Minister for Defence Peter Reith
Press Release on Australian Contributions to the US Coalition
September 18, 2001

Following the recent appalling terrorist attacks in the US, the Government has taken a number of measures to support the United States.

The Government believes that the recent attacks fall under Article IV of the ANZUS Treaty, and as such, we have invoked the treaty.

In accordance with Article IV, the Government will continue to consult closely with the US in relation to any response, militarily or otherwise, the US may deem appropriate.

The Government will respond to US requests for military support within the limits of our capability.

The ADF has already commenced the provision of support to the United States in various areas:

HMAS ANZAC, currently serving as part of the international coalition enforcing United Nations trade sanctions on Iraq in the Persian Gulf, will extend its deployment until 23 September 2001. The US requested that HMAS ANZAC’s deployment be extended to assist the International Coalition and the US. The US has emphasised the versatility and capability of HMAS ANZAC in maritime interception operations. HMAS ANZAC’s contribution to this operation is highly valued.

The ADF, in conjunction with Lockheed Martin, has conducted a C-130J Hercules flight in support of relief operations in New York. The aircraft is in the US for software development as part of the C-130J acquisition project. With emergency response personnel mobilised all over the US, the Australian Government was asked to make the aircraft available to transport US personnel from Atlanta to New York.

RAAF personnel, currently on exchange with US forces, have been involved in flying combat air patrols over the continental United States.

ADF exchange personnel attached to the United States have been authorised to deploy with US forces on operations, both inside the United States and abroad.

There are 295 ADF personnel serving in the United States which includes embassy staff, trainees and personnel on courses - 75 RAN, 130 RAAF and 90 Army.

There are 82 ADF exchange personnel and 40 ADF Liaison officers currently serving in US units. Approximately 28 are available for deployment.

The ADF personnel deployed with US units perform a wide variety of duties in combat and combat support functions, examples include:
  • pilots and weapons systems officers attached to fighter, bomber, tactical airlift and maritime surveillance units;
  • army personnel attached to infantry, aviation and special forces units; and
  • seaman officers, pilots and warfare officers attached to US naval vessels.
We are also assisting the US through our intelligence capabilities.

Although we continue to pray that survivors are found, it seems clear that many Australians have been murdered in the terrorist attacks in the US.

The Government is determined to play whatever part we can in bringing the perpetrators to justice.


©2001 Commonwealth of Australia.