Chief of Joint Operations and Director General Air Operations brief journalists on ADF operations in Iraq

5 November 2014 | Transcript

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I’m here with Air Commodore Iervasi again to give you an update on operations in the broad – I will focus on Iraq, where I suspect your interest is, but I’ll talk through a range of operations that are currently underway in the ADF. But we’ve currently got two and a half – about two and a half thousand people deployed on operations globally in our region, and in our border area conducting our normal border operations. One of the activities I’ll come to which is a particularly important one at the moment, is Operation Render Safe. Where we’ve been working for a period in Bougainvillea now removing a significant quantity of explosive remnants of war from the Second World War.                               

But to Iraq first. The Iraqi Security Forces military campaign, which the coalition is supporting, continues to disrupt ISIL. And we are providing time for the Government of Iraq to build an inclusive government, and to regenerate its own military forces. We’ve welcomed recently the appointment of a defence minister and minister of the interior, and the swearing-in to Parliament of a number of Kurdish representatives. ISIL continues to exploit fear and intimidation. It doesn’t offer hope. It doesn’t provide safety, prosperity, or tolerance. Recently, the UN Security Council rightly condemned the ISIL attacks on Sunni tribesmen in the Anbar province, where you will have seen reporting of up to 300 people having been killed in mass graves and in water wells.

The air campaign continues. And it continues to deny ISIL the ability to have freedom of movement, to be able to mass their forces and to be able to conduct resupply of their fighters in the field. What we’ve continued to do is target their means of transportation, their heavy equipment, command and control modes, their logistic supply centres, in order to degrade and disrupt them. And where we can, to have an impact on their revenue generation, particularly through the mobile oil rigs. ISIL has tactical influence, but the Coalition maintains the strategic momentum with the 60 partner nations continuing to work closely together. For our air operations – and I’ll talk through each of the main types of air capabilities that we have deployed – over the period since we commenced air operations, our KC30, which are the air-to-air refuelling aircraft, have flown 33 sorties.

 We’ve provided or transferred in the order of 2.5 million pounds of fuel, and since I last briefed you the types or numbers of aircraft that we are refuelling in a mission are increasing. So we had previously refuelled certainly our own aircraft, the French Rafael fighters, but we’re now also refuelling American Super Hornets, Marine Harrier aircraft, on a much more routine basis. Our E7 Wedgetail – that’s the early warning and control aircraft – has now conducted 24 missions. That aircraft, which is new to us, has been performing particularly well. And I’ll just offer Air Commodore Iervasi the chance to give you a short description of what that aircraft’s achieving and the reputation it’s forming through its missions.

JOE IERVASI:                        
Great. Thanks sir. So the E7 airborne early warning and control aircraft. This is the first time we have deployed it, along with the other newer capabilities we have. Its primary mission there is to provide airspace command and control of all Coalition aircraft assigned to operations over in Iraq, obviously during the timeframe that it’s airborne. It uses its radar, so the big surfboard looking thing on the top of it – that is an electronically scanned antenna. So it uses its radar to detect other aircraft operating in the airspace, obviously keeping tabs on the Coalition aircraft, ensuring that it can provide situational awareness to the crews. About – there are other aircraft in your airspace that are either unidentified, and they can step to a process of correlating those unknown tracks and providing the relevant advice and information to the crews. Plus it provides a command and control and coordination aspect, back to Central Command’s Combined Air and Space Operations Centre which has overall control of all operations; all air operations, within Iraq.

This includes the passing of detailed directions that come from the combined Air and Space Operations Centre, including targeting details. And those targeting details work in a virtual network that includes information passed back to the United States in a live timeframe, back to the Middle East for correlation, and then out to the aircraft live. So when a target arises, or is seen, a target of opportunity, it can bounce across three-quarters of the globe, and we can be striking that target within about 15 minutes. So it’s a pretty incredible network that we have to correlate effects there. Also the other part of the E7 provides – it’s a backup, I guess, communications hub, airborne there as well. And so based upon where aircraft might be operating on, it can actually provide a relay capability to keep everyone informed of what’s going on. And finally the most important role there is providing the coordination with the Iraqi security forces on the ground. To any situations they may be requesting airborne support. So it can provide the means of passing those details back, coordinating the aircraft on task. Reassigning the aircraft as required – if they’re on a different mission, to go and support, as has happened in the last few weeks – a situation where the Iraqi security forces have been under direct attack by ISIL and we’ve been able to dynamically re-task air assets, to provide them with the support.

