As you will all know by now, consistent with Government’s recent decision to increase the National Terrorism Public Alert to HIGH, Defence has raised the alert level at all its bases and establishments across Defence. The raising of the alert level will have an impact on AAFC activities and the security measures to be implemented will vary from base to base. However, as Prime Minister Abbott has stated, “normal life in Australia can and must go on” and the impact on the AAFC will be managed to ensure cadet activities continue without unnecessary disruption.
As part of the raised alert level, ADF members have been advised to consider where they are going, to be aware of their surroundings, and to exercise common sense and judgement when determining where and when they wear their uniform in public.
As far as personal security is concerned there are simple precautions that we can all take and the advice outlined above that has been passed to ADF members is also applicable to the AAFC particularly for units on or in the vicinity of Defence establishments and units in major city metropolitan areas.
When AAFC members are in uniform the majority of the public naturally view them as being linked to the ADF. It is therefore possible that AAFC cadets and staff could be subjected to remarks in public such as on public transport when in uniform. AAFC members (staff and cadets) should consider appropriate personal security measures, such as the need to wear uniform in public, and be vigilant to any unwarranted attention. If you see or experience something that makes you feel concerned or uncomfortable, you can report the issue by contacting your unit or calling the National Security Hotline on 1800 123400. If the situation is an emergency, call the police immediately on 000.
The security measures implemented on Defence bases will vary with location and changes will be appropriate to the circumstances of the establishment and in the interest of all users including AAFC members. The main impact AAFC members and supporters are likely to see will be delays when entering a base and it will be important to have your ID card and or photo identification for access.
Importantly, the restrictions that accompany the security measures across Defence establishments are not intended to unnecessarily disrupt Cadet and AAFC activities. AAFC activity on bases will only be reduced with the mutual agreement of the Air Force Cadet Branch and the applicable base authority. Where AAFC units are located remotely from Defence establishments and not in capital city metropolitan areas, AAFC activities can proceed as normal but with the exercise of commonsense and judgement by local commanders on aspects relevant to the circumstances of the activity such as where and when to wear uniform in public.
Annual camps and public activities such as Remembrance Day will be planned by the AAFC in cooperation with the Cadet Branch to ensure that security aspects are fully considered and the safety of cadets and staff is assured. In this regard, changes to the conduct of some activities can be expected where the safety of cadets is the primary concern.
AAFC staff, cadets, supporters and parents are encouraged to contact their Commands and Cadet Branch for further information or clarification of the security measures that are now in place and the effect on AAFC activities.
Air Commodore Terry Delahunty AM Director General Cadets – Air Force
Group Captain (AAFC) Ken Given Commander Australian Air Force Cadets