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Parliamentarians "join up" with the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program.



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MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon. Fran Bailey, MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

PARLSEC 59/03 11 July 2003

Parliamentarians “join up”

with the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program

Plenty of excitement and hard work are in store for eight parliamentarians who are taking part in the next round of the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program (ADFPP).

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Fran Bailey said the attachments will be undertaken by parliamentarians of all political persuasions during the winter recess.

“The aim of the ADFPP is to provide parliamentarians from both houses and from all parties, with first hand experience of the roles and operations of the Australian Defence Force,” Ms Bailey said.

“At a time when the number of parliamentarians who have served in or otherwise had experience with the Australian Defence Force is declining, this program provides a way of giving our elected representatives insight into the practicalities of defending Australia.

“This year’s participants will be taking part in air base security patrols, “flying” simulators, planning flight missions and taking part in the mission, as well as seariding in frigates and patrol boats involved in real-time operations during an exercise. They will also be attached to Army NORFORCE units patrolling in the north of Australia.

“This program, which has bipartisan support of Parliament, helps to showcase the commitment and high level of professionalism and training of serving members. It also highlights the often arduous side of service life,” Ms Bailey said.

Ms Bailey said a successful pilot program was conducted in 2001 with seven senators and one member of Parliament participating in attachments to the three Services, and the program has taken off from there.

“Participants are not given special treatment, nor are they afforded any rank status. They will have their own identifying insignia while wearing the working dress uniform of the particular Service,” Ms Bailey said. “This allows them to interact with all rank levels without undue ceremony.”

Further information on the ADFPP attachments and participants is attached.

Stills of the participants Defence experience will be regularly updated and available from: http://www.minister.defence.gov.au/bailey/gallery.htm

Media contact: Devena Wahlstrom 02 6277 4433 or 0408 404 468

Media Release from Fran Bailey — Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Page 2

Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program 2003

BACKGROUND

During this year’s winter Parliamentary recess in July, the program will include attachments to:

Air Force

7-11 July 2003

Steve Gibbons (ALP Bendigo) and Luke Hartsuyker (NP Cowper) will participate in an attachment to Air Lift Group at RAAF Base Richmond. They will have hands-on experience working with the airmen and airwomen at RAAF Base Richmond.

During the attachment, the parliamentarians will take part in a range of base activities including “flying” the C130 aircraft flight simulator, preparing loads for and participating in an air drop from a C130 aircraft, performing night security patrols of the base with security guards and dogs and being involved in as many base activities as possible.

Air Lift Group is responsible for air transport support, airborne operations, special purpose VIP transport, air-to-air refuelling and aircraft support to navigator training. ALG operates seven aircraft types from five separate RAAF bases. ALG’s assets have been used extensively in the provision of support to the civil community during natural disasters, search and rescue, medical evacuations and other emergencies.

However their primary role is air logistic support, airborne operations including airdrop, air land and parachuting operations and air to air refuelling. Recent operations have included Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda, Kuwait, Papua New Guinea, Irian Jaya, East Timor, Solomon Islands and the US led coalition.

14-18 July 2003

Alan Cadman (Lib Mitchell), Kim Wilkie (ALP Swan), and Bernie Ripoll (ALP Oxley) will join the Air Combat Group’s 82 Wing at Amberley Air Base in Queensland for an F-111 experience.

The three participants will develop an understanding of the precision strike mission with one-on-one strike planning exercises. They will work with an experienced F-111 crew member to plan and execute a strike mission. The planning process, taking several days, will introduce weapons, intelligence and reconnaissance products as well as the myriad tactical considerations needed to assemble an effective strike mission.

The execution process will also be conducted over a couple of days and will include those aspects of aircraft preparation required to support the tactical strike plan. Activities will include flight line management, Before Flight servicing, weapons loading and aircraft launch. The attachment will culminate in flying the planned mission in the F-111.

