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Output Five: Strategic Policy

Defence Cooperation

Expenditure for the Defence Cooperation Program in 2002-03 was $62.6m. The table below summarises the achievement of the Defence Cooperation Program by region.

Table 2.15: Defence Cooperation Summary
2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2002-03 2002-03 2003-04
Actual Actual Budget Estimate Revised Estimate Actual Budget Estimate
$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Papua New Guinea 15,368 27,710 9,731 9,731 9,434 9,083
South Pacific Region 16,823 17,480 18,136 21,186 22,478 24,699
South East Asia 24,711 29,668 29,963 30,373 25,831 28,042
Other regional activities 3,730 4,708 4,622 5,362 4,905 5,907
Facilities for training in Australia(1) 12 1 - - - -
Total 60,644 79,568 62,452 66,652 62,648 67,731
Note
  1. Funding was provided to undertake maintenance of training equipment in support of Defence Cooperation training. These costs are now absorbed within the individual training establishments and are not reported separately.

Papua New Guinea

Performance Summary

In 2002-03, the Australian Government continued to provide substantial assistance to the Papua New Guinea Government's defence reform program. The aim of the program is to achieve stability in the force by making it smaller, more affordable and better managed. Australia initially provided $20m, within a strict accountability framework, to support a redundancy program. Following Papua New Guinea's commitment to a downsized Papua New Guinea Defence Force of 2,000, the Australian Government agreed to provide a second and final tranche of financial support to the redundancy program of up to a further $20m, subject to finalisation of administrative issues. This level of support will facilitate the completion of the redundancy program and open the way for the next stage of the reform program, which involves re-focusing the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.

The Defence Cooperation Program with Papua New Guinea focused on training, technical advice, infrastructure development and logistics support. Training was provided to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force maritime element, infantry and engineers, and the Papua New Guinea Defence College. The Defence Cooperation Program also provided a number of positions for Papua New Guinea Defence Force personnel in Australia at both the Royal Military College and the Australian Defence College. New armouries costing $2.1m were constructed at Lae, Wewak, Manus Island and Vanimo, the principal Papua New Guinea Defence Force bases outside Port Moresby. A major refit was conducted for one of the four Papua New Guinea Defence Force Pacific patrol boats under the life extension program. In addition, a number of bilateral exercises were conducted, including a new engineering activity, Exercise Puk Puk.

South Pacific Region

Performance Summary

The Defence Cooperation Program in the South Pacific region grew in 2002-03 by $5m. This was mainly as a result of Australia's re-engagement with Fiji, cooperation projects in Tonga and the commencement in earnest of the Pacific patrol boat program's life extension program. Increased ADF operational commitments had limited impact on Australia's bilateral relationships in the region, with the exception of the continued unavailability of Air Force surveillance flights over the Pacific.

The defence relationship with Fiji has largely been rebuilt since the lifting of Australian Government sanctions in October 2001. Australia continued to focus on enhancing the professional ethos of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and encouraging the development of healthy civil-military relations. Four ADF adviser positions, which were withdrawn in 2000 following the attempted coup, were reinstated.

Australia continued to support the development of the Tonga Defence Service. As well as support to the Pacific patrol boat program, the ADF continued to provide specialist support in training, communications, engineering and maritime surveillance.

Relationships with Samoa, Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Cook Islands continued to focus on support to maritime surveillance capabilities. Australia has provided a Pacific patrol boat to each of these countries (the Federated States of Micronesia has three) and continues to provide logistics, fuel, maintenance and training. An ADF advisory team, posted to each of these countries, assisted in developing sustainable national maritime surveillance capabilities.

In August 2002, Defence supported the planning and operation of Operation Island Chief 2002, a tri-nation maritime surveillance operation, involving five Pacific patrol boats from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands. The operation enabled the nations to carry out surveillance and law enforcement cooperatively in each respective country's waters based on applicable law, rules and regulations. The operation served to promote maritime skills and interoperability among the three nations' police maritime wings. A further operation was conducted in April 2003 with cooperative assistance from Australia, and surveillance support from the United States and New Zealand.

Table 2.16: South Pacific Region Summary(1)
2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2002-03 2002-03 2003-04
Actual Actual Budget Estimate Revised Estimate Actual Budget Estimate
$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Vanuatu 1,787 1,785 1,623 1,623 1,900 1,638
Solomon Islands 760 685 1,214 502 537 606
Tonga 1,402 1,470 1,619 1,619 2,407 2,435
Western Samoa 535 519 493 493 528 656
Cook Islands 226 307 407 407 316 403
Fiji 1,118 1,291 1,195 1,995 2,662 3,164
Republic of the Marshall Islands 554 639 760 760 952 1,020
Federated States of Micronesia 804 847 793 793 848 1,026
Tuvalu 759 542 782 782 415 694
Kiribati 748 653 836 836 916 961
Palau 656 450 740 740 647 856
Multilateral General Assistance(2) 7,472 8,291 7,674 10,636 10,350 11,240
Total 16,823 17,480 18,136 21,186 22,478 24,699
Notes
  1. Figures may not add due to rounding.
  2. Funding relates mainly to support to the Pacific patrol boat program.

