01 June 2010

Aussie review of Force Protection completed

In July 2009, Minister for Defence Senator John Faulkner (ALP - NSW) asked the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, to carry out a review of the force protection measures available for Australian Defence Force, or ADF, deployed troops.

Conducted by the Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS), Lieutenant General Mark Evans, the review which was released today, included direct discussions with ADF troops in theatre about their force protection needs. And an assessment of the effectiveness of previous and on-going force protection initiatives.

CJOPS’s report was reviewed by the Chief of the Defence Force who tasked the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley, to design a decision-making framework for Government consideration.

The outcome of this work put forward 48 recommendations for enhancements to our force protection measures, particularly reflecting the escalating improvised explosive device (IED) and rocket attacks in Oruzgan Province. It ensured a coherent, comprehensive and complete approach to force protection.

The force protection improvements recommended from the review cover a variety of active and passive measures, which range from personal protective equipment for our soldiers, to unmanned surveillance systems.

Some measures have already been implemented, including improving counter measures against IEDs and improving IED detection equipment. Other recommendations are underway, including enhanced medical support, the upgrading and hardening of living and working accommodation in Tarin Kowt, as well as other capability enhancements.

A key initiative in the package is the acquisition of a C-RAM system for use in Afghanistan, which provides advance warning of rocket attacks. This is a timely and important protective measure which will increase the security for troops in Tarin Kowt and elsewhere.

The approved force protection Budget measures, costing a total of $1.1 billion, are to minimise the vulnerability of personnel, facilities and equipment so that our deployed forces enjoy more freedom of action in support of Afghan National Security Forces.

In addition to the $1.1 billion in the specific Force Protection Budget measure, Defence has also received $485 million for force protection through Operation Slipper supplementation. Further ongoing operating costs for force protection initiatives of $48 million will be sought in the context of future budgets.

To review the report and a press release go here.

No comments:

Post a Comment