After my previous Independent Federation of Australia AU, I have decided to create a new AU titled Republic of Australia Navy (AUSDEF-N).
The Republic of Australia
Australia, officially known as the The Republic of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north; the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. For at least 40,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages grouped into roughly 250 language groups. After the discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades; the continent was explored and an additional five self-governing Crown Colonies were established.
On 17 December 1913, the seven colonies gained their independence, and in 1969 Australia became a republic being formally known as The Republic of Australia. Since becoming a republic, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy. The Republic comprises seven states and six territories. The population of 23.1 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated in the eastern states.
Australia is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the world's 12th-largest economy. In 2012, Australia had the world's fifth-highest per capita income, Australia's military expenditure is the world's 13th-largest. With the second-highest human development index globally, Australia ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Pacific Islands Forum. Australia has a close partnership with the United Kingdom, carrying on the joint commitments made whilst Australia was part of the British Commonwealth. Australia also has very close ties with it's neighbour New Zealand and both countries enjoy a very beneficial partnership. To ratify this arrangement between Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom the ANZUK Cooperation was created. A similar agreement, albeit on a much reduced scale, is current with the United States of America although this is primarily a military cooperation agreement. Originally this agreement included New Zealand but this country has since removed itself from the agreement citing issues with the United States Governmental policies.
Australia is a Republic with a parliamentary system of government with it's elected president at its apex.
The federal government is separated into three branches:
- The legislature: the bicameral Parliament, defined in section 1 of the constitution as comprising the Senate, and the House of Representatives;
- The executive: the Federal Executive Council;
- The judiciary: the High Court of Australia and other federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the President on advice of the Council.
In the Senate (the upper house), there are 87 senators: twelve each from the states and one from the Australian Capital Territory. The House of Representatives (the lower house) has 150 members elected from single-member electoral divisions, commonly known as "electorates" or "seats", allocated to states on the basis of population, with each original state guaranteed a minimum of five seats. Elections for both chambers are normally held every three years, simultaneously; senators have overlapping six-year terms except for those from the ACT, whose terms are not fixed but are tied to the electoral cycle for the lower house; thus only 40 of the 76 places in the Senate are put to each election unless the cycle is interrupted by a double dissolution.
Australia's electoral system uses preferential voting for all lower house elections with the exception of Tasmania and the ACT which, along with the Senate and most state upper houses, combine it with proportional representation in a system known as the single transferable vote. Voting is compulsory for all enrolled citizens 18 years and over in every jurisdiction, as is enrolment (with the exception of South Australia). The party with majority support in the House of Representatives forms the government and its leader becomes President.
Australia has seven states—New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA), Tasmania (TAS), Victoria (VIC), Northern Australia (NA) and Western Australia (WA)—and one major mainland territory—the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). In most respects the ACT functions as a state, but the Federal Parliament can override any legislation of it's parliament. By contrast, federal legislation overrides state legislation only in areas that are set out in Section 51 of the Australian Constitution; state parliaments retain all residual legislative powers, including those over schools, state police, the state judiciary, roads, public transport and local government, since these do not fall under the provisions listed in Section 51.
Each state and major mainland territory has its own parliament—unicameral in Northern Australia, the ACT and Queensland—and bicameral in the other states. The states are independent entities, although subject to certain powers of the Republic as defined by the Constitution. The lower houses are known as the Legislative Assembly (the House of Assembly in South Australia and Tasmania); the upper houses are known as the Legislative Council. The head of the government in each state is the Governor and in the ACT the Chief Minister.
Australia is a wealthy country with a market economy, a relatively high GDP per capita, and a relatively low rate of poverty. In terms of average wealth, Australia ranked second in the world after Switzerland in 2013, and the nation's poverty rate increased from 10.2 per cent to 11.8 per cent, from 2000/01 to 2013. It was identified by the Credit Suisse Research Institute as the nation with the highest median wealth in the world and the second-highest average wealth per adult in 2013.
The Australian dollar is the currency for the nation, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. With the 2006 merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange became the ninth largest in the world.
Ranked third in the Index of Economic Freedom (2010), Australia is the world's twelfth largest economy and has the fifth highest per capita GDP (nominal) at $66,984. The country was ranked second in the United Nations 2011 Human Development Index and first in Legatum's 2008 Prosperity Index. All of Australia's major cities fare well in global comparative liveability surveys; Melbourne reached first place on The Economist's 2011 and 2012 world's most liveable cities lists, followed by Sydney, Perth, and Adelaide in sixth, eighth, and ninth place respectively. Total government debt in Australia is about $190 billion – 20% of GDP in 2010.
