Home' Defence Magazine : White Paper 2009 Contents 19
What the White Paper
means for Army
he defence white paper’s
release ends an exhaustive
and rigorous development
process, which chief of army
lieutenant general Ken gillespie
says is undoubtedly a very
good outcome for the nation and its
LTGEN Gillespie said he was fully engaged in
the White Paper process and is more than happy with
Army’s significant inputs and resultant outcomes.
“I was deeply involved in each stage of the
paper’s development. I was supported in my
engagement by a small team of experts from Army
Headquarters led by the Deputy Chief of Army,”
LTGEN Gillespie said.
“Army did have a significant input to the
process, both from an individual Service and a
corporate stakeholder perspective, and Major
General John Cantwell was a key member of the
White Paper Team.
“The White Paper reinforces the pivotal role
of the Australian Army in the nation’s defence and
in advancing the nation’s interests. But, so too am
I happy with the results for the other two Services
and the various Defence groups.
“This White Paper has been produced inside
an environment of integrated corporate debate and
decision making not seen before in Defence White
“The cooperation between the Services has
been outstanding and some capabilities, such as
amphibious vessels, air warfare destroyers, and
additional C130J and Caribou replacements are
as important to Army capability as they are to the
RAN and the RAAF.”
LTGEN Gillespie emphasised that certain core
projects must be provided and resourced to the
maximum extent possible throughout the process.
“My core projects centred on our people,
networking – whether networking individuals or
vehicles; protected mobility and fighting vehicles;
soldier survivability and lethality; and, close
“These projects were my ‘vital ground’
during the development of the White Paper and
consideration of its budget implications.
“I think you will agree, as you see the detail
of the White Paper, that the results are something
to be happy about, particularly in these challenging
On the matter of financial challenges, LTGEN
Gillespie said the White Paper gives clear funding
guidance for Defence during the life of the Force
“The outcome is good, but that is not to say
that we will be immune to some of the financial
constraints that will confront the Government and
the nation over the next few years. We will need
to continue with many of the fiscal, materiel and
structural reforms we’ve commenced under the
Adaptive Army initiative, and which will be formalised
more widely throughout Defence in a program to be
known as the Strategic Reform Program.
“The results you’ve achieved for me early in
my command gives me great confidence that we
will continue to make considerable savings and
that our reforms, in Army or more widely, will in
no way challenge my claim that we are, and will
continue to be, the best small Army in the world.
LTGEN Gillespie will brief as many Army
personnel as possible to communicate the
workings of the White Paper.
“Throughout all of this, I want to assure you
that the 2009 White Paper is a defining document
for the Australian Army, that it has my full support,
and that it gives me and my commanders certainty
that we will bring to a successful conclusion the
Hardened and Networking and Enhanced Land
Force initiatives, as well as enable my vision for
“It is what I hoped for. Its communication and
implementation is now my highest priority.”
‘Very gooD outCoMe’
By Michael Weaver
Army in the 21st century will be equipped with world class
technology, with significant funding to increase the combat
power and survivability of the Army as well as enhancing its
ability to operate as a modern networked, mobile and highly
adaptable force. Improvements to a number of elements of the
Australian Army include:
• A new combat vehicle system which will provide around
1100 vehicles with greatly improved firepower, protection
and mobility. The system will be equipped with the Army’s
integrated battle management systems from inception;
• Around 7000 support vehicles to completely replace the various
fleets of wheeled transport and logistic support vehicles and trucks;
• Greatly improved communications and command and control
systems for land forces;
• Improved mobility through the acquisition of seven new CH47F
(Chinook) medium-lift helicopters;
• Enhanced firepower through new artillery, both self-propelled
and towed, as well as replacement mortars and a new direct fire
• Continued investment in increasing the effectiveness and protection
offered to individual soldiers in dismounted close combat;
• The Army’s fire support will be augmented by the new
Australian-assembled ‘Tiger’ Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters
currently undergoing operational acceptance testing;
• Acquisition of the MRH-90 helicopters will continue. Thirty
MRH-90s will replace the Army’s Black Hawk troop lift aircraft.
They will enter service with the Army in 2011;
• The Government will replace or upgrade the Army’s ground-
based air defence system (currently based on the RBS-70
missile) with more advanced systems that will also include a
new counter-rocket and mortar capability to protect land forces
from artillery, rockets and mortar fire.
During the next 20 years, the Army force structure will include land
combat and combat support forces (infantry, armoured, artillery,
combat engineers, and aviation) that are able to operate as
combined-arms teams. They will be supported by enabling combat
support elements (intelligence, signals and construction engineers)
and combat service support systems (logistics and health).
To do this they must also be highly mobile and adaptable within
the physical and social environments they find themselves. Together
with the other elements of the Australian Defence Force they must
be capable of assuming a leadership role for a coalition combat,
stabilisation or reconstruction operation.
Conventional land forces will continue to be based on three combat
brigades (of around 4000 troops) consisting of multiple battalion-sized
units. The growth of the two additional infantry battalions established
under the Enhanced Land Force initiative will continue.
The Army will be able to combine its combat and combat
support units to generate 10 battalion-sized ‘battlegroups’ tailored
for a wide range of operations.
The generation of operationally-ready land forces will be
enhanced by the formation of Forces Command, located in Sydney,
which will be responsible for all individual and group training.
Forces Command will also take charge of the deployable logistics
organisations supporting this process, along with a helicopter
brigade comprising three battalion-sized units of reconnaissance,
lift, and utility helicopters.
Headquarters 1st Division, located in Brisbane, will be re-roled to
provide troops with final, mission-specific, preparation for operations.
Headquarters Special Operations Command, located at
Bungendore, will continue to provide the majority of individual, group
and mission-specific training for Special Forces personnel.
The Government is determined to further enhance the reforms
currently being undertaken by Army under the ‘Adaptive Army’
initiative. The Government has directed Defence to develop a
detailed implementation plan by the end of 2009, ensuring that the
Army’s internal balance and mix of full-time and part-time land force
elements can meet these objectives.
top: live firing on the woomera
range of a hellfire missile from a tiger
armed reconnaissance helicopter.
aBove: chief of army lieutenant
general Ken gillespie talks with
a soldier during defence's recent
assistance to the victorian bushfires.
Photo By: POPH Dave Connolly
Main: an australian ch-47 arrives
with vital supplies including an
engine for a Bushmaster at the
construction site of a bridge in
Photo By: Corporal Neil Ruskin
Links Archive Issue 6 2009 Issue 4 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page