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Thursday, 4 December 1986
Page: 3451

(Question No. 1350)


Senator Vallentine asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 16 September 1986:

(1) On how many occasions has Australia sent representatives to the United States (US) 7th Fleet scheduling conference.

(2) What were-(a) the dates of each conference; and (b) the names of the Australian representatives at each conference.

(3) What is the purpose of-(a) the conference; and (b) Australian representation at the Conference.

(4) What was the date or dates of Australian attendance in the US regarding the `US/Australian Special Undertakings'.

(5) What is each `Special Undertakings'.

(6) Under what agreement or authority was each `undertaking' based.

(7) What is the purpose of each `undertaking'.

(8) Who were the Australian representatives on each visit to the US regarding `Special Undertakings' and from what-(a) Service; or (b) Division, of the Defence Department did representatives come.

(9) On how many occasions has Australia sent people to the US in connexion with `Special Undertakings'.

(10) What was the purpose of sending a RAAF Group Captain to Guam in connexion with B52/Mirage operations.

(11) On how many occasions has Australia sent representatives to US territory in this connexion or the US sent representatives to discuss the matter with Australia.

(12) What was the date of each such meeting.

(13) What is the relevance of Mirage operations in connexion with B52 operations.

(14) Are the Mirages referred to RAAF aircraft or foreign aircraft.

(15) If they are RAAF aircraft, what is their role in this context.

(16) If they are foreign aircraft, have any entered Australian air space; if so-(a) on what dates; and (b) for what specific purposes in each case.

(17) To which nation or nations do foreign Mirages belong.

(18) Is the Mirage referred to by a code name; if so, for what operations or activity is it a code name.

(19) What are the Interrogation Techniques in connexion with which a Lieutenant Colonel was sent to the US, UK and Hong Kong.

(20) What was the purpose of sending an Australian.

(21) Were the techniques entirely in compliance with-(a) international law; (b) the laws of war; and (c) all relevant treaties and agreements to which Australia is a party; if not, (i) why not, and (ii) in which specific respects were they not.

(22) On how many occasions has Australia participated in this way since the present Government took office.

(23) What is the JANUS program.

(24) What is Project SAUCEPAN.

(25) What is-(a) the nature; (b) the duration; and (c) the purpose of Australian involvement with the UK and US concerning JANUS and SAUCEPAN, respectively.

(26) Who was the Principal Research Scientist sent to the UK and US in connexion with `Cooperative Laser Research Programmes' and from what area of the Defence Department did he or she come.

(27) What are the Laser Research Programs referred to in each case.

(28) When did Australia join each program.

(29) What is the purpose of each program and its name, if any.

(30) Is any such program, or part of any such program, related in any way to-(a) the US SDI; (b) UK participation in SDI; (c) US or UK BMD or ABM research; and (d) nuclear-driven laser research; if so, in each case what is the Australian role.

(31) Has Australia sent scientists overseas before or since the visit in connexion with `Cooperative Laser Research Programmes'; if so, what are the details in each and every case since 5 March 1983.

(32) Is there any connexion between the `Cooperative Laser Research Programs' and the `TTCP on Laser Technology'; if so, what are the details; if not, what is the TTCP on Laser Technology.

(33) Is the TTCP on laser technology connected in any way whatsoever with the US SDI, ABM or BMD efforts; if so, what are the details.

(34) Are any other nations besides Australia and the US involved in the TTCP; if so, which nations.

(35) In connexion with which US Navy communications satellite or satellites was a RAN Lieutenant Commander sent to the US.

(36) When was he or she sent.

(37) Have there been other visits to the US, or US visits to Australia, in connection with any or all of the satellites referred to; if so-(a) when; (b) by whom; and (c) for what purpose, in each case.

(38) When did Australia join the TEAL RUBY users group and for what purpose.

(39) Is Australia represented at-(a) all; or (b) some meetings of the Group.

(40) What are-(a) the dates of each meeting attended by Australia; (b) the location of each meeting; (c) the duration; and (d) the purposes of each meeting.

