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April 12, 2012
THE Senior Navy Women's Forum (SNWF) is
The Forum was endorsed by Chief of Navy in
December 2010 and began in 2011 with about 18
Canberra-based female officers of CMDR-CDRE
The CN encourages participation in this initiative
as a method of contributing to the broader develop-
ment of policies affecting the retention of women,
and facilitating advice and support to Navy's senior
The forum has now evolved to a point where
expansion is seen as the next step to encourage local
chapters and to extend social, personal and profes-
sional support to interested Navy women outside of
The forum will initially be expanded to the
Sydney region and may be further expanded to
include Melbourne, Perth and Darwin.
It is anticipated the reformatted forum -- Navy
Network -- and the 2012 Navy Women's Mentoring
Program (NWMP) will be launched around April/
May in Sydney.
The forum provides support and professional and
personal development for its members, to mentor
junior participants of the NWMP, to network, and
to think-tank strategic issues which affect women's
retention and future workforce challenges.
Last year proved successful for the forum with
three events attended by forum members, invited
junior Navy women, and senior Australian Federal
Expressions of interest for participation in the Forum, and
volunteers to act as local chapter points of contacts, are
now being sought. Nominations can be made directly by
email to CMDR Jennifer Heymans at jennifer.heymans@
NAMED after the shield of Zeus from Greek
mythology, the Aegis Combat System will
be fitted to the Hobart-class Air Warfare
Destroyer (AWD) which comes online from
Aegis will mark such a quantum leap in
capability that Defence recently rolled out a
course to raise awareness across the ADF of
the AWDs' game-changing technologies.
Thirty Navy and Air Force officers and
NCOs gained an important understanding of
the challenge of implementing and operating
the Aegis Combat System at HMAS Watson
from March 19-23.
AWD Capability Implementation Team
member CPOCSM Damon Young said the
course provided an overview of Aegis' capa-
bilities that would serve as a force multiplier
when integrated with the Wedgetail AEW&C
and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and other
ADF assets that are part of Force 2030.
The heart of the Aegis System is the AN/
SPY-1 multi-function phased-array radar that
can simultaneously track more than 100 tar-
gets, and in combination with the SM-2 mis-
sile, will provide an advanced air defence sys-
tem capable of engaging enemy aircraft and
missiles at ranges in excess of 150km.
Course participant WOCSM Justin Stone,
of WO School of Maritime Warfare, said the
ADF had a steep learning curve ahead.
"The course provides an invaluable insight
into the many challenges that will confront us
as we seek to implement, operate and main-
tain such a complex combat system," he said.
"We will have to change the way we do
business to ensure the capability is imple-
mented seamlessly and our personnel are
appropriately trained." WOCSM Stone said
the ADF had the benefit of accessing 30 years
of US Navy experience with Aegis.
"The US Navy lessons learnt with Aegis
are awesome for the RAN because it means
we will not have to learn from our own costly
and time-consuming mistakes," he said.
In the latest initiative, three sailors will
participate in the Armada F-100 Sea-Ride
from Spain to the US in April.
More recently, HMAS Darwin was
embedded with the Seventh Fleet Carrier
strike group during Ex Talisman Sabre which
provided an opportunity for some of her
ship's company to train in Aegis equipped US
When the Aegis-equipped AWD replaces
the Navy's upgraded Adelaide-class FFGs, it
will deliver an affordable, effective, flexible
and sustainable air warfare defence capability
for the security of Australia.
AWD learning curve Women's forum
ready to grow
QUANTUM LEAP: LEUT Peter Shirley, left, chats with LSET Lee Webb and POCSS
Michael Burke about the new AWDs that will be entering service with the RAN.
Photo: LSIS Brenton Freind
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