30 June 2011

AUS: Return of the Tartan Terror

Excited family members welcomed home the crew of the Australian Warship HMAS Stuart today as she returned to Sydney after a successful six-month mission in the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO). 

The Anzac Class Frigate was also met on the wharf by Defence Minister Stephen Smith, New South Wales Governor Professor Marie Bashir, and other Federal, State and Local Government officials, as she berthed alongside at Garden Island. 

The crew of the vessel, which is affectionately known as the Tartan Terror, presented loved ones with red roses as they were reunited on the wharf. 

Stuart set sail for the MEAO in December to play a vital role in Operation Slipper: Australia’s military contribution to the international counter terrorism campaign in the Middle East, and counter piracy activities in the Gulf of Aden. 

Her 191 crew members served with distinction during the deployment which featured 300 vessel queries, more than 19 boardings, and a search and rescue operation. 

The Fast Helicopter Frigate (FFH) also rendered assistance to several vessels that needed medical and mechanical assistance. 

Her most notable achievements included rescuing three Yemeni fishermen held hostage by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa; and disabling an unoccupied pirate skiff by live fire using her 12.7mm Mini-Typhoon. 

Defence Minister Stephen Smith praised the crew’s dedication to the mission. 

“These operations are very important in maintaining and developing maritime security and stability and prosperity in the Middle East area.’ 

Stuart and her crew lived up to the ships motto ‘Always Prepared’ and lived up to her core values of readiness and vigilance,” he said. 

Over the course of the 184 day deployment Stuart travelled 70,000 kilometres, and her embarked helicopter completed over 113 sorties, amassing more than 330 hours in the air. 

The ships company exchanged more than 4,000kg of mail to keep in touch with friends and family back home in Australia. 

They also raised $11,000 for the Queensland Flood Appeal and $3,000 for the Red Kite Children’s Charity through auctions, donations, and fund-raising events held onboard. 

The Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore thanked the families of the ships company for their sacrifice. 

“Our men and women cannot deploy without the support of their families and friends.’ 

‘I know from personal experience the challenges and difficulties in seeing loved ones deploy to a tense and sometimes hostile environment. Your sacrifices are not forgotten,” he said. 

The West Australian based frigate HMAS Toowoomba departed Australia for the MEAO in May to take over Operation Slipper duties and enable Stuart to return home. 

Stuart’s return to Sydney marks the end of the twenty-fifth rotation of Royal Australian Navy ships to the Middle East since September 2001.


AUS: Land reserved for future submarines

South Australian Premier Mike Rann and Federal Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today signed a land agreement that again reaffirms the multi-billion dollar Future Submarines will be assembled in Adelaide.

Mr Rann says the Memorandum of Understanding reinforces the Federal Government’s decision, as outlined in the 2009 Defence White Paper that commits to assembling Australia’s 12 new Future Submarines in South Australia.

“The State is working closely with the Defence Materiel Organisation to determine how best Techport Australia’s Common User Facility can support the project,” Mr Rann said.

“When we made the decision to develop and invest more than $300 million in the Common User Facility in 2005, we had always intended the precinct would be expanded.

“This is because we wanted to ensure Techport was capable of supporting future naval shipbuilding activity.

“This agreement signed today ensures that the Commonwealth’s Defence Materiel Organisation has first option over what happens to land adjacent to Techport.

“Strategically, this is an important move. The land immediately adjacent to Techport Australia has been identified as suitable for use in connection with the build or assembly of Australia’s Future Submarines.”

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare said:

“This agreement assures the Commonwealth first access to about seven hectares of strategic land adjacent to Techport’s Common User Facility, for use by organisations directly involved with the Future Submarine Project.

“South Australia has a well-deserved reputation as the ‘Defence State’. It’s the home of submarine maintenance and the Air Warfare Destroyer project. It’s also where the next generation of submarines will be assembled.

“This agreement is another example of Premier Rann thinking ahead. It’s because of decisions like this that South Australia punches above its weight when it comes to Defence.”

USA: Essex ARG Embarks 31st MEU for Talisman Sabre 2011

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Eva-Marie Ramsaran 

OKINAWA, Japan - Ships of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) embarked more than 2,000 Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) at White Beach Naval Facility in Okinawa, Japan June 27 for the upcoming exercise Talisman Sabre 2011.