Over the past decade, inflation has typically been 2–3% and the base interest rate 5–6%. The service sector of the economy, including tourism, education, and financial services, accounts for about 70% of GDP. Rich in natural resources, Australia is a major exporter of agricultural products, particularly wheat and wool, minerals such as iron-ore, uranium and gold, and energy in the forms of liquified natural gas and coal. Although agriculture and natural resources account for only 3% and 5% of GDP respectively, they contribute substantially to export performance. Australia's largest export markets are Japan, China, South Korea, United Kingdom, the Middle East, the European Union and New Zealand. Australia is the world's third largest exporter of wine, and the wine industry contributes $6.25 billion per year to the nation's economy.
Foreign Relations and Defence Force
Over recent decades, Australia's foreign relations have been driven by a close association with the United Kingdom and New Zealand through the AZNUK pact, and by a desire to develop relationships with Asia and the Pacific, particularly through ASEAN and the Pacific Islands Forum. In 2005, Australia secured an inaugural seat at the East Asia Summit following its accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and in 2011 attended the Sixth East Asia Summit in Indonesia. Australia has in recent times distanced itself from the United States of America primarily due to conflicts of policies although there is still a common agreement in place for the sale and acquisition of military hardware between the two nations. This, however, is likely to cease as Australia's reliance on the United States for military hardware lowers. Australia's armed forces also enjoy close ties with Spain and conducts joint exercises and exchanges on a frequent basis.
Australia has pursued the cause of international trade liberalisation. It led the formation of the Cairns Group and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Australia is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization, and has pursued several major bilateral free trade agreements, most recently the Australia – United States Free Trade Agreement and Closer Economic Relations with New Zealand, with another free trade agreement being negotiated with China—the Australia–China Free Trade Agreement—and Japan, South Korea in 2011, Australia–Chile Free Trade Agreement, ASEAN – Australia – New Zealand Free Trade Area, and the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership.
Along with New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore, Australia is party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a regional defence agreement.
Australia's armed forces—the Australian Defence Force (ADF)—comprise the Australian Navy (AUSDEF-N), the Australian Coast Guard (AUSDEF-CG), the Australian Army (AUSDEF-A) and the Australian Air Force (AUSDEF-AF), in total numbering 145,655 personnel. The titular role of Commander-in-Chief is vested in the President, who appoints a Chief of the Defence Force from one of the armed services on the advice of the government. Day-to-day force operations are under the command of the Chief, while broader administration and the formulation of defence policy is undertaken by the Minister and Department of Defence.
In the FY 2016-17 budget, defence spending was A$29.6 billion, representing the 13th largest defence budget. Australia has been involved in UN and regional peacekeeping, disaster relief and armed conflict; it currently has deployed approximately 4,980 defence force personnel in varying capacities to 12 international operations in areas including Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Solomon Islands and Free Fiji.
The Republic of Australia Navy (AUSDEF-N)
In the years following the establishment of the British colony of New South Wales in 1788, Royal Navy ships of the East Indies Squadron under the command of the East Indies Station would be station in or visit Australian waters. From the 1820s, a ship was sent annually to New South Wales, and occasionally to New Zealand.
In 1848, an Australian Division of the East Indies Station was established, and in 1859 the British Admiralty established an independent command, the Australia Station, under the command of a Commodore who was assigned as Commander-in-Chief, Australia Station. The Australian Squadron was created to which British naval ships serving on the Australia Station were assigned. The changes were partially in recognition of the fact that a large part of the East Indies Station had been detached to Australian waters, and also reflecting growing concern for the strategic situation in the western Pacific in general, and in Tahiti and New Zealand in particular. In 1884, the commander of the Australia Station was upgraded to the rank of Rear Admiral.
At its establishment, the Australia Station encompassed Australia and New Zealand, with its eastern boundary including Samoa and Tonga, its western edge in the Indian Ocean, south of India and its southern edge defined by the Antarctic Circle. The boundaries were modified in 1864, 1872 and 1893. At it's largest, the Australia Station reached from the Equator to the Antarctic in its greatest north-south axis, and covered 1⁄4 of the Southern Hemisphere in its extreme east-west dimension, including Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Melanesia and Polynesia.