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
That’s a good segue for me then, just to give you an update on the airstrike operations that we have performed. And again, this is a [indistinct] since we commenced the conduct of air operations, but our Super Hornets have flown 89 sorties, accruing some 663 flying hours, which is a long time in an ejection seat. They’ve employed 27 laser or GPS guided 500-pound bombs, striking a number of ISIL targets. Twenty-five of those bombs have been dropped since, or over the last month. Fourteen targets have been hit by Australian aircraft, 11 confirmed destroyed, and three assessed as damaged. I’ll highlight just two areas in particular where we have been working. Some of our operations have included support to ground forces either approaching or operating in the vicinity of the Bayji Oil Refinery. I think I previously mentioned, it’s one of the major refineries in Iraq. It’s currently held by the Iraqi Security Forces in a highly contested environment. So we’ve provided support to the ground troops and to the force that has been closing into that area in order to provide reinforcement.

Another area that’s been very important – and you may have seen some reporting of this – but there is particularly in the Fallujah area where ISIL has been building berms in order to divert water from the Fallujah Dam. They have flooded a number of areas which has had a significant impact on the population in that area, but equally it impacts on the ability of Iraqi Security Forces to move into that area and conduct security operations. Downstream, the movement or loss of water has caused a reduction in power generation, and a lack of water that would otherwise be used for irrigation and potable water purposes. So very significant activity in terms of use of water as a weapon. A range of Coalition countries have been dealing with that. In part to destroy the berm, and to allow the water to flow in the direction that the dam should be holding it in. We’ve contributed to that, particularly in taking action against some of the heavy earthworking equipment that has been used to both create the berm and then to try to reinforce it after the damage that’s been caused. Different countries have opened that berm up.

For our Special Operations, who you’d recall conducting the advise and assist task – we have conducted that the negotiations around what the process is in order to meet the requirements of both the Government of Iraq and Australia – our force remains ready to deploy. We are in the last stages now of going through the arrangement’s in order to achieve that deployment, and I expect they will deploy very soon.

But more broadly, on Coalition operations, I’ll just give you an overview of the number of activities or sorties, that have been flown to date. And that’s up to 2 November. Almost 8000. Seven thousand nine hundred air sorties have been conducted against ISIL in both Iraq and Syria, which includes 437 strike missions. The nations involved that are working with us in Iraq include of course the US, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Canada, and the Netherlands. At sea, and we are active and have been for a long time in the Middle East region – the weather through the Gulf of Aden is approaching that season where the monsoon abates. That’s when those involved in drug smuggling exploit the weather conditions, and we expect again to see a rise in activity in the water areas.

HMAS Toowoomba is at sea, and I expect it will become busy in that area as the amount of traffic that’s moving through the Gulf of Aden down through the coast of Yemen and Somalia increases. I mentioned earlier that we have Operation Render Safe under way, which has been ongoing for about the last week and a half in Bougainville, an activity we’ve been planning for the last two years. Involves about 500 people from multiple countries, we have five international countries with us. It’s working in an area called Torakina, on Bougainville Island, that’s on the western side of the island. It was a very significant US airbase – had about 60,000 people operating there during the Second World War, with the Japanese not far from them. An enormous amount of munitions were stored there, significant fighting occurred in the area. To date, we’ve removed about 6000 kilos of high explosive. Everything from large sea mines that were left behind, through to some very densely populated defensive minefields, which have a particularly nasty form of mine in them that are now 70 years old and have caused enormous grief to the local community, since the end of the war. So they’re working with the New Zealand Solomon Islanders, the United Kingdom, the US and Canadians who are in what are extraordinarily difficult conditions. The weather’s been pretty difficult, it’s hot, it’s humid, and if you can imagine wearing a full protective suit when you’re trying to defuse and move explosives of this nature – they’ve done remarkable work. And have been very well received within the community.

