Chapter Two > Outcome Three: Army Capabilities > Capability Performance Information

Outcome Three: Army Capabilities

Capability Performance Information

Output 3.1 Capability for Special Forces Operations

The special forces operations capability contributes to the strategic tasks of defending Australia, securing our immediate neighbourhood, supporting wider interests and supporting peacetime national tasks. They achieve this by providing forces to conduct non-combatant evacuation and special recovery operations, counter-terrorism and consequence management operations and to support conventional land operations.

This capability exploits deception and surprise and employs techniques that are discreet, non-escalatory, and avoid collateral damage, particularly in support of Government domestic security operations. The special forces operations capability is maintained at a high degree of readiness.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve capabilities and levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months, including the provision of a battalion-sized group within 90 days readiness. Achieved. The special forces operations capability was able to meet all preparedness requirements for military response options. There are two Tactical Assault Groups for domestic counter-terrorist operations. These units are the Tactical Assault Group (East) from the 4th Battalion (Commando), Royal Australian Regiment, and Tactical Assault Group (West) from the Special Air Services Regiment. The Special Operations capability achieved the levels of preparedness directed for the high readiness response force drawn from the 1st Commando Regiment.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Achieved. All training requirements were met.
Quantity Special Operations Command, comprising:
- a command headquarters;
- a Special Air Service Regiment;
- a regular commando regiment;
- a Reserve commando regiment; and
- an Incident Response Regiment.
This target was achieved. The special forces operations capability had the personnel and equipment holdings to complete the likely tasks required of it.

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Output 3.2 Capability for Mechanised Operations

The mechanised operations capability contributes to the strategic tasks of supporting wider interests, defending Australia, securing our immediate neighbourhood and supporting peacetime national tasks. The capability for mechanised operations is achieved by providing light mechanised and light armoured forces to enhance combat power and weight for more demanding contingencies using surprise, offensive action and concentration of force in order to disrupt or destroy enemy forces' plans, cohesion and morale. It achieves this through engaging the enemy in close combat enabled by force protection and integral firepower.

The mechanised operations capability provides forces at high to medium readiness. These forces can be deployed in combined arms teams from company to battalion size. These combined arms teams are drawn from armoured units, mechanised infantry, medium artillery, combat engineers, army aviation and combat support units. This capability is derived mainly from the 1st Brigade which is based in Darwin, Northern Territory.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months, including the provision of a battalion-sized group within 90 days readiness. Partially Achieved. The mechanised operations capability was unable to support all allocated preparedness requirements for military response options in this reporting period. Deficiencies in equipment, in some types of ammunition and in personnel numbers in key trades affected preparedness levels for some response options. A reduced, yet credible level of capability was available for all of the military response options. Equipment deficiencies and personnel shortages continue to be addressed, including the acquisition of upgraded ASLAVs, a new main battle tank, an upgrade of the M113 and personnel retention and remediation initiatives. Ammunition deficiencies are being resolved.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Partially Achieved. A number of training activities had to be reduced in scope due to operational commitments. Personnel shortages in a number of key trades and shortages of some types of ammunition continue to affect the achievement of some core skills.
Quantity 1st Brigade, comprising:
- a brigade headquarters;
- a tank regiment;
- a cavalry regiment;
- a medium artillery regiment;
- a combat engineer regiment;
- a combat support regiment;
- a mechanised infantry battalion; and
- a combat service support battalion.
This target was substantially achieved. The mechanised operations capability continued to have deficiencies in personnel and equipment holdings that affected its capacity to complete all the likely tasks required of it.

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Output 3.3 Capability for Light Infantry Operations

The light infantry operations capability contributes to the strategic tasks of securing our immediate neighbourhood and defending Australia. The capability for light infantry operations is achieved by providing light, air-mobile forces available for immediate deployment and is supported by specialist components drawn from aviation, fire support and logistic units. It uses strategic, operational and tactical mobility to exploit its flexibility, adaptability and utility across the spectrum of conflict. The capability achieves this through surprise, rapid action and the ability to seize and hold ground.