Talisman Sabre 2011 is a biennial training activity aimed at improving and validating the Australian Defense Force and United States combat readiness and interoperability as a combined joint task force.

“The purpose of the MEU embarking aboard Essex is to bring all the assets required to conduct amphibious raids, assaults, humanitarian assistance, noncombatant evacuation operations and tactical exercises during the deployment,” said Gunnery Sgt. Enrique Perez, Amphibious Squadron 11 combat cargo assistant. “We come prepared with more than just what is needed for the U.S.-Australian exercise, we plan for real world contingencies as well.”

Given a compressed time span and newly trained junior Marines, the combat cargo departments of USS Essex (LHD 2) and USS Germantown (LSD 42) moved more than 110 vehicles and 320 pieces of cargo aboard the two ships. Additionally, they helped load elements of the battalion landing team, the ground combat element, aviation combat element and the combat logistics battalion.

To prepare for Talisman Sabre, the MEU has also been making preparations since last year for an Australian government quarantine inspection on all of its aircraft, vehicles and equipment.

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) is the Australian government agency responsible for enforcing Australian quarantine laws. The Essex ARG and 31st MEU will coordinate with AQIS to ensure the safety of all ARG and MEU assets, Australian exercise participants and Australian citizens.

Lt. Col. William Arick, commanding officer of Combat Logistics Battalion 31, said the inspection is the Australian government’s way of ensuring that the country is not contaminated with a plant or animal that is not native and does not have any natural predators.

“To ensure we were able to clean and prepare our equipment to stringent agricultural standards for Australia, Marines across the MEU had to disassemble our vehicles and equipment,” said Arick. “We cleaned every piece individually, and spent countless hours pressure washing the vehicles from top to bottom. We worked hand-in-hand with Australian inspectors to ensure every item was clean and without any dirt or other contaminants.”

Talisman Sabre 2011 will give the Essex ARG Sailors and 31st MEU Marines the opportunity to integrate during operations in a combined and joint environment, working alongside their Australian counterparts.

For many of the Sailors aboard Essex, it is their first ship deployment and they haven’t had the opportunity to work with Marines in their career.

“This is my fourth deployment where we have had to integrate with Marines in our shop,” said Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Katherine Zehner, from Amphibious Squadron Eleven who serves in the Joint Intelligence Center as a fleet intelligence watch officer. “So far, we get along really well in our shop and we our coordinating together on certain missions for Talisman Sabre.”

The Essex ARG includes the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown. With the embarked 31st MEU, the Essex ARG will join 11,000 U.S. and 9,000 Australian personnel for participation in Talisman Sabre 2011.   

US Pacific Fleet

USA: George Washington Conducts First CBR drill for Summer Patrol

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erin Devenberg 

SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 29, 2011) - Armed with MCU-2/P gas masks, Sailors aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) manned their designated repair lockers to train for combat in a contaminated environment. The chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) drill was George Washington’s first since getting underway June 12.

“We need to train and train hard for every possible scenario,” said George Washington’s commanding officer, Capt. David Lausman. “We operate peacefully in international waters but we still need to always be prepared for all different forms of attack.”

The CBR drill is a simulation to practice mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) levels which range from one to four. Level one indicates a threat is possible while at level four, intelligence suggest an attack using chemical, biological or radiological weapons is imminent and the crew is ordered to put on their MOPP gear. The protective postures are also used in the event a ship passes through a chemical cloud or is exposed to fallout.

For Engineman Fireman Aaron Bates from Newport Beach, Calif., a new Sailor aboard George Washington, this evolution was a great reminder of the first time he donned the CBR protective gear.

“[Putting the gear on] brought me back to boot camp,” said Bates “I forgot how constricting it was after putting it on, but it was a good exercise and it was good to refresh myself of the basic fundamentals [of CBR drills].”

MCU-2/P masks protect Sailors against agents meant to harm them in warfare. For the 5,500 Sailors aboard George Washington, this goal is to get the mask on in just eight seconds. For the newest members of the crew, more senior Sailors were on hand to coach and motivate them to meet this requirement.

“They did quite well; everyone pitched in,” said Chief Machinist’s Mate Ralph Galvan from Corpus Christi, Texas. “For the new guys, the more experienced [Sailors] helped orientate them to the drill. I was pretty impressed by everyone out here today.”

