Infantry: June 14, 2003


Australia has followed up on it's December, 2002 announcement that it was going to expand its commando forces and set them up as a separate command. The government now says that the commando forces will become the Special Operations Command and another $90 million will be provided to obtain new weapons and equipment. In the past, the Australian commandos, while very well trained, but lacked a lot of the transportation and communications gear American, and even British, commandos had. American special operations forces have always been eager to provide the Australians with whatever transport and communications help they needed, but the Australians would prefer to have their own stuff, at least so they could train with it regularly. The new Special Operations Command would be a small operation, with a few thousand troops (about two thirds of them providing support.) But Australia is going to add several hundred "operators" (commandos), a process that will take several years (because it takes so long to select and train commandos.) The new The Special Operations Command will be composed of a joint headquarters, the Special Air Service Regiment, the 4th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment (Commando), the Tactical Assault Groups on the east and west coasts, 1 Commando Regiment, the Incident Response Regiment and a Combat Service Support Company. As part of the expansion, barracks and training facilities will be upgraded and new weapons and equipment bought (including rifles, machine-guns, portable missiles, mortars, grenade launchers, vehicles, thermal imaging equipment and night vision goggles, communication equipment and support equipment.)


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