The light infantry operations capability provides forces at high readiness. These forces can be deployed in combined arms teams from company to battalion size. These combined arms teams are drawn from an armoured sub-unit, light infantry units, light artillery, combat engineers and combat support units and can also be supported by armoured and aviation units from other Army, Navy, and Air Force outputs. This capability is based on the 3rd Brigade in Townsville, Queensland.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months, including the provision of a battalion-sized group within 90 days readiness. Achieved. The light infantry capability met the levels of preparedness for military response options. It provided force elements in support of the Baghdad Security Detachment and operations in the Solomon Islands. The capability also provided personnel, as the transit security element, to border protection operations in the apprehension of illegal immigrants.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. Most training requirements were met. Some airborne and amphibious training was restricted due to reduced availability of joint assets as a result of operational commitments in Iraq and the Solomon Islands.
Quantity 3rd Brigade, comprising:
- a brigade headquarters;
- an armoured personnel carrier squadron;
- a field artillery regiment;
- a combat engineer regiment;
- a command support regiment;
- three infantry battalions; and
- a combat service support battalion.
This target was achieved. Personnel and equipment availability for units in this output were sufficient to meet preparedness levels.

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Output 3.4 Capability for Army Aviation Operations

The Army aviation operations capability contributes to the strategic tasks of defending Australia, securing our immediate neighbourhood, supporting wider interests and supporting peacetime national tasks. The capability for Army aviation operations is achieved by providing aircraft and personnel at high readiness levels for tactical troop lift, counter-terrorist support, command and liaison and reconnaissance operations. The capability is drawn from aviation units based in the north of Australia.

The capability is based on two aviation regiments consisting mainly of Kiowa, Iroquois, Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, and fixed-wing King Air and Twin Otter aircraft. The Kiowa helicopters will be replaced progressively by two squadrons of armed reconnaissance helicopters from December 2004. Iroquois helicopters are planned to be replaced with additional troop-lift helicopters in 2007.

In November 2004, the capability is to be restructured into two aviation regiments and two independent aviation squadrons.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Achieved. The Army aviation operations capability met all levels of preparedness for military response options. In June 2004, the Black Hawk detachment returned to Australia from East Timor. Until this point, Army Aviation had elements on operations continuously since the deployment of Iroquois to Bougainville in 1998. The capability also provided significant staff effort to the armed reconnaissance helicopter and Project Air 9000 Troop Lift Helicopter considerations.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. The commitment of Black Hawk helicopters to operations in East Timor affected the achievement of all training requirements. In particular, training activities for light infantry operations were not fully supported. The introduction of a major upgrade to the maintenance management system resulted in an extensive reduced activity period. The recent return of all elements from overseas deployments will mean an increase in training support to other units, including the 3rd Brigade.
Quantity 36 S-70A9 Black Hawk - 8,200 flying hours Black Hawks - 6,864 hours achieved (84 per cent).
The impact of the maintenance system upgrade on the Black Hawk fleet was significant due to the aircraft's complexity. A modification program to rectify cracking is also affecting aircraft availability, but availability is improving.
42 B-206 Kiowa - 12,970 flying hours Kiowa - 11,425 hours achieved (88 per cent).
This underachievement is a result of reduced activity periods to enable personnel to take outstanding leave following an extended period of involvement in operations.
6 CH-47D Chinook - 1,170 flying hours Chinook - 876 hours achieved (75 per cent).
The underachievement reflects the requirement to rebuild engines as a result of the sand erosion incurred during operations in the Middle East in 2003, as well as a period of reduced activity following these operations.
25 UH-1H Iroquois - 4,640 flying hours Iroquois - 4,058 hours achieved (87 per cent).
The major factors contributing to this underachievement were the shortage of pilots due to the requirement to sustain the Black Hawk capability in East Timor, support to special operations, and a reduced activity period following operations in the Solomon Islands.
3 B-200 King Air - 2,000 flying hours King Air - 2,034 hours achieved (102 per cent).
The overachievement was partly to offset the underachievement of the Twin Otter aircraft.
2 DHC-6 Twin Otter - 1,200 flying hours Twin Otter - 1,064 hours achieved (89 per cent).
The result reflected fluctuating aircraft availability due to the age of the fleet. The fleet is being withdrawn from service from December 2004.