Ladies and gentlemen, the last activity before you is our work in terms of preparing for the G20. The ADF is part of the national security support to that very important leaders’ meeting. We’re providing both air protection – our normal counterterrorism capabilities – and some risk or some search capabilities. Vehicle search, water search – we are very well prepared with our preparations and will be well in place to be able to support that meeting as it occurs through late next week and into the weekend. I’ll stop there, and happy to take questions from you.

QUESTION:                           
If I could just ask a question, Admiral, about the Special Forces on the ground [indistinct] last stages of achieving deployment. Does that mean that there’s been [indistinct] that are required [indistinct]?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
We have had a process – you’d be aware. The government of Iraq has asked that we not reveal the nature of the arrangement between the two countries. So I am limited in what I can explain in that part. But the process was identified – there were a series of administrative actions that we had to take. We are right at the final end of those, and that’s why I’m confident that the deployment will occur soon.

QUESTION:                           
[inaudible question]

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Yes. Well it’s helped that the government of Iraq is formed and they now have ministers in place to make the decisions that we’ve needed them to make. We’re now seeing the benefits of that.

QUESTION:                           
For those of us who’ve been saying they’re going to go in soon for the last two months – can you refine soon please?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I am hopeful that within the next week, that we would achieve that.

QUESTION:                           
You made the point that you feel significant progress is being made against ISIL. Now, we’ve had a situation where there’s been this [indistinct] massacre of Sunni tribesmen. Who rose up against – [indistinct] or risen up against ISIL. Which is what was a key part of the strategy of our side. To encourage them to do that. It appears they got very little support, and now they’re paying a [indistinct] price for it. Is that – do you feel that you can still say that you’re making significant progress? And also, there’s been reports that ISIL’s been advancing further and further into Kurdish-held areas, towards [indistinct]. Is that happening? And what’s it mean in the broader picture?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I would describe it as – in the north, there has been good progress made. And the movement of the Iraqi security forces up towards the township of Bayji and the refinery has been incredibly difficult. They’ve encountered [indistinct] IEDs, significant IED placements that have blocked their path. But they’ve made steady progress towards it. And are close to that refinery now. In the south, and you’d be aware that it’s a very important period for the Shi’a at the moment – the pilgrim festival is on, the Karbala. The Iraqi Security Forces are having to provide security to enable the pilgrims to move to Karbala for that period. And while there have been incidents. They have done that very well. In Kobani more broadly we’ve seen something of a stalemate there. Some morale-lifting activities with the Kurds – managing to get some of the Iraqi Kurds in there to provide support. And the ground being held relatively well. Some advances from the Kurds, but still a highly contested environment. The most difficult area remains out to the western provinces. And the western approaches to Baghdad. That’s where the recent atrocities did occur.

It is an area we’re aware the Iraqi Security Forces wish to do more. They’ve got to build the capacity to do it. That’s their key constraint.

They haven’t yet had the capacity to do as much in that western corridor up to the Syrian border as anyone would have liked. But that is why we need to give them time to build and regenerate forces.

QUESTION:                           
Vice-Admiral, the Attorney-General says that there are 15 Australians who’ve been killed by [indistinct] ISIL [indistinct]. Can you expand on whether or not the Australian airstrike operations that have destroyed 14 targets may have killed any of those 15 Australians?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I’ve got no knowledge that would indicate that any of our airstrikes have resulted in the deaths of any Australians fighting with ISIL.

QUESTION:                           
So after these airstrikes, there’s obviously, you know, assessment of the impact of the airstrike. And you mentioned a [indistinct] being confirmed. What were those [indistinct] and Australians in those areas?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I don’t know whether there were any Australians in there. The types of targets we’ve been engaged with in the [indistinct] some logistic bases. Where ISIL have cached weapons or there’s been logistics stores. And some ISIL heavy equipment that they have been using. And we do conduct battle damage assessment, that’s a large part of what Air Commodore Iervasi’s team do afterwards. But it’s much easier to assess the physical damage that’s occurred. The nature of the people that may have been fighting there as ISIL members, is much more difficult proposition to understand.

