Australia — ADF Reserves Capability: Where to Now?

Sen­a­tor David Fee­ny (Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary For Defence) speech to Defence Reserves Asso­ci­a­tion Annu­al Con­fer­ence 20 Aug 2011

Dis­tin­guished guests, Ladies and Gen­tle­men.
It gives me very great plea­sure to be here today. This is my sec­ond DRA con­fer­ence as Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for Defence.
I would like to thank Rear Admi­ral Ben­nett for her pre­sen­ta­tion and con­tri­bu­tion today which pro­vides us with a greater under­stand­ing of how one of our clos­est allies and friends – Cana­da – approach­es the issue of opti­mis­ing Reserve capa­bil­i­ty.
When I first addressed this con­fer­ence I was a new­ly appoint­ed Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary with a keen inter­est in and respect for the men and women of the Aus­tralian Defence Force and the busi­ness of Defence. I made it very clear I was here — because I very much want­ed to be here — to lis­ten and learn from cur­rent and for­mer mem­bers of the ADF and civil­ian per­son­nel engaged in defend­ing our coun­try and its nation­al inter­ests. My focus in the last year has been to get out and about to see first hand the chal­lenges faced by Reserves — in par­tic­u­lar Army Reserves — and also appre­ci­ate their suc­cess.
I am proud to say that it has been my absolute priv­i­lege to vis­it Head­quar­ters Sec­ond Divi­sion and each of the Brigade Head­quar­ters dur­ing the past year to meet Com­man­ders, RSMs, offi­cers and sol­diers. I have been for­tu­nate enough to attend farewell and wel­come home parades for Reserve con­tin­gents and meet sol­diers, offi­cers and their fam­i­lies. I have wit­nessed first hand Reserves on oper­a­tion ANODE in the Solomon Islands, train­ing at Canun­gra for Reserves deploy­ing to East Tim­or on OP ASTUTE, and train­ing at Irwin Bar­racks for CHOGM.
I have been impressed not only by the capa­bil­i­ty deliv­ered by Reserve units but by the obvi­ous cama­raderie and mate­ship that exists in each of the Brigades, and the exten­sion of this feel­ing of inclu­sive­ness and belong­ing to the fam­i­lies and friends of Reservists, for­mer Reservists, Employ­ers and those organ­i­sa­tions, like the DRA that sup­port Reserves.
If I could sin­gle out one word which cap­tures the qual­i­ties I have seen dis­played in the Reserve com­mu­ni­ty dur­ing the past year – I would sin­gle out TEAMWORK

In late 2010, Min­is­ter Smith and I decid­ed that the “Rebal­anc­ing Army Review Imple­men­ta­tion Plan,” includ­ing the Army Reserve Approved Future Force would not be pro­gressed.
In the months since then Army and the Reserve com­mu­ni­ty have approached the renewed and com­plex task of devel­op­ing a mod­erni­sa­tion plan which would opti­mise the Reserves’ con­tri­bu­tion to capa­bil­i­ty with­in a Total Force con­struct with deter­mi­na­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion. This sense of col­lab­o­ra­tion was embod­ied in the Reserve Mod­erni­sa­tion Work­shops and the open con­sul­ta­tion process which has shaped and influ­enced PLAN BEERSHEBA.  I would like to pay trib­ute to MAJGEN John Cali­gari, MAJGEN Craig Williams, MAGJEN Paul Brere­ton, Brigadier Iain Spence and his excel­lent offi­cers – Bruce and Andy, all the Brigade Com­man­ders – Peter, Stephen, Philip, Robert, Craig, RSMs, and oth­er offi­cers and per­son­nel with­in Defence and exter­nal to Defence who have come togeth­er with pro­fes­sion­al­ism as a team to make this work. It is this spir­it of team­work which will be essen­tial to the suc­cess­ful imple­men­ta­tion of Plan BEERSHEBA.
At its core Plan BEERSHEBA seeks to opti­mise the Reserve’s con­tri­bu­tion to capa­bil­i­ty with­in Army’s Total Force by incor­po­rat­ing the Reserve into Army’s force gen­er­a­tion cycle.
This is to be achieved by first, clear­ly defin­ing the tasks that the Army Reserve will under­take to deliv­er spec­i­fied capa­bil­i­ty in order to sup­port and sus­tain ADF pre­pared­ness and oper­a­tions.
The Army Reserve is required to deliv­er four core tasks.
The first task and the main effort is to deliv­er spec­i­fied warfight­ing capa­bil­i­ties with a strong empha­sis on Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Oper­a­tions. This is the type of oper­a­tion which has a strong human­i­tar­i­an ele­ment and has regret­tably become the type of oper­a­tion most com­mon in our glob­al and region­al com­mu­ni­ty. This type of oper­a­tion is an essen­tial capa­bil­i­ty the Gov­ern­ment requires of the ADF and it is the type of oper­a­tion that Reserves have proven to be high­ly adept at.
No less impor­tant is the sec­ond task required of the Army Reserve – pro­vid­ing domes­tic Human­i­tar­i­an Aid and Domes­tic Response as part of a Whole of Gov­ern­ment approach. We all know how invalu­able this role has been, espe­cial­ly to those Aus­tralians affect­ed by recent nat­ur­al dis­as­ters.
The Reserve is also tasked with pro­vid­ing and main­tain­ing indi­vid­ual capa­bil­i­ties and con­tribut­ing to Army surge capa­bil­i­ties.
Clear­ly the Reserve has been entrust­ed with sig­nif­i­cant and impor­tant roles and tasks as part of a total force.
The Reserve Mod­erni­sa­tion Work­shops deter­mined that these Reserve capa­bil­i­ties should be devel­oped and gen­er­at­ed through two pri­ma­ry mech­a­nisms:
o          First, through inte­grat­ed effects gen­er­at­ed from habit­u­al part­ner­ships that are to be devel­oped between Reg­u­lar and Reserve brigades. In essence, it is pro­posed that each of the Army’s three Reg­u­lar Mul­ti-Role Manoeu­vre Brigades should devel­op a habit­u­al rela­tion­ship with, and be sup­port­ed by, two of the Reserve’s Mul­ti-Role Brigades. These two ARes brigades will be required to gen­er­ate a bat­tle group for a 12 month peri­od each 36 months aligned to the mul­ti-role manoeu­vre brigade ‘Ready Phase’ of the Force Gen­er­a­tion Cycle.
o          Sec­ond, through increased struc­tur­al inte­gra­tion of Reserve units and sub-units with the Army’s three Reg­u­lar spe­cial­ist brigades – the 6th Brigade (which is respon­si­ble for Com­bat Sup­port and ISTAR), the 16th Avi­a­tion Brigade, and the 17th Com­bat Ser­vices Sup­port Brigade.
While the out­come has not been finalised, under Plan BEERSHEBA the Army Reserve will re-struc­ture in order to gen­er­ate these inte­grat­ed capa­bil­i­ty out­puts. For exam­ple, and again sub­ject to final­i­sa­tion, the 2nd Divi­sion may be required to gen­er­ate for a par­tic­u­lar task a col­lec­tive of sub-units that approx­i­mate an enhanced bat­tal­ion-sized bat­tle group.
In addi­tion, the 2nd Divi­sion will con­tin­ue to pro­vide Reserve Response Force com­pa­nies and retain respon­si­bil­i­ty for the vast major­i­ty of the High Readi­ness Reserve. The suc­cess of the ‘call for’ pro­vi­sions in attract­ing Army Reserve vol­un­teers, demon­strat­ed through the mul­ti­ple tours to the Solomon Islands and East Tim­or, means that we need to con­sid­er fur­ther and refine the High Readi­ness Reserve con­cept. For the time being, the focus remains on the pro­vi­sion of six Com­bat Teams from with­in the 2nd Divi­sion, sup­ple­ment­ed by spe­cial­ist posi­tions from the wider Reserve. Army is also inves­ti­gat­ing options for reward­ing Reservists who meet readi­ness require­ments as part of the 2nd Division’s Plan BEERSHEBA out­comes.
While I have men­tioned Army’s Plan BEERSHEBA, Navy and Air Force have also pro­gressed the inte­gra­tion of their Reserves into the Total force.

The Navy Reserve has been through a peri­od of con­sol­i­da­tion fol­low­ing a Whole of Capa­bil­i­ty Work­force Review. Pri­or to the Review, the Navy Reserve enjoyed a num­ber of years when it received sup­ple­men­tary fund­ing from unspent Per­ma­nent Navy salaries. This bol­stered the Reserve’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Navy’s day-to-day activ­i­ties con­sid­er­ably.
