Semaphore: Sea Power Centre - Australia Publications

Semaphore Issue 1, 2006
Semaphore Issue 1, 2006

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The RAN Sea Power Conference 2006


The Pacific 2006 Maritime Congress comprises the RAN Sea Power Conference 2006, and the Pacific 2006 International Maritime Conference. The Congress is taking place in association with the Pacific 2006 International Maritime Exposition, organised by Maritime Australia Limited. The fourth biennial RAN Sea Power Conference will take place from 31 January to 2 February 2006, at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, Australia. The broad theme of Sea Power 2006 is Challenges Old and New. Its aim is to review permanency and change in the maritime environment and the underlying key drivers of the conduct of maritime operations.

King-Hall Naval History Conference 2007


With the theme The Dominance of Communications in Naval Operations, the conference will aim to analyse the influence of communications in the broadest possible sense, and the content will thus encompass issues such as sea lines of communication and communications as a medium. This conference will be held in July 2007 in Canberra. It is open to any interested person, and previous conferences have attracted a wide range of naval historians, academics and retired military personnel from Australia and internationally. A call for papers will be issued in August 2006.

Peter Mitchell Essay Competition


The SPC-A conducts the Peter Mitchell Essay Competition annually on behalf of the CN. The competition is open to members of British Commonwealth Navies of Commander rank or below, who are full-time members, or reservists who have served at least 20 days in the 12 months prior to the closing date of the competition. Three prizes are awarded: Open Section ($750), Officers' Section ($500), and Sailors' Section ($500). Essays must be no more than 3500 words.

The rules for the Peter Mitchell Essay Competition are available on the SPC-A Website. Each year, specific essay questions (approved by CN) are developed under the following broad themes:

  • Personnel
  • Maritime Strategy
  • National Maritime Issues, and
  • Contemporary Military Issues.

Winners of the 2005 competition will be announced during the first half of 2006.

Review of Australian Maritime Doctrine


The SPC-A has commenced the first review of Australian Maritime Doctrine: RAN Doctrine 1 - 2000 (AMD). AMD is the RAN's principal work of doctrine about operations in the maritime environment. It is a guide to what the RAN contributes to Australia's national security. The Navy Contribution to Australian Maritime Operations (RAN Doctrine 2 - 2005), sets out the RAN's application doctrine that examines in greater detail how the RAN organises, prepares for and conducts operations in accordance with its principal work of doctrine. The AMD review will include: liaising with appropriate personnel in the ADF; travelling to selected defence establishments to obtain information from other Services about doctrine review; and to document a detailed review process and decisions made. The aim is to produce a draft document for comment by late 2006, with the final version to be launched in mid 2007. Further details about the review will be provided on the SPC-A website. The SPC-A welcomes input both nationally and internationally. The Staff Officer Doctrine is coordinating all inputs to this review process.

Synnot Lectures


The SPC-A regularly conducts the Synnot Lectures. The lecture series is named in memory of Admiral Sir Anthony Synnot (Chief of Naval Staff 1976-1979 and Chief of Defence Force Staff 1979-1982). The 2005 lectures were provided by Professor Ron Spector, Professor of History of International Relations, Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Professor Spector provided two different presentations. The first, Re-inventing the sailor in the age of technology: Is the past prologue? discussed three of the most far-reaching challenges to the traditional personnel structures of the British and US navies: the introduction of long range gunnery, the growth of naval aviation and the appearance of the nuclear-powered warship. The second, The changing face of sea power in the Pacific from the 'Great White Fleet' to the end of the Cold War, examined the strategic, doctrinal and technological impacts of developments this century on changing sea power equations. A transcript of his Re-inventing the sailor presentation will be included in the future publication, Australian Maritime Issues 2006: SPC-A Annual.

Support to Researchers


The SPC-A can offer a range of support to researchers, including advice on contemporary and historical maritime issues, as well as access to the SPC-A research collection. The library contains a wide selection of volumes, particularly on maritime strategy and history from the colonial navies to the present. This is not a borrowing library, so while researchers are welcome to view publications at the SPC-A, books cannot be removed from the building. The SPC-A alsoholds a full set of Navy News, Navy Lists, Commonwealth Naval Instructions, Reports of Proceedings, and Ship Movement reports, which are available to researchers. The SPC-A is able to provide desk space and limited computer access for researchers by previous arrangement.

Calling All Authors!


The SPC-A is always looking for quality articles and papers on historical and contemporary maritime security issues of relevance to Australia that might be suitable for inclusion in its publication program. Advice is also available for those people who are considering undertaking tertiary research into maritime security issues, particularly under Australian Defence Organisation sponsorship arrangements, to help frame or refine an appropriate research question. The SPC-A is particularly interested in maintaining contact with tertiary researchers in the Department of Defence, with a view to publishing finished research papers. If you have a paper, of any size from 1500 words upward, that you believe would contribute to public knowledge of Australia's naval history, current operations, or maritime capability, please contact the Deputy Director Research to discuss options for publication.



Positioning Navies for the Future: Challenges and Response Proceedings of the RAN Sea Power Conference 2004 Editor: Jack McCaffrie Halstead Press (In press), RRP $39.95

Australia's Navy in the Gulf: From Countenance to Catalyst 1941-2006. Editors: Greg Nash & David Stevens Topmill Pty Ltd (In press), RRP to be advised

Sea Power Centre - Australia Publications


The Sea Power Centre - Australia produces three main publication series: Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs, Working Papers and the Semaphore newsletters. The following publications are currently available from the Centre by contacting the Publications Officer.

Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs

Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs (PIAMAs) allow for the distribution of substantial work by members of the Royal Australian Navy, as well as members of the Australian and international community, undertaking original research into regional maritime issues.