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Output 3.5 Capability for Ground-Based Air Defence

The ground-based air defence capability contributes to the strategic tasks of supporting wider interests, defending Australia, securing our immediate neighbourhood and supporting peacetime national tasks. This is achieved by providing a capability that is versatile and able to defend airspace in conjunction with other land and joint elements. The ground-based air defence capability provides air defence weapon systems at high to medium readiness, that can be deployed on land or on board ship, to protect high-value targets from air attack. The capability can also be deployed as part of a combined arms team. This capability is derived from the 16th Air Defence Regiment based in Adelaide, South Australia, which maintains a ground-based air defence system consisting of RBS-70 shoulder-launched missile systems and Rapier missile systems.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Substantially Achieved. The ground-based air defence capability met most levels of preparedness as directed in the military response options. Personnel and ammunition deficiencies affected levels of preparedness and sustainment for all military response options. Ammunition deficiencies are being resolved through a long-term contract with the missile producer and will see delivery of the new missiles from 2005-06. Due to the long procurement times, remediation of this deficiency will take several years. Personnel shortages, particularly for tradesmen and air defence gunners, are being rectified through recruiting programs.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. Most training activities were achieved.
Quantity 16th Air Defence Regiment This target was partially achieved. While the ground-based air defence capability had insufficient personnel and ammunition stocks to fully achieve all capability requirements, a reduced but credible capability was provided.

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Output 3.6 Capability for Combat Support Operations

The combat support operations capability contributes to supporting combat forces in the range of strategic environments in which they may be deployed, including supporting wider interests, defending Australia, securing our immediate neighbourhood and supporting peacetime national tasks. The capability for combat support operations is designed to enhance the conduct of operations through effective communications, surveillance and specialist support (in particular construction engineering, topographical support, intelligence, and electronic warfare operations). The combat support operations capability provides forces at high to medium readiness. Small elements of the capability are held at high readiness to support the high readiness units in other outputs. This capability is drawn from combat support units based throughout Australia.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Substantially Achieved. The capability met most preparedness tasks as directed in the military response options. Equipment deficiencies and personnel shortfalls in key trades affected some preparedness tasks. The personnel shortfalls are being progressively addressed through the critical trades remediation plan. Equipment deficiencies will be resolved through new acquisition projects and some limited redistribution of assets.
The capability provided significant support to forces deployed on operations throughout the year in all theatres. A construction squadron provided significant support to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission/Army Community Assistance Program through the construction of facilities for the indigenous community on Palm Island.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. Operational deployments and shortfalls in personnel in critical trades affected the achievement of some training requirements.
Quantity Combat support units include:
- a construction regiment comprising two engineer construction squadrons and a construction engineer works section;
- a topographical survey squadron;
- a surveillance and target acquisition battery;
- a signals regiment;
- an intelligence battalion;
- a military police battalion; and
- a combat training centre (live).
This target was substantially achieved. The combat support operations capability had sufficient personnel and equipment to provide a reduced, yet credible, capability.

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Output 3.7 Capability for Regional Surveillance

The regional surveillance capability contributes to the strategic task of defending Australia and supporting peacetime national tasks by providing forces to patrol the north of Australia in support of the national surveillance effort. The capability is maintained through the employment of predominantly Reserve personnel drawn from the local communities and the indigenous population throughout the north of Australia, from the Pilbara to Cape York. The capability for regional surveillance is drawn from three regional force surveillance units: Norforce, the Pilbara Regiment and the 51st Far North Queensland Regiment.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Achieved. All levels of preparedness for military response options were achieved. The three regional force surveillance units provided support to border protection operations in support of Operation Cranberry.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Achieved. All training activities were achieved.
Quantity Three regional force surveillance units. This target was achieved. The regional surveillance operations capability had the personnel and equipment holdings necessary to complete the tasks required of it.

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Output 3.8 Capability for Operational Logistic Support to Land Forces

The operational logistic support to land forces capability contributes to the strategic tasks of being prepared to defend Australia, contribute to the security of our immediate neighbourhood, support our wider interests and peacetime national tasks. It provides supply, transport, repair and health functions in support of combat operations. The operational logistic support to land forces capability provides forces at high to medium readiness. Small elements of the capability are held at high readiness to support the high readiness units in other outputs. The capability is grouped in the Logistic Support Force which is a brigade-sized organisation comprising regular and Reserve units located throughout Australia.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Substantially Achieved. The capability provided significant support to forces deployed on operations throughout the reporting period in all theatres. As a consequence, the capability will require some remediation from operations in 2004-05. Logistic support achieved most preparedness tasks as directed in the military response options. Personnel shortfalls in critical trades, commitment of personnel on operations and limited reserve stocks affected the achievement of some of the preparedness tasks.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Substantially Achieved. Operational deployments and personnel deficiencies in a number of key trades affected the achievement of all training requirements.
Quantity Logistic Support Force and its integral logistic support units including:
- two force headquarters;
- two signals squadrons;
- a petroleum company;
- a recovery company;
- three force support battalions;
- a deployed forces support unit;
- three health support battalions; and
- a psychology unit.
This target was substantially achieved. The logistic support capability had insufficient personnel and equipment to achieve all of the tasks required of it. A reduced yet credible level of capability was maintained.

