Defence Minister Announces Review Of ADF Treatment Of Women

The Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, has announced that Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick will lead “an examination of the treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy.”

The review will include an examination of “unhealthy drinking cultures”, the impact of social media, and a “cultural stocktake” that will look at the ADF’s codes of conduct and behaviours.

The review was announced by Smith at a press conference this afternoon. He was accompanied by the Chief of the Defence Force, Angus Houston. [Read more…]


HMAS Kanimbla Sets Sail For Banda Aceh

The Defence Minister, Senator Robert Hill, has met with the Australian Defence Force contingent who will sail on board HMAS Kanimbla, taking relief aid to the Banda Aceh region of Sumatra, in Indonesia.

The crew of the Kanimbla will take the number of Australian Defence Force personnel to over 860 in the Indonesian region.

This is the text of a media release from the Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill.

DEFENCE MINISTER VISITS HMAS KANIMBLA IN DARWIN

HMAS KanimblaDefence Minister Robert Hill today met with men and women from the Australian Defence Force contingent who will set sail on board HMAS Kanimbla this evening, taking much needed relief aid for the people of Sumatra in Indonesia.

Senator Hill said the number of Australian Defence Force personnel now in the Indonesian region had grown to over 460, and this number will increase by another 400 once the Kanimbla arrives at Banda Aceh.

“The Government is continually reviewing the ADF contribution to make sure it provides the most appropriate level of assistance to the people of Sumatra,” Senator Hill said.

“ADF operations staff continue to meet with their Indonesian, Singaporean and United States counterparts to make sure that military relief efforts are fully coordinated and delivered to where the needs are greatest”.

“ADF personnel are doing an outstanding job in delivering much-needed humanitarian assistance”.

“The arrival of the Kanimbla with her crew of 250 sailors and an engineer detachment of 150 soldiers with heavy plant equipment will further strengthen our relief efforts”.

“We already have Army engineers in Banda Aceh examining the area, identifying and prioritising the reconstruction requirements. The ADF engineering effort is likely to focus on repairing port facilities, clearing debris, and constructing camps and accommodation for displaced people.”

Along with much needed relief aid, HMAS Kanimbla will carry the following personnel and assets:

  • 250 Sailors;
  • Two Sea King helicopters;
  • Two landing craft (LCM8’s) capable of carrying 54 tons of cargo each and delivering supplies directly ashore without the use of wharf facilities;
  • an engineer detachment of 150 personnel;
  • Ten 4WD Unimog Trucks;
  • Six Mack trucks;
  • Four bulldozers;
  • Three front end loaders;
  • Twelve Land Rovers; and
  • Various other construction supplies.

Facts About HMAS Kanimbla

HMAS Kanimbla ships badgeThe HMAS Kanimbla was originally built for the United States Navy and acquired by the Royal Australian Navy in 1994. The ship has undergone extensive modifications for its new role as helicopter capable amphibious transport.

Its primary roles are to transport, lodge ashore and support an Army contingent of 450 troops, their vehicles and equipment. Kanimbla is fitted with helicopter hangers capable of supporting up to four Army Blackhawk or three of the larger Navy Seaking helicopters. Two helicopters can operate simultaneously from the aft flight deck, while a third can operate from the flight deck located forward of the bridge.

Two Army LCM8 landing craft can also be carried on the forward flight deck to provide ship to shore transport. They are lifted on and off by a 70 tonned crane. Accessed through a stern door, 810 square metres of storage space is available on the vehicle deck for Army vehicles and other large items of equipment.

For Army and Navy exercises the ship has additional operations and planning rooms that provide for both an Amphibious Group Commander and a Landing Force Commander. A comprehensive and modern array of communications equipment is fitted to support these joint operations.

Kanimbla is fitted with the largest and most comprehensive medical facilities in the fleet.

Source: Royal Australian Navy


General Peter Cosgrove’s Address To The National Press Club

The Chief of the Australian Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove, has conceded that “in retrospect” Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War of the 1960s “was not going to be successful”.

Cosgrove Addressing the National Press Club in Canberra, Cosgrove said: “It was simply not going to work, and therefore with 20/20 hindsight we probably shouldn’t have gone.”

Cosgrove did not acknowledge that the war was immoral in any way, claiming simply that “at the time I’m very clear that the majority of Australians thought we should be there, and it was only as a very widespread public reaction started to persuade the government of the day that it was, and the alternative government, that we shouldn’t be there, that the mood changed.”

Cosgrove ignored the strong body of opinion, including the then Labor Opposition, that had been opposed to the war at the time Australia’s commitment was announced by the Menzies Government. He said: “The men and women who were there of course performed magnificently, and I think, felt, a little abandoned by such a sharp swing in the public opinion which was never really about them, but was about the overall political reasons why we were there in the first place.” [Read more…]


Cosgrove Appointed Chief Of Defence Force

In the aftermath of the “children overboard” affair, the government has announced a shake-up of the Australian Defence Force which promotes Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove to Chief of the Defence Force and sees the departure of two key players in the ‘children overboard’ affair.

The Australian Defence Force is headed by a Chief from one either the Army, Navy or Air Force. Each of the services also has a Chief.

Cosgrove, who first came to public prominence for his role in leading the peace-keeping mission in East Timor, is currently Chief of Army. He is to be promoted to the rank of General and become Chief of the Defence Force. He replaces Admiral Chris Barrie, who is to retire. [Read more…]