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Subject: military base security
thruster    8/5/2009 8:50:05 PM
hi. i dont often feel i have much constructive to add, but i thought i'd chip in with this: theres obvious talk recently of the adequacy of unarmed civilian security contractors and suggestions that either they be armed or put soldiers back on to gate guard duty. my suggestion is that i think its prudent to arm the civilian security guards to start with. however, would it not be a good idea to issue weapons and 'a mag' of ammo to soldiers/sailors/airmen whilst on base as a routine, instead of having them locked away in the armoury? this way, god forbid if any clown does infiltrate a base to kill and destroy then each soldier is instantly reactive. this situation is already routine for troops on ops, why not at home? seems an effective solution to me. what do you guys think?? cheers.
 
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Aussiegunneragain       8/8/2009 9:19:25 PM

Both 6 RAR and 8/9 RAR were still Reg in 1991 and I believe 8/9 RAR started its conversion in 1992 with 6 RAR following with a single RR Coy in 1993. The RR scheme didn't really get up to speed until 95 or 96 just before the whole thing was canned.

 So in terms of my comment, which refered to 1991, the ADF was larger than it is today.


No it wasn't, we have 7 reg battalions and 1 CDO battalion now, eight infantry units in all. The most that we ever had then was 6 Battalions until 1992 and the regular force shrunk to 4 over the next couple of years. When they canned the Ready Reserve they only raised one extra battalion to begin with, which left us with 5 during the late part of the 90's.
I'd note that I'm not saying that I think that the RR was a bad idea, far from it. I just think that we should have been used to raise extra high quality reserves rather than being used to replace regs.
 
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Aussie Diggermark 2       8/9/2009 12:33:38 AM
I personally think it is disgraceful that Army states it's "too difficult" to have troops with weapons and live ammunition, securing their bases. Not having this capability even under the highest levels of the "safebase" system is a joke.
 
Every single day in Australia, thousands of police, other law enforcement agencies and private security contractors carry weapons with live ammunition with training that is not a patch on that which ADF members are provided. The difference is experience in carry and operating same. Locking weapons and ammunition away and forbidding the carriage of such can not be conducive to gaining realistic experience in day to day usage of same. 
 
The protective security measures at bases are currently inadequate. A handful of mostly untrained and inexperienced persons have managed to conduct surveillance and preparations for an attack on one of our most significant operational bases and only good work by domestic police and security agencies has prevented it. Army security measures seemingly provided next to no deterrence to these persons. Private security contractors, no disrespect to same, are chosen on the basis of cost to employ. Not the level of capability they provide and should be withdrawn from usage in this role, ASAP.
 
The improvements that need to be made should be aimed at addressing 2 primary threats to Australian military bases, in my humble opinion.
 
1. Random mass shootings.
 
2. Attacks from human or vehicle borne IED's.
 
To help provide this protection, I submit that the following measures need to be implemented:
 
1. Civilian "gate guards" need to be withdrawn and replaced by, armed Australian Protective Service officers that provide the same level of operational capability as they do for embassies and consulates within Australia.
 
2. APS and military police units, including general tracking dog units, should provide armed (even if only with sidearms) mobile patrol units on a 24 hour basis for all military bases with an armoury and significant personnel numbers.
 
3. Military Police units (ADF police if you like) should develop a 24hr Quick Response Force capability for all ADF bases, equipped with an armoury and significant personnel numbers, based there on a permanent basis. This capability should be armed with standard ADF small arms (F-88, Browning Hi-Power Mk 3 and non-lethal weapons and kit - batons, OC Spray, handcuffs and TASER etc). MP's should not be tasked with menial duties such as investigating minor breaches of ADF law, but rather re-focused on their deployment and domestic protective security roles. Regimental police should be re-rolled to handle the minor investigative taskings, with hand-off's (ie: RP's are responsible for investigation only, not prosecution) to external (from the unit) prosecution agencies to ensure the integrity and fairness of charges against soldiers suspected of committing breaches of military law.  
 
3. All Regimental guard rooms should be manned 24hrs a day and be equipped and tasked with surveillance of regimental locations, assets and buildings as well as communication tasks for the unit. Guard rooms should have an effective radio and telephone communications network with APS and MP based security teams to ensure C3 in the event of any major incident.
 
4. Reliable "2 way" communications channels with State police forces should be established in order to seek assistance or provide situation reports for response to any major incident occurring within or nearby to major military installations.
 
5. Physical security measures, including restricted person and vehicular access to military installations and video surveillance, security lighting and motion detector systems for fence-lines etc should be upgraded. A hollow "boom gate" should not be the primary (and only) measure of preventing vehicular access to military installations.
 
A "main gate" should be the only viable external access for non-ADF vehicles to a base. (Additional access points for ADF which are operated for specific periods during exercise or operations may be necessary as well, but should be substantial enough to prevent access even to "ramming" type vehicle attack scenarios).
  
