The Dibb Report (Review of Australia's Defence Capabilities) was an influential review of Australia's defence plans. While the report's recommendations were not fully accepted by the Hawke government, they led to significant changes in Australia's defence policy, including adoption of the Defence of Australia Policy.
In February 1985, Minister for Defence Kim Beazley commissioned Paul Dibb, an external consultant and former employee of the Department of Defence, to analyse Australia's defence planning and make recommendations for future developments.
Dibb's report was published in March 1986 and recommended for Australia to abandon the remaining elements of the forward defence policy but concentrate its military resources on the geographic areas relevant to defending the country and its economic interests from direct attack.
Dibb's recommendations were based around an assessment that "Australia is one of the most secure countries on earth" and that while there was the potential for regional conflict, the longer-term intentions and capabilities of countries in Australia's region could not be predicted and so did not form a suitable basis for planning.
Dibb recommended for Australia's military posture to be based on a strategy of denying aggressors the ability to attack the country. That was to be achieved through using a layered defence of Jindalee Operational Radar Network (over-the-horizon radar), patrol aircraft and maritime strike aircraft to protect Australia's approaches with the Army's Operational Deployment Force being responsible for defeating any landings on the Australian mainland. That would require changes to the Australian Defence Force's structure and equipment acquisition programs. The policy of self-reliance proposed by Dibb also placed less emphasis on ANZUS, its alliance with the United States, than previous policies.
The Dibb Report received a mixed response. Some experts regarded it as being an important contribution to developing an independent Australian defence posture. Other experts criticised the report for calling for an essentially defensive military strategy, implying that existing Australian military capabilities be abandoned and making optimistic assumptions about the period of time available to detect and respond to new threats to Australia. Many of the Dibb Report's assumptions were used in developing the 1987 Defence white paper, The Defence of Australia, but the Government did not adopt some of Dibb's key recommendations, such as those concerning Australia's relationship with the United States and the Australian military's role in the Pacific.
The 5th/6th Battalion ("5/6 RVR") is one of two battalions of the Royal Victoria Regiment, and is an infantry battalion of the Australian Army Reserve. The battalion can trace its lineage back to many units that existed prior to Federation, as well as units that fought during World War I and World War II and the battalion carries the battle honours of these units as a mark of respect. Today 5/6 RVR is part of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Division and is based at various depots around Melbourne, Victoria. Recently, members from the battalion have been involved in deployments to the Middle East, East Timor, the Solomon Islands and Malaysia as part of Rifle Company Butterworth.Collins-class submarine
The Collins class of six Australian-built diesel-electric submarines is operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The Collins class takes its name from Australian Vice Admiral John Augustine Collins; all six submarines are named after significant RAN personnel who distinguished themselves in action during World War II. The boats were the first submarines to be constructed in Australia, prompting widespread improvements in Australian industry and delivering a sovereign (Australian controlled) sustainment/maintenance capability.
Planning for a new design to replace the RAN's Oberon-class submarines began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Proposals were received from seven companies; two were selected for a funded study to determine the winning design, which was announced in mid-1987. The submarines, enlarged versions of Swedish shipbuilder Kockums' Västergötland class and originally referred to as the Type 471, were constructed between 1990 and 2003 in South Australia by the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC).
The submarines have been the subject of many incidents and technical problems since the design phase, including accusations of foul play and bias during the design selection, improper handling of design changes during construction, major capability deficiencies in the first submarines, and ongoing technical problems throughout the early life of the class. These problems have been compounded by the inability of the RAN to retain sufficient personnel to operate the submarines—by 2008, only three could be manned, and between 2009 and 2012, on average two or fewer were fully operational. The resulting negative press has led to a poor public perception of the Collins class. After 20 years of service issues, the boats have finally provided high availability to the RAN since 2016.
The Collins class was expected to be retired about 2026, however, the 2016 Defence White Paper extended this into the 2030s. The Collins class life will now be extended and will receive an unplanned capability upgrade, including but not limited to: sonar and communications.The Collins class will be replaced by the Future Submarine Program (SEA 1000) that is scheduled, according to the 2016 Defence White Paper, to begin entering service in the early 2030s with construction extending to 2050. The Future Submarine Program will be based on the Shortfin Barracuda, a nuclear attack submarine designed by French company DCNS; twelve submarines will be acquired, all built in Australia.David Evans (RAAF officer)
Air Marshal David Evans, AC, DSO, AFC (born Selwyn David Evans on 3 June 1925) is a retired senior commander of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and a writer and consultant on defence matters. He served as Chief of the Air Staff from 1982 until 1985. Since leaving the RAAF he has published two military treatises, A Fatal Rivalry: Australia's Defence at Risk and War: A Matter of Principles, as well as an autobiography.
Enlisting in the Air Force in 1943, Evans graduated from flying school as a sergeant pilot, and was converting to Beaufort bombers when World War II ended. He gained his commission as a pilot officer in 1947. From 1948 to 1949, he was a member of the Australian contingent operating C-47 Dakota transports in the Berlin Airlift. He was a flying instructor in the early 1950s, before becoming a VIP captain with the Governor-General's Flight in 1954. His service in the flight earned him the Air Force Cross in 1957. In the 1960s Evans was twice posted to No. 2 Squadron, flying Canberra jet bombers: first as a flight commander when the unit was based in Malaysia from 1960 to 1962 and then as its commanding officer during the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1968. The Canberras achieved a high degree of accuracy on their bombing missions under his leadership, and he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order after completing his tour in Vietnam.