No. 1
From Empire Defence to the Long Haul: Post-War Defence Policy and its Impact on Naval Force Structure Planning 1945-1955. By Hector Donohue.
No. 2
No Easy Answers: The Development of the Navies of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka 1945-1996. By James Goldrick.
No. 3
Coastal Shipping: The Vital Link. By Mary Ganter.
No. 4
Australian Carrier Decisions: The Decision to Procure HMA Ships Albatross, Sydney and Melbourne. By Anthony Wright.
No. 5
Issues In Regional Maritime Strategy: Papers by Foreign Visiting Military Fellows with the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Studies Program - 1998. Edited by David Wilson.
No. 6
Australia's Naval Inheritance: Imperial Maritime Strategy and the Australia Station 1880-1909. By Nicholas Lambert.
No. 7
Maritime Aviation: Prospects for the 21st Century. Edited by David Stevens.
No. 8
Maritime War in the 21st Century: The Medium and Small Navy Perspective. Edited by David Wilson.
No. 9
HMAS Sydney (II): The Cruiser and the Controversy in the Archives of the United Kingdom. Edited by Peter Hore.
No. 10
The Strategic Importance of Seaborne Trade and Shipping. Edited by Andrew Forbes.
No. 11
Protecting Maritime Resources: Boundary Delimitation, Resource Conflicts and Constabulary Responsibilities. Edited by Rachael Heath and Barry Snushall.
No. 12
Maritime Issues 2004: SPC-A Annual. Edited by Glenn Kerr.
No. 13
Future Environmental Policy Trends: Impact on Ship Design and Operation. Centre for Maritime Policy, University of Wollongong. Edited by Glenn Kerr and Barry Snushall.
No. 14
Peter Mitchell Essay Competition 2003. Edited by Glenn Kerr.
No. 15
A Critical Vulnerability: the Impact of the Submarine Threat on Australia's Maritime Defence 1915-1954. By David Stevens.
No. 16
Australian Maritime Issues 2005, SPC-A Annual. Edited by Gregory Gilbert and Robert Davitt (In press).

Forthcoming PIAMAs

  • Peter Mitchell Essay Competition 2004
  • Australian Naval Personalities

Working Papers

Working Papers are intended to foster debate and discussion on maritime issues of relevance to the RAN, the ADF and to Australia and the region more generally.

No. 1
New Technology and Medium Navies. By Norman Friedman.
No. 2
Struggling for a Solution: The RAN and the Acquisition of a Surface to Air Missile Capability. By Peter Jones & James Goldrick.
No. 3
Medium Power Strategy Revisited. By Richard Hill.
No. 4
The Development of Naval Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region 1500-2000. By John Reeve.
No. 5
Maritime Strategy and Defence of the Archipelagic Inner Arc. By John Reeve.
No. 6
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the Future Navy. By Peter Ashworth.
No. 7
Naval Cooperation and Coalition Building in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific: Status and Prospect. By Chris Rahman.
No. 8
Analysis of Contemporary and Emerging Navigational Issues in the Law of the Sea. By Martin Tsamenyi & Kwame Mfodwo.
No. 9
Seaborne Trade Flows in the Asia Pacific: Present and Future Trends. By Christopher Baldwin.
No. 10
Asian Pacific SLOC Security: The China Factor. By Ji Guoxing.
No. 11
Protecting the National Interest: Naval Constabulary Operations in Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone. By Andrew Forbes.
No. 12
Royal Australian Navy and Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence. By Tom Mueller.
No. 13
The Timor Sea Joint Petroleum Development Area Oil and Gas Resources: The Defence Implications. By Matthew Flint.
No. 14
The Enforcement Aspects of Australia's Oceans Policy. By Barry Snushall.
No. 15
Russian Naval Power in the Pacific: Today and Tomorrow. By Alexey Muraviev.
No. 16
Royal Australian Navy Aerospace Capability 2020-2030. By Robert Hosick.
No. 17
The New South Wales Reserve Naval Legal Panel - 40 Years of Service. By Members of the Naval Reserve Legal Panel (Limited distribution).
No. 18
Database of RAN Operations 1990-2005. By Vanessa Bendle, et al.

Forthcoming Working Papers

  • Uninhibited Aerial Vehicles in the Australian Maritime Environment
  • Anti-Submarine Strategy: Breaking the Submariner OODA Loop using Effects-based Applications for Technology
  • From the Crimean War to Perestroika: East-West Strategic Naval Confrontation in the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean


The SPC-A aims to produce two Semaphore newsletters at the end of each month, from January to November, on a range of historical and contemporary topics related to Australian maritime issues. The two-page format is intended to provide a brief overview of the topic suitable for the layperson, rather than a comprehensive technical exposition.

However, Semaphores are extensively researched and analysed, and subjected to rigorous scrutiny to ensure they are interesting, informative and factual. Semaphores are distributed electronically and in hard copy to a wide range of Government and public addressees in Australia and overseas. Copies of all Semaphores are available on the SPC-A web site or in hard copy from the Publications Officer.

The following Semaphores were published in 2005.

Semaphores 2 to 10 are included in PIAMA No 16, Australian Maritime Issues 2005, SPC-A Annual.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Project
The RAN in the Gulf - Two Years On
Gallipoli as a Joint Maritime Campaign
Air Warfare Destroyers and Combat Operations from the Sea
Indonesian Archipelagic Sea Lanes
The Naval Contribution to Joint Operations
The RAN Fleet Air Arm - Ashore in Vietnam
Sea Based Land Strike Missiles
Last Amphibious Landings in Borneo
The Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Threat
HMAS Pioneer in East Africa
Operation ANODE
The Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre
Trafalgar - 200 Years On
Strategic Importance of Australia's Ports
Farewell to the Fremantle Class
Naval Ingenuity
RAN Sea Power Conference 2006