|Founded||1 March 1901|
18,738 (Active Reserve)
|Part of||Australian Defence Force|
|Commander-in-chief||General David Hurley|
(As Governor-General of Australia)
|Chief of the Defence Force||General Angus Campbell|
|Chief of Army||Lieutenant General Rick Burr|
|Deputy Chief of Army||Major General Anthony Rawlins|
|Commander Forces Command||Major General Chris Field|
|Australian Army flag|
The Australian Army is Australia's military land force. Formed in 1901 through the amalgamation of the Australian colonial forces following federation, it is part of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) along with the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. While the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) commands the ADF, the Army is commanded by the Chief of Army (CA). The CA is therefore subordinate to the CDF, but is also directly responsible to the Minister for Defence. Although Australian soldiers have been involved in a number of minor and major conflicts throughout Australia's history, only during the Second World War has Australian territory come under direct attack.
Formed in March 1901, with the amalgamation of the six separate colonial military forces, the history of the Australian Army can be divided into two periods:
During its history the Australian Army has fought in a number of major wars, including: Second Boer War (1899-1902), First World War (1914-18), the Second World War (1939-45), Korean War (1950-53), Malayan Emergency (1950-60), Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (1962-66), Vietnam War (1962-73), and more recently in Afghanistan (2001 - present) and Iraq (2003-09). Since 1947 the Australian Army has also been involved in many peacekeeping operations, usually under the auspices of the United Nations, however the non-United Nations sponsored Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai is a notable exception. Australia's largest peacekeeping deployment began in 1999 in East Timor, while other ongoing operations include peacekeeping on Bougainville, in the Sinai, and in the Solomon Islands. Humanitarian relief after 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake in Aceh Province, Indonesia, Operation Sumatra Assist, ended on 24 March 2005.
Since April 2015, the Army has deployed a 300-strong element to Iraq, designated as Task Group Taji, as part of Operation Okra. In support of a capacity building mission, Task Group Taji's main role has been to provide training to Iraqi forces, during which Australian troops have served alongside troops from New Zealand.
The 1st Division comprises a deployable headquarters, while 2nd Division under the command of Forces Command is the main home-defence formation, containing Army Reserve units. 2nd Division's headquarters only performs administrative functions. The Australian Army has not deployed a divisional-sized formation since 1945 and does not expect to do so in the future.
1st Division carries out high-level training activities and deploys to command large-scale ground operations. It has few combat units permanently assigned to it, although it does currently command the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as part of Australia's amphibious task group.
Additionally, Forces Command includes the following training establishments:
Under a restructuring program known as Plan Beersheba announced in late 2011, the 1st, 3rd and 7th Brigades were re-formed as combined-arms multi-role manoeuvre brigades with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (part of the 3rd Brigade) forming the core of the 1st Division Amphibious Task Group, which operates from the Navy's Canberra-class amphibious assault ships.
Infantry, and some other combat units of the Australian Army carry flags called the Queen's Colour and the Regimental Colour, known as "the Colours". Armoured units carry Standards and Guidons - flags smaller than Colours and traditionally carried by Cavalry, Lancer, Light Horse and Mounted Infantry units. The 1st Armoured Regiment is the only unit in the Australian Army to carry a Standard, in the tradition of heavy armoured units. Artillery units' guns are considered to be their Colours, and on parade are provided with the same respect. Non-combat units (combat service support corps) do not have Colours, as Colours are battle flags and so are only available to combat units. As a substitute, many have Standards or Banners. Units awarded battle honours have them emblazoned on their Colours, Standards and Guidons. They are a link to the unit's past and a memorial to the fallen. Artillery do not have Battle Honours - their single Honour is "Ubique" which means "Everywhere" - although they can receive Honour Titles.
The Army is the guardian of the National Flag and as such, unlike the Royal Australian Air Force, does not have a flag or Colours. The Army, instead, has a banner, known as the Army Banner. To commemorate the centenary of the Army, the Governor General Sir William Deane, presented the Army with a new Banner at a parade in front of the Australian War Memorial on 10 March 2001. The Banner was presented to the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A), Warrant Officer Peter Rosemond.
The Army Banner bears the Australian Coat of Arms on the obverse, with the dates "1901-2001" in gold in the upper hoist. The reverse bears the "rising sun" badge of the Australian Army, flanked by seven campaign honours on small gold-edged scrolls: South Africa, World War I, World War II, Korea, Malaya-Borneo, South Vietnam, and Peacekeeping. The banner is trimmed with gold fringe, has gold and crimson cords and tassels, and is mounted on a pike with the usual British royal crest finial.
As of June 2018 the Army had a strength of 47,338 personnel: 29,994 permanent (regular) and 17,346 active reservists (part-time). In addition, the Standby Reserve has another 12,496 members (as of 2009). As of 2018, women make up 14.3% of the Army - well on track to reach its current goal of 15% by 2023. The number of women in the Australian military has increased dramatically since 2011 (10%), with the announcement that women would be allowed to serve in frontline combat roles by 2016.