Vanuatu

The Defence Cooperation Program with Vanuatu provided continued support to the Pacific patrol boat program, communications, advisory assistance and training for the Vanuatu Police and Mobile Forces. The program also assisted the Vanuatu police with strengthening the physical security and management procedures of its armouries. The increase in expenditure was primarily due to the advancement of a communications project for the Vanuatu Police Force into 2002-03.

Solomon Islands

Defence Cooperation with the Solomon Islands was curtailed following the 2000 coup. In 2002, Defence commenced phased re-engagement to support whole-of-government efforts to promote law and order in the Solomon Islands. Training for the patrol boat crews recommenced and, towards the end of 2002, a half-life refit was conducted on one of two Pacific patrol boats.

Tonga

Defence Cooperation with Tonga focused on training and exercises, support to maritime surveillance, the provision of ongoing maintenance and support for the Pacific patrol boat program and developing Tonga's communication and engineering capabilities. The program for the upgrade of Tonga Defence Service's facilities at Vilai Barracks and Taliai Military Camp continued. The higher than planned expenditure was primarily due to the advancement of elements of the upgrade program into 2002-03.

Western Samoa

Defence Cooperation with Samoa focused on support to the Pacific patrol boat program and training of the Samoa Police Force. The increase in expenditure was a result of higher than anticipated training costs.

Cook Islands

Defence Cooperation with the Cook Islands was focused on support to the Pacific patrol boat program.

Fiji

Defence Cooperation with Fiji consisted primarily of support to the Pacific patrol boat program and sponsorship of Republic of Fiji Military Forces' students on ADF courses. In January 2003, four ADF adviser positions were re-established in Fiji. The increase in expenditure was due to the resumption of cooperation activities following the lifting of sanctions, including costs associated with the return of in-country ADF advisers, and higher than anticipated training opportunities taken up by Fiji.

Republic of the Marshall Islands

Defence Cooperation with the Republic of the Marshall Islands focused on regional maritime security and cooperation. This was achieved by means of assistance to the sea patrol with the management and operations of its patrol boat and the necessary training, infrastructure and logistics. The increase in expenditure was a result of increased in-country support for ADF advisers.

Federated States of Micronesia

Defence Cooperation with the Federated States of Micronesia focused on regional maritime security and cooperation. This was achieved by assisting the maritime wing of the national police with the management and operations of its three patrol boats and the necessary training, infrastructure and logistics. The increase in expenditure was a result of increased in-country support for ADF advisers.

Tuvalu

Defence Cooperation with Tuvalu focused on continued advisory, maintenance and fuel support to the Pacific patrol boat program and training of personnel from the Tuvalu Police Force maritime wing. The reduced expenditure was due to a vacancy for an in-country ADF adviser.

Kiribati

Defence Cooperation with Kiribati focused on support to the Pacific patrol boat program and the provision of Navy training to the Kiribati Police Force maritime wing. The increase in expenditure was due to costs for upgrades to Defence Cooperation housing for in-country ADF advisers.

Palau

Defence Cooperation with Palau focused on regional maritime security. This was achieved by means of assistance to the Marine Law Enforcement Division with the management and operations of its patrol boat and the necessary training, infrastructure and logistics.

Multilateral General Assistance

Key activities included half-life refits for Pacific patrol boats Kiro from Fiji, and Auki from the Solomon Islands. The majority of the increase in funding in 2002-03 reflected the commencement of the Pacific patrol boat life extension program with the slipping of Tarangau from Papua New Guinea. Additional funds were also expended on support for all nations owning Pacific patrol boats through the costs of the follow-on support contract, and training and support of foreign students at the Australian Maritime College in Launceston, Tasmania.

Pacific Patrol Boat Project

Table 2.17: Pacific Patrol Boats by Country
Country Pacific Patrol Boats
Cook Islands 1
Fiji 3
Federated States of Micronesia 3
Kiribati 1
Marshall Islands 1
Palau 1
Papua New Guinea 4
Tonga 3
Tuvalu 1
Samoa 1
Solomon Islands 2
Vanuatu 1
Total 22

South East Asia

Performance Summary

The Defence Cooperation Program in the South East Asia region fell in 2002-03 by nearly $4m. This was primarily due to the impact of unexpected world events, such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak, and increased operational tempo, including the war in Iraq, which restricted ADF participation in a number of Defence Cooperation activities.