(41) Is the TTCP on Teal Ruby the same TTCP under which we sent a scientist overseas in connection with laser technology; if so, what are the details; if not, what is the TEAL RUBY TTCP.

(42) What was demonstrated at the TEAL RUBY experiment.

(43) For how long is it anticipated that Australia will remain in the TEAL RUBY Users Group.

(44) For what purposes did a Brigadier visit the US in connection with the joint facilities.

(45) With which facility or facilities was his or her visit connected. (See answer to House of Representatives Question on Notice No. 3349, Hansard, 19 August 1986, p. 32).


Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1 to 3) Australian officers have attended Seventh Fleet Scheduling Conferences for many years on an invited basis for the purposes of co-ordinating programmes and training opportunities. Australia is represented twice per annum. Details of dates, attendees, venues and discussions are classified.

(4) The visit referred to took place in the period 29 September to 23 October 1984.

(5) The `Special Undertakings' referred to are the Joint Defence Space Research Facility (JDSRF) and the Joint Defence Space Communication Station (JDSCS).

(6) JDSRF-`Treaty Series 1966 No. 17 Agreement (Canberra 9 December 1966) Between Australian and the United States of America relating to the Establishment of a Joint Defence Space Research Facility'.

JDSCS-`Treaty Series 1969 No. 25 Agreement (Canberra 10 November 1969) Between Australia and the United States of America relating to the Establishment of a Joint Defence Space Communications Station in Australia'.

(7) I refer the Honourable Senator to the Prime Minister's statement to the House of Representatives 6 June 1984 (Hansard Page 2982).

(8) Personnel sent by the Defence Department to the United States principally in connection with special undertakings during 1984-85 were:

Postion

Responsible Area of Dept.

(a) Australian Defence Representative Alice Springs

Defence Science and Technology Organisation

(b) Director of Defence Security

Policy Co-ordination Division

(c) Director of Defence Security Designate

Policy Co-ordination Division

Note: A visit to the United States by the Deputy Chief Defence Scientist in this period involved both special undertakings matters and other matters of interest to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

(9) In the three-year period July 1983 to June 1986 there were 26 occasions on which the Defence Department sent people to the US principally in connexion with special undertakings.

10) To discuss procedures and tactics for intercept training between B52 and Mirage aircraft, discuss mutual electronic warfare training and joint and combined warfare doctrine.

(11) From records available, this would appear to be the only occasion.

(12) 27 July to 2 August 1984.

(13) It provides the opportunity for the RAAF to practice the high performance interceptor characteristics of the Mirage with aircraft which have an electronic warfare defensive capability and which can operate at high altitudes.

(14) RAAF Aircraft.

(15) The aircraft perform as interceptors in the Air Defence role.

(16) See answer to (14).

(17) Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Egypt, France, Gabon, Israel, Libya, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela and Zaire fly Mirage III or derivatives.

(18) No.

(19) The interrogation techniques on which the officer was briefed are those that British and US forces anticipate may be used against members of their own forces if captured.

(20) As part of the general preparation of the military capability to defend Australia, the Australian Defence Force is developing a training program to provide Australian Servicemen with knowledge relating to conduct after capture. In preparing that program, there needs to be some knowledge of interrogation techniques that may be employed against Australian Servicemen.

(21) a-c. Techniques used by countries that British and US forces train against may not comply with international law and the laws of war. ADF training in conduct after capture complies with both the letter and intent of humanitarian law and the various international conventions that apply.

(22) This is the only visit for this purpose by an Australian Army member since the present Government took office.

(23 to 25) JANUS was the project name given to a co-operative research and development program between Australia and the UK on advanced signal processing for sonobuoys. The duration of the JANUS program was from 1980 to 1984; the purpose of the JANUS program was to improve the performance of underwater detection systems such as the Australian BARRA system. Saucepan is a classified Defence Project which serves an intelligence function. Consistent with the handling by this Government and previous Governments of questions concerning such matters, I am not prepared to comment further.