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Output 3.9 Capability for Motorised Infantry Operations

The motorised infantry operations capability contributes to the strategic tasks of being prepared to defend Australia and secure our immediate neighbourhood. The capability complements the 1st and 3rd Brigades by providing a range of highly mobile forces to conduct land manoeuvre operations utilising surprise, offensive action and concentration of force to disrupt or destroy enemy forces' plans, cohesion and morale. The capability provides forces at high to medium readiness. These forces can be deployed in combined arms teams from company to battalion size. Combined arms teams are drawn from an armoured unit, motorised infantry units, artillery, combat engineers and combat support units and can be supported by armoured and aviation units from other outputs. The capability is based on the 7th Brigade, an integrated formation of full and part-time personnel, based in Brisbane, Queensland.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months, including the provision of a battalion-sized group within 90 days readiness. Partially Achieved. The motorised infantry operations capability provided elements of the 6th Battalion to support operations in East Timor. The remainder of the capability was not capable of achieving all military response options due to equipment deficiencies and personnel shortfalls in key trades and sustainability issues. Personnel shortfalls are being addressed through recruiting and retention programs. Equipment deficiencies will be progressively addressed through redistribution and acquisition of new equipment, including upgraded ASLAVs and Bushranger vehicles.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Partially Achieved. Most training activities were successfully conducted. Some collective training activities were reduced in scope due to operational commitments, deficiencies in equipment, personnel and some types of ammunition.
Quantity 7th Brigade, comprising:
- a brigade headquarters;
- a cavalry regiment;
- a field artillery regiment;
- a combat engineer regiment;
- a command support regiment;
- three Reserve / integrated infantry battalions; and
- a combat service support battalion.
For regular units, this target was substantially achieved. Regular units achieved the required staffing levels, and provided a credible level of preparedness.
For Reserve units, this target was partially achieved. Reserve units achieved lower than expected recruiting targets, which affected staffing levels for the capability.

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Output 3.10 Capability for Protective Operations

The protective operations capability contributes to the strategic tasks of being prepared to defend Australia and to support peacetime national tasks. While retaining long-term utility for defence of Australia tasks, the protective operations capability also provided reinforcements for deployed regular units and a mobilisation base for subsequent rotations in the event of protracted operations. Elements of this capability are also trained to assist in domestic security incidents. The protective operations capability provides forces at high to low readiness. The capability is grouped in 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 13th Brigades, which are predominantly Reserve formations based across Australia.

  Performance Targets Performance
Quality Achieve levels of preparedness directed by the Chief of the Defence Force for military response options with a warning time of less than 12 months. Partially Achieved. The protective operations capability achieved the levels of preparedness directed for the five High Readiness Reserve response forces drawn from 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 13th Brigades (11th Brigade is, but is not required to be, at high readiness). The remainder of the capability was unable to achieve most preparedness tasks as directed in the military response options due to deficiencies in equipment and personnel shortages in key trades. Personnel shortages are being addressed through recruiting and retention programs. Initiatives such as the Ready Response Force have focused specialist elements within these brigades towards meeting a shorter readiness notice.
Achieve a level of training that maintains core skills and professional standards across all warfare areas. Partially Achieved. Most training activities were successfully conducted. Some collective training activities were reduced in scope due to deficiencies in equipment, personnel and some types of ammunition.
Quantity The 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th and 13th Brigades, each comprising:
- a headquarters;
- 2 or 3 infantry battalions;
- a cavalry unit; and
- combat and logistic support units.
This target was partially achieved. The quantity for the High Readiness Reserve response forces was achieved during 2003-04. While there were personnel shortfalls in the remainder of the capability personnel from the capability still provided a reinforcement and rotation base within the combat force component of the Army.

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