Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 9 2009 Contents news
The final elements of the ADF’s Joint Task
Force departed Indonesia for Australia on 2
November, after the closure of the Australian
Army Primary Health Care Facility and its official
handover to the local health authorities.
The Commander of the Indonesian Earthquake
Relief Effort, Major General Tanjung, praised the
Australians for their dedication to the relief effort
in support of the Indonesian Defence Force (TNI).
“Your performance was outstanding to finish
your mission in such a short time, we look forward
to more opportunities to work together in the
future,” Major General Tanjung said.
Joint Task Force Commander Colonel Mark
Brewer said he was proud of the performance of
his personnel during the operation.
“To see the Australian and Indonesian soldiers
working side by side, forging friendships in the
aftermath of a natural disaster, will be an enduring
feature of this mission,” Colonel Brewer said.
Australia’s 97th Victoria Cross
winner Trooper Mark Donaldson,
VC has met the Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II.
Trooper Donaldson said being granted an
audience with the Queen was a great honour and
something he would never forget.
“I feel very proud to be given the opportunity
to meet Her Majesty the Queen,” Trooper
“It’s something not many people get to do, so I
feel very privileged.”
Trooper Donaldson also played an important
role in the Passing of the WWI Generation Service
at London’s Westminster Abbey, as part of the
official commemorations marking Remembrance
Trooper Donaldson joined British Lance
Corporal Johnson Beharry, VC in laying a wreath
during the service.
While in London, Trooper Donaldson also met
with members of the Victoria Cross and George Cross
Association of which he is the newest member.
“It will be good to share stories about
commitments, the Association and life after the
receipt of the award,” Trooper Donaldson said.
The Minister for Defence, Senator John
Faulkner, announced on 17 November
that the Government released the 2008
Defence Budget Audit, also known as
the Pappas Review.
“The Audit advised on the efficiency
and effectiveness of the Defence budget and
how to improve budget management. It was
independently conducted by a respected external
consultant, Mr George Pappas, working closely
with Defence,” Senator Faulkner said.
“Releasing the Audit shows our commitment to
transparency in Government and highlights the robust
decision-making that underpinned the Defence White
Paper and the Strategic Reform Program.”
from page 7 >
from page 7 >
Some of the material in the Audit has been
exempted from release by the FOI decision-maker,
on grounds such as sensitive military capabilities,
privacy and commercial sensitivities, and material yet
to be considered by Cabinet.
“The Government accepted the vast majority
of the Audit recommendations and these will be
implemented through the Strategic Reform Program,”
Senator Faulkner said.
“We agreed to an alternative funding model
which provides funding certainty for planning and
real funding growth to meet the growing cost of the
military equipment we will need in an increasingly
demanding world. This model is similar to that
recommended in the Audit and, we believe, more
appropriate given current fiscal circumstances.”
Senator Faulkner also pointed to his
establishment of an oversight committee, the Defence
Strategic Reform Advisory Board (DSRAB), to provide
careful external scrutiny of the reform program.
The Defence Budget Audit made a number of
recommendations, which the Government did not accept,
regarding the future of the Defence estate, including
consolidating the Defence estate into a super-base model.
Senator Faulkner has asked Defence to
undertake further work on the issue of base
consolidation. A comprehensive departmental
review, including a strategic assessment of Defence's
basing requirements and a detailed financial analysis
of long-term costs and efficiency gains of different
basing mixes, will develop options for changes to the
estate in a 25-30 year period.
The Defence Budget Audit and a brief
Departmental response can be downloaded from:
and awards issues identified by the Australian
Government in late 2007.
A call for submissions will be released shortly
in the national press. Submissions to the inquiry
close on Monday, 21 December 2009.
“Many people have raised with the Government
the issue of separate additional recognition for
Australian Defence Force peacekeeping service and I
would encourage them to now take advantage of this
opportunity to make a submission,” Dr Kelly said.
The Tribunal can be contacted at:
Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal, Locked
Bag 7765, Canberra Business Centre, ACT, 2610; or
via email to DHA.Tribunal@defence.gov.au.
Future submarine design
A contract has been signed with the United States
RAND Corporation to complete a domestic design study
for the Future Submarine Project, SEA 1000.
The domestic design study will examine
Australia’s submarine design capability and
capacity. Investigations by the Project to date
have aimed at developing an understanding of the
capability of the international submarine industry.
The results of the domestic design study will
inform project strategy options for consideration by
Government during 2010 and is an example of the
Government’s careful planning for Australia’s next
generation of submarines.
As outlined in the White Paper, the Government
has decided to acquire 12 new Future Submarines, to
be assembled in South Australia. This project will be
the largest and most complex defence procurement
undertaken in Australia’s history. The report is to be
completed by February 2010.
WWII z Force veteran
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Stirling, Captain
Brett Dowsing, expressed his condolences on behalf
of Navy at the passing of revered 84-year-old WWII Z
Force veteran, Jack Wong Sue, on 17 November.
“Jack Sue was a highly respected West
Australian who served his country with great
distinction,” CAPT Dowsing said. “He was awarded
the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions in
WWII and in 2006 was made a Member of the Order
of Australia. He will be sadly missed by the local
Perth ex-serving and current military community.”
After joining the Royal Australian Air Force for
WWII, as a 19-year-old Jack Wong Sue served as a
member of Z Force, a special operations
unit formed to operate behind enemy lines in
South East Asia. After WWII he became a
recognised author, prominent businessman,
Justice of the Peace and well-regarded musician
in Perth for around 60 years.
He returned to Perth after being discharged
from the RAAF in January 1946 and subsequently
opened a diving equipment store in Midland.
He was so highly regarded by the military that,
although remaining a civilian, he later instructed
and advised members of the Australian Army’s
SAS Regiment in jungle warfare.
First navy commander
in east Timor
Commodore Stuart Mayer from the Royal
Australian Navy has taken command of the
International Stabilisation Force (ISF) that is working to
maintain security and restore normality in East Timor.
Commodore Mayer is the first naval officer to
command the ISF and assumed responsibility from
the outgoing ISF Commander, Brigadier Bill Sowry,
at a handover ceremony in Dili on 23 October.
Commodore Mayer has held numerous
command positions at sea and at Maritime
Headquarters in Australia since joining the Royal
Australian Navy as a Seaman Specialist in 1984.
Commodore Mayer is a recipient of
the Conspicuous Service Cross and served in
multiple theatres of operation.
Initial delivery of
The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has
taken initial delivery of two Airborne Early Warning
and Control (AEW&C) aircraft from Boeing.
AEW&C Program Manager, Air Vice Marshal
Chris Deeble said the aircraft, known as Wedgetail,
is critical to Australia’s Air Combat Capability and will
play a key role in achieving the Australian Defence
Force’s network-enabled war fighting capability.
“The Wedgetail aircraft is a first-of-type
development and extremely complex, given the
range of cutting-edge radar technology and sensors
that will be incorporated into each aircraft.
“Development, test and evaluation are still
ongoing with many hurdles still to be overcome,
particularly with respect to radar, electronic support
measures and integrated system performance and
stability," AVM Deeble said.
The Commonwealth will eventually acquire
six Wedgetail aircraft at a cost of more than
(AUS) $4 billion.
RIGHT: Trooper Mark Donaldson,
VC, is greeted by Her Majesty Queen
elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
aBOVe: Leading seaman aircrew Brad Mills
(left) and Leading seaman aircrew Dean
Morgan with Indonesian school children,
before departing a school field during Operation
Padang assist. Photo: ABIS Andrew Dakin
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