More recent­ly, fol­low­ing Navy’s suc­cess in recruit­ing Per­ma­nent mem­bers and in con­junc­tion with a dra­mat­ic reduc­tion in the num­ber of offi­cers and sailors sep­a­rat­ing from the Ser­vice, Navy has now reached its man­pow­er ceil­ing. This has sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced Navy’s abil­i­ty to sup­ple­ment its Reserve. As a result, the Navy Reserve now oper­ates with­in a less-flex­i­ble bud­get. The advan­tage to Navy has been that its Reserve work-force has been pri­ori­tised, to ensure that those posi­tions that receive fund­ing are those which deliv­er the great­est lev­el of capa­bil­i­ty to the ADF.
The reduc­tion in Reserve posi­tions avail­able has, to a degree, been off­set by the sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Navy Reservists who are employed in Non Navy Groups and are self-fund­ed by these groups.
Notably, Navy Reservists con­tin­ue to work along­side their full-time coun­ter­parts as part of a total­ly inte­grat­ed work­force. Almost 95% of Navy Reservists now have a Per­ma­nent Navy back­ground, which ensures that the Navy Reserve can make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion
to Navy’s capa­bil­i­ty out­put while reduc­ing the per­ceived skills gap between Per­ma­nent and Reserve per­son­nel.
The crew­ing of the Armi­dale Class Patrol Boats is a typ­i­cal exam­ple of the effec­tive­ness of the Navy Reserve. Over the last finan­cial year, of the 6576 Per­son­nel Defi­cien­cy Days in the Armi­dale crews (that is, when Per­ma­nent per­son­nel were unavail­able), 2230 were cov­ered by Reservists – that’s 34%. Reservists cov­ered every dis­ci­pline onboard these crit­i­cal ves­sels, from Com­mand­ing Offi­cer to Bosun’s Mate.
There have been con­sid­er­able devel­op­ments in oth­er Reserve employ­ment areas, includ­ing:
o          Intel­li­gence, where Reservists have now been incor­po­rat­ed into this new Navy spe­cial­i­sa­tion;
o          A remod­elled and refo­cussed Mar­itime Trade Oper­a­tions branch, which is a Reserve-only branch that allows Reservists both to deploy to the Mid­dle East Area of Oper­a­tions and to pro­vide a watch-keep­ing capa­bil­i­ty in Bor­der Pro­tec­tion Com­mand.
Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the immi­nent intro­duc­tion into ser­vice of the new amphibi­ous ves­sels. Navy is assess­ing where its Reservists can best be utilised with­in this for­mi­da­ble capa­bil­i­ty. Ini­tial con­sid­er­a­tions sug­gest poten­tial roles ashore in the sus­tain­ment of the ships, with the prospect of sea ser­vice for some Reservists a pos­si­bil­i­ty. Indeed, the amphibi­ous arm of the Navy is an area where I see sig­nif­i­cant oppor­tu­ni­ties for future Navy Reserve ser­vice, not­ing that there is much work to be done in this area.
One oth­er future devel­op­ment under con­sid­er­a­tion is the use of Reserve Divers, which is being con­sid­ered under Project NEPTUNE.
I acknowl­edge that there is a degree of con­cern about the cur­rent oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able to Navy Reservists. How­ev­er, as I have just out­lined I believe that there will be a num­ber of cir­cum­stances in which the Navy Reserve will prove to be an impor­tant enabler for Navy capa­bil­i­ty. In the com­ing year I very much look for­ward to work­ing with Navy on these mat­ters and trust that many of you here today will also con­tribute to this effort.

In the Air Force, as in the Navy, Reservists are inte­grat­ed into the over­all Ser­vice struc­ture. This inte­gra­tion pro­vides Air Force with the capa­bil­i­ties required of today’s ‘One Team’ Air Force approach and the ADF’s Total Force con­cept.
An exam­ple of this suc­cess­ful inte­gra­tion was the adap­ta­tion of the Air Force Reserve ‘City Squadrons’, to include respon­si­bil­i­ty for fixed air­base func­tions. A pend­ing review into Air­base Force Pro­tec­tion will fur­ther inform the refine­ment of the Reserve role. The inte­grat­ed struc­ture has required the expan­sion of the Active Air Force Reserve estab­lish­ment to sus­tain spe­cif­ic spe­cial­ist capa­bil­i­ties, and to sup­ple­ment or com­ple­ment the Per­ma­nent force. Such inte­gra­tion involves its own chal­lenges, includ­ing ensur­ing a con­cert­ed effort at all lev­els and the avail­abil­i­ty of resources.
