In a sign of the deep ties that underpin the Australian and United States’ security alliance, the Royal Australian Navy hosted the fourth Strategic Workforce and Personnel Steering Group forum between 5th and 6th August, at Fleet Headquarters in Sydney.
The SWPSG reports to and supports the strategic dialogue between the US Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations and the Australian Chief of Navy (CN).
Co-hosted by the US Navy’s Director of Military Personnel Plans and Policy, Rear Admiral Frederick ‘Fritz’ Roegge, and the Royal Australian Navy’s Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Michael van Balen, senior representatives from both navies came together to exchange information on workforce and personnel initiatives as well as identifying areas for ongoing and future collaboration.
Some of the topics discussed included recruitment and retention, training challenges, and personnel policy development.
A focal area of the discussion was experiences relating to serving women.
With the US Navy having recently commenced training and employing female officers to serve at sea in submarines, and female enlisted sailors to soon have the same opportunity, the steering group provided them a forum to draw on the Royal Australian Navy’s fifteen years’ of experience of women serving in Collins Class submarines.
The next annual meeting of the steering group will take place in Washington DC.