Aus to end ban on women in combat

2011-09-27 15:04

kalahari.com

Canberra - Australian women will be allowed to serve in frontline combat roles, including as special forces soldiers in Afghanistan, after the government said on Tuesday it was dropping all gender restrictions for the military.

Australia, a close US ally, will become the fourth country after Canada, New Zealand and Israel to open all combat roles to female soldiers who pass physical entry tests, Defence Minister Stephen Smith said.

"Once this is fully implemented there will be no restrictions. If a woman is fully capable of doing the entrance programme for the Special Air Service or Commandos, they'll be in it," Smith told reporters.

Australia currently allows women to serve in the vast majority of jobs in the 59 000-strong military, including on submarines and as air force jet fighter pilots.

Women also serve in Afghanistan with frontline artillery units and as drone aircraft operators, but are barred from infantry combat units and special forces, which make up around 7% of army jobs.

Entry to the elite SAS is particularly gruelling, involving endurance marches and mental tests over several days in the country's searing outback, while carrying weapons, water and an 80kg pack.

The ban will be lifted immediately, but it may be up to five years before as the army must implement new tests on and train army doctors to operate on women, Smith said.

He added that he expected no opposition from Australia's overseas allies, including US and Afghan troops serving with Australian soldiers in southern Afghanistan's Uruzgan province.

"I'm not expecting any difficulty as a result of what to the government and the service chiefs is a logical extension to a very strongly held view in Australian society that all of us are equal, irrespective of our sex," he said.

Australia has around 1 550 troops in Afghanistan, based mainly at Tirin Kot in Uruzgan, and is the largest non-Nato member of the international coalition fighting Taliban insurgents in the country.

Australia was an original member of the US-led coalition that invaded the country to oust the Taliban, and has lost 29 soldiers in almost a decade of conflict.

Read more on:    australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Stikland 12:25 PM
Road name: Strand Road Eastbound

TRUCK CRASH between La Belle Road and the R300 Highway

Cape Town 12:12 PM
Road name: N1 Inbound

ACCIDENT near the N7 Highway bridge

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Collections Agents

Cape Town
Teleresources Cape Town
R4 000 - R4 500 Per Month

QA Engineer

Western Cape
Datafin Recruitment

Immigration Caseworker

Cape Town
New World Immigration
R7 000 - R20 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.