Air Force under­stands that an inte­grat­ed struc­ture with its geo­graph­i­cal dis­tri­b­u­tion, cou­pled with Reservist avail­abil­i­ty, presents a chal­lenge for train­ing deliv­ery. To address this chal­lenge, a pro­pos­al for an improved inte­grat­ed train­ing sys­tem is near com­ple­tion.
Air Force also recog­nis­es that cul­tur­al issues are an impor­tant aspect of suc­cess­ful inte­gra­tion of the Reserve, includ­ing the accep­tance by Per­ma­nent mem­bers of the lev­el of com­mit­ment and abil­i­ty among their Reserve coun­ter­parts.  This issue will be addressed through strong and effec­tive lead­er­ship and a clear demon­stra­tion of Reserve capa­bil­i­ty.
Notwith­stand­ing these chal­lenges, the Air Force’s inte­grat­ed struc­ture has been suc­cess­ful. The Air Force con­tin­ues to refine the roles and func­tions of its Reserve in order to ensure that its Reservists con­tin­ue to con­tribute effec­tive­ly to the oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ty of the ADF.
The shap­ing of the Air Force Reserve has been influ­enced by the same strate­gic imper­a­tives as Navy and Army. These imper­a­tives, which have result­ed from both Gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy and oper­a­tional demands, have impact­ed across all three Ser­vices, result­ing in a change in the role for the Reserves from a tra­di­tion­al mobil­i­sa­tion base to that of an oper­a­tional reserve avail­able for day-to-day activities. 

Sup­port­ing Inte­gra­tion
You may recall that in my speech at last year’s Con­fer­ence, I referred to the Defence White Paper 2009 and the Government’s com­mit­ment to achiev­ing a bet­ter inte­gra­tion between full-time and part-time ser­vice in the ADF and, as a key ele­ment, remov­ing fac­tors that can impede the con­tri­bu­tion of Reservists to ADF capa­bil­i­ty.
I have just out­lined some spe­cif­ic mea­sures under­way in each ser­vice with regard to inte­gra­tion, how­ev­er these mea­sures are not stand alone actions. The devel­op­ment of a con­tem­po­rary employ­ment mod­el, that con­sid­ers how the Reserves as a group and Reservists as indi­vid­u­als are employed, how their work is struc­tured and the con­di­tions of ser­vice that sup­port them, is essen­tial if Defence is to con­tin­ue to enhance its over­all capa­bil­i­ty.
To assist with the shap­ing of this Total Force, I direct­ed Army to devel­op a force rota­tion mod­el that insti­tu­tion­alis­es the use of the Reserves – PLAN BEERSHEBA.
In par­al­lel to this, I also direct­ed Major Gen­er­al Brere­ton to review the ADF’s Con­di­tions of Ser­vice, in order to devel­op a mod­el that opti­mis­es the Reserve com­po­nent con­tri­bu­tion to the Total Force – PLAN SUAKIN.
Plan SUAKIN is exam­in­ing the Reserve employ­ment mod­el and asso­ci­at­ed con­structs, includ­ing Con­di­tions of Ser­vice, to bet­ter align capa­bil­i­ty require­ments with employ­ment con­di­tions. Plan SUAKIN is being devel­oped by Major Gen­er­al Brere­ton and his staff, par­tic­u­lar­ly Jerome Reid, under the aus­pices of the Strate­gic Reform Pro­gram, Reserve Reform Stream.
Plan SUAKIN is devel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with a wide range of stake­hold­ers – both inter­nal and exter­nal to Defence – includ­ing the three Ser­vices and the DRA. I am strong­ly sup­port­ive of the approach being tak­en and the options being con­sid­ered, and com­mend to you the admirable intel­lec­tu­al rigour being applied. I would like to acknowl­edge the con­tri­bu­tion made by Major Gen­er­al Jim Bar­ry to this work. I know he has been very busy advo­cat­ing on your behalf and I know the CRESD team and the Ser­vice Direc­tors Gen­er­al Reserve have val­ued his input.