Australia continued to provide substantial support to the development of the East Timor Defence Force and Defence Secretariat. Defence continued to provide advisory support, professional skills training and English-language training in-country. Australia and Indonesia made progress in developing a mutually beneficial defence relationship, at a pace agreeable to both governments. This focused on expanding bilateral dialogue and building a more substantial program of non-combat-related training, in addition to pursuing new initiatives under the Memorandum of Understanding on Combating International Terrorism.

Longstanding and strong defence relationships with Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines were characterised by broad-based programs of dialogue, training and joint projects in the fields of logistics, science and materiel. Increased operational commitments saw a reduction in the ongoing exercise program, particularly with Malaysia, but with no significant effect on the continuing defence relationship. The impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome also caused the postponement of several activities with Singapore. Malaysia and Singapore continued to work closely with Australia through the Five Power Defence Arrangements. Singapore also conducted significant unilateral training in Australia, including an annual exercise at Shoalwater Bay, Qld and had permanent Republic of Singapore Air Force training detachments at RAAF Pearce, WA and Oakey, Qld. Defence relationships with Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore benefited from the contribution these countries made to the security of East Timor through the United Nations mission of support in East Timor.

Defence Cooperation with Vietnam continued to grow through attendance at the Australian Defence College and postgraduate courses and an expanding dialogue. Joint in-country activities in English-language training and malaria research were maintained. The relatively new defence relationships with Cambodia, Brunei and Laos developed to a modest level. English-language training underpinned the relationships with both Cambodia and Laos. Brunei received training, on a fee-for-service basis, and participated in a small exercise program. Work to promote strategic policy development was undertaken with each of the three countries.

In addition, Defence participation at regular multilateral Asean Regional Forum meetings and active involvement in confidence-building activities complemented defence bilateral cooperation in the region.

Table 2.18: South East Asia Summary
2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2002-03 2002-03 2003-04
Actual Actual Budget Estimate Revised Estimate Actual Budget Estimate
$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Singapore 296 441 530 530 254 428
Philippines 3,551 3,175 3,944 3,944 3,047 3,424
Thailand 4,875 4,528 5,300 5,300 3,478 3,796
Malaysia 6,003 4,380 5,287 5,287 4,483 4,881
Indonesia 3,355 5,131 4,745 5,155 4,583 5,329
East Timor 4,570 8,715 6,590 6,590 7,504 6,864
Vietnam 1,458 2,233 2,447 2,447 1,421 2,161
Cambodia and Laos 603 970 1,000 1,000 1,017 1,059
Brunei 0 95 120 120 44 100
Total 24,711 29,668 29,963 30,373 25,831 28,042

Singapore

While the impact of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic caused the postponement of some defence engagement activities, interaction with the Singapore Armed Forces continued at all levels across a broad range of areas, including high level policy dialogue, combined exercises, personnel exchanges and training. Ministers met in Australia in November 2002, and again in Singapore at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue in May-June 2003. Our mutual commitment to regional security was demonstrated at the Asian Regional Forum Consequence Management Seminar held in Darwin in June 2003, at which the armed forces of Australia and Singapore provided a joint presentation. The visit of Singapore's Chief Defence Scientist in December 2002 contributed to our mutually beneficial science and technology relationship. Singapore conducted unilateral training with Exercise Wallaby, during October-November 2002, at the Shoalwater Bay, Qld training area. Singaporean detachments continue to utilise RAAF Pearce, WA for pilot flying training and the Army Aviation Centre in Oakey, Qld for helicopter training.

Philippines

Australia and the Philippines held successful Defence engagement talks in Manila in May 2003, reinvigorating strategic dialogue between the two countries. These talks, together with the bilateral training and education working group talks held in Manila in October 2002, emphasised the ongoing cooperation in the areas of education and training, deepened bilateral cooperation in maritime surveillance and reaffirmed Australian support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines' modernisation program. The expenditure shortfall in 2002-03 was primarily due to lower than anticipated training opportunities taken up by the Philippines.

Thailand

Despite increases in operational tempo, training exercises, including annual counter-terrorist training exercises, took place in Thailand. A number of high level visits occurred including by the Chief of the Defence Force to Thailand and the Thai Chief of Air Force to Australia. Two long-standing science projects on high frequency communications, and sea and mine countermeasures were concluded. The expenditure shortfall was primarily due to lower than anticipated training opportunities taken up by Thailand.

Malaysia

Malaysia and Australia continued to share a strong defence relationship, supported principally by the series of exchange postings and training opportunities offered under the auspices of the Malaysia-Australia Joint Defence Program. The program of combined exercises was significantly affected by the operational tempo and resource constraints faced by both nations. No bilateral combined exercises were conducted in 2002-03, although professional contact between the two armed forces continued to be facilitated by the presence of an Army rifle company and a small Air Force detachment at Butterworth, and by multilateral exercises conducted under the auspices of the Five Power Defence Arrangements. The relationship was further enhanced through high level strategic dialogue, including at ministerial level. The expenditure shortfall was due to the cancellation of combined exercises and lower than anticipated training opportunities taken up by Malaysia.