“From fighting simulated fires to mock chemical attack, we train day and night to make sure when something happens, we respond correctly and that everyone operates off the same page. That’s the only way to be successful; train, train, train,” said Lausman.

George Washington returned to patrolling the waters of the Western Pacific ocean on June 12, 2011, departing her forward operating base of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Onboard are more than 5,500 Sailors from George Washington and Carrier Air Wing Five. George Washington’s mission is to ensure security and stability in the Western Pacific and to be in position to work with our allies and regional partners to respond to any crisis across the operational spectrum as directed.   

US Pacific Fleet

USA: U.S., Philippine Navies Join for 17th CARAT Exercise

From Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Public Affairs 

PUERTO PRINCESSA, Philippines -- Three U.S. Navy ships arrived in Puerto Princesa, Philippines, to launch the 17th Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines, June 28.

Guided-missile destroyers USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS Howard (DDG 83) and diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50) are the U.S. Navy's centerpieces for the exercise, which features 11 days of training exchanges with the Philippine navy, both ashore and at sea.

This year marks the second time in recent years that CARAT has been held in Palawan. The exercise was held in Puerto Princesa in 2008; in 2009, the exercise was held in Cebu, and in 2010 at Subic Bay.

Ashore training includes such specialties as Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) exercises; diver training; salvage operations; joint medical, dental and civic action projects, and aircrew familiarization exchanges. Additionally, there will be symposia on operations planning, search and rescue practices, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, interagency cooperation and public affairs.

The at sea phase of CARAT focuses on developing maritime security capabilities in areas such as maritime interdiction, information sharing, combined operations at sea, patrol operations and gunnery exercises, plus anti-piracy and anti-smuggling exercises. 

"The U.S. and Philippine navies have a long history of working together, and exercises like CARAT provide a great venue for us to hone our skills and increase our interoperability," said Capt. David Welch, Commander, Task Group 73.1 and the commander for the exercise.

Approximately 800 U.S. Navy personnel are participating in CARAT Philippines 2011. In addition to the three ships, other participants include U.S. Navy Seabees, a U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST), U.S. Navy Mobile Security Squadron, U.S. Navy Riverine Forces, Medical Support personnel, and P-3C Orion and SH-60 Seahawk aircraft.

CARAT is a series of annual bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the Armed Forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The CARAT series began in 1995 with six partner nations; Cambodia joined the series in 2009, and Bangladesh joined in 2010.

US Pacific Fleet

USA: U.S., South Korean Alliance ‘Never Stronger,’ Sharp Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 29, 2011 – The relationship between the United States and South Korea has never been stronger, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea said here yesterday.

Army Gen. Walter “Skip” Sharp, who is nearing the end of his term in Seoul, said the alliance is key to providing security in a strategic area of the world area vital to U.S. national interests.

Deterring North Korea remains the main focus of the alliance. North Korea is spending its limited money on military capabilities, he said, specifically on special operations forces, developing nuclear weapons and developing ballistic missile capabilities. North Korean leaders would rather spend money on military capabilities than on their people who are starving to death or are chronically undernourished, he said.

North Korea is the world’s first three-generation communist dynasty. Kim Il-sung was the founding dictator. He passed leadership to his son Kim Jung-il whose son Kim Jung-un is the heir apparent.

The North Korean strategy appears to be on the same path it has been, “specifically to provoke, to demand concessions, get as much as they can, and then to provoke again,” Sharp said.

In 2010, there were two provocations – the Cheonan attack in March and the shelling of Yeongpyeong Island in November.

“North Korea tries to influence and coerce several different audiences in order to threaten people, in order to be able to gain concessions, threaten people in order to make a statement that their regime is on the right course,” the general said.

The attacks last year were designed to break down the support for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s policy and strategy of not just giving things to North Korea, but making North Korea first demonstrate some changes before rewarding the regime.

“I think what North Korean leader Kim Jung-il was hoping to do with those two attacks last year was force the South Korean people to say this is too dangerous, we need to change our strategy and just go back to giving things to North Korea,” he said.

It did not work, especially in view of the South Korean fury following the attack on Yeongpyeong Island.

“Every South Korean who had a smart phone watched live as their country was shelled by North Korea,” Sharp said. “That got people of all ages, across all economic backgrounds to say they can’t stand for this anymore -- a strong response needs to happen for any future provocations.”

Overall, the North Korean military is an old style military that is pretty good at small unit tactics, but not much beyond that, the general said.

