VALE 1731053 DENNIS ALLAN SPENCER, D COY 6 RAR 1966

Sadly we have been informed that Dennis Allan Spencer, a Long Tan Veteran, passed away on Saturday 6 Aug 22 in Brisbane.

Dennis’s funeral will be conducted by Anton Brown Funerals, 12pm (noon), Friday 12 August 2022 at the Centenary Memorial Gardens, 353 Wacol Station Rd, Sumner QLD.  Dress is Coat & Tie with medals.

Please join with us in offering our deepest sympathy to those who will mourn the passing of a loved one.  Another 6 RAR family member, taken too soon.

LEST WE FORGET

Allan Whelan, Secretary

Vale R63079 Russel William Boyce – Navy

Naval Air Mechanic Russel W. Boyce, late of Mount Magnet, WA, passed away on Saturday 7 August in Geraldton after a long illness.

Russel served on board HMAS Melbourne in 1965 and the RAN Helicopter Flight Vietnam from September 1968 to October 1969.

Funeral details to be advised.

Regards,

Peter Munro

Secretary, York RSL Sub Branch

 

Death and Funeral Notice Brendan McIntyre – RAA

We have received advice about the death recently of ex-WO1 Brendan (Boof) McIntyre. No service details are available, however, his funeral details are as follows:

 

Date: Friday 12 Aug

Loc: St John Vianney Catholic Church,

87 Namatjira Drive, Waramanga ACT 2611

Timings: TBC…Planning either 1000h or 1100h.

Medals may be worn.

Full Mass, service including Eulogies will take approx 1hr

No Pallbearers are required.

Photos will be displayed in a slide show at the wake only.

Wake: Canberra Irish Club,

6 Parkinson St, Weston, ACT 2611

 

RIP Brendan McIntyre

 

Peter Bruce, OAM

Obituary Resource Officer

 

Coalition calls for Australia to build its own missiles

By James Robertson

Australia must develop its own long-range missiles to meet rising challenges to regional security, opposition defence spokesman Andrew Hastie has said, as tensions across the Taiwan Strait continue unfolding.

Mr Hastie said on Sunday that Australia had to develop greater deterrents to challenges, such as from a rising China with “expansionist ambitions”.

“We need missiles that can reach out and touch an adversary,” Mr Hastie said.

“We need to partner (with America) to develop our own sovereign missiles, sovereign missiles Australian-owned, Australian-delivered, if required.”

Tweet from @InsidersABC Chinese warships and planes crossed over the median line in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday after a visit by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

“What we’ve seen over the last week, particularly with the missiles being fired in and around Taiwan, is that they’re using that strategic bulk to force a sphere of influence and we need to respond to that,” Mr Hastie said of China.

Small but savvy? Mr Hastie said that Singapore and Israel were good examples for Australia’s future strategy.

The two small nations have invested heavily in military technology to offset their geographic circumstances.

Marcus Hellyer, an expert in the economy of the defence force from ASPI, said a recently announced review would seek to reconfigure the defence budget for future growth in China’s relative position as the regional power.

“There’s, I think, broad consensus that we cannot rely on the US for everything all the time,” he said.

The review led by Stephen Smith and Sir Angus Houston could redirect tens of billions worth of programs from the defence budget in response to deeper questions about the defence of Australia.

Increasing Australia’s long-range missile strike capability is one response favoured by both sides of politics in response to a changing  regional security dynamic.

“Instead of starting the defence of Australia from [a distance of] about 1000 kilometres, it’s about having the ability to threaten an adversary, or shape their thinking at ranges of 2000 to 3000 kilometres.”

The tripartite AUKUS security pact and the development of longer-range nuclear-powered submarines was a major recent policy shift driven by the goal of expanding the boundaries of Australia’s zone of national defence.

But the boats are not expected to hit the water until the 2040s, which will leave a gap in Australia’s defence technologies until they are operational.

Too much consensus Other tough choices are around the corner in the Defence Strategic Review, which Dr Hellyer said would seek to cut some line items to focus efforts on the greatest priorities.

“We need to actually have some quite different thinking being injected into this discussion,” Dr Hellyer said.

“I think we need to have less consensus there and say some of these, these white elephants actually should be up for reassessment and reconsideration.”

The government says the AUKUS submarine program will be quarantined and not subject to review.

Dr Hellyer nominated an $18 billion to $26 billion program for building 400 new bulky armoured transport vehicles as one that might be superseded.

The development of sovereign missile capability became defence policy after a recent review and the announcement by Peter Dutton as then defence minister of a $1 billion program to develop it.

