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First Regional Counter Terrorism Expert Exchange

Minister for Defence Media Mail List

Monday, 22 August 2005 134/2005

First Regional Counter Terrorism Expert Exchange To Boost Regional Security

The first Regional Counter Terrorism Expert Exchange is being held this week to promote cooperation and information sharing between Defence Force counter terrorism experts in the region to help combat terrorism.

Defence Minister Robert Hill said the Exchange, being hosted by Australia's Special Air Service Regiment at Campbell Barracks in Perth, is an important contribution to building regional security and Australia's Defence relationship in the region.

Senator Hill today visited Campbell Barracks with Singapore Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean to meet with the regional counter terrorism experts.

Senator Hill said the exchange was agreed to at last year's successful Regional Counter-Terrorism Conference and follows the first Regional Special Forces Counter-Terrorism Conference held in Bowral in June last year.

"The Exchange is an important Defence initiative in support of Australia's whole-of-government efforts to improve counter terrorism capabilities in the region," Senator Hill said.

"The Exchange allowed counter-terrorism operators to hone their skills on Australia's world-class Special Forces training facilities at Campbell Barracks and to exchange ideas, tactics, techniques and procedures developed through years of intensive training and operational experience.

"Terrorism today crosses borders and causes significant devastation. This Exchange is a further commitment to combat international terrorism and is a positive step toward greater regional cooperation.

"Terrorists will continue to avoid countermeasures, invent new avenues for attack, and explore new methods and targets in order to achieve catastrophic effects.

"Global operations against terrorists are critically important but there are no tried and tested solutions. But we do know that if we want to fight a trans-state threat our cooperation must extend across borders."

The Government has committed more than $1.3 billion to the ADF to fight terrorism. A further $54.4 million over the next three years has been allocated to further improve Defence's ability to provide counter-terrorism intelligence and to develop regional Special Forces and counter-terrorism networks.


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