I have been par­tic­u­lar­ly impressed by the clin­i­cal accu­ra­cy of the evi­dence-based approach that has been adopt­ed in under­tak­ing this body of work. I have had pre­lim­i­nary brief­in­gs on the Civil­ian Skills Data Base, and the two Deci­sion Sup­port Tools that are under devel­op­ment to aid in com­plex deci­sion-mak­ing. I have already seen some of the ana­lyt­i­cal out­puts of the Per­son­al Cost Mod­el, and I am look­ing for­ward to a brief­ing on the Pre­dic­tive Behav­iour Mod­el deci­sion sup­port tool soon.
I am encour­aged by Major Gen­er­al Brereton’s approach, which seeks to test the evi­dence avail­able, rather than tak­ing the more famil­iar road of mak­ing deci­sions based on organ­i­sa­tion­al mem­o­ry and intu­ition alone. While organ­i­sa­tion­al mem­o­ry and intu­ition most cer­tain­ly have a place in com­plex deci­sion-mak­ing – after all, it is called ‘the art of war’ – recourse to empir­i­cal­ly valid evi­dence remains a pow­er­ful form of per­sua­sion.
Tak­ing a slight­ly wider per­spec­tive, the Reserve Reform agen­da seeks to deliv­er:
o          a range of employ­ment options to bet­ter match chang­ing civil­ian-mil­i­tary work-life bal­ance of the cur­rent and future Reserve force;
o          a sim­pli­fied and stream­lined full-time to part-time employ­ment spec­trum, matched to the ADF’s capa­bil­i­ty require­ments;
o          greater oppor­tu­ni­ties to use a range of mil­i­tary and non-mil­i­tary skills to enhance capa­bil­i­ty; and
o          as part of the Total Force, an opti­mised bal­ance of full-time and part-time ADF per­son­nel who pro­vide inte­grat­ed capa­bil­i­ty.
From my per­spec­tive, the two key chal­lenges fac­ing the Reserve Reform agen­da are:
o          iden­ti­fy­ing and deal­ing with the inter­nal cul­tur­al bar­ri­ers that poten­tial­ly stand in the way of deliv­er­ing inte­grat­ed capa­bil­i­ty effects; and
o          the devel­op­ment of a sin­gle point com­mu­ni­ca­tion por­tal that will allow Reservists, their employ­ers, indus­try and the com­mu­ni­ty to engage and part­ner with Defence more effi­cient­ly.
How­ev­er, I am thor­ough­ly con­vinced that future observers who review these Reserve Reform ideas and achieve­ments will con­sid­er them to be ‘good ideas, well imple­ment­ed’ by a team of pro­fes­sion­als in a col­lab­o­ra­tive man­ner.
As the two major bod­ies of work – BEERSHEBA and SUAKIN – progress, their con­flu­ence is like­ly to be sem­i­nal in shap­ing the future direc­tion of the Reserves. I am opti­mistic that, at your 2012 Con­fer­ence, I will be in a posi­tion to report pos­i­tive­ly on the impact both these Plans are hav­ing on Defence capability.

Sup­port­ing Reservists
To me, the key to the abil­i­ty of the indi­vid­ual Reservist to pro­vide capa­bil­i­ty to the ADF is the pro­vi­sion of a sup­port­ive and reli­able envi­ron­ment. This requires a sup­port­ive net­work includ­ing employ­ers, fam­i­ly, friends and the broad­er com­mu­ni­ty.
Sup­port – for both the Reservist and the employ­er – is cur­rent­ly pro­vid­ed by a num­ber of mech­a­nisms, which will be improved, broad­ened and refined.
At present, Reservists are sup­port­ed by a broad leg­isla­tive frame­work. Cen­tral to this frame­work is the work under­tak­en by the Office of Reserve Ser­vice Pro­tec­tion, with­in Cadet, Reserve and Employ­er Sup­port Divi­sion.
I have been extreme­ly impressed with the excel­lent work con­duct­ed by this Office and, in par­tic­u­lar, their abil­i­ty to resolve dis­putes, medi­ate and nego­ti­ate with a range of stake­hold­ers, find­ing pos­i­tive solu­tions often in very dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.
