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Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Additional Estimates –10 February 2016
ANSWER TO QUESTION ON NOTICE
Department of Defence
Topic: RTI Training - Observers
Question reference number: 15
Senator: Lambie
Type of question: asked on 10 February 2016, Hansard p.31
Date set by the committee for the return of answer: 22 April 2016
Question:
Senator LAMBIE: Can I please have, on notice, the number of resistance to
interrogation exercises or courses conducted every year for the last 16 years, the
number of personnel on each exercise, a list of all the equipment used and the total
cost of each exercise?
Lt Gen. Campbell: Yes.
(…………….)
Senator LAMBIE: Were females present or allowed to participate on these
resistance to interrogation exercises that involved the SAS?
Lt Gen. Campbell: To date, persons serving in special forces have only been men
who are barrier qualified.
Senator LAMBIE: You have brought in no ADFA or military police females to be
involved in those exercises?
Lt Gen. Campbell: Senator, if you are speaking to a broader group of persons who
might experience some sort of resistance to interrogation training experience, there
may well have been at some point women. I would have to take that on notice
(……………...)
Senator LAMBIE: Had any of the interrogation subjects been subjected to physical
assault either prior to or as part of the resistance to interrogation exercises?
Lt Gen. Campbell: There is no justification or acceptability of physical assault at
any time in either the Army or the Defence Force more broadly and that includes
resistance to interrogation.
Senator LAMBIE: I did not ask you for justification; I am asking you whether or not
there have been allegations of assault as part of these RTI exercises.
Lt Gen. Campbell: I am now aware from your statement in the House of one such
allegation. I will take on notice as to whether we have record of any other such
allegations being made.
(…………..)
Senator LAMBIE: How many hours of these recordings are stored by the Australian
Defence Force and are these recordings then used for further training purposes?
Lt Gen. Campbell: I will have to take that on notice, Senator.
(…………)
Senator LAMBIE: Were only members of the Australian Defence Force either
observing or participating in this resistance to interrogation training, or are there
personnel from other government agencies present as well during this resistance to
interrogation training?
Lt Gen. Campbell: I will have to take that on notice. I am just not aware of the
answer to that question.
Answer:
Resistance to interrogation training is referred to as Conduct After Capture and is
voluntary training.
Number of courses:
Army has conducted 33 Conduct After Capture 72-96 hour practical activities since
2001. The breakdown is:
䀁¸ 2015: 4
䀁¸ 2014: 2
䀁¸ 2013: 1
䀁¸ 2012: 2
䀁¸ 2011: 1
䀁¸ 2010: 2
䀁¸ 2009: 5
䀁¸ 2008: 4
䀁¸ 2007: 4
䀁¸ 2006: 1
䀁¸ 2005: 3
䀁¸ 2004: 0
䀁¸ 2003: 2
䀁¸ 2002: 1
䀁¸ 2001: 1
䀁¸ 2000: 0
Personnel numbers:
The number of personnel varies for each activity. On average there are 34 individuals
undertaking training per activity since 2001. There are approximately 65 training,
medical and support staff per activity.
Equipment:
For operational security reasons and for the wellbeing of our special forces, Defence
will not discuss these matters.
Costs:
On average an activity in 2015 cost approximately $55,000 per activity. Additional
costs are incurred if the activity is remotely conducted in Queensland. The average
cost of an activity conducted in Western Australia for the Special Air Service
Regiment is $100,000. The average cost per trainee is approximately $1,250.
Women:
Females have participated in Conduct After Capture exercises.
Allegations of Assaults:
In addition to the recent allegations concerning Trooper Evan Donaldson, Army is
aware of one Defence Abuse Response Taskforce case referred to Army that is related
to Conduct After Capture training, noting that at the time of the alleged incident, the
training was known as Resistance to Interrogation.
Storage of Recordings:
There are thousands of hours of recordings of Conduct After Capture training
at an average of 960 hours of footage per activity.
The recordings are used to record an individual’s behaviour and to confirm that
individuals undergoing the activity were not mistreated during the training. They
are also used as examples of behaviour for Conduct After Capture trainers during
their training. The recordings are not used for any other purpose.
Observers and Participants:
Only Australian Defence Force personnel observed and participated in the training.