QUESTION:                           
In that damage assessment, are you able to work out if there’s are any fighters themselves destroyed, or just ammunition(*)?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
On occasion. So it depends on the particular target. On some occasions there aren’t any people there so it’s clear to us that it wouldn’t – that those strikes wouldn’t have caused deaths in themselves. But on other occasions, particularly where it may have been a logistics base, it is probable that there are people there.

QUESTION:                           
[indistinct]. Sorry, last question. In these 11 confirmed destroyed targets, have there been any deaths?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Quite probably. But I haven’t got the numbers.

QUESTION:                           
Any civilian deaths? That you’re aware of?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
None that we’re aware of. And as we’ve spoken previously, we go to enormous lengths to ensure that we have a very good understanding of the collateral damage that may occur from the strikes. And there have been no instances I’m aware of that there’s been a potential for civilian deaths.

QUESTION:                           
[indistinct]. You said in the press release that’s coming out shortly that RAF personnel have played and led attacks against targets. Can you expand a little more on command and control?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I’ll let Air Commodore Iervasi – one activity in particular where we were a lead, with a multiple-aircraft formation.

JOE IERVASI:                         
Yeah, thanks sir. So the circumstance that that is referring to was a particular mission where an Australian air crew and a formation of F-18s led a Coalition – what we call it is a package of aircraft – which included from other nations I won’t name in this forum. But it was a combined Coalition package which we had the lead for. Which was a deliberate strike against known ISIL training facilities in particular. And that was executed on target, on time. And I guess this is really a plug for the professionalism and the competency of the crew that we’ve actually put across there. Right across all three platforms, not just the F-18s, but certainly the airborne early warning and control crew, and the tankers as well. Our ability to have been able to integrate, you know – arguably seamlessly and quickly into a complex Coalition environment, essentially with two weeks’ notice, is extraordinary. And really pays testament to the years of training and exercise we do at very complex levels, that has enabled us to get up and fight very quickly.

QUESTION:                           
Are you able to say roughly where in Iraq that mission was [indistinct].

JOE IERVASI:                         
Northern Iraq.

QUESTION:                           
Admiral, on the issue of Australians fighting with IS. What difference would it make to your personnel if they were to become aware there were Australians involved with IS on the ground, in the area you were targeting? What difference would it make to the instructions, and what difference would it make to their response?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
In all our work, we’re looking to make sure that it’s military objectives. That we’re minimising the impact for those who are not involved in fighting. And if there was Australians that met those criteria, we would – the likelihood of us knowing that, Karen, is very low. But if we saw people that were fighting, they were a legitimate target, and the engagement authorities were there to do so. Then we would conduct the mission that we’d been sent there to do.

QUESTION:                           
Regardless of what nationality they were?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Yes. Correct.

QUESTION:                           
Is that any different to any other mission previously? You [indistinct] in this mission, or is it the same [indistinct] are in place in Afghanistan?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Very similar to other operations of this nature.

QUESTION:                           
[inaudible question]

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I’m not able to confirm that, only because I don’t know.

QUESTION:                           
You spoke of targeting revenue generation. Mobile oil rigs?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Yes.

QUESTION:                           
Can you explain [indistinct].

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Yes, they’re a legitimate target in terms of – there are occasions where ISIL is drawing oil revenue off. They’re using mobile oil refineries in order to be able to sell it through the black market, largely. So it’s a target in terms of – it’s a revenue production for their purposes. And legitimate to us in terms of meeting the military requirements. So were we to be allocated to it, we would step through our normal processes of ensuring that it meets our requirements. And where it did so, we would be part of a strike package for it.

QUESTION:                           
Have you struck any?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Other countries have. I don’t think we have.

JOE IERVASI:                         
No. We have not, sir. And a majority of those mobile refineries have actually been in Syria. So they’ve actually been struck by the US predominately, and other Coalition partners.

QUESTION:                           
Given that IS still has the capacity to [indistinct] at least temporary constructions – berms, you mentioned earlier. Even if [indistinct] they’re still in a pretty good position. What difference will the deployment of Australian forces and other nations’ forces make? Can you explain that [indistinct] the next step is pushing them back?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
So the strategy has always been around first, providing that support to disrupt ISIL and slow its momentum. And I think I’ve made the comment last time that you’d recall back in June, July, the talk was around then how quickly ISIL had advanced, and that Baghdad was under threat. If that rate of advance had continued, then we’d be dealing with a very different environment in Iraq to what we’re dealing with now. So the first part of the strategy has been to slow and disrupt the ISIL advance. And I think that’s where – we have not stopped the advance, but it’s certainly been disrupted in areas. The second part is now building the capacity of the Iraqi security forces. So the slow and disrupt was to give the government of Iraq time to form after their elections for the building of capacity within their security forces. That’s what our advise and assist mission – and that being performed by other nations is all about.

But a longer-term approach is around the broader security sector and reform work. But that is all to come. But we have been where the Coalition’s successful in slowing. Giving time for the government of Iraq. Our next step is around the advise-assist and helping building them, to enable them to go back on the offensive. And in localised areas, the Iraqi security forces have been on the offensive. The work they’re doing up through the north or to clear the southern areas down to Karbala for the pilgrimage has been an offensive. But it will clearly need to be on a much larger scale than has been achieved so far.

QUESTION:                           
Just to clarify exactly where the [indistinct] would be based and exactly who they’ll be working with. [indistinct].

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Who we’re working with will depend in part – and it will change during their time there. In the broad it is the counterterrorism services. They’re the Iraqi special operations equivalent. So our team will be working with them. It works well because it’s a like-for-like force. So we’ve got the skills sets and understand how they operate. But they’re also one of the most highly trained of the Iraqi forces. So we’ll be able to work with them and shore up their capabilities very quickly. We’ll be operating – the main base for us will be in Baghdad. So we’ll be operating from Baghdad. But where required and the forces deploy – we will deploy, as we’ve said previously, working at the battalion headquarters, or down to the battalion headquarters level – where that force or elements of the force go, we will go with them.

QUESTION:                           
And is there a time frame in relation to this deal that’s been made? In terms of how long we’ll actually be there?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
No.

QUESTION:                           
[inaudible question].

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I think the earlier announcement was in the order of 200 people. So it’s of that magnitude.

QUESTION:                           
[inaudible question]

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I think my view is we’ll see this occur in phases. So the early work was around that disruption effect and we’ve clearly caused ISIL to change the way it operates. The inability to mass forces or to be able to use some of the open lines through Syria in the way they had. So that part is ongoing. And they’re changed – the way ISIL is changed means that less targets present themselves. But also means they’re less able to progress their objectives. What I anticipate is that as the Iraqi security forces do go on the offensive. ISIL will have a choice then. They’ll either have to move and get out of the way, and they’ll present a target when they move. Or they’ll have to stay and fight, and they’ll present a target to ground forces when they stay and fight. So what we’ll see as the offensive activities start progressively to occur is the types of targets and the opportunities that are presentable change.

QUESTION:                           
Important there to understand how targeting – the targeting priorities occurring. And the way I’d best describe it, and I’ll offer Air Commodore Iervasi, who was recently in the command Air Operations Centre working these issues – all the information gets pooled in together. So you can imagine there’s target priorities are develop multi-sources of both intelligence fused together. In order to gain the best understanding of what’s occurring. And then work through a military priority list. So information that might be available, where it could be used, would be added to the great [indistinct] of information that’s available. In order to help identify where priorities would be. Do you want to expand just a little on how the targeting process and prioritisation works?

JOE IERVASI:                         
Yeah, thanks sir. So broadly speaking, a campaign plan is developed for the defeat of ISIL. Within that campaign plan will be broad objectives about the types of things our forces want to do in conjunction with the ISF to disrupt deny, degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL. So within that there’ll be themes and types of target sets that a whole bunch of our targeteers(*) and intelligence staff will come together and work out. What are the things that will shape and influence and deny ISIL’s freedom of manoeuvre. So there’ll be a package of work which prepares targets that might be option sets for later on to shape the campaign. And that will be what we call an all source intelligence product that’s developed. Not only from military sources, but all national sources fed into that. Once a whole bunch of targets are suggested, they have to go to what’s called a target validation board. So it goes up to the various higher levels. So it’s not a whole bunch of guys and girls down at the lowest levels saying I’ve got a good idea, why don’t we go blow up a mosque.

