Maximising Reserve support

Published on MAJ Kathryn Ames (author and photographer)

Location(s): Brisbane, Queensland

Topic(s): Reserves

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell; Director General Australian Navy Cadets and Reserves, Commodore Bruce Kafer; and Director General Reserves – Air Force, Air Commodore Bob Rodgers provided updates on how the three services intended to maximise Reserve forces as part of an integrated force. (photo: Unknown)
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell; Director General Australian Navy Cadets and Reserves, Commodore Bruce Kafer; and Director General Reserves – Air Force, Air Commodore Bob Rodgers provided updates on how the three services intended to maximise Reserve forces as part of an integrated force.

Diversity, service conditions, and integrating Reserve expertise to deliver capability were some of the key discussion points at this year’s Defence Reserves Association conference, held recently in Brisbane. 
 
Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell; Director General Australian Navy Cadets and Reserves, Commodore Bruce Kafer; and Director General Reserves – Air Force, Air Commodore Bob Rodgers provided updates on how the three services intended to maximise Reserve forces as part of an integrated force. 
 
Lieutenant General Campbell acknowledged the importance of the Reserve, saying a well-trained force was critical to Defence capability.
 
“We quite simply can’t sustain a prolonged presence without the Reserves. A strong Reserve force is vital,” he said.
 
The need for diversity and flexibility was acknowledged. 
 
Director General Australian Navy Cadets and Reserves, Commodore Bruce Kafer highlighted the outcomes of the recent comprehensive review of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve. 

“There is a great opportunity to fully capitalise on the flexibility of the Total Workforce Model to improve the management of the Royal Australian Navy Reserve workforce,” he said.  
 
He also stressed the need for more active roles for Royal Australian Navy Reservists in contributing to Navy capability, by better utilising the Reserve's latent capacity and inherent skills.

Government representative Mr Stuart Robert and Shadow Defence Minister Mr Richard Marles demonstrated the bipartisan approach to Defence matters by engaging in an open panel, and acknowledged complexities of debating Reserve conditions, such as taxation and superannuation. 
 
“There is no easy answer, but government is ready to listen to different options,” Mr Robert said. 
 
“The Reserve community needs to come to some form of agreement, but to date that agreement has been hard to come by. This represents how complex some of the issues are, particularly when growing a diverse organisation.”
 
Conference organiser Queensland Defence Reserves Association President Colonel Jenny Cotton said she was pleased to see so many serving members from Army Reserve units attend the conference.
 
“The conference provides a rare opportunity to hear directly from senior officers about what is happening across the three services that directly impacts their Reserve service,” Colonel Cotton said. 
 
“Having informed representatives from parliament, who were able to provide an update on matters impacting Reserve service, was a bonus. 
 
More information about the association can be found at www.dra.org.au. Membership is open to individuals and organisations with an interest in Defence.