Move navy to northern bases

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Robert Bond    Director    Citizens for Defence

www.citizensfordefence.org

Garden Island

Garden Island

 

Move navy to northern bases

Bobby Bond SharpenedPrime Minister Kevin Rudd intends to form a task force to look into closing the Garden Island naval base in Sydney harbour and moving the ships to HMAS Sterling, Broome, Darwin, and possibly Brisbane Townsville and Cairns.

At last we have a politician who can see the future need to build up our defences in Northern Australia. This task force will have a serious job to do in shaping our defence posture for the rest of this century.

Whether short sighted politicians will follow through when the time comes will be another Question.

Garden Island naval base is on the dearest real estate in the land and is nestled in the centre of Sydney. In any conflict it will be one of the first bases targeted by the enemy and in a severe attack hundreds of thousands of Sydneysiders could be killed or injured.

There is limited space to berth big ships. The time to move is now with the proceeds of the sale of the site put towards establishing another naval base on the east coast of Australia to carry out heavy maintenance and servicing of our ships and submarines as well as three battle hardened bases in Northern Australia to berth, fuel up and arm our battle fleet for extensive exercises in northern waters in order to defend the nation or carry out humanitarian tasks in event of natural disasters.

Brisbane may be a suitable site for a ship maintenance base but harbours in the Townsville Cairns area should be closely scrutinised for suitability as it would be much closer to where the warships are based. Gladstone and Mackay are other areas that may support a base.

The three hardened naval bases on our northern shores should be at Broome near the bare base RAAF Curtin, Darwin and Weipa in Cape York Peninsula near the bare base RAAF Scherger. These RAAF bare bases should be made fully operational over time to combine with the naval bases and provide air cover for the navy.

At present it takes ships at least 4 days to sail from Sydney or HMAS Sterling to Darwin and this is just too big an advantage to give an enemy if Australia is under attack. With the ships stationed at Broome, Darwin and Scherger the enemy can be engaged immediately further out to sea and this could be crucial in achieving a satisfactory naval engagement.

RAAF Scherger

RAAF Scherger

Rudd has said that these relocations would not be funded out of the defence budget but I assume by special grants and sale of the Garden city site. Other bases in the south of Australia could be partially or totally sold off or reduced in size and those proceeds and savings put towards the proposed new bases.

These changes could lift our defence forces out of the present pathetic apathy because of governments starving them of funding. These new bases could double the effectiveness of our fighting forces in defending this nation at minimal additional cost when taken over thirty years.

Governments may see value for money in implementing this new plan and generously fund the changes resulting in the first time ever Australia reaches a point where it can defend itself with some vigour and purpose.

 

 

Australia Free Rides on US war machine

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Robert Bond Director Citizens for Defence

www.citizensfordefence.org

Australia Free Rides on US war machine

bobSam Roggeveen in his post in the Lowy Interpreter blog “Free-riding may be selfish, but it works” seems to approve of the Australian nation milking the US Alliance for all it is worth in order that we can obtain US military protection for nothing.

If Former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage in his plea for more Australian support for the Alliance evokes such sarcastic self interest by the Australian masses, then the Alliance has little future.

Sam, we hope is talking tongue in cheek when he says it works for Australia and he is right.

The US should realize that leading by example does not work with selfish Australians and saving us from the ravages of a marauding Asian nation in WW2 is of little relevance to the present generation.

Ideally, the US should reduce its defence budget to 1.48% of GDP to match Australia in the 13-14 financial year and mothball its fleet and missile systems saving a few old frigates and torpedo boats to match Australia’s contribution to the Alliance.

I can hear the howls of protest against the US from the “selfish” Australians denigrating the US for ratting on an Alliance partner.

The time has probably arrived when the US will have to segregate its military forces into homeland security forces and ally support forces. The US just cannot afford to carry the rest of the world on its shoulders in the interests of peace. Sequestration is biting deeply with stress on ship maintenance, aircraft numbers and in all areas of the US defence force.227427-hillary-clinton-in-perth

The US has to put in place a set of incentives which values its military machine and the cost of maintaining it by the US taxpayers.

They should deal with Australia by,

  • · Under Aus 2% GDP for defence: no US Alliance support
  • · Under Aus 3% GDP for defence: US matches Aus defence effectiveness
  • · Under Aus 4% GDP for defence: US doubles Aus defence effectiveness.
  • · Over Aus 4% GDP for defence: US acts as a full Alliance partner

Even this arrangement would be incredible security value for Australia. We would know where we stand and would probably feel less like parasites feeding off the loins of the US war machine.

Build nuclear subs in Australia

Robert Bond   Director   Citizens for Defence

www.citizensfordefence.org

CITIZENS FOR DEFENCE

Aircraft carrier Nimitz

Aircraft carrier Nimitz

Build nuclear subs in Australia

bobBoth major parties have said the 12 Future Submarines will be built with 100 year old diesel electric propulsion systems which limits these subs to an 80 kilometre range submerged at full speed. Compare this with a nuclear propelled sub which can sail submerged at full speed of more than 32 knots around the world if necessary and outrun surface ships in the process.

No current election issue, whether it be schools, gay marriages, or disability insurance comes close to the $60 billion cost or the absolute top priority of national security decisions of our politicians on the submarine purchases.

The two major parties should be brought to account for their total abandonment of any attempt to equip the Australian navy with the most capable submarine to defend our 36,000 kilometre coastline for the next 40 years.

Never do the two major parties take into account the Future Submarines lack of effectiveness, speed, endurance, performance, and firepower, or consider that there is probably a billion dollars cost saving per submarine if a US Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine were purchased.

Instead, all we hear from the blinkered politicians is a jingoistic appeal to some nationalistic theme that says survival of our nation comes second to partisan politics.

There is no second choice. Governments refuse to take their responsibility to defend this nation seriously. They delay and muddy the waters. They withdraw funding from defence and refuse to fund new weapons. They employ an army of spin doctors to hoodwink the Australian public into believing they have an effective plan for our defence.

Nuclear submarine under way

Nuclear submarine under way

Our politicians have not even had a realistic trial of 5 Collins subs against a nuclear submarine to access their strengths and weaknesses. They are spending two full years funding of the defence budget without even evaluating a nuclear submarine.

Our nation has more oceans and seas surrounding it than any other continent on earth and yet our inept politicians have selected a sub that cannot travel more than 60 to 100 kilometres at full speed submerged and have rejected outright a submarine that can sail around the world submerged.

Brazil is building a nuclear submarine which includes the reactor with help from the French. The British have the new Astute-Class nuclear submarine, and the US ambassador to Australia has said that the US would supply Virginia subs to Australia to improve our defence forces.

Surely our paralysed politicians could start to consider the defence of this nation by approaching these nations for a joint venture arrangement where we can acquire modern submarines.

Australia’s cringe factor seems to permeate all politicians and their defence advisors, the electorate who vote them in and some of the top brass of the defence forces resulting in our leaders always choosing that we remain defenceless and buy yesterdays technology to fight tomorrow’s wars.

I do not believe the majority of Australians want to send our brave sailors to sea for the next 50 years in diesel dinosaur submarines to face nimble modern nuclear attack submarines operated by the enemy.

Rudd and Abbot should lead on this issue instead of hiding in the shadows of political expedience.