The ranks of the Australian Army are based on the ranks of the British Army, and carry mostly the same actual insignia. For officers the ranks are identical except for the shoulder title "Australia". The Non-Commissioned Officer insignia are the same up until Warrant Officer, where they are stylised for Australia (for example, using the Australian, rather than the British coat of arms). The ranks of the Australian Army are as follows:
|Small arms||F88 Austeyr (service rifle), F89 Minimi (support weapon), Browning Hi-Power (sidearm), MAG-58 (general purpose machine gun), SR-25 designated marksman rifle, SR-98 (sniper rifle), Mk48 Maximi, AW50F|
|Special forces||M4 carbine, Heckler & Koch USP, SR-25, F89 Minimi, MP5, SR-98, Mk48, HK416, HK417, Blaser R93 Tactical, Barrett M82, Mk14 EBR|
|Main battle tanks||59 M1A1 Abrams|
|Armoured recovery vehicle||13 M88A2 Hercules armoured recovery vehicles|
|Reconnaissance vehicles||257 ASLAV. To be replaced, beginning in 2019, with 211 Boxer (armoured fighting vehicle)|
|Armoured Personnel Carriers||431 M113 Armored Vehicles upgraded to M113AS3/4 standard (around 100 of these will be placed in reserve)|
|Infantry Mobility Vehicles||1,052 Bushmaster PMVs; 31 HMT Extenda Mk1 Nary vehicles and 89 HMT Extenda Mk2 on order|
|Light Utility Vehicles||2,268 G-Wagon 4 × 4 and 6x6, 1,500 Land Rover FFR and GS, 1,295 Unimog 1700L|
|Artillery||112 L118/L119 Hamel Guns (In reserve), 36 M198 Howitzer (In reserve), 54 M777A2 Howitzer, 36 RBS-70 surface-to-air missile systems.|
|Radar||AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder radar, AMSTAR Ground Surveillance RADAR, AN/TPQ-48 Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar, GIRAFFE FOC, Portable Search and Target Acquisition Radar - Extended Range.|
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles||RQ-7B Shadow 200, Wasp AE ,and PD-100 Black Hornet|
|Aircraft||Type||Versions||Number in service||Notes|
|Boeing CH-47 Chinook||Transport helicopter||
|One CH-47D lost in Afghanistan on 30 May 2011. From an initial fleet of six; two additional CH-47Ds were ordered in December 2011 as attrition replacement and to boost heavy lift capabilities until the delivery of seven CH-47Fs, which will replace the CH-47Ds. All seven Chinooks were delivered in August 2015. The US State Department has approved the possible sale of three more CH-47F aircraft as of December 2015. The 2016 Defence White Paper confirmed the order of three CH-47F aircraft.|
|Eurocopter EC135||Training helicopter||EC135T2+||15||Delivery completed 22 November 2016 |
|Eurocopter Tiger||Attack helicopter||Tiger ARH||22||Delivery completed early July 2011. Achieved Final Operational Capability on 14 April 2016.|
|UH-60 Black Hawk||Utility helicopter||S-70A-9||20||Replaced by the MRH 90 in 2017 for utility and transport roles. 20 to be kept in operational service for special forces until the end of 2021 due to issues with MRH 90.|
|NHIndustries MRH-90 Taipan||Utility helicopter||TTH: Tactical Transport Helicopter||47||47 in service (including 6 for Royal Australian Navy)|
Australian Army Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk
The Army's operational headquarters, Forces Command, is located at Victoria Barracks in Sydney. The Australian Army's three regular brigades are based at Robertson Barracks near Darwin,Lavarack Barracks in Townsville, and Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane. The Deployable Joint Force Headquarters is also located at Gallipoli Barracks.
Other important Army bases include the Army Aviation Centre near Oakey, Queensland, Holsworthy Barracks near Sydney, Lone Pine Barracks in Singleton, New South Wales and Woodside Barracks near Adelaide, South Australia. The SASR is based at Campbell Barracks Swanbourne, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia.
Puckapunyal, north of Melbourne, houses the Australian Army's Combined Arms Training Centre, Land Warfare Development Centre, and three of the five principal Combat Arms schools. Further barracks include Steele Barracks in Sydney, Keswick Barracks in Adelaide, and Irwin Barracks at Karrakatta in Perth. Dozens of Australian Army Reserve depots are located across Australia.
Since June 1948, the Australian Army has published its own journal titled the Australian Army Journal. The journal's first editor was Colonel Eustace Keogh, and initially, it was intended to assume the role that the Army Training Memoranda had filled during the Second World War, although its focus, purpose, and format has shifted over time. Covering a broad range of topics including essays, book reviews and editorials, with submissions from serving members as well as professional authors, the journal's stated goal is to provide "...the primary forum for Army's professional discourse... [and to facilitate]... debate within the Australian Army ...[and raise] ...the quality and intellectual rigor of that debate by adhering to a strict and demanding standard of quality". In 1976, the journal was placed on hiatus as the Defence Force Journal began publication; however, publishing of the Australian Army Journal began again in 1999 and since then the journal has been published largely on a quarterly basis, with only minimal interruptions.
This list includes equipment currently on order or a requirement which has been identified: