Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 8 2010 Contents 27
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CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCE’S COLUMN
from the CDF
Pride in Defence
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to
the men and women of the Defence Organisation
for their commitment during another busy year.
Without a doubt, the many successes we have
enjoyed are a direct result of your hard work,
dedication and professionalism.
I take great pride in being part of the Defence
team and encourage all Defence people to do the
same. Though we do attract some criticism from
time-to-time, I think Defence morale is very high.
We form one of the most inclusive and diverse
organisations in the country. We mentor and
train our people to ensure they are the best they
can be at their chosen field. We employ a values-
based form of leadership that encourages a work/
life balance and a family friendly workplace. We
provide a safe working environment and we treat
each other with respect and dignity.
It is this impressive people-focussed foundation
that allows the Defence team to perform so
success and challenge
This year has been very busy operationally
and we have deployed thousands of our people
to 12 operations overseas.
In Afghanistan, we have continued to mentor and
train the ANA 4th Brigade, contribute to capacity-
building in Uruzgan, blunt the insurgency and take
back areas traditionally held by the Taliban.
A particularly significant development in
2010 was the handover of responsibility from
the Dutch forces to the new ISAF-led Combined
Team – Uruzgan (CT-U) in August. CT-U is centred
on an Australia-United States partnership,
under United States leadership, and it has been
working very well.
Our other operations also progress well. In East
Timor and the Solomon Islands we have been able
to progressively drawdown our troop contribution
due to the continuing stable security situations in
Our smaller contributions to various United Nations
missions continue, as does our part in whole-of-
government efforts to protect our borders and
offshore maritime interests.
In 2010, we also contributed to two humanitarian
operations in Haiti, following an earthquake, and
Pakistan, following severe floods. Additionally, we
conducted a number of maritime rescues and many
exercises with our regional neighbours.
This year also brought great success in a number
of other areas. Of course, there are too many
to highlight individually, but I would like to
particularly acknowledge that we have moved
into the implementation phase of the Strategic
Reform Program and we are over-performing on
our cost reduction targets.
Additionally, the first 11 of our new fleet of Super
Hornets arrived at RAAF Base Amberley. We also
opened the Cyber Security Operations Centre and
enhanced our base security. Our recruitment and
retention performance has also been very strong,
particularly in areas in which we have traditionally
not performed well, such as submariner
categories and female participation.
Furthermore, Corporal Mark Donaldson VC
was named Young Australian of the Year for 2010.
Mark is a most deserving recipient of this honour,
and this year he has continued to represent
the Australian Defence Force with distinction
However, this year has also not been without
challenge. In September, the Director of Military
Prosecutions decided to prosecute members of
the ADF in relation to a civilian casualty incident
in Afghanistan on 12 February 2009. It is currently
anticipated that the trial process will begin early in
2011. This will be a difficult time for these soldiers
and their families.
My highest priority going in to the trial is to ensure
the accused members are in no doubt about their
presumption of innocence and that they receive all
the necessary support they require.
I also remind everyone in Defence that we
must allow the trial to run its course without
interference. It is critical that the integrity,
independence and process of the military justice
system is preserved.
sacrifice and loss
Of course, as I reflect upon what has
unfolded during the past year, foremost in my
mind are the soldiers we have lost on operations.
The sacrifice of these men and their families
should be something that all Australians pause
to think of during a time of year usually spent
with loved ones.
I would like to commend the Army and Defence
Community Organisation for the way in which
these soldiers were laid to rest and their families
supported during their time of immense grief.
As we approach the end of the year, I will also
be thinking of our people who have been wounded
on operations during the past 12 months.
I never cease to be amazed at their determination
and resilience, and I know the Army and Joint
Health Command are doing all that they can to
ensure these brave men are able to spend time
with their family and friends as they recuperate
this Christmas. We will continue to support all of
our wounded people and their families throughout
the year ahead.
Finally, I wish all members of the Defence team the
very best for this holiday season. 2010 has been a
very challenging year, but it has also been a time
during which we can all be justifiably proud of our
By Air Chief Marshal Allan
Grant Houston, AC, AFC
I take great pride in
being part of the Defence
team and encourage all
Defence people to do
As an organisation, we are responsible for the
defence of our nation and our national interests.
Therefore, the work we undertake is both complex
However, each time we are confronted with
a new challenge, I have been very pleased to
see our people working together to produce
the best possible outcome. Without exception,
you do so with a great deal of skill, enthusiasm
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