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Thursday, 15 October 1964

Dr FORBES - By the term "comfortable " I meant that the men would not have to work the long hours that they now work if more men were available. The expression " disruption to the Australian support area" applies to the system, of which some honorable members are aware, of field force units lending men back to the Australian support area. Various members are posted primarily to the field force units but shadow posted to the Australian support area. Up to a certain point, this is a very good system. It makes the maximum and most effective use of manpower. In peace, there is not a job all the time in logistic units for people posted solely to the field force units. A shortage of manpower has meant that the process of shadow posting and lending back has been used excessively. One of the effects of this is that when we assemble a field force for an exercise such as Long Shot the commands in the Australian support area have some difficulty in carrying on their normal functions. I would add, because this is not always realised, that in a situation in which the field force had to take part in actual operations it is expected that plenty of men who are not in the Army would be available to take the places of those people who are loaned back or shadow posted to the Australian support area from the field force.

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