The "main gate" should be designed to allow reasonably quick and efficient vehicular access but be sufficiently capable to stop "ramming" type scenarios and be able to "isolate" suspect vehicles without allowing them to travel any further if warranted. A glass box for the gate guard and a hollow plastic boom is
 
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thruster       8/9/2009 8:25:34 PM
thanks for your thoughts aussiedigger2.
i think that over the ages homebased 'peacetime' militarys have been regarded as safe and as such certain drills and civil protocols/niceties must be adhered to. perhaps theres a historical foundation for not having garrisoned/barracked troops armed in democracy? i cant imagine an armed civil assault on a military barracks at anytime in australias recent history, even during the hippy days of vietnam era.
yet now we have small fundamentalist elements actively seeking to saboutage vital assets and mass murder military members. if we consider that except for certain naval bases, all other 'targets' are located quite peripherally to any civilian centre, im unconvinced that civilian agencies could even rally any sort of rapid response. eg: williamtown is 40min from newcastle. newcastle cops are busy enough, its a peripheral centre, how long do you think it will take to call in the local swat team, get em suited up and get them to an armed assault of the home of australias air defence? theres an unarmed guard and a straight road leading to several flightlines of multibillion dollar assets just sitting there!
 but these things dont happen here, they havnt before! will it really take an actual attack for this to be addressed? im only an observer, maybe im wrong??
 
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Aussie Diggermark 2       8/9/2009 11:39:06 PM

thanks for your thoughts aussiedigger2.

i think that over the ages homebased 'peacetime' militarys have been regarded as safe and as such certain drills and civil protocols/niceties must be adhered to. perhaps theres a historical foundation for not having garrisoned/barracked troops armed in democracy? i cant imagine an armed civil assault on a military barracks at anytime in australias recent history, even during the hippy days of vietnam era.


yet now we have small fundamentalist elements actively seeking to saboutage vital assets and mass murder military members. if we consider that except for certain naval bases, all other 'targets' are located quite peripherally to any civilian centre, im unconvinced that civilian agencies could even rally any sort of rapid response. eg: williamtown is 40min from newcastle. newcastle cops are busy enough, its a peripheral centre, how long do you think it will take to call in the local swat team, get em suited up and get them to an armed assault of the home of australias air defence? theres an unarmed guard and a straight road leading to several flightlines of multibillion dollar assets just sitting there!


 but these things dont happen here, they havnt before! will it really take an actual attack for this to be addressed? im only an observer, maybe im wrong??



Agreed, the NSWPOL "Counter Assault Team" capability is resident in Sydney. They would need to be flown to Newcastle to respond to an incident quickly. 
 
Hence my suggestion that every major base, should have an armed QRF capability formed by the local MP/RAAF Police / ADF Police contingent.  
 
ADF should develop a protective security course designed to train personnel for this role. This course could be an adjunct to the existing close personal protection course the Military Police already run and would provide (I would think) a reasonably desirable operational role within the MP ranks, when not deployed operationally.
 
There is a security review being conducted at present by ADF and hopefully some useful additional security measures are identified and implemented by this review.
 
Despite there being certain standard security measures implemented at every airport, consulate, embassy on a permanent basis and temporarily during major events (CHOGM, Commonwealth Games, Olympics, APEC, Pacific Islands Forum etc) within Australia, these are apparently "too hard" for ADF to contemplate and there is "no threat" because "it hasn't ever happened"...
 
I don't seem to recall Russia ever nuking Australia before either. Does this mean there is no possible threat of it? I do notice there has never been a terrorist based CBR incident in Australia either. Yet for some reason we have created the Incident Response Regiment...
 
We've never had a politically motivated siege event requiring the use of a Tactical Assault Group in Australia and we actually maintain 2 of them. Why? They've never been used...
 
A little bit less myopic vision from Defence would be appreciated in this regard...
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
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BLUIE006       8/10/2009 5:04:14 AM

thanks for your thoughts aussiedigger2.

i think that over the ages homebased 'peacetime' military have been regarded as safe and as such certain drills and civil protocols/niceties must be adhered to. perhaps there's a historical foundation for not having garrisoned/barracked troops armed in democracy? i cant imagine an armed civil assault on a military barracks at any time in Australia's recent history, even during the hippy days of Vietnam era.


yet now we have small fundamentalist elements actively seeking to sabotage vital assets and mass murder military members. if we consider that except for certain naval bases, all other 'targets' are located quite peripherally to any civilian centre, im unconvinced that civilian agencies could even rally any sort of rapid response. eg: Williamtown is 40min from Newcastle. Newcastle cops are busy enough, its a peripheral centre, how long do you think it will take to call in the local swat team, get em suited up and get them to an armed assault of the home of Australia's air defence? there's an unarmed guard and a straight road leading to several flightlines of multi billion dollar assets just sitting there!


 but these things dont happen here, they haven't before! will it really take an actual attack for this to be addressed? im only an observer, maybe im wrong??