Air Combat Group provides the foundation for the Air Force’s Counter Air, Strike, and Offensive Air Support roles. Air Combat Group’s units include 78 Wing headquartered at RAAF Williamtown and 81 Wing headquartered at RAAF Williamtown. 82 Wing,

Devena Wahlstrom — Media Adviser — 02 6277 4433 or 0408 404 468 Fax: 02 6277 8560 Email: devena.wahlstrom@defence.gov.au Web: www.defence.gov.au

Media Release from Fran Bailey — Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Page 3

headquartered at RAAF Amberley, consists of No 1 Squadron, RAAF Amberley, flying RF-111C & F-111C aircraft; No 6 Squadron, RAAF Amberley, flying F-111G & F-111C aircraft; and Forward Air Control Development Unit (FACDU), RAAF Williamtown, flying PC-9/A aircraft.

Army

21-25 July 2003

Ann Corcoran (ALP Isaac) will experience first hand how NORFORCE Patrols conduct land surveillance activities in the north of Australia. She will have the opportunity to observe how command and control of operations is exercised and how reconnaissance operations are planned and conducted. A period of 48 to 72 hours will be spent in the Area of Operations on patrol with the Darwin Squadron.

Ms Corcoran will become a member of a patrol which will demand fair degree of physical fitness. Activities can include carrying a substantial pack and living in tactical conditions for the time in the field.

NORFORCE is one of the Army’s most culturally diverse units and comprises 600 troops, the majority of which are part-time members who conduct surveillance operations throughout the Top End. Almost 50 per cent of the soldiers are Aboriginal, with 80 per cent of these coming from remote northern communities.

Participants will see first hand the close links NORFORCE has with the indigenous communities that provide many of its soldiers.

NORFORCE plays a vital nation-building role. The unit was raised in 1981, with its history founded in the North Australia Observer Unit or NACKEROOS that patrolled the Top End in anticipation of a Japanese invasion during World War Two.

Today, NORFORCE operates in an area covering 1,800,000 square kilometres - around one quarter of the Australian landmass. The area stretches from the Red centre to Broome in the west, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the wetlands of Arnhem Land. NORFORFCE soldiers operate in small groups, called patrols, using specialised vehicles, small boats and on foot.

These Aboriginal soldiers play a vital role in teaching survival skills and gathering information from the many remote communities. In return, they benefit from the technical training they receive, from leadership and management skills they learn, and the high status of soldiering in their communities.

Navy

22-27 July 2003

Senator David Johnston (Lib WA) will participate in Exercise KAKADU and will be at sea on various RAN Units including HMAS WARRAMUNGA (ANZAC Class Frigate), HMAS CANBERRA (Adelaide Class Frigate) and HMAS SUCCESS (Tanker).

Devena Wahlstrom — Media Adviser — 02 6277 4433 or 0408 404 468 Fax: 02 6277 8560 Email: devena.wahlstrom@defence.gov.au Web: www.defence.gov.au

Media Release from Fran Bailey — Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Page 4

Devena Wahlstrom — Media Adviser — 02 6277 4433 or 0408 404 468 Fax: 02 6277 8560 Email: devena.wahlstrom@defence.gov.au Web: www.defence.gov.au

Senator Johnston will experience life on a warship during real time operations at sea, participating in a wide range of ships’ activities from performing night watches to working in the galley.

As well as the sea phase Senator Johnston will attend exercise briefings and visit Naval facilities in Darwin.

Exercise KAKADU VI/2003 is the sixth in a series of multilateral maritime warfare exercises conducted in Darwin and the North Australia Exercise Area (NAXA).

The exercise is held every two years and this year will run from 21 July until 1 August 2003.

Ships, submarines and aircraft from Navy and Air Force as well as other regional navies will exercise advanced mariner and warfare skills. Units from Australia, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Singapore along with observers from India, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippines and South Korea will participate.

Surface, sub surface and air assets will take part in simulated multi-threat maritime scenarios to give all participants the opportunity to test regional interoperability while honing warfare skills.