(26) The Principal Research Scientist was from the Laser Research Group in Physics Division at the Materials Research Laboratories of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

(27) The laser research programs were a conference on laser technology in the USA and visits to US and UK establishments for technical discussions in relation to Australian Defence interests and activities in laser technology.

(28) Australia has been co-operating in laser research programs since joining The Technical Co-operation Program (TTCP) in 1965.

(29) The purpose of TTCP as agreed by the participating countries is to provide a means of acquainting the participating countries with each others defence research and development programs so that each national program may be adjusted and planned in cognizance of the efforts of the other nations. This process supplements each program with the knowledge and resources of the others, avoids unnecessary duplication among the national programs, promotes concerted action to identify and close important gaps in the collective technology base, and assures to each country the best technical information available for advice to their governments and military forces on all matters related to defence research and development. TTCP is concerned primarily with the technology base. Our defence scientists also pursue specific interests by their attendance at scientific conferences and in discussions at individual defence establishments overseas from time to time.

(30) The Minister for Defence on 8 April 1986 (Hansard page 1797) advised Parliament that Australia does not endorse the SDI concept, and that the Government will not be entering into any agreements for Australian participation in SDI research or for research funded under the SDI program. Australia has a long history of successful international collaboration in defence related research and development which has been of great assistance to this country. Any such co-operative research and development has always been based on clearly identified Australian defence requirements and is kept under review by the Government to ensure that it is consistent with national priorities and policies including those related to SDI, ABM and BMD issues.

(31) Yes. In April 1983, to USA, for discussions on the use of laser technology in avionics systems; in June 1983, to USA and Canada, for discussions on the use of laser technology in hydrography; in September 1983, to USA and Canada, to attend a TTCP meeting on laser technology; in February 1984, to USA, to commence a one-year attachment at the Naval Research Laboratory to pursue laser technology research; in May 1984, to the UK and USA, to attend a conference on lasers and for discussions on laser technology at various defence establishments; in March/April 1985, to USA, to attend a TTCP meeting on laser technology; and in September 1986, to UK, to attend a TTCP meeting on laser technology.

(32) See answers to (27) and (29) above. The `TTCP on Laser Technology' refers to meetings of defence scientists from each of the nations participating in The Technical Co-operation Program (TTCP) to exchange information on respective national programs of research into laser technology.

(33) No.

(34) Yes. Canada, New Zealand and the UK are also involved.

(35) The United States Navy Fleet Communications System.

(36) The visit occurred between 11 and 15 March 1985.

(37) Yes:

(a) 21 to 24 July 1986

(b) The Director of Naval Communications

(c) To discuss conditions under which the Royal Australian Navy might use the United States Navy Fleet Communications System.

(38) The `TEAL RUBY users group' is informal terminology used for the discussions among participants in the TEAL RUBY experiment to plan and co-ordinate their proposed activities. Australia's involvement in these discussions commenced in 1982.

(39 to 40) Australia has participated in some of the meetings and discussions of this group. The dates of each meeting were March 1982, November 1982, April 1983, November 1983, March 1984, August 1984, March 1985 and September 1985. All of these meetings were held in the USA and their duration in each case was about one week. The purpose of these meetings was as indicated in (38) above.

(41) Yes. Laser technology is one area of the technology base covered under TTCP while the TEAL RUBY experiment was addressed under another area of TTCP. There was no connexion between the two.

(42) The TEAL RUBY experiment (which has not yet taken place because of the unavailability of the shuttle) will examine the ability of a satellite or infra red detector of advanced design to detect and track individual ships, aircraft and other military targets. This ``demonstration'' simulated the TEAL RUBY experiment as a means of testing arrangements for command and control, positioning of the targets to the satellite's track and the distribution of the data to Australian, US and other participants. I refer the Honourable Senator to the answer to her question on notice 1355 (Hansard of 17 November 1986, page 2360).

(43) Until the TEAL RUBY experiment is conducted.

(44) The visit was related to his responsibilities for co-ordinating protective security arrangements at the Joint Facilities.

(45) The JDSRF Alice Springs and the JDSCS, Nurrungar.