Evans held senior staff positions in the early 1970s, before serving as Officer Commanding RAAF Base Amberley from 1975 until 1977. Promoted to air vice marshal, he then became Chief of Air Force Operations. In this role he worked to improve the RAAF's strategy for the defence of Australia, to fully exploit the "air-sea gap" on the northern approaches to the continent. Appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1981, he was Chief of Joint Operations and Plans for the Australian Defence Force before his promotion to air marshal and elevation to Chief of the Air Staff in April 1982. As head of the Air Force he focussed on morale, air power doctrine, and improving defensive capabilities in northern Australia. He was raised to Companion of the Order of Australia in 1984. Retiring from the RAAF in May 1985, Evans began to write and lecture on defence matters, and also stood for election in Federal politics. He was a board member of and defence advisor to British Aerospace Australia (later BAE Systems Australia) from 1990 to 2009, and chairman of the National Capital Authority from 1997 until 2003. In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal for his services to the ADF and the Canberra community.Defence of Australia policy
The Defence of Australia Policy was Australia's dominant defence policy between 1972 and 1997. The policy was focused on the defence of continental Australia against external attack. The Australian Defence Force was tailored to defending Australia rather than developing capabilities to operate outside Australian territory.George Ronald Richards
George Ronald Richards (27 November 1905 – 25 September 1985), known as Ron Richards, was a British-born Australian police officer and intelligence operative. In 1953 he was closely involved in Operation Cabin 12, arranging the defection of Vladimir Petrov from the Soviet Union to Australia. In 1954, he was appointed Deputy Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), roughly equivalent to the FBI and MI5. He received the Order of the British Empire in 1957.John Newham
Air Marshal John William "Jake" Newham, AC (born 30 November 1930) is a retired senior commander of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He served as Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) from 1985 until 1987. Joining the RAAF in 1951, he flew Gloster Meteor jets with No. 77 Squadron in the Korean War in 1953, and subsequently de Havilland Vampires with No. 78 Wing on garrison duty in Malta. From 1958 to 1960, he served with No. 3 Squadron, operating CAC Sabres during the Malayan Emergency. He took charge of No. 3 Squadron in 1967, when it re-equipped with the Dassault Mirage III supersonic fighter. His commands in the early 1970s included the Aircraft Research and Development Unit, RAAF Base Laverton, and No. 82 Wing, the last-mentioned during its first years operating the long-delayed General Dynamics F-111C swing-wing bomber. He was appointed Deputy Chief of the Air Staff in March 1984, and CAS in May the following year. His tenure as CAS coincided with the release of the Dibb Report on Australia's defence capabilities, and the controversial transfer of the RAAF's battlefield helicopters to the Australian Army. Newham retired from the Air Force in July 1987 and became a company director.Operation Morris Dance
Operation Morris Dance was an Australian military operation conducted in May 1987 in response to the first of the 1987 Fijian coups d'état.
On the morning of 14 May 1987 the Military of Fiji took control of the country in a bloodless coup d'état. In response to the coup, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) began preparations to evacuate Australian citizens from Fiji. Five Australian warships (HMA Ships Stalwart, Sydney, Parramatta, Success, and Tobruk) were deployed to patrol south-west of Fiji. 'B' Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment was added to this force on 23 May, with the soldiers being flown from Townsville to Norfolk Island and transferred by helicopter to Stalwart, Tobruk, and Success. The Australian task force remained off Fiji until 29 May, when the situation in the country had stabilised.Paul Dibb
Paul Dibb AM (born 3 October 1939) is an English-born Australian strategist, academic and former defence intelligence official. He is currently emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre which is part of the Australian National University.He was the head of the National Assessments Staff (the predecessor to the Office of National Assessments) from 1974 to 1978, the director of the Joint Intelligence Organisation (the predecessor to the Defence Intelligence Organisation) from 1986 to 1988, and the head of the Defence Strategy and Intelligence Group with the rank of Deputy Secretary in the Department of Defence from 1988 to 1991. Dibb is also known for his contribution to Australian defence strategy through writing the 1986 Review of Australia’s defence capabilities, known as the Dibb Report, and being the primary author of the 1987 Defence White Paper. From 1965 to 1984, Dibb worked for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, tasked with gaining intelligence and recruiting KGB and GRU agents in Canberra.Ross Babbage
Ross Babbage (born 1949) is the Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Forum Pty Ltd and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington DC. Dr Babbage is also Managing Director of Strategy International, a national security consulting and educational services company.
Dr Babbage formerly held the position as Head of Strategic Analysis in the Office of National Assessments and Assistant Secretary for ANZUS and then Force Development in the Department of Defence. He has also been an advisor to various government ministers and departmentsBabbage was educated at Barker College in Sydney. He subsequently completed bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University.
In 2003 to 2004 he served as Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.He has addressed Australia's future defence needs in a range of reports and papers and in February 2011 his study of Australia's defence needs in the future Australia's Strategic Edge in 2030 was released.