“But when you consider the size of their military and their location, they don’t have to be that good,” he said. “Their main goal is – if they were to attack – is just to attack south and kill as many [they] can.”

North Korea has a dangerous military, “but if you look at it from the perspective of the alliance, I’m very confident if North Korea were to attack we would be able to – as an alliance – be able to stop them south of Seoul and then eventually be able to complete the destruction of the North Korean military.”

Tour lengths for U.S. service members are increasing in the nation. “If you are a single service member, you come basically for one year and you can elect to stay for two years or three years with some incentive pay that goes with it,” he said. “Eventually, as we move toward full tour normalization is to have it just like Germany or Japan.”

South Korea is marking the 61st anniversary of the battles of the Korean War. Sharp said returning American veterans of the war – many of whom have not been back since the 1950s – cannot believe the changes in Korea since the war. Korea is now the 13th largest economy in the world. Metropolitan Seoul has a population in excess of 25 million.

The general was born in 1952 while his father was deployed with the 40th Infantry Division to Korea. The sacrifices made by that generation and millions of American servicemembers who have been assigned to Korea since then, inspire him to make the alliance between the two countries even closer, he said.

“There is a strong desire within me to strengthen the alliance, and continue to do what we can to get changes in North Korea so eventually this can come to the right end and have a reunified peninsula where people are valued and freedom and education is valued,” he said.


29 June 2011

Reforms to strengthen Australian Defence Industry

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced reforms to increase opportunities for the Australian industry to compete for Defence work.

Mr Clare announced reforms to broaden and strengthen the Australian Industry Capability Program.

Currently Defence projects valued at more than $50 million require tenderers to submit an Australian Industry Capability Plan.

These plans outline how a company intends to involve Australian industry in the project through things like the use of sub-contractors or involvement in global supply chains.

Mr Clare today announced the following reforms to Australian Industry Capability Plans:
  • The threshold for mandatory AICPs will be reduced from $50 million to $20 million. This means around 27 additional projects in the Defence Capability Plan will now require AICPs. It means more opportunities for Australian businesses. It will apply to all tenders from 1 July 2011.
  • The ability of a company to arbitrarily reduce the level and type of work included in an AICP will be removed. Any Contract Change Proposal which alters the intent or outcome of a contracted ACIP will need to be approved by the Head of Commercial and Enabling Services DMO. Companies that breach their AICP obligations will be listed in the Defence Annual Report.
  • A new clause will be included in the Conditions of Tender allowing a company to be excluded from a tender if they have previously failed to meet their AICP obligations. 
  • AICP performance will be included in the Company Scorecard used by Defence to assess a company’s performance. It will be made a category in its own right and will receive an appropriate weighting as a result.
  • Project teams will be made more accountable for AICP performance by including them in the DMO Project Manager’s Charter.
“I have met with a lot of small businesses since I got this responsibility. In the past 42 weeks, I’ve visited 48 factories, shipyards and other Defence industry sites,” Mr Clare said.

“Everywhere I go small business talks about this. These reforms are based on their feedback.

“This will create more opportunities for Australian companies.”

Global Supply Chain Program – Update
Mr Clare also provided an update on the Global Supply Chain Program.

Five multi-national Defence companies have signed a Global Supply Chain agreement with the Australian Government – Boeing, Raytheon, Thales, Eurocopter and Lockheed Martin.

Through these agreements, the Government funds multi-national Defence companies to hire a team of people to identify and certify Australian companies as part of their global supply chains.

Global Supply Chain Agreements are designed to outline the way a multinational Defence company engages and facilitates opportunities for Australian industry to compete for work in their supply chains.

The Government has invested more than $11 million in the program over the past three years.

When the program was established everyone agreed that if it could provide a 10-fold return on the Government’s investment it would be a roaring success.

To date it has delivered more than a 30-fold return on investment with more than $356 million in contracts awarded to Australian industry.

Australian SMEs have been the big winners, winning about 90 per cent of the value of these contracts.

The agreement signed with Boeing has led to about more than $200 million worth of contracts to Australian companies.

The agreement signed with Raytheon has led to more than $100 million worth of contracts, and the remainder with Thales.

“In January Lockheed Martin also joined the program and I’m hopeful with the awarding of the new naval combat helicopter contract we will see more work for Australian companies from the Global Supply Chain Program,” Mr Clare said.