Shouldn't there be ADGies to prevent this type of thing? 
Which brings me to my next point, if we have Airfield Defence Guards why don't we have something similar for the other services?
 
The Air force defines ADGs as the specialist ground defence force required to protect Air Force bases and installations from hostile ground action
Suggesting that there primary role is the protection of RAAF equipment, personnel, assets and facilities during operations in Australia and overseas, protecting base assets, infrastructure and personnel against attack by enemy ground forces for up to five kilometres from the airfield perimeter fence. These guys are intended to counter raids by enemy special forces surely terrorists should be easy pickings?
 
Having said that I'm with Aussie Digger in suggesting that every major installation should have a protective force -
perhaps with hybrid skills sets (Military Police /Airfield Defence Guard/IntelligenceCorps (Including DSA) /CT) with the composition depending on the location (facilities in built up area's would have a higher surveillance/MP component). http://www.strategypage.com/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Images/emsmiled.gif" alt="" />
 
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thruster       8/10/2009 5:36:58 AM
yeah we have the ADGies, but in my ignorance i think they are in the same boat as 3RAR and every other home based unit. their weapons and ammo is routinely locked away in the armoury. ive always regarded the true ADGie role to be a deployed asset, whilst essentially williamtown is just another district of the greater newcastle area. my point is that sure they must train locally but i'd be surprised if *ARMED* sections of ADGies routinely patrol a home base. im very happy to be proven wrong here. [in an OPSEC sense, perhaps its better i dont know and just have blind faith??]
 
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BLUIE006       8/10/2009 9:07:11 AM

While the very notion that troops designed to protect RAAF equipment, personnel, assets and facilities against clandestine assault have there weapons locked away is absurd to me, (how are they supposed to perform their defined role?) I?d have too agree and suggest that in semi-urban areas this probably is the case.

I also would be surprised if fully armed sections of ADGs patrolled the greater Newcastle area.

 

The fore mentioned is likely a product of old doctrine that has not adapted to the changing nature of the security threat and the very reason a review is needed.  In the previous era of security analysis the likelihood of covert forces making there way to an Australian Base so far south was slim, however in modern times the greatest threats can come from within. Covert forces are not inserted via submarine; they are flown in via an international airport etc, and these factors require consideration. http://www.strategypage.com/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Images/emsmileo.gif" alt="" />

 

I?d imagine that the problem and reason ?it?s too hard? to deploy active ADF protective forces (like I & others have suggested) at military bases in Australian urban areas is defining the Rules of Engagement http://www.strategypage.com/CuteSoft_Client/CuteEditor/Images/emdgust.gif" alt="" />, the last thing Defence needs is for an Australian Soldier to accidently kill an Australian National, on Australian soil ? Can you imagine the Public Relations Nightmare?

Therefore it is easier to leave these duties to police and private security contractors.

 

As I?ve stated the threats have changed, and in my opinion armed defence personnel should be responsible for protecting ADF bases, however for this to happen and be effective, legal definition of things such as threats and terrorists would need to be water tight, and historically this has been difficult.   

 

Worth discussion though?

 
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thruster       8/10/2009 7:17:48 PM
i agree with the comments, tho to my simplistic brain the ROEs would be pretty straight forward:
its commonwealth property, well sign posted and 'advertised'. therefore ADF security have the right to
-halt and search
-detain pending transfer to civilian authority
-open fire when fired at or imminent threat thereof, to protect life and property
-a definition of a rogue vehicle would be required to account for a VIED that has breached the gate.
tho, when you think of it, is it so different than what the APS currently do in australia.
 
as in my first post, how cheap and easy to solve this would it be to simply issue a weapon and a mag as each member or even a designated QRF as they presented for duty each day.
 
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thruster       8/10/2009 9:23:42 PM
i agree with the comments, tho to my simplistic brain the ROEs would be pretty straight forward:
its commonwealth property, well sign posted and 'advertised'. therefore ADF security have the right to
-halt and search
-detain pending transfer to civilian authority
-open fire when fired at or imminent threat thereof, to protect life and property
-a definition of a rogue vehicle would be required to account for a VIED that has breached the gate.
tho, when you think of it, is it so different than what the APS currently do in australia.
 
as in my first post, how cheap and easy to solve this would it be to simply issue a weapon and a mag as each member or even a designated QRF as they presented for duty each day.
 
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Aussiegunneragain    AD   8/11/2009 11:28:19 AM
Agree that the Milpol/RAAFPOL should be armed on military bases. How many troops does an MP company have? If they have one of those per brigade surely that is enough to have an armed section operational at any one time? Perhaps you would have two MP's patrolling, armed with sidearms and the rest of the section in the guard house with access to rifles to deal with any incidents. They would just have to fly in a platoon from elsewhere to look after the base if the whole company had to be deployed or went on exercises.  
 
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