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Chief outlines his
plans for 2012
NEW equipment and personnel
policy changes will be a major
focus for the Army this year,
according to CA Lt-Gen David
When asked about his plans for
the year, Lt-Gen Morrison listed
three key priorities, naming sup-
port for people on operations as
The Chief said a range of new
equipment would be rolled out or
further developed this year, pro-
viding major capability increases.
"We need to replace our
wheeled vehicles under Land
121," he said. "We're still a par-
tially analogue force in a digital
world and we're going to change
that with our digital radios and our
battlefield management system.
"We need to complete the
journey with our artillery systems
under Land 17.
"We need to introduce a bet-
ter electronic warfare capability
under a couple of projects that are
being considered and we need to
do all of the groundwork to ensure
that Land 400, the replacement of
our armoured vehicles, less tank,
is affordable and realisable."
"Second priority is making
sure we have Plan Beersheba
[the Army's major restructure
and capability upgrade] worked
through in detail so it is imple-
mentable and realisable to ensure
we are robust and relevant in the
third decade of this century."
Workforce management will
be the third key priority, with
CA flags operational focus and personnel policy shifts as hallmarks of the year
striving for greater diversity part
of the personnel focus.
"We need to continue the great
work we're doing with care of our
wounded, injured and ill, but we
need to be better at it," Lt-Gen
"There's a lot of great work
being done now in all of our com-
mands and I want to keep the ener-
gy flowing in those areas because
that's very important to me."
He said having a more diversi-
fied workforce would also be one
of the priorities.
"It's not about feeling good
about gender; it's about capabil-
ity," he said. "The more diversified
the workforce, the more capable
we will be.
"I think there are some views
on this that are more conservative
than they need to be and they're
held by very well-intentioned peo-
ple, but I don't agree with them.
"I think the majority of the
Army, irrespective of their gen-
der, are well and truly in the right
mindset here -- they know this is
very important for Army and they
know it's important for our capa-
bility in the future."
Despite major operational
commitments and capability
upgrades, the Army will still need
to find efficiencies in 2012.
"The SRP is something the
Army is doing well and needs to
continue to do well," he said. "We
need to be smarter about the way
we use our resources.
"We need to be very much
focussed on the joint aspects of
our trade -- working with Navy
and Air Force and the other com-
ponents of the ADF, as well as
working with coalition partners.
"The Army is a great national
institution, not because we keep
saying it is, but because of the
men and women who make it up
and I know that they're up for
whatever challenges we've got in
SOTG members and Afghan
National Security Force per-
sonnel moved quickly to help a
group of Afghan civilians seri-
ously wounded by insurgent
rocket-propelled grenade fire
during a contact in Helmand
province on January 8.
The partnered patrol was
conducting a targeted counter-
narcotics mission when they
saw the insurgent rocket fire
impact on an occupied quala.
After moving to the com-
plex, the patrol identified
four seriously injured Afghan
Working with their
interpreters, SOTG medics
attempted to treat the women
and organised a helicopter
Despite repeated offers,
the women refused treatment.
However, the soldiers provided
a small amount of Afghan
currency to cover the costs
of travel to a nearby medical
clinic for treatment and can-
celled the medical evacuation
After receiving the money,
the women directed the sol-
diers to another room in the
complex where they found
a recently deceased child
wrapped in a blanket.
The medics assessed that
the child, believed to be
between five and eight years
of age, was killed by the insur-
gent RPG detonation.
Having provided all of the
support they could, the patrol
then continued with its mis-
A post-mission review
of the incident confirmed
that the insurgent RPG fire
struck the compound and was
responsible for causing the
SF troops help wounded civilians
Black Hawks back
in the air after
THE Army's Black Hawks have returned to full fly-
ing operations after the lifting of a precautionary
safety suspension that was put in place on January 19
and lifted on January 25.
The suspension was enforced after a number of
fractured bolts were discovered during a routine
The Army's Operational Airworthiness Authority
and Forcomd commander, Maj-Gen Michael Slater,
lifted the suspension following airworthiness advice
from the Technical Airworthiness Authority.
During the suspension period, a thorough engi-
neering investigation was conducted and the results
indicated that the defective bolts were confined to a
single manufacturer's batch and were not a fleet-wide
issue. The defective batch of bolts has since been
quarantined from use.
The Army operates 34 Black Hawk helicopters.
Three are deployed to East Timor and the remain-
ing aircraft are based at Holsworthy in NSW and
Townsville in Queensland.
Try giving up the
grog this month
CDF Gen David Hurley and Defence Secretary
Duncan Lewis are encouraging Defence personnel to
give up the grog and join them in febfast 2012.
Febfast is a fundraising initiative to promote
responsible drinking and to raise awareness of the
potential harms of excessive alcohol consumption.
Participants register and seek sponsorship to abstain
from alcohol consumption throughout February.
Funds raised go to community services for young
people with alcohol and drug addiction.
For more information on febfast 2012 go to http://febfast.org.au/
Flying high: Black Hawk flying operations were
suspended for six days last month to investigate a
safety issue (stock photo). Photo by Cpl Melina Mancuso
Looking forward: Lifting gender barriers will be a key focus of 2012, according to CA Lt-Gen
Photo by Sgt Neil Ruskin
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