“It is obviously already a great success and I’ll have more to say about the future of the Global Supply Chain Program later this year.”

Strategic Reform Plan pilots
In February Mr Clare announced the first four Smart Sustainment pilot projects.

Today he announced two more. These are:
  • BAE – BAE and DMO will work together at the Hydrographic SPO in Cairns to trial an Integrated Project Team concept.  This pilot will allow DMO, Navy and BAE staff to apply lessons learned and work seamlessly together to sustain the ADF’s hydrographic capability.
  • H.I Fraser – H.I. Fraser will set up a pilot project to establish a rotatable pool of spares to reduce lead times and keep business in
  • Australia .  This pilot will be conducted in Sydney at the Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving SPO with support from the Naval Inventory Procurement Office.
“This is all about testing good ideas. The Defence industry has a lot of good ideas. I want Defence to test them and if they work, roll them out across Defence,” Mr Clare said.


AUS: MTF-2 hands over reins to MTF-3 in Afghanistan

Australian Defence Force members of Mentoring Task Force – Two (MTF-2) are arriving home to Australia this week after making significant gains in improving security and expanding the Afghan National Security Force’s (ANSF) presence in Uruzgan Province during its eight month deployment to Afghanistan.

A handover parade was held in Uruzgan Province on Saturday, 25 June 2011, with official duties for the Darwin-based 1 Brigade personnel, who made up MTF-2, passing to the Townsville-based Mentoring Task Force – Three (MTF-3).

Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power said it had been a high tempo rotation, with the Task Force conducting numerous successful joint operations with the ANSF.

“Through its partnering with the 4th Afghan National Army (ANA) Brigade, MTF-2 contributed markedly to improved security in the Uruzgan Province,” Lieutenant General Power said.

“The Task Force conducted more than 2,500 patrols, locating approximately 130 improvised explosive devices (IED) and more than 380 weapons and explosive caches.”

While there were numerous successes the rotation wasn’t without tragedy, with the deaths of three soldiers, two from the Darwin-based 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, and a member of the Force Support Unit working in support of MTF-2.

Corporal Richard Atkinson was killed in an IED strike on 2 February 2011, and Sapper Jamie Larcombe was killed during an engagement with insurgents in the Mirabad Valley region on 19 February 2011.

On 30 May 2011, Lance Corporal Andrew Jones was killed by a rogue ANA soldier at a Patrol Base in the Chora Valley region.

Nine other soldiers from MTF-2 were wounded in action during the eight-month rotation.

“Despite these casualties, the Task Force displayed remarkable endurance and courage in its pursuit of mentoring the ANA to build positive relationships with the local Afghans and tribal leaders,” Lieutenant General Power said.

The handover marks the start of the tour for MTF-3, led by 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, and will see the Australian soldiers moving from partnering Afghan patrols to mentoring Afghan Commanders.


AUS: Reforms to Projects of Concern

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced reforms to the Project of Concern process and removed two projects from the list.

Reforms to the Project of Concern process:

The reforms include incentives for companies to fix projects that are on the list.

The performance of companies in addressing Projects of Concern will be considered when evaluating their tenders for other projects.

If companies are not satisfactorily remediating the project this will result in a negative weighting against them and in extreme circumstances could result in exclusion from further tenders until the project is fixed.

Other reforms to the Project of Concern process include:

  • - The establishment of a more formal process for adding projects to the list;

  • - The establishment of a formal process for removing projects from the list;

  • - The development of agreed remediation plans, including formal milestones for the removal of a project from the list; and

  • - Increased Ministerial involvement and oversight of the process.

“The Project of Concern process is working. The objective of these reforms is to make it even more effective,” Mr Smith and Mr Clare said.

Industry leaders contributed their ideas on this important reform to the Projects of Concern process.

The new Project of Concern process will be implemented by the new Independent Project Performance Office within the Defence Materiel Organisation.

This Office was recommended by the Mortimer Report into Defence Procurement and Sustainment and will begin operation on 1 July this year.

Further details on the reforms to the Project of Concern process are attached.

Update to the Project of Concern list:

Mr Smith and Mr Clare also updated the Project of Concern list, removing two projects – Vigilare (AIR 5333) and High Frequency Modernisation (JOINT 2043 Phase 3A).

‘Vigilare’ is an air defence command and control system giving the Defence Force improved surveillance and communications capabilities.