Defence currently has Raytheon and Lockheed Martin working with the Australian Missile Corporation on a plan projected to, within 15 years, achieve “increasingly sovereign design, development, manufacture and support of selected weapons”.

 

Hometown Battlefield

Back in about 2015 I sent out this video of the song Hometown Battlefield, over the last three days it has arrived in my inbox. It is a great song with meaningful lyrics and worth sharing.

 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Wq0X0bwMprQ%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_embedded

RAN accepts second evolved Cape Class vessel

By: Charbel Kadib

Austal Australia has announced the delivery of ADV Cape Peron — an evolved Cape Class patrol boat (ECCPB) to be deployed by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

ADV Cape Peron is the second of eight vessels to be accepted by the RAN as part of the SEA1445-1 project, with the first vessel, APV Cape Otway, delivered in March.

The 58-metre aluminium monohull patrol boats, developed as part of the SEA1445-1 project, feature larger amenities built to accommodate up to 32 people, improved quality of life systems and advanced sustainment intelligence systems.

The boats will be deployed for border protection, fisheries and constabulary duties.

Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg reflected on the importance of the capability for the RAN.

“The evolved Cape Class patrol boats are not only enhancing the Royal Australian Navy’s capability, but further strengthening Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability, which is more important than ever before,” Gregg said.

The ECCPB program reportedly employs approximately 400 people in Western Australia and is supported by over 300 supply chain partners across the country.

“We’re part of the national naval shipbuilding enterprise that is delivering enhanced capability for the Navy, protecting Australia’s borders, and maintaining security in our region,” Gregg added.

“It’s a great source of pride for the entire Austal team knowing that we’re equipping our Navy, and our nation with the best possible patrol boat capability.

“Our congratulations and thanks go to the Navy, the Commonwealth, and our industry partners on this latest delivery.”

According to Austal, the six remaining vessels are in various stages of production at its shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia, with deliveries “scheduled progressively” through to 2024.

The Commonwealth government had initially ordered a total of six vessels; however, the former Morrison government ordered a further two boats in April under a new $124 million investment.

The vessels will replace the Armidale Class fleet ahead of the delivery of the next-generation Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels, developed as part of Project SEA 1180.

 

Funeral notice for Scott Alderton – RAA

Funeral notice for Scott Alderton.

The funeral for Scotty will be held at The Lilydale Memorial Park Crematorium located at 126-128 Victoria Road Lilydale Victoria 3140.

The service will start at 3.30 pm on August 9th

The funeral will be webcast to those not able to attend.

A wake will follow the service for those who wish to attend.

R.I.P Scotty.

Peter Bruce, OAM

Obituary Resource Officer

 

A new look myGov is coming soon!

A new look myGov is coming soon!

The new website is being built and tested now, and you can familiarise yourself with the new features at beta.my.gov.au

The refreshed myGov will have a new look and offer personalised information about the government services you receive. While the appearance and information available on the myGov website will change, there will be no changes to the way you access MyService and the services available on MyService will stay the same.

Once the new myGov is live, there is nothing you need to do. Your sign-in details and the services you have linked to myGov will remain the same.

It’s important that you begin to familiarise yourself with the myGov Beta so you know what to expect once the changes take effect.

For more details on the changes coming to myGov, head over to beta.my.gov.au

For all queries relating to myGov, please contact Services Australia on 132 307.

If you have questions about DVA services, please contact 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372).

Six ways Australia can get real about boosting our defence forces

By Peter Jennings

The Albanese government’s announcement of a new defence strategic review, to be led by former defence minister Stephen Smith and former chief of defence force Sir Angus Houston, comes not a minute too soon to deal with the darkening strategic environment. It does not matter that the review is to look to “2032-33 and beyond” – the real challenge is to see what can be done to deter or prevail in an Indo-Pacific conflict with China in perhaps three to five years.

Why a war in the mid-2020s? That’s the period when many strategic analysts across the West’s national security establishment believe the People’s Liberation Army will be at its strongest relative to its opponents, when the democracies will be at their distracted nadir, and Xi Jinping will be at the zenith of his personal power in his mid-70s.

Xi sees himself as a world historical figure taking advantage of America’s terminal decline to realise the great China dream of global dominance. He is not going to step away from power – or, more likely, have power taken from him – wondering if he could have forcefully put Taiwan under Communist Party control.

Forget the AUKUS promise of nuclear-powered submarines to be delivered in the later 2030s. By then the Chinese Communist Party will be a relic of history or dictating to the Indo-Pacific.

For several years now Australia has been the sand in Beijing’s gears, showing the world that appeasement, or “nuanced diplomacy” as its advocates call it, is not the solution. Working with like-minded allies, building strong military capabilities and giving our Southeast Asian and Pacific Island neighbours better options for co-operation will deter China.

