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Physical standards for military services to be benchmarked.

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THE HON. GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science Friday, 21 August 2009 043/2009 PHYSICAL STANDARDS FOR MILITARY SERVICE TO BE BENCHMARKED Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced the establishment of a Centre of Expertise to accurately evaluate the physical requirements of service in military occupations. “The Centre of Expertise will assist the Australian Defence Force to develop objective benchmarks for physical employment assessments to ensure soldiers have physical capacity commensurate with the performance of critical tasks, regardless of trade classifications, rank, age, or gender,” Mr Combet said. “The Centre will develop physical employment standards for Army, with a view to later assessing requirements for Air Force and Navy and will ensure that fitness-for-duty tests adequately represent the physical requirements of today’s military services. “Physical Employment Standards allow soldiers’ physical capabilities to be assessed against the occupational requirements of their job, using a standardised set of test procedures. “Adoption of Employment Standards will help guide recruits to occupations for which they are most physically suited and could also potentially facilitate access to occupations traditionally closed to particular groups on the basis of task physical readiness. “They could also potentially contribute to significant savings for Defence as a result of lower health care and compensation costs by reducing trade-related injuries.” The Centre of Expertise in Physical Employment Standards (PES) is a partnership between the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the University of Wollongong. The University of Wollongong will conduct fundamental enabling research projects, provide senior academic input, and specialist equipment and infrastructure support to DSTO’s dedicated research team on physical employment standards. It has been allocated funding of $2.5 million over 3.5 years through the Hardened and Networked Army Initiative. Media contacts Rod Hilton (Mr Combet) 02 6277 7620 or 0458 276 619 Stephen D’Arcy (DSTO) 03 9626 7128 or 0419 991 909 Defence Media Liaison 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664