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  • Women in the ADF

    Posted 1/12/2015 by Nicole Brangwin
    Historically, the role of women in the military has been a polemic issue, despite the significant contribution and sacrifice women have made in numerous conflicts. In Australia, the process over time of integrating women into what are considered ‘non-traditional’ military roles is explored in a 2015 Parliamentary Library Summer Research Scholarship paper Women in the ADF: six decades of policy change (1950 to 2011). This research paper highlights the changes to defence policy over the last 60 years that have allowed women to pursue military careers and discusses how policies towards women in the civilian workforce have influenced change for women in the armed forces. In the post-World War II era, women served in auxiliary services in ‘traditional’ roles such as nursing, clerks, typists and cooks. Fast forward to the present where women command major combatant ships and land-based operations, and pilot military aircraft. Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability, women

  • Ballistic missile defence and Australia

    Posted 19/12/2013 by Nathan Church
    During the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Washington DC on 20 November, ballistic missile defence (BMD) was again raised as a specific area of potential further cooperation, having also been discussed at the preceding three meetings. The concept of BMD is not new, with initial research and development by the US Army beginning as early as 1945. Since then, Australia has increasingly become well-positioned to actively support the US-led BMD program, in concert with other region... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability, united states

  • Littoral combat ships - lessons learnt from the US

    Posted 18/11/2013 by Nathan Church
    Less than a fortnight after the 2013 federal election, the new Defence Minister David Johnston indicated that the protection of Australia’s exports through maritime security would be a major Defence priority. In order to achieve this, the Minister claimed that ‘our navy needs a suitable mix of high-end war-fighting capabilities’ and accordingly, consideration should be given to acquiring littoral combat ships (LCS). This article summarises the US experience of acquiring LCS and outlines some ke... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability

  • Getting the balance right: U.S. perspectives on Defence reform

    Posted 3/10/2013 by Nathan Church
    Australia and the United States share significant defence interests, especially regarding regional security across the Indo-Pacific. However, both nations also share a similar defence dilemma: the need to maintain appropriate defence capabilities despite facing increased financial constraints. A recent report by the U.S.-based Stimson Center provided almost 30 recommendations to reduce the U.S. Defense Department’s heavy financial burden, without (theoretically) jeopardising required capability.... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence budget, defence capability

  • Streamlining Defence Acquisitions: the UK experiment

    Posted 28/06/2013 by Noemi Murphy
    The struggle to control the cost and improve the effectiveness of acquiring defence capability has taxed successive Australian governments—but Australia is not alone. A new UK Government white paper outlines a plan to manage the purchasing of defence capability very differently to most other countries by stating its intention to move to a Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model for running the Defence Equipment and Support Organisation (DE&S).It sets out the major reasons the DE&am... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability, UK Parliament

  • New naval aviation combat helicopters

    Posted 25/06/2011 by David Watt
    The announcement on 16 June 2011 by the Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare, that Australia would acquire twenty four MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ naval combat helicopters at a cost of over $3 billion brings to a close a period of uncertainty in Australian naval aviation.For some time now the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has suffered from a serious gap in combat aviation, and in particular anti-submarine warfare. In his 2010 Navy Capability Review Andrew... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Defence Force, defence capability

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