Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 4 2009 Contents 4
Anzac Day with
After an earlier stopover to visit Australian
forces on deployment to the Middle East,
the former Minister for Defence, the Hon.
Joel Fitzgibbon MP spent Anzac Day in
Afghanistan with Australian troops.
Mr Fitzgibbon attended a Dawn Service to
commemorate Anzac Day at Tarin Kowt and spent
time with troops at the base. He was joined by
Mr Keith Payne, a Victoria Cross recipient for his
courageous actions in Vietnam.
“The Anzac spirit is epitomised in the courage
and valour of our troops who are operating in
challenging environments in Afghanistan and
around the world. We should all be grateful for the
efforts and sacrifices these fine men and women
make on our behalf,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“It was a tremendous honour and privilege
for me to spend Anzac Day with Australian troops
on operations in Afghanistan, and to honour the
sacrifices of fallen Australian soldiers with a Dawn
Service here in Tarin Kowt.”
Mr Fitzgibbon also accompanied troops
outside the wire, meeting with Australian and
Afghan troops that are working together in remote
locations in Oruzgan as well as visiting a number
of reconstruction projects on which Australian
troops have been working with local Afghan
tradesmen and the Afghan military.
“My visit to these areas provided a unique
opportunity to see the progress being made by
Australian forces in building the capacity of the
Afghan National Army and helping Afghans rebuild
their country,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
The Federal Budget was handed down
on 12 May, with the former Minister for
Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP,
announcing the Rudd Government would
fund the 2009 Defence White Paper
and deliver Force 2030 through a robust
As a result, Defence will have a new funding
model that will provide greater long-term funding
certainty and ensure that Defence has the funds it
needs when it needs them.
The funding model will impose discipline
on Defence spending while ensuring Defence
can purchase the military equipment outlined in
the White Paper and properly support Australia’s
serving women and men.
Mr Fitzgibbon said funding for the White
Paper initiatives for 2009-10 include:
• Key capability acquisitions and projects such
as artillery systems, replacement of light
vehicles, upgraded rifles and enhancements to
ADF command and control systems, satellite
communications capability and counter-
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) initiatives
• Commencing work on a Cyber Security
Operations Centre that will monitor threats
and provide response assistance across
Government and critical private sector
systems and infrastructure
• Improvements to Defence Science and
Technology Organisation (DSTO) facilities,
including to the Missile Simulation Centre;
• Remediation of Defence’s ICT
• Pay improvements for non-commissioned
soldiers, sailors, airmen and women
• Recruitment and workforce stabilisation
initiatives for the Navy
• Improvements to ADF health care
• Greater flexibility in ADF housing and
accommodation, enhancement to mental
health care, remuneration and assistance
to families, and
• Remediation of ageing power, water and
sewerage infrastructure across our Defence
bases, and refurbishment of old working and
For more detailed information on the Defence
Budget, visit www.defence.gov.au/budget
Defence and ausaID get strategic
Secretary of Defence Nick Warner and Chief
of Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston
recently signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement
with Director General of AusAID Bruce Davis that
provides a framework for closer cooperation between
Defence and AusAID.
The initiative advances the Government’s
policies of promoting security and development, good
governance and stability.
It was developed in recognition of the shared
strategic interests of Defence and AusAID and
the imperative for closer whole-of-government
cooperation in dealing with Australia’s diverse
The Strategic Partnership Agreement articulates
the guiding principles, strategic goals, relative
organisational strengths of Defence and AusAID,
and coordination arrangements required for closer,
effective cooperation on future activities.
Better support for aDF supporters
A series of Defence Family Forums is taking
place around the country, giving families the
opportunity to candidly voice their opinions on
Defence and give feedback about their own
experiences of the military lifestyle.
The former Minister for Defence Science and
Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, met in
Wagga Wagga for the first of the forums.
“The support provided by Defence families to our
hard-working uniformed men and women is critical to
the ongoing operation of the Australian Defence Force
(ADF),” Mr Snowdon said.
Wagga is the latest in the series of Forums,
which has already included Darwin, Katherine, Perth,
Rockingham, Puckapunyal, Sydney, Adelaide and
“Much of the discussions thus far have related
to the unique challenges associated with the mobile
lifestyle of ADF members and the pressures this can
have on their families; be it related to medical care,
education, housing or spouse employment,” Mr
australia to assist international anti-
The Australian Defence Force will contribute to
international efforts to combat piracy off the Horn
The contribution will help curb piracy in the
region, protect Australian and international maritime
trade and underline Australia’s commitment to
targeted increased engagement with Africa.
Australia will flexibly task its frigate and AP-3C
maritime patrol aircraft currently based in the Middle
East between anti-piracy operations and their current
counter-terrorism and maritime security patrol duties
under Operation Slipper. This will provide a robust
and effective contribution to anti-piracy efforts while
for Army officers
President of East Timor, His Excellency,
Dr Jose Ramos Horta, recently awarded
the Timor-Leste Medalha de Merito
(Medal of Merit) to two Australian Army
Officers for their service to East Timor
during the past 10 years.
Major General (MAJGEN) Mick Slater, and
Major (MAJ) Michael Stone, received the Medal
at the President’s Office in Dili. The Timor-Leste
Medalha de Merito is the highest recognition that
can be bestowed by the President of East Timor.
President Horta said MAJGEN Slater’s
contribution to East Timor exemplifies the values
of the Australian Defence Force and noted, in
particular, his leadership of the International
Stabilisation Force deployed in response to the
break down in security in 2006.
MAJGEN Slater also received the Medalha
Solidariedade de Timor-Leste (East Timor Solidarity
Medal) during the presentation.
MAJ Stone was honoured for the unique
role he played as peacemaker in East Timor
during the past decade. President Horta said his
profound understanding of Timorese culture and
language has enabled him to promote peace and
reconciliation throughout the country, gaining the
respect of its people.
Both men accepted the medals at a small
ceremony that was attended by guests including
the Commander of the East Timor Defence
Force, Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak, Australian
Ambassador to East Timor, Mr Peter Heyward, and
the Commander of the International Stabilisation
Force, Brigadier Bill Sowry.
minister for Defence the
honourable Joel Fitzgibbon mP
delivers the anzac address as
dawn begins to break over camp
holland in oruzgan Province,
Photo: Corporal Ricky Fuller
aBoVe: President of east Timor his excellency, Dr Jose ramos horta, with medal recipients
major michael stone (left) and major general mick slater. Photo: LSPH Paul Berry
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continued p.7 >
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