their requirements against
any likely future threats.
Mr Merchant said the Defence Geospatial
Strategy is the unifying document that
describes how Defence will achieve its
ambition to develop geospatial information
superiority over our adversaries.
“VCDF and I are keen for as many people
in Defence to understand the importance
of this joint capability and the ramifications
for us all if we do not strive to achieve
Clear vision set for future
Above: Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant
General David Hurley (left) and Deputy Secretary
Intelligence and Security, Mr Stephen Merchant sign
the Defence Geospatial Strategy. Above Right: The
Defence Geospatial Strategy cover.
By Brian Sloan
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