Indonesia

Australia and Indonesia continued to progress the defence relationship focusing on areas of mutual interest. The post-Bali bombing environment led to postponement of several senior-level visits in late 2002 and early 2003. Dialogue was maintained through a visit by the Chief of Air Force in August 2002, regional security dialogue, reciprocal visits by both Deputy Chiefs of Army, visits between Commander Northern Command and his three TNI counterpart commanders and high level Defence participation in the Australia-Indonesia ministerial forum in March 2003.

Defence provided defence information analysis training to Indonesian officers under the Memorandum of Understanding on Combating International Terrorism. Preliminary discussions were also held on developing counter hijack and hostage recovery co-operation between the ADF and TNI. Training activities continued to emphasise strengthening the range of both non-combat-related and English-language training provided to TNI. In a new initiative an Australian naval officer was placed at the senior TNI staff college. The expenditure shortfall was primarily due to lower than anticipated training opportunities taken up by Indonesia and the postponement of an Australian Navy training adviser attachment to the Navy junior officer training academy.

East Timor

Australia's Defence Cooperation Program with East Timor, which commenced in February 2001, continued to grow throughout 2002-03 to support the development of an affordable, sustainable and effective East Timor Defence Force.

Inaugural bilateral Defence Cooperation talks were held with the East Timor Defence Secretariat and East Timor Defence Force in late June 2003. The meeting focused on reviewing the program of Australian assistance and discussed issues of strategic interest. Several areas for further Defence cooperation were identified.

The first phase of a platoon commanders' course was held in Australia for 30 East Timor Defence Force personnel. The number of Australian Defence personnel deployed to East Timor, under the Defence Cooperation Program, increased to around 30. This was mainly due to the delivery of in-country English language training for the East Timor Defence Force and the provision of a small advisory element to its 1st and 2nd Battalions.

The significant increase in actual expenditure, compared to the revised estimate for the Defence Cooperation Program with East Timor in 2002-03, was primarily due to an increase in the scope of activities under the program and the provision of a transport capability which will assist the East Timor Defence Force in responding to security incidents and meeting ongoing training requirements.

Vietnam

Australia's defence relationship with Vietnam expanded through a range of activities primarily focused on training. These included English-language training, IT training, an officer exchange, attendance at the Australian Defence College and malaria research. In addition, several high level visits took place, including a hosted visit to Vietnam by the Chief of Army. The expenditure shortfall was primarily due to lower than anticipated training opportunities taken up by Vietnam.

Cambodia and Laos

Australia's bilateral defence relationships with Cambodia and Laos continue to gradually increase. During 2002-03, officers from Cambodia and Laos attended the Australian Defence College, English-language training, and Defence and emergency management training. Modest support was provided to the Cambodian Command and Staff College and to the implementation of Cambodian White Paper initiatives. The provision of training, particularly English-language training, remained the focus of the Defence Cooperation relationships with both Cambodia and Laos.

Brunei

While modest, the defence relationship with Brunei continued to develop through the conduct of mutually beneficial activities, exercises and training. Highlights of the past year included the fourth Australia Brunei Darussalam Joint Defence Working Committee meeting in October 2002 and mutual cooperation in rotary flying standardisation, air safety, logistics and defence materiel. In addition, Exercise Star Leopard 02, a bilateral Special Forces training exercise, was successfully conducted in October 2002.

Other Regional Activities

Performance Summary

The 'Other Regional Activities' budget funded a range of activities including conferences and seminars, single Service and combined training, multilateral activities, the Defence International Training Centre, and Defence Cooperation activities with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Defence relationships with India and Pakistan, which were suspended in May 1998 following their nuclear tests, have now resumed and have regained their previous momentum, but with a greater emphasis on activities that will improve the level of strategic dialogue with both countries.

Multilateral

The major activities undertaken during the year were the Pacific area senior officer logistics seminar, the maritime air surveillance course, the Defence management seminar, Five Power Defence Arrangements meetings, study visits, support for multilateral training activities, and health costs. The predominant cost within this category was the operating costs of the Defence International Training Centre.

India

Defence Cooperation with India included staff college exchanges and senior visits to and from India. The inaugural Defence Joint Working Group meeting with India held in March 2003 and was a significant factor in enhancing strategic dialogue with this major regional power.

Pakistan

Defence Cooperation with Pakistan was resumed in September 2001. The focus of activities in 2002-03 was to regain previous levels of defence engagement through re-establishing staff college exchanges, training activities and senior visits.

Bangladesh

The relationship with Bangladesh has continued at a very modest level. Defence Cooperation with Bangladesh in 2002-03 included sponsored training in emergency management, which was held in Australia.