Commonwealth appoints senior officer to head GWEO
Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy has today appointed a senior officer to head the Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, following recommendations within the Defence Strategic Review.
The Commonwealth has announced today that Air Vice-Marshal Leon Phillips OAM has been appointed as the inaugural Chief of the GWEO Group. As part of the appointment, he will be promoted to Air Marshal, with the role commencing on the 8th of May.
The appointment follows recommendations within the Defence Strategic Review for a senior officer to head the enterprise, who will report directly to the Secretary of the Department of Defence and Chief of the Australian Defence Force.
It is expected that the appointment will expedite the development of a long-range guided munitions capability in Australia.
Minister Conroy reiterated the government’s commitment to long-range strike, including the government’s $2.5 billion commitment to GWEO — marking a $1.5 billion increase in funding.
“Congratulations to Air Vice-Marshal Phillips on his appointment to this important role, which will oversee the delivery of the ADF’s guided weapons and explosive ordnance requirements,” Minister Conroy explained.
“Air Vice-Marshal Phillips has over 36 years of experience in the Royal Australian Air Force predominantly delivering highly complex aerospace projects and managing their in-service support. He has a strong track record of establishing effective partnerships with defence industry.
“I look forward to working with Air Vice-Marshal Phillips and Australia’s defence industry on delivering critical capabilities we need for our national security.”
A total $4.1 billion has been committed to long-range strike systems, including acquisition and manufacturing, over the forward estimates.
The investment supports the Defence Strategic Review’s recommendations to increase Army’s strike distance.
“This investment in key capabilities will better equip the ADF to meet our strategic circumstances, including increasing the artillery range of the Australian Army from 40 kilometres to in excess of 500 kilometres,” a release from Minister Conroy read.