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Vice Chief of Defence Force

This section outlines owner support achievements and activities performed within the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Group. The role of the Vice Chief of the Defence Force is to act as the Chief of the Defence Force in his absence and routinely to act as Deputy Commander supporting the Chief of the Defence Force in his command of the ADF. Strategic Operations Division supports the Chief of the Defence Force's operational functions and Capability Systems Division is responsible for the sponsorship, development and the provision of advice to the Government on appropriate options for current and future Defence capability. The Group also has specific and discrete responsibilities for oversight of Reserve policy, Cadet policy, the Headquarters Australian Theatre Project and the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program.

Strategic Operations

The major military operation during 2002-03 in support of Government policy, Operation Bastille/Falconer (preparation for, and actual operations in Iraq), was planned and successfully executed in the required timeframe. Planning for Operation Catalyst (Australia's contribution to the rehabilitation of Iraq) was also undertaken. Other military operations in support of Australia's global foreign policy objectives and national sovereignty interests included:

Capability Systems

Notable projects progressed for Government approval during 2002-03 included air-to-air refuelling aircraft, electronic self-protection for tactical aircraft, space-based surveillance, equipment for Special Operations Command, mine and obstacle avoidance sonar for Anzac ships, and system design and development funding for the new air combat capability.

Other initiatives undertaken in support of capability development included:

Reserve Policy

Defence regulations were drafted that create new categories of Reserve service, following changes to Reserve legislation.

The Defence (Personnel) Amendment Regulations 2002, which came into effect on 1 December 2002, consolidated the existing regulations relating to personnel matters contained in the Naval Forces Regulations 1935, the Australian Military Regulations 1927 and the Air Force Regulations 1927. These regulations also consolidated some of the former provisions of the Naval Defence Act 1910 and the Defence Act 1903 relating to personnel matters.

The regulations simplified administration and introduced common terminology across the Services. The regulations also established new categories of Reserve service:

All currently serving Reservists were transferred into one of the new categories.

For permanent and Reserve ADF members appointed or enlisted after 1 July 2003, transfer to the Standby Reserve will now be part of a member's service. All members will serve in the Standby Reserve, except if the member has reached retirement age, or circumstances have occurred which have resulted in the prior discharge of the member.

Other new initiatives introduced by the regulations included:

Defence Determination 2002: Employer Support Payments, relating to the ADF Reserves Employer Support Payment Scheme, was amended by the Minister for Defence on 17 June 2003, with the revised arrangements for the scheme taking effect from 1 July 2003. These revised arrangements provide better support for ADF capability requirements.

Australian Defence Force Cadets

The ADF Cadets is a combination of the Australian Navy Cadets, the Australian Army Cadets and the Australian Air Force Cadets.

The Government committed in 2002-03 to further enhance the ADF Cadets, through programs aimed at improving access to uniforms and equipment, administrative support including computerisation, the management and operation of cadet activities, and the quality of experience for cadets in a military-like environment.

In more than 400 communities throughout Australia, more than 26,000 young people are participating as Navy, Army or Air Force cadets. Over 2,450 adult volunteers lead and supervise personal development and training activities for cadets. Former cadets continue to make up a significant proportion of recruits into the ADF (full-time and part-time) and are more likely to stay in the ADF over the long term.

The cadets enhancement program enables the ADF Cadets to build upon its success as a community-based organisation that provides positive links into the Australian community. The enhancement program represents a range of initiatives designed to improve the quality of the cadet experience and, in so doing, promote Defence to young people and their communities as an organisation worth belonging to, or supporting.

Results achieved through the Cadet enhancement program during 2002-03 included:

During the year, research was conducted into the recruitment and retention of ADF cadet members into the ADF. The analysis revealed: