Chapter Four - Outcome Performance > Outcome Three: Army Capabilities > page 2 of 14
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Outcome Three: Army Capabilities

Performance Summary

Meeting Preparedness Requirements

The Army's primary performance measure is whether its preparedness requirements are being met. The Army provided ready forces, as directed by the Government and the Chief of the Defence Force, including five infantry battalion groups and a commando battalion, all at 90 days readiness or less. The Army's combat forces can also be formed into nine combined arms battlegroups based on the headquarters of the infantry battalions, armoured and aviation units. In addition, the Army maintained seven Reserve Response Forces to enhance the Army's domestic security response capability.

With recent increased allocations to logistics, there have been improvements to preparedness. ADF commitments to Iraq and relief efforts in Sumatra reduced the level of Navy and Air Force support for Army activities, and also limited the size and scope of some exercises. Personnel and equipment issues will continue to be addressed in 2005-06 and in future years.

The Army continued to plan for the revitalisation of the Army Reserve to begin implementation in 2005-06 to ensure that it will make the maximum contribution to Army's operational tasks. The Army continues to improve its ability to support joint operations and to enhance its capability through greater lethality and better protection of forces.

Developing the Army's Core Capabilities

The Army continued to maximise its ability to sustain and rotate deployed forces through:

  • development of an Army sustainment model designed to ensure that a brigade and battalion group can be deployed continually;
  • enhancement of a deployable medical facility for delivery from early 2005; and
  • development of systems for bulk liquid distribution capabilities for delivery from 2005.

The Army continued to develop its combat weight through developments in mobility, firepower and protection of existing force elements including:

  • procurement of the M1A1 Abrams tank system through a Foreign Military Sales arrangement with the United States, with introduction into service in 2007;
  • acceptance of additional ASLAV armoured vehicles into service in South-East Queensland;
  • accelerated acquisition of additional troop lift helicopters;
  • submission of a proposal to the Government for the acquisition of an indirect fire support system;
  • continuation of the enhancement of the existing Black Hawk helicopter fleet with ballistic protection and self-protection capabilities;
  • acceptance into service of the first of the Army's armed reconnaissance helicopters;
  • preparing for the acceptance of Bushmaster infantry mobility vehicles for delivery from 2005;
  • introduction into Army service of the fixed modular bridge system;
  • continued procurement of additional Javelin direct fire guided weapons for the remainder of the land forces for delivery from 2006; and
  • upgrade of the M113 armoured personnel carrier fleet, planned for delivery from 2006.

The Army continued to develop its command, control, communications and intelligence capability through:

  • continuing development of the Tactical Assault Group (East) and the Incident Response Regiment;
  • further development of Special Operations Command; and
  • preparation for the establishment of a tactical uninhabited aerial vehicle capability for land forces from 2009.

Assistance to the Civil Community

The Army has supported the Australian community by continuing to participate in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Service/Army Community Assistance Program. The program deployed Army construction engineers, health and logistic elements to the Northern Peninsula Area of Far North Queensland in 2004-05. Over a period of almost five months, Army engineers worked with the Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon communities near Bamaga to repair community infrastructure including housing, water and waste facilities.

The Army has also provided a wide range of support to emergency and community projects through the Defence Aid to the Civil Community provisions. These tasks included support to the South Australian Government's post-bushfire clean up of the Eyre Peninsula, support to the Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Authority response to the 'white powder' hoaxes, provision of the Red Berets parachute display team for public events of significance, and Army band concerts.

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