Home' Defence Magazine : White Paper 2009 Contents 4
The Defence White Paper reaffirms
that alliances remain an indispensable
element of Australia’s security.
Firstly, Australia will continue to pursue
new options for enhanced cooperation with the
“Without access to US capabilities,
technology and training, the Australian Defence
Force simply could not be the advanced force that
it is today and must be in the future,” Minister for
Defence the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP said.
Under the umbrella of the Enhanced
Defence Cooperation Initiative (agreed in 2007),
both countries are exploring ways to develop a
combined Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster
Relief capability to build on joint responses to
catastrophic regional events.
Significant collaboration is also under way in
the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
field, with Australian and US officials actively
pursuing new options for enhanced cooperation.
Australia and the United States have also agreed
to continue development of the Joint Combined
Training Capability which both reduces the cost,
and improves the quality, of unilateral and bilateral
training. Australia will continue to provide access
to training and exercise facilities for US forces.
The United States and Australia will continue
collaboration on satellite communications. The
US-Australia Military Satellite Communications
Partnership Statement of Principles of 2008
commits both nations to exploring further
technical collaboration and joint access to
satellite communications capabilities. Without
this collaboration, Australia would have to devote
significantly more resources to develop the
intelligence and communication capabilities it needs.
Both countries are also committed to
fostering cooperation in other areas, such as:
strategic planning; the harmonisation of capability
requirements and interoperability; technology
access and acquisition; combined operational
planning; regional engagement; research,
development, test and evaluation; and logistics
and materiel support.
The White Paper also reaffirms Australia’s
proud history of contributing to the United Nations,
highlighted by Defence's bid for a seat on the
Security Council for 2013-14.
At least 30,000 Australian peacekeepers
have taken part in more than 50 operations since
1947. Australia is the 12th largest contributor to
UN peacekeeping budgets and Australian Defence
Force personnel are currently serving in six UN
operations around the world. Australia is also
deeply engaged in other multilateral efforts to
promote global stability and security.
The Government recently established the
International Commission on Nuclear Non-
proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) seeking
to shape a global consensus ahead of the 2010
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review
Conference; Australia is an active member of the
international Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI),
which seeks to promote practical cooperation
between states to stop global trafficking in
Weapons of Mass Destruction; and remains
committed to assisting regional states to implement
arms control and non-proliferation treaties, and
promote effective national export control regimes.
The Government has also reaffirmed its deep
commitment to engagement with South-East Asia
and the Pacific.
In South East Asia, Defence cooperation will
continue to focus on supporting the development
of regional military capacity in areas such as
counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance,
disaster relief, and peacekeeping.
Defence cooperation will also assist these
militaries to develop greater capacity to jointly
contribute to regional security when necessary.
In the Pacific, the Government will continue
to lead efforts to promote economic security, good
governance and internal stability.
In recognition of the importance of
Australia’s maritime approaches
and trade routes to the security and
prosperity of the nation, the Government
has decided to make a substantial
investment to double the Navy’s current
Twelve new submarines will replace the
current fleet of six Collins class, with technological
and industry spin-offs from the project to reach
across the entire nation.
a new defence white paper
every five years
In order to periodically adjust Australia’s view of the
challenges in its strategic outlook, the Government intends
to prepare a new Defence White Paper at intervals no greater
than five years. In order to ensure a closer alignment between
strategic guidance, capability decisions and resources, the
Government has directed that the Defence Planning Guidance
(DPG) process be overhauled and strengthened. The DPG will
become the Government’s premier defence planning document
between White Papers. The DPG will be reviewed annually and
will look three to five years ahead to ensure that we are properly
managing strategic risk. The new five-yearly cycle will act as a
series of gates for progression for the key aspects of Defence
planning. It will consist of the annual DPG cycle for the first
three years; a strategic assessment, force structure review and
independent audit update in the fourth year; and development and
release of a White Paper in the fifth year.
The Incident Response Regiment will receive advanced equipment
and training to enable it to effectively detect and respond to
chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological and explosive threats.The
Government will provide additional funding to enable the Incident
Response Regiment to develop a rapidly deployable chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear
explosive capability in support of deployed forces. The Incident Response Regiment will be able
to interdict and recover Weapons of Mass Destruction components. The proposal will include
individual and collective training in a combined arms environment, an increased capacity for
Science and Technology Operational Support, command and control enhancements, and new
capabilities that support countering a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear explosive threat.
Better integration between reserves
and regular service
The White Paper includes plans to better integrate and manage Reserve forces. Whether as
individuals, small teams or sub-units, part-time members have served alongside their full-time
colleagues in East Timor, the Middle East, Solomon Islands as well as during multi-national
peacekeeping activities. They contributed to the Australian Defence Force support after the
tsunamis that struck Banda Aceh, the Solomons and Papua New Guinea. Most recently Defence
Reservists were involved in helping their fellow Australians faced with bushfires in Victoria and
floods in Queensland. The Government is committed to continuing this integration by investigating
additional employment models of part-time service. These may allow even greater opportunities
for personnel to move between levels of commitment based on differing requirements during their
working career. Reforms will focus on better integration between part-time and full-time service in
the Defence Force and removing the barriers, to ensure Reservists can make a full contribution to
the capability of the Australian Defence Force.
The distances involved in Australia’s maritime
geography means that to defend Australia and
our interests we must produce a conventional
submarine with significantly higher levels of
endurance and capability than exists anywhere
else in the world. So while we may use sub-
systems from other successful submarine designs,
the overall design will be unique.
Additionally, the Government has announced
it will ensure the capability offered by the Collins
class remains high with further investment to the
current fleet including replacement sonars and
improved communications. Additional funding will
also be invested in sustainment of the submarines
in order to increase their operational availability.
Providing trained personnel to crew this
increased submarine force requires a new
approach. Navy has adopted a number of
innovative initiatives under the New Generation
Navy Strategy to ensure that the current shortfalls
are addressed, and that a robust submarine
workforce is built to meet this important challenge.
These initiatives, combined with a range of
recruitment and retention strategies also in train,
will provide the basis for a sustainable submarine
force into the future.
aBove: United states and australian
soldiers work together to conduct
familiarisation training with the abrams on
exercise talisman saber 07 at the shoalwater
Bay training area. Photo: CPL Michael Davis
inset: Members of parliament visit
hMas Collins alongside diamantina pier
as part of the 2009 australian defence force
parliamentary program at hMas Stirling in
western australia. (l-r): senator Kate lundy,
senator Mr steve irons, Ms nola Marino Mp
and senator gary humphries. Main: hMas
Collins sails out through the gage roads channel
off hMas Stirling at sunrise.
Photo: ABPH Lincoln Commane
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