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RAAF Tindal personnel briefed on the Defence White Paper and ADF family health care.



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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

www.defence.gov.au

Friday, 29 May 2009 093/2009

RAAF TINDAL PERSONNEL BRIEFED ON THE DEFENCE WHITE PAPER AND ADF FAMILY HEALTH CARE

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, today visited personnel at RAAF Tindal to brief them on the new White Paper.

“The White Paper affirms the Government’s commitment to the defence of Australia, the security and stability of the regional security environment, and a rules-based global security order,” Mr Snowdon said.

“Katherine hosts a significant and important Defence presence in the form of RAAF Tindal and the aircraft and other assets that are based here, and Tindal will directly benefit from the new capability direction outlined in the new White Paper.

“Already $38.5 million is being spent in this financial year to prepare the base for the arrival of the Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft. This project will provide new taxiways, aprons, shelters, hydrant refuelling as well as site infrastructure works. Construction is scheduled for completion in late 2010.

“And just as a squadron of FA-18 Hornets call Tindal home now, I can confirm that RAAF Tindal will also become a home for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters.

“Through the combination of highly skilled people; multi-role combat fighters; Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft; advanced weapons; air-to-air refuelling aircraft and command; control and surveillance capabilities; the Air Force will continue to offer the Government air superiority, maritime strike, long-range strike, offensive air support and close air support capability options.

“But ultimately, people are at the heart of delivering the Defence capability set out in the White Paper,” Mr Snowdon said.

“And Katherine is also one of the sites taking part in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Family Health Care trial. More than a thousand Defence family members in Katherine can now access free basic medical care and up to $300 each for non-cosmetic dental services, which can be accessed at any dentist in Australia.

“Looking after Defence families is something this Government takes seriously and this initiative will provide practical support to the dependants of ADF personnel.”

For more information: www.defence.gov.au/health/ and follow the links.

Media Contact: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): (02) 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Defence Public Affairs: (02) 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664