Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, and Commander 2nd Division, Major General Craig Williams AM, today announced major reforms for Army Reserve under Plan Beersheba at Simpson Barracks in Watsonia, Melbourne.
Senator Feeney said that Plan Beersheba, a restructure of the Australian Army, will achieve a greater integration of full and part time forces and strengthen the operational capability of our part time forces.
“In an increasingly complex strategic environment, we must make sure our forces are positioned for the full range of possible contingencies.
“Plan Beersheba positions Army to deliver capability in an effective, timely and affordable way to meet these contingencies,” Senator Feeney said.
“This Government will ensure that all Reserve Armoured Corps will receive Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles to provide protected transport for our troops.
“This will be the first time in more than five years that all Army Reserve Armoured units will have armoured vehicles.
“In addition, under Beersheba we intend to create a new armoured squadron with protected vehicles in Queensland. This is a major boost to the capability of the Reserve.
“In Melbourne, the armoured unit of 4th Brigade – 4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse who famously fought at Beersheba – will get Bushmasters,” said Senator Feeney.
Commander 2nd Division, Major General Craig Williams said that the Army’s Reserve Force (2nd Division) will be realigned with the Regular Army, with two Reserve Brigades linked to each Multi-role Manoeuvre Brigade.
“There will be a significant increase in the operational focus of the Reserve which will be effected through the development of habitual relationships between reserve brigades and the regular Multi-role Manoeuvre Brigades,” Major General Williams said.
“The 2nd Division will be aligned with the 36 month Force Generation Cycle and assigned preparedness levels.”
Defence Reserves Association (DRA) President, Major General Jim Barry (Retd) said:
“This is the most important structural change for the Army Reserve in decades.
“The six Army Reserve Brigades of 2 Division are now assigned specific roles and tasks and are structurally aligned with their regular counterparts. There is now a defined operational focus which the DRA has been advocating for some time,” Major General Jim Barry (Retd) said.
Plan Beersheba is the Australian Army’s plan for the next phase of the Adaptive Army Campaign. It follows the changes in Army’s command and control structure made during 2008.
Under the plan, the 1st, 3rd and 7th Brigades will form three new Multi-role Manoeuvre Brigades. These Brigades will be fundamentally alike in structure to enable sustained operations within a new 36-month Force Generation Cycle.
Force Generation is the process through which Army readies itself to respond to contingencies that may arise. Each Brigade will have the following components – infantry, armour, artillery, engineers, logistics and communications.
Australia’s Reserve Force will be more focused on stability operations and will be involved in major exercises with their partnered Multi-role Manoeuvre Brigades.
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