Sabtu, Juni 12, 2010

Review of force protection measures

The approved force protection Budget measures will minimise the vulnerability of personnel, facilities and equipment

Soon after ASPI's Mark Thomson released his Budget review, Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner released a statement about how the Force Protection mesures in the budget are structured and funded.

The Chief of Joint Operations (CJOPS), Lieutenant General Mark Evans, conducted a review of force protection measures available for Australian deployed troops instigated by the Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner last year after his visit to troops in Afghanistan.

It included direct discussions with ADF troops in theatre about their force protection needs and an assessment of the effectiveness of previous and ongoing force protection initiatives.

CJOPS' report was reviewed by the Chief of the Defence Force who tasked the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley, to design a decision-making framework for Government consideration.

The outcome of this work put forward 48 recommendations for enhancements to force protection measures, particularly reflecting the escalating improvised explosive device (IED) and rocket attacks in Oruzgan Province.

The force protection improvements recommended from the review cover a variety of active and passive measures, which range from personal protective equipment for soldiers, to unmanned surveillance systems (RPDE's ‘FOB Eye' task comes to mind).

A key initiative in the package is the acquisition of a C-RAM system for use in Afghanistan, which provides advance warning of rocket attacks.

The approved force protection Budget measures, costing a total of $1.1 billion, will minimise the vulnerability of personnel, facilities and equipment so that Australian deployed forces enjoy more freedom of action in support of Afghan National Security Forces.

In addition to the $1.1 billion in the specific force protection Budget measure, Defence has also received $485 million for force protection through Operation Slipper supplementation which traditionally funds ongoing aspects of operations including force protection.

Further ongoing operating costs for force protection initiatives of $48 million will be sought in the context of future budgets.

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