In 1911 the Australia Station passed to the Commonwealth Naval Forces (initially under the command of RN officers) and the Australian Squadron was disbanded. The Station, now under nominal Australian command, was reduced to only cover Australia and its island dependencies to the north and east. In 1911, the Commonwealth Naval Forces was renamed the Royal Australian Navy, which in 1913 came under Australian command. The Royal Navy's Australia Station's Sydney based depots, dockyards and structures were gifted to the Commonwealth of Australia. The Royal Navy continued to support the RAN and provided additional blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of World War II. In 1969, Australia became a republic and the title of Royal Australian Navy was changed to AUSDEF-N (Australian Defence - Navy). Ships and shore establishments commissioned into the AUSDEF-N are given the prefix AS (Australian Ship). Although now separated from the Commonwealth, the AUSDEF-N still follows the conventions and traditions of the Royal Navy. The AUSDEF-N also enjoys a long cemented cooperation with the Royal Navy.
An effective organisation is fundamental to the efficiency of the AUSDEF-N and its ability to accomplish assigned missions. The objective of the AUSDEF-N’s structure is to align the entire Service, and its supporting agencies, into a system that is focused on the delivery of trained forces and the necessary support to deliver combat capability. Ultimately the Navy’s mission is to fight and win at sea.
The AUSDEF-N is commanded through Naval Headquarters (NHQ) in Canberra. The professional head is the Chief of Navy (CN), who holds the rank of Vice-Admiral. NHQ is responsible for implementing policy decisions handed down from the Department of Defence and for overseeing tactical and operational issues that are the purview of the subordinate commands.
Beneath NHQ are two subordinate commands:
- Fleet Command: fleet command is led by Commander Australian Fleet (COMAUSFLT). COMAUSFLT holds the rank of Rear Admiral. The nominated at-sea commander is Commodore Warfare (COMWAR), a one-star deployable task group commander. Fleet command has responsibility to CN for the full command of assigned assets, and to Joint Operations command for the provision of operationally ready forces.
- Navy Strategic Command: the administrative element overseeing the AUSDEF-N's training, engineering and logistical support needs. Instituted in 2000, the Systems Commander was appointed at the rank of Commodore; in June 2008, the position was upgraded to the rank of Rear Admiral.
Fleet Command was previously made up of seven Force Element Groups, but after the New Generation Navy changes, this was restructured into four Force Commands:
- Fleet Air Arm, responsible for the AUSDEF-N's aviation assets
- Mine Warfare, Patrol and Hydrographic, an amalgamation of the previous Patrol Boat, Survey, Minehunter and Clearance Diving Forces, operating what are collectively termed the AUSDEF-N's "minor war vessels"
- Submarine Force
- Surface Force, covering the AUSDEF-N's surface combatants.
The AUSDEF-N has four primary bases for its fleet:
- Fleet Base South, located at AS Kuttabul, Sydney;
- Fleet Base East, located at AS Moreton, Brisbane;
- Fleet Base North, located at AS Coonawarra, Darwin; and
- Fleet Base West, located at AS Stirling, near Perth.
In addition, two other bases are home to the majority of the AUSDEF-N's minor war vessels:
- AS Cairns, at Cairns; and
- AS Waterhen, at Sydney.
Flotillas and Squadrons
AUXSQN10 (EAST) - AS Supply, AS Fred Hollows and AS Yeoman
AUXSQN10 (WEST) - AS Endeavour, AS Platypus and AS Coxswain
AMPHIBDIV - Based at Fleet Base South and Fleet Base North East
COMAUSNAVAIR (EAST) - Based at NAS Nowra
COMAUSNAVAIR (NORTH) - Based at NAS Townsville
COMAUSNAVAIR (WEST) - Based at NAS Rottnest Island
DDGFLOT2 – Based at Fleet Base West
DDGFLOT3 – Based at Fleet Base East
FFGSQN6 – Based at Fleet Base West
FFGSQN7 – Based at Fleet Base East
MINEHUNTER DIVISION - Based at AS Waterhen and AS Cairns
PATSQN12 - Based at Fleet Base North, Fleet Base North East, AS Waterhen and AS Cairns
SUBMARINE COMMAND – Based at Fleet Base West
SURVEY DIVISION - Based at Fleet Base North and Fleet Base North East
TRAINING COMMAND (WEST) - AS Leeuwin
TRAINING COMMAND (EAST) - AS Tingira
Castlemaine Class DDG