The High Frequency Modernisation project provides the Australian Defence Force with a modernised high frequency communications system.

Mr Smith and Mr Clare thanked Boeing for its hard work in turning both these projects around. 

“These projects are excellent examples of what can be achieved when Defence and Industry work together through the Project of Concern process,” Mr Smith and Mr Clare said.

The Projects of Concern list was established by the Government in 2008 to focus the attention of Defence and Industry on remediating problem projects.

The removal of these two projects brings the total number of Projects of Concern now removed from the list to nine.

Of these nine projects, seven have been successfully remediated and two have been cancelled. (Details attached)

Project of Concern Reforms

Incentive for Industry to focus on fixing problem projects:

Where a company has a project on the list, Government and Defence will weigh their performance in remediating the project when evaluating their tenders for other projects. 

When a company is not satisfactorily implementing an agreed remediation plan, this will result in a negative weighting of tenders received from the company, and in extreme circumstances could result in exclusion from further tenders until the project is remediated.

Formal process for adding projects to the list:

The process for determining whether a project should be added to the Projects of Concern list will be as follows:

  • - When an Early Indicator and Warning is triggered, Defence will advise Ministers, including whether a full diagnostic review (Gate review) of the project is required.
  • - If a Gate review is to be conducted, Ministers will write to the Chair/CEO of the prime contractor advising them that the project has triggered an early warning, requesting their involvement in the Gate review, and emphasising the potential for the project to be added to the Projects of Concern list.
  • - Following the Gate review, Defence will provide Government with recommendations on how to fix the problems with the project.  If the problem is very serious, it may be listed as a Project of Concern immediately. 
  • - Alternatively, Defence will propose a series of actions that it and the company involved will undertake to fix the problems.  This will include timelines, targets and thresholds which if not met will trigger a further Gate review to consider listing the project as a Project of Concern.

The decision to add a project to the list will be made by the Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel.

Remediation plans:

The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Industry will develop formal remediation plans for all projects that undergo Gate reviews. 

In the case of projects confirmed as Projects of Concern, these plans will:

  • - identify remediation objectives;
  • - identify key milestones and the timeline for their achievement;  and
  • - detail an end-state for remediation and the agreed basis on which a project will be removed from the Project of Concern list. 

Where DMO and Industry cannot agree a satisfactory remediation strategy, DMO will provide formal advice to Government on whether the project should be cancelled.

For all existing Projects of Concern, formal remediation plans will be developed and agreed with Industry.  These will include the basis on which these projects will be removed from the current list.

Removal of projects from the list:

There are two events that will enable a project to be removed from the Project of Concern list:

  • - Government satisfaction that remediation is completed in accordance with the agreed plan; or
  • - a decision is taken by Government to cancel the project.

Increased Ministerial Involvement:

Ministerial involvement has been a cornerstone in driving improved outcomes for Project of Concern projects. 

The Minister for Defence Materiel will hold bi-annual reviews of Projects of Concern with Defence and Industry representatives.

Biannual face-to-face meetings with the Minister will ensure responsible individuals are being held to account for the progress of projects, and will give the Minister a better understanding of the progress of remediation strategies.

Projects of Concern List – Update


‘Vigilare’ is an air defence command and control system giving the Defence Force improved surveillance and communications capabilities.

It was added to the Project of Concern list in 2008 due to schedule delays.

The prime contractor, Boeing, worked closely with Defence to address the issues and get the project back on track and is to be congratulated for its efforts.

Following successful testing the system is now in operational use by the RAAF.

As a result, the Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation has recommended it be removed from the Projects of Concern list.

Ministers have agreed to this recommendation.

High Frequency Modernisation:

This project provides Defence with a modernised high frequency communications system.

It was added to the Project of Concern list in 2008 because of the failure of the fixed network to meet project milestones.

A revised schedule was negotiated with the company and these milestones have now been achieved, 13 months ahead of the revised schedule.

As a result, the Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation has recommended it be removed from the Projects of Concern list.

Ministers have agreed to this recommendation.