The answer is no. We need to validate them as valid military objectives. They actually contribute to the campaign; they’re part of the theme about how we’re going to provide discriminate and proportional force to degrade and destroy ISIL at the end of the day. So once they’re validated, they’ll then be allocated and they can be allocated to aircraft or to ground forces, to strike, as well.

QUESTION:                           
[inaudible question]

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
I’ve got no comment on the Senator’s view. Except Memorial Day is a very important occasion for us, where we remember both friends and colleagues that we have operated with, and all those who have preceded us.

QUESTION:                           
[inaudible question]

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
No, and the intent was always that up to eight – the six aircraft that we’ve deployed are able to meet the rate of effort that we want to be able to generate. The two provide a reserve capacity which could quickly be moved if we had a need to do so. But we’re very comfortable with the rate of effort we’re achieving at the moment.

QUESTION:                           
Are you fighting(*) anti-aircraft fire or equipment [inaudible]?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Nothing, certainly, within the Iraqi airspace where we’re operating, no. We are aware, though, of small arms or light anti-aircraft machinery, [indistinct], so. The threat we understand is there. But if your question is have we observed it in our own operations, no.

QUESTION:                           
I won’t take the last question, but if I can just extend my one. Have you thrown up a red card on any operations? Can you give us any more detail about the rate, the proportion of operations that you’re flying where you actually do attack targets? And what the environment is? What ISIL’s strategy seems to be? Are they hiding it effectively?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
To answer part of your questions – the national process of approving targets. That just occurs every day, and as we’ve said, at every level. Right from, as Air Commodore Iervasi described, is nations look through the target sets and work through which ones might be valid under our various authorities. So that approval process or vetting process which the red card is one of the descriptors for, is a daily event. But in terms of aircraft up and making a judgement of it, we’ve not found ourselves in a position to my knowledge where the air crew have said, we’ve got a target but it’s not suitable for us to strike on this occasion. But in terms of your broader question of how many occasions; we’ve flown not every day, but with the exception of a few days right throughout that month period, the statistics give you a sense of how often we might be delivering weapons. And it is very much a day by day proposition. We’ve had periods where aircraft have returned for four or five days, and we haven’t struck a target, and then we’ll have a whole series in a couple of days, just because of the circumstances they’ve found themselves in.

QUESTION:                           
You said that the Australian aircraft are refuelling American aircraft. Are those American aircraft then going and carrying out strikes against Syria?

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Where we’re refuelling tends to be around central Iraq and southern Iraq. But it is possible in nature, and I wouldn’t preclude it. Aircraft can get dynamically retasked in flight. So while they may be planned to operate over Iraq, if they were retasked and they had the authority to operate elsewhere it’s quite possible that they’d do so.

QUESTION:                           
[inaudible question]

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Working at the battalion headquarters, it is an advise and assist role. But they will carry weapons for self-defence purposes. And that would be the normal long arms or short arms that they would carry with them. And potentially depending on – we would evaluate, I mentioned those occasions where we may go to a forward operating base, we’ll do a risk evaluation of the circumstances at that base, and they may take heavier equipment with them, to be able to be used, to defend themselves if required. So very much dependant on where their partner force is operating and the risk levels associated with it.
So we’re not on patrol with them in the sense of going out to engage directly with ISIL forces – that’s not what we’re there to do.

DAVID JOHNSTON:             
We’ll take the last question.

QUESTION:                           
[inaudible question]

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
So we will have a radar head operating to assist with airspace surveillance. There will be Hornets available with supporting aircraft available to provide coverage overhead when we need it. But largely fighter aircraft are the protective mechanism with all the normal supporting elements around them to make them effective.

JOE IERVASI:                         
That’s right. So we’re actually – we have been practicing and in fact these next few days there is live flying exercises going on west of Brisbane. And then early next week there’ll be flights over Brisbane just for the final rehearsal, leading up to the actual arrival of the leaders.

DAVID JOHNSTON:              
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.

*         *         End         *         *


post
Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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