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ADF Plans Joint Operations Command (Mar. 16)

A new Joint Operations Command will be established to simplify and streamline the Australian Defence Force’s command structure and allow more effective control of forces on operations, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today.

“I’ve accepted advice of the Chief of the Defence Force General Peter Cosgrove for changes to ADF command and control,” Senator Hill said.

“The first Chief Joint Operations (CJOPS) will be the current Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, who will also continue in his current role.”

The Joint Operations Command will report directly to the Chief of the Defence Force, bringing into the one structure the following divisions:

++Strategic Operations Division.
++Headquarters Australian Theatre.
++Headquarters Northern Command’s operational responsibilities. NORCOM will continue as a decentralized element of Joint Operations Command located in Darwin.
++Deployable Joint Force Headquarters.

To some extent this has been made possible by the restructured and enhanced Capability Development Group which will enable Admiral Shalders to focus more on operations.

The current Commander Australian Theatre will become the Deputy to Admiral Shalders (DCJOPS).

Theatre Command is to be effected through the current environmental components Maritime, Land, Air, Special Operations and a Joint Logistics Command separated out from the current Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO). DMO will retain responsibility for all materiel acquisition and through life support management functions. In contrast the Joint Logistics Command will be responsible for operational and physical support for the ADF.

These reforms will be made even more effective by the provision of a new joint headquarters at Bungendore, New South Wales – the tender process for the headquarters has now commenced.

Senator Hill congratulated General Cosgrove on the new command structure which complements the significant reforms of both the DMO and the Capability Group as recently announced.

An implementation plan for these reforms will be developed by Admiral Shalders. His appointment as CJOPS and that of his Deputy will however commence immediately.

Changes To Australian Defence Force Higher Command Arrangements