Last year I men­tioned that Defence had imple­ment­ed a series of Mem­o­ran­dums of Under­stand­ing with State and Ter­ri­to­ry police and emer­gency ser­vices. You will appre­ci­ate that the ADF shares the same skilled work­force, and it is there­fore impor­tant that both par­ties have a for­mal guid­ing frame­work in which to oper­ate, with­out detri­ment to either organ­i­sa­tion. I am advised that apart from the Aus­tralian Fed­er­al Police, only one State police ser­vice is yet to sign a Mem­o­ran­dum – but at the risk of per­son­al embar­rass­ment, I will not men­tion which south-east­ern State is tak­ing its time to sign.
It is impor­tant to note that these Mem­o­ran­dums are not oper­a­tional doc­u­ments; rather, they are intend­ed to facil­i­tate Reserve ser­vice by address­ing admin­is­tra­tive issues relat­ing to that ser­vice. To this end, the exis­tence of these doc­u­ments and the con­se­quent per­son­al rela­tion­ships that have been devel­oped between Office of Reserve Ser­vice Pro­tec­tion staff and the var­i­ous police and emer­gency ser­vices have already proven to be of great sig­nif­i­cance.
With regard to the Defence Reserve Ser­vice (Pro­tec­tion) Act 2001, we are pro­ceed­ing with amend­ments to the Act. The pro­posed amend­ments will ensure that all Reservists per­form­ing Defence ser­vice receive employ­ment and edu­ca­tion pro­tec­tion. This sup­ports the Government’s over­all pol­i­cy of ensur­ing fair­ness in the work­place.
The amend­ments will also include pro­vi­sions which will: pro­tect all Reservists from harass­ment or detri­ment in the work­place, pro­tect from vic­tim­i­sa­tion and pro­vide that a Reservist is on leave from employ­ment (rather than sus­pen­sion of employ­ment). In addi­tion, the amend­ment will intro­duce civ­il penal­ties, clar­i­fy that medi­a­tion is not manda­to­ry in all cas­es and extend pro­tec­tion to Reservists engaged in part­ner­ships and pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions.
Employ­er groups con­sult­ed dur­ing the review process, such as the Aus­tralian Indus­try Group, did not oppose extend­ing pro­tec­tions to all Reserve ser­vice. How­ev­er, in order to address oth­er issues, such as notice of deploy­ments, and to cre­ate a bal­anced and coop­er­a­tive sys­tem, I have direct­ed Defence to devel­op a suite of ini­tia­tives to ensure we have a com­pre­hen­sive employ­er sup­port scheme.
I have also asked Major Gen­er­al Brere­ton to con­sid­er what mea­sures we might imple­ment, in addi­tion to Mem­o­ran­dums of Under­stand­ing, to ensure that employ­ers are pro­vid­ed with rea­son­able notice of Reserve ser­vice — not­ing of course that Defence must main­tain the flex­i­bil­i­ty to deploy Reservists com­men­su­rate with the tasks they are required to under­take. I refer here to the need for Reservists to deploy in sup­port of dis­as­ter relief and domes­tic secu­ri­ty tasks, often at very short notice.
In the area of employ­er engage­ment, I have insti­gat­ed mea­sures to engage the prac­ti­cal exper­tise of the Defence Reserve Sup­port Coun­cil to fur­ther pro­mote the ben­e­fits of Reserve ser­vice to indus­try, employ­ers, edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions and the com­mu­ni­ty. A suite of doc­u­ments have been devel­oped which set out the expect­ed per­for­mance and out­put of the Coun­cil, par­tic­u­lar­ly at the nation­al lev­el.
Work­ing with the Nation­al Chair, Mr Jack Smor­gon, we have intro­duced busi­ness rules for the oper­a­tion of the DRSC. I have also issued a for­mal direc­tive to the Chair, which spells out my intent and the out­put I expect.
These doc­u­ments will be sup­port­ed by both a Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing and a Ser­vice Lev­el Agree­ment between Defence and the DRSC, to ensure that we work coop­er­a­tive­ly togeth­er in sup­port of our Reservists, their fam­i­lies and their employ­ers.
This year’s re-invig­o­ra­tion of the Prince of Wales Awards is reflec­tive of the renewed ener­gy being placed on sup­port­ing Reservists. These Awards are an impor­tant ele­ment of the ADF’s recog­ni­tion and reward of Reservists for their ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment.
The expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge gained from a suc­cess­ful Prince of Wales Award activ­i­ty should pro­vide on-going ben­e­fits to the employ­er and Reservist, while pro­mot­ing coop­er­a­tion and sup­port between Defence and civil­ian employ­ers. This year, 17 Reservists were pre­sent­ed with an Award. Of equal impor­tance, the sup­port pro­vid­ed by the civil­ian employ­er of these Reservists was also recog­nised through the award­ing of Cer­tifi­cates of Appre­ci­a­tion.
Anoth­er re-invig­o­ra­tion has been the Tas­man Scheme, with the Scheme devel­oped into a for­mal activ­i­ty between Defence and the DRA. Under the Scheme, Junior Non-Com­mis­sioned Offi­cers of the ADF Reserves are attached for two weeks to a New Zealand Defence Force unit. The Scheme is now joint­ly man­aged and admin­is­tered by Cadet, Reserve and Employ­er Sup­port Divi­sion and the DRA. Anoth­er won­der­ful exam­ple of the broad coop­er­a­tion evi­dent in the Reserve com­mu­ni­ty.
I believe this is an excel­lent exam­ple of how Defence and a civil­ian organ­i­sa­tion sup­port­ive of Defence can work togeth­er to deliv­er an out­come of direct ben­e­fit to our Reservists, and ulti­mate­ly to capa­bil­i­ty devel­op­ment. I con­grat­u­late both Defence and the DRA on achiev­ing this out­come, which this year will see up to 14 Junior Non-Com­mis­sioned Offi­cers deploy to New Zealand.
I con­sid­er it vital­ly impor­tant that we con­sid­er and involve all the prin­ci­pal ele­ments that impact the lives of our Reservists and that have a direct bear­ing on their abil­i­ty to serve, includ­ing their fam­i­ly and their employ­er.
It is there­fore impor­tant that I cre­ate the oppor­tu­ni­ties to hear and dis­cuss issues, in order to under­stand and appre­ci­ate first-hand how we might make it eas­i­er for our Reservists, their fam­i­lies and employ­er; so that the Reserves con­tin­ue to con­tribute to the over­all capa­bil­i­ty of the ADF. Obvi­ous­ly this is part of the rea­son I am here today. I respect and val­ue the con­tri­bu­tion of all involved: the indi­vid­ual Reservist, their fam­i­ly mem­bers and employ­ers, and the broad­er com­mu­ni­ty from which our Reservists are drawn; and those indi­vid­u­als and organ­i­sa­tions that sup­port the Reserves – includ­ing the DRA.
As I con­clude, allow me to rein­force my clos­ing remarks from last year’s Con­fer­ence. From the Gov­ern­ment per­spec­tive, the Reserves are part of the ADF – they are inte­grat­ed into oper­a­tions and train­ing, admin­is­tra­tion and logis­tics. Con­tin­u­ing that inte­gra­tion is imper­a­tive. Navy, Army and Air Force are active­ly work­ing towards achiev­ing the ADF’s Total Force con­cept, while ensur­ing that Reserve ser­vice is reflec­tive of con­tem­po­rary employ­ment. We have made con­sid­er­able progress and we need to ensure that we con­tin­ue to make progress as one team focused on con­tribut­ing to capa­bil­i­ty in a col­lab­o­ra­tive man­ner.
Defence is a com­plex beast. It is also shaped by com­plex issues. Despite the chal­lenges with­in this inher­ent com­plex­i­ty, I am pleased by the proac­tive approach tak­en by all three Ser­vices – Navy, Army and Air Force – in devel­op­ing their Reserve capa­bil­i­ty as part of the ADF’s Total Force con­cept. And it is clear that the lev­el of inte­gra­tion being imple­ment­ed by the Ser­vices is cru­cial to the long-term role of the Reserves in sup­port of nation­al secu­ri­ty.
Final­ly, I would like to express my appreciation/gratitude/thanks to all of the cur­rent and for­mer Reservists and oth­er mem­bers of the Reserve com­mu­ni­ty who have wel­comed me into the Reserve com­mu­ni­ty and shared their thoughts and ideas with me. It has been a priv­i­lege to get to know you all and I believe that this col­lab­o­ra­tive spir­it has result­ed in some won­der­ful out­comes for the Reserve, and will con­tin­ue to pro­duce pos­i­tive out­comes for the men and women who serve their coun­try in the Reserve.

Thank you.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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