Journal of the australian naval


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Joint Action Groups could consist of the following elements which give an all round capability to cope with most forms of threat at very short notice:

One reinforced infantry battalion
(comprising approx 1000).

  • 2 mechanised infantry companies (250 men)

  • 1 air mobile Ready Reaction company (150 men)

  • 1 parachute trained company (150 men)

  • 1 SAS recon shock detatchment (150 men)

  • Battalion HQ Support troops (300 men)

Organic Air Support (comprising one JAG

Naval patrol craft in the JAG commander's
area of responsibility would also come
under his command.

A Strategic Strike Force (SSF) comprising F111. submarine and major surface units could also be formed for long range operations. This force would need permanent F18 and P3C support and may comprise 20 F111 aircraft. 6 submarines. 9 surface combatants. 30 F18 aircraft and 14 P3C aircraft

Pago 48 - November 86. Journal ol the Australian Naval Institute

The vital criteria of keeping these units together, and well practised, is absolutely decisive in maximizing the combat power of these formations. This remains the case irregardless of the considerable logistics problems involved in maintaining small numbers of aircraft at widely spaced locations.

Joint Action Groups could be headquarter on a permanent regional basis in Perth, Townsville and Darwin. The Strategic Strike Force could be based in Sydney and may act as a reserve for the Joint Action Groups. Co-operation between JAGS would be crucial and large scale exercises would need to be held regularly. A major level of logistical independence would be required for each JAG and use of local reserve forces as combat replacements, airfield/base protectors, maintainers and supply groups would be widespread. The JAG commander, who would ideally have a four year tenure with his force, could even be given wide powers of recruiting on a local basis. His goal would be to build up an effective Reserve replacement' JAG by which to make good combat losses rapidly and maintain full strength for as long as possible. Rotation of personnel between the area JAG and its local reserve would be a vital ingredient of the system.'"

Numerous problems would initially exist in the formation and development of JAGS. Resolving the issue of command of such diverse forces would take time and much practice. Yet the JAG or 'Smart Bomb' concept of operations would, in the author's opinion, maximize the combat power of Australia's sparse defence forces.

The next issue to be considered is that of directing, and assessing JAGS. JAGS must be made accountable to Parliament through the Minister and the Chief of the Defence Force, who will use the Australian Defence Force Headquarters (HQADF) to exercise command.1"

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