Smith and Houston have a bare eight months to come up with a better plan for Defence than the fantasy of a “networked and integrated future force” in the 2040s, something never to be taken out of its limited-edition box.

The “future force” strategic plan worked well enough when the wars Australia faced were optional deployments to the Middle East. Anthony Albanese – like Scott Morrison before him – needs to respond to a much harder Indo-Pacific strategic reality. On that, Australia is out of time.

Our planners no longer have a notional 10 years to identify a threat and gear up to defeat it. China already has the capability to project substantial power into our nearer region, to target Australian military bases and critical infrastructure with missiles, and to coerce our neighbours.

It’s not surprising that Houston said at Wednesday’s launch: “It’s absolutely imperative that we review the current strategic circumstances, which I rate the worst I have ever seen in my career and lifetime.”

No one should be surprised. For the better part of a decade I have been writing in The Australian and elsewhere about the strategic threat presented by Beijing. I have been called a hawk, a xenophobe, a “national security cowboy”, a shill for the military-industrial complex and worse.

There will be time enough to explore how it was that so many people could pretend, for so long, that Beijing was benign or that the risk could be managed. Right now, the challenge is to rethink defence policy dramatically.

For Smith and Houston, I suggest there are six policy priorities that should guide their work. They are: adding to defence firepower; stockpiling essential equipment; speeding decision-making; increasing the US military presence; hardening and dispersing bases; and, finally, strengthening our national resilience.

At land, sea and in the air, Defence simply lacks enough weapons with the long ranges needed to prevail in modern war. For decades we put priority on buying the ships, aircraft and vehicles “fitted for but not with” armaments.

Old habits die hard; the Coalition’s last budget cancelled the SkyGuardian MQ-9B armed drone just on the point of delivery. A near-identical weapon killed al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri last week, showing the value of long-range drones able to stay airborne for up to 24 hours.

Nothing in the Australian Defence Force can deliver that outcome without putting pilots’ lives at risk. Enemy drones will push our crewed ships and aircraft out of combat range.

Australia needs to acquire these and similar weapons available now from current US and European production runs. We can’t wait for a domestic industry to be built over a decade but we do need an industry capable of maintaining, upgrading, storing and distributing these weapons.

On stockpiling, the lesson of the Ukraine war is that missiles will be depleted very quickly, so they need to be bought in sufficient numbers they can be stockpiled and used in large numbers across prolonged conflict. Defence used to buy small numbers of missiles for training purposes, but we have no serious “war stocks” to speak of. When the missiles run out it doesn’t matter how advanced the launch vehicle is.

Governments have been frustrated for decades over the slowness of Defence decision-making. It’s not that officials are lazy; it’s more that the system is designed around peacetime priorities to reduce risk, weigh options and deliver modest successes.

Smith and Houston need to propose an emergency weapons procurement agency, something that will accept the reality of the strategic judgment that a mid-decade war is a real possibility. This step alone will overturn decades of rusted-on Defence processes. The test is simple: buy only what can be delivered in three to five years.

The fourth priority is to work with the US to increase its military presence, particularly in northern Australia. Smith was defence minister and Houston was chief of defence force when the US Marine Corps and greater US Air Force presence in the north was negotiated. They understand the deterrent value of that American military presence.

In the event of a military crisis in the Indo-Pacific, American policy is to disperse their forces to complicate enemy targeting. For Australia that means we urgently need to think about how we deal with that situation. The good news is that we are not alone. The “force posture” Smith and Houston need to consider is an allied force posture, but a larger US presence will draw heavily on Australia’s limited northern infrastructure. What can we do to make the north better able to handle a substantial growth in military forces there? Hardening and dispersing bases and areas from which the ADF and allied forces may operate is another critical task.

For years the policy priority was to create fewer, larger bases. Often near population centres, these large bases are barely protected against protesters, let along a determined foreign adversary. There is a huge task ahead to determine how to strengthen these facilities and to plan for dispersing our own forces (not just in Australia) at a time of crisis.

Finally, there is the issue of national resilience. We have grown used to the ADF being the national “go-to” resource in dealing with fires, floods and pandemics. Shortly before or during conflict the onus will be reversed: the military will look to industry and the Australian population to support a bigger defence effort. Smith and Houston need to start that conversation with the Australian people.

It is not often realised or reported but there is no more urgent policy agenda before the Albanese government than this new strategic review. It’s time to accept the truth about our worsening strategic position and start defence planning as though the threat was real – because it most assuredly is.

Peter Jennings is the former executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former deputy secretary for strategy at the Defence Department.