Current Projects of Concern List as at 29 June:

Collins Class Submarine Sustainment and Projects
Nov 2008
AIR 5077
Phase 3
‘Wedgetail’ Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft
Jan 2008
SEA 1448
Phase 2B
Anti-Ship Missile Defence radar upgrades for ANZAC Class Frigates
Jan 2008
Phase 2
Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – airborne surveillance for land forces
Sep 2008
LAND 121
Phase 3
‘Overlander’ replacement field vehicles, trailers and modules for land forces (‘Medium Heavy’ class of vehicles only)
Jul 2008
JOINT 2070
Lightweight torpedo replacement for ANZAC and ADELAIDE Class Frigates
Jan 2008
AIR 5402
Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft – Air to Air Refuelling Capability
Oct 2010
AIR 5276
Phase 8B
Electronic Support Measures upgrade for AP-3C Orion aircraft
Oct 2010
AIR 5418
Phase 1
Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles
Nov 2010

Projects removed from Projects of Concern list:

JOINT 2048
Phase 1A
LCM2000 Watercraft for Landing Platform Amphibious Ships (Project cancelled)
Feb 2011
LAND 106
M-113 Armoured Personnel Carrier Upgrade (Remediated)
May 2008
AIR 87
Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (Remediated)
Apr 2008
SEA 1411
Sea Sprite Helicopter (Project cancelled)
Mar 2008

Phase 1A
SF Air Drop Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat Trailers (Remediated)
Sep 2009
SEA 1390

Phase 2.1
Guided Missile FFG Upgrade (Remediated)
Jan 2010
AIR 5416

Phase 2
Rotary Wing Electronic Warfare Self Protection ‘Echidna’ (Scope reduced)
Jul 2010

Phase 3A
High Frequency Communications Modernisation (Remediated)
Jun 2011
AIR 5333
Air Defence Command and Control System ‘Vigilare’ (Remediated)
Jun 2011


AUS: Reforms to Disposal of Military Equipment

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced reforms to the disposal of military equipment.

The Australian Defence Force is about to undertake the biggest disposal of military equipment since World War II.

Over the next 15 years the Australian Defence Force will replace or upgrade up to 85 per cent of its equipment.

As part of that, over the next ten years Defence will dispose of:

·         up to 24 ships;
·         up to 70 combat aircraft;
·         up to 110 other aircraft;
·         up to 120 helicopters;
·         up to 600 armoured vehicles;
·         up to 12,000 other vehicles; and
·         a range of communications systems, weapons and explosive ordnance.

This represents 10 per cent of the current value of the entire Australian Government’s non-financial assets.

The disposal of military equipment provides an opportunity for Defence to generate revenue to be re-invested in new military equipment for Force 2030.

The British Government has generated ₤650 million (about $1 billion AUD) from their military equipment disposals since 1997.

Over the same period and with a similar number and type of assets, the disposal of Australian military equipment has cost around $20 million.

“That’s why I am reforming Australia’s system of military disposals – to reduce costs, generate potential revenue and provide opportunities for Defence industry involvement,” Mr Clare said.

Mr Clare said the first opportunity for the Australian Defence industry was the release of a Request for Proposal for the disposal of up to 24 Navy ships across the coming decade.

That includes HMAS Manoora, Adelaide Class frigates and Mine Hunters.

The Request for Proposal will be done in two parts:

  • HMAS Manoora – submissions will close on 15 September 2011; and
  • All other ships – submissions will close on 14 October 2011.

The latter will provide the flexibility for companies to bid for all ships, a class of ships or a single ship.

Ideas could include, but are not limited to, dismantling the ships and recycling the parts and sale within Australia or overseas.

A plan to dispose of up to12,000 Army vehicles has also been approved. This includes Land Rovers, Unimog trucks and Mack trucks.

This will likely see the sale of vehicles to companies who will repair and upgrade the vehicle and then on-sell them.

The Request for Proposal for the vehicle disposals will be released in July.

“By disposing of this equipment in bulk, it will increase the amount of revenue Defence can raise and reinvest in new equipment,” Mr Clare said. 

“It also provides the scale which gives real opportunities for business.

“The money raised from the sale of these vehicles will be invested in Force 2030, with one option being into simulators used for training that will reduce the wear and tear on Army vehicles.”

Historically significant pieces of military equipment will still be made available to the Australian War Memorial, RSLs and other historical organisations for preservation.

For example, Mr Clare has directed that a number of these Army vehicles be offered exclusively to community or heritage organisations.

“One of the main goals of the disposals system is the preservation of our military history,” Mr Clare said.

“Flexibility will be maintained in the system to make sure that happens.”