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Army July 19, 2012
Wg-Cdr Patrick Del Guidice
and Flt-Lt Phil Thomas
A SELECT group of Australians
working in the US at the heart of a
major global satellite communica-
tions (Satcom) system will now
be eligible to be awarded the US
Army Space Badge.
It's US Army policy to only
award the badge to US personnel, but
Satcom Division Operations Officer
Wg-Cmdr Patrick Del Guidice said
an exemption was made to recognise
Australians doing the same training
and work as their US colleagues.
"The badge recognises their com-
petency as space professionals and
as members of the US Army Space
Cadre," he said.
Cpls Michael Thomas, Clint
Chilcott and David Boucaut, Sgt
Eliot Kruger and Flt-Lt Phil Thomas
received their badges from the
Commanding General of the US
Army Space and Missile Defense
Command, Lt-Gen Richard Formica.
Conditional approval has been
granted for these members to wear
the badge on their uniforms while
posted to their positions to foster a
The personnel are embed-
ded into various Wideband Global
Satcom (WGS) operational and plan-
ning organisations in the US, with
two more members due to arrive in
January next year.
As cooperative project person-
nel (CPP), they work in a variety of
project management and operational
planning and execution roles, report-
ing directly to US supervisors as US
Their training and experience,
including a fresh working knowl-
edge of the US's space operations
and space force enhancement mis-
sion areas, will help the ADF to be a
more effective and efficient partner
to the US in global Satcom opera-
There is also potential for their
space-related skill sets to extend
beyond Satcom and contribute to the
definition and realisation of an ADF
The WGS is a worldwide con-
stellation of high-capacity wideband
communications satellites, with
globally dispersed control stations.
Its objective is to provide ample,
reliable and sustainable wideband
military Satcom to the US and its
Australia committed to provide
the resources needed for a sixth
WGS satellite, which allowed the
partnership to take advantage of
the Boeing WGS satellite produc-
tion line, grow the constellation and
increase the overall communications
For Australia, the agreement
provides assured access to the once
US-only network of six satellites,
proportional to its investment of
about 10 per cent in the overall pro-
US funding for the seventh
and eighth satellites has since
been secured, and in January, the
US signed a multilateral agree-
ment with Canada, New Zealand,
The Netherlands, Denmark, and
Luxembourg, for a ninth.
All 16 CPP roles will remain cur-
rent until the scheduled completion
of the agreement in 2029. Postings
are for three years and positions
rotate between the three services.
TWO Bills have been introduced into
Parliament to establish a Military Court of
Australia and to transition from the current
interim system of court martial and Defence
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon intro-
duced the Bills on June 21 with the aim of
improving the military discipline system.
They will be debated in Parliament and
examined by Parliamentary Committee
before the military court can start trying ser-
vice offences, which is not expected before
2013 at the earliest.
The Military Court of Australia will be
a new, separate federal court with guaran-
teed constitutional independence. It will try
service offences under the Defence Force
Discipline Act 1982 (DFDA).
The Defence Legal Military Discipline
Law director, Gp-Capt Christopher Ward,
said the importance of discipline in the ADF
was reflected in the government's plans to
establish the new court.
Gp-Capt Ward said trials of serious ser-
vice offences by the military court would
only represent a small percentage of the total
number of trials of service offences. The
Judge Advocate General's report for 2011
showed 5306 infringements were dealt with
by discipline officers, 1452 trials by sum-
mary authority and 61 trials by court martial
or Defence Force magistrate last year.
Because of the military court's independ-
ence, judges and federal magistrates of the
military court would not be serving mem-
bers of the ADF. However, the Bills require
that these judicial officers must understand
the nature of ADF service.
The prosecution and defence of ADF
members tried by the court will still be
the function of the Director of Military
Prosecutions and ADF legal officers pro-
vided at Commonwealth expense.
Prosecutions can only begin if they sub-
stantially serve the purpose of maintaining
or enforcing service discipline. However,
members charged with a DFDA offence can
elect to face trial in the military court, sim-
plifying the current process.
Commanders and key unit personnel will
be trained in how the military court affects
them before any changes take effect.
US Space Badge offer
Recognised: 13 ADF members and an APS civilian are eligible to be awarded a US Army Space Badge.
Australians recognised in US Army Space Cadre for their Satcom work
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