Chapter Two > Outcome Three: Army Capabilities > Mitigation of key risks

Outcome Three: Army Capabilities

Mitigation of key risks

In the Portfolio Budget Statements 2003-04, the Army identified two key risks to fully meeting its preparedness responsibilities - personnel and logistics support

Personnel

In 2003-04, the Regular Army strength increased by 166 personnel to 25,455. To meet current preparedness requirements and future capability commitments detailed in the Defence White Paper 2000, the Army's funded strength is projected to be 26,443 by 2009-10. The Army remains on track to achieve this. In 2003-04, the Active Reserve strength decreased by 290 to 16,882.

There was some improvement in recruiting from that achieved in the previous year, with a small increase in the separation rate. This has increased pressure on key personnel areas such as medical professionals, linguists and technical trades. In 2003-04, the Army's recruiting performance was 84 per cent of target, compared to the previous year's performance of 79 per cent. The average recruiting performance for the past four years has been 86 per cent. The Army's separation rate increased to 10.9 per cent, compared to 9.9 per cent for the previous year, but is still better than the Army's historical separation rate of 12 per cent. Lower recruiting achievement and higher separation rates place greater risk on the Army achieving future strength targets.

Logistics Support

Logistic deficiencies have affected all of the Army's outputs, and relate to shortages in equipment, fleet finance, and shortages of qualified logistic personnel in selected mechanical and supply support trades. The Army has established new base support structures and provided dedicated staffing within Army Headquarters to improve communication and the delivery of garrison services. Logistics support to bases including access control, transport, stores management, catering and cleaning services are undergoing review. The Army and the Corporate Services and Infrastructure Group are developing a national garrison support standard for the Army. The relative age of the Army estate and the increasing cost of repairs will place added pressure on facility operating costs. The Corporate Services and Infrastructure Group is addressing issues relating to infrastructure upgrades and redevelopment through living in accommodation, force disposition and national training area reviews.

Supplementary funding has improved critical materiel deficiencies in the general service vehicle and night-fighting equipment fleets, particularly in support of mechanised and light infantry operations. In 2003-04, the Army put programs in place to refurbish special forces and aviation equipment returning from operations.

The Army's core logistic management system, the Standard Defence Supply System, was upgraded in July 2003 and supported by a training program.

The logistics challenges that the Army has experienced are being addressed through increases in ammunition holdings, enhanced maintenance programs for key Army fleets and the replacement of a range of equipment. This includes $111m over four years to address maintenance deficiencies in the Army's field vehicle and trailer fleet which is required before project Land 121 delivers a new fleet of vehicles after 2008-09. It also includes increases in reserve stock holdings of ammunition through the Joint Ammunition Project.

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