Military News

Thursday, June 28, 2018

U.S., Australian Service Members Mark 100 Years of ‘Mateship’


By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

FORT MYER, Va. -- Being a “mate” in Australia has a whole different connotation than in the United States.

Australians trust a mate implicitly. A mate is a person who shares the last drink of water or the last bit of food or the last beer in the six-pack.

A mate is always ready to help.

A mate shares values, and that is why the United States and Australia celebrated 100 Years of “Mateship” yesterday morning with services at the National Cathedral, followed by a special Twilight Tattoo here last night.

For the U.S. and Australian militaries, the idea of mateship reaches to a higher level. On July 4, 1918, U.S. and Australian soldiers went into combat together assaulting the German line on the Western Front. The Australian soldiers were battle-hardened. The Americans were green. In one of the few instances in World War I, American troops fought under the direct command of another country. Australian and American soldiers literally fought shoulder to shoulder at the Battle of Hamel. Platoons of Americans were attached to Australian companies.

At the end of the textbook combined arms effort, there were 1,062 Australian casualties and 176 American.

Strong Bonds Through Various Conflicts

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that while mateship began at Le Hamel, it grew with each conflict. “That mateship – that partnership – continued through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Somalia, and – most recently – in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said at a reception before the Twilight Tattoo. “I know that all of us assembled … are proud of what our nations represent and the strategic significance of our relationship.”

Dunford cited incidents from World War II, Vietnam and Afghanistan in which Australian soldiers worked with U.S. forces to uphold their mutual values. “That is what mateship means to me -- it is my pride in being associated with the Australian armed forces,” he said. “I can speak on behalf of all Americans here in saying we are deeply proud of our bond and look forward to the next 100 years of mateship.”

Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan spoke of the bond between the two nations at the memorial service earlier in the day. He said the United States and Australia built an edifice as impressive as the National Cathedral in their fight against tyranny in World War I and beyond. That edifice, he said, was in Northern France.

“Its walls were not made of stone or wood, but of flesh And blood,” he said. “Its mortar was the mud of the trenches. Its foundation [was the] courage in young kids from Queens and Queensland, from Adelaide to Appalachia.”

The bonds forged on the Western Front endured, and Australia and the United States stand together in an interesting and complex world, Shanahan said, adding that the relationship needs leaders who can deal with ambiguity, uncertainty and change.

“Today we are stewards of the bond,” he said. “We live in an interesting world [with] so much potential and so much risk. We will always encounter challenges we cannot predict. But relationships like this help us get through them.”

DHS Requests DoD House Up to 12,000 Migrants


WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department has received a request for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security to house and care for an alien family population of up to 12,000 people, defense officials announced yesterday. DHS requests that DoD identify any available facilities that could be used for that purpose.

If facilities are not available, the officials said DoD has been asked to identify available DoD land and construct semi-separate, soft-sided camp facilities capable of sheltering up to 4,000 people at three separate locations.

DHS prefers the facilities to be built in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, or California to enable access to and supervision of the sites and to comply with the Flores Settlement Agreement's provision that reasonable efforts be made to place minors in the geographic area where the majority are apprehended, defense officials said.

DHS requires the requested capacity to house 2,000 people within 45 days, the officials said, noting that a timeline will be developed to add additional capacity.

Centcom Official Highlights Interagency Partnerships in Stabilization


By Lisa Ferdinando, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department is working in partnership with the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to maximize U.S. efforts for stability in conflict-affected areas, a U.S. Central Command official said today.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the deputy commander at Centcom, delivered the keynote address, titled “DoD Perspective to Stabilization and Importance of the Stabilization Assistance Review,” on the final day of a two-day stabilization symposium at George Washington University.

"When you talk about stabilization, it's the partnerships and alliances we have with the Department of State, USAID [and] nongovernmental organizations that allow us to be able to do those things that we do in order to provide stability in different locations," he said.

The Stabilization Assistance Review provides the framework for DoD, the State Department and USAID to best carry out stabilization efforts in conflict-affected areas. It incorporates lessons learned, while also placing the State Department in charge as the lead federal agency, USAID as the implementer and DoD supporting with security and logistics, Brown explained.

He pointed out that having one agency in charge prevents the conflicts that could arise when it is unclear who is in charge and there are different approaches to stabilization.

Stabilization is Not ‘One Size Fits All’

Brown outlined three types of operating zones: a stable zone that has good security, good governance, and good delivery of services; a gray zone that has weakened security, weakened governance and weakened delivery of services; and an unstable zone that lacks security, governance and delivery of services.

“We'll vacillate between stable and the gray zone,” he said. “Working in the central region, we probably spend more time in the gray zone than we do in the stable zone, by in large across our [area of responsibility]."

When talking about security in northeast Syria, the priority was to first defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, he said, noting a big part of that effort was done by, with and through partners on the ground. Stabilization occurs throughout all phases, he said. It said occurs when there is a level of security, a level of governance and some level of service delivery.

He used Manbij, Syria, as an example, saying that while it is fairly stable now, the challenge of stability includes ensuring the security endures.

"You're not going to have a kind of a ‘one size fits all,’ but you do want to have a kind of ‘one size fits most’ and being able to adjust as things going along," he said.

He also pointed out lessons from the Stabilization Assistance Review that could be applied to how things could have been done differently in Afghanistan. For example, he said the Afghan security forces, as they are doing now, could have earlier taken on the greater role in their own security.

The Stabilization Assistance Review is an interagency effort with the State Department, USAID and DoD to identify ways the United States can leverage diplomatic engagement, defense and foreign assistance to stabilize conflict-affected areas. The review took place last year; the secretaries of State and Defense and the administrator of USAID signed it in February.