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Australia to block former military pilots flying for China

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Australia to block former military pilots flying for China

Old 10th Nov 2022, 08:01
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Australia to block former military pilots flying for China

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/australia-block-military-pilots-flying-china-92965010


CANBERRA
, Australia -- Australia’s defense minister said on Wednesday he had told the nation’s military to review secrecy safeguards in response to concerns that Beijing was recruiting pilots to train the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Defense Minister Richard Marles ordered the review after asking the Defense Department last month to investigate reports that China had approached former Australian military personnel to become trainers.

“In the information that has now been provided to me by Defense, there are enough concerns in my mind that I have asked Defense to engage in a detailed examination about the policies and procedures that apply to our former Defense personnel, and particularly those who come into possession of our nation’s secrets,” Marles told reporters.

Marles declined to say whether any Australian had provided military training to the Chinese.

He said a joint police-intelligence service task force was investigating “a number of cases” among former service personnel.

“What we are focused on right now is making sure that we do examine the policies and the procedures that are currently in place in respect of our former Defense personnel to make sure they are adequate,” Marles said. “And if they are not, and if there are weaknesses in that system, then we are absolutely committed to fixing them.”

Australia‘s allies Britain and Canada share Australia’s concerns that China is attempting to poach military expertise.

Britain’s Defense Ministry last month issued an intelligence alert warning former and current military pilots against Chinese headhunting programs aimed at recruiting them.

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said authorities will make it a legal offense for pilots to continue with such training activities.

Sky News and the BBC reported that about 30 British former military pilots are currently in China training PLA pilots. The reports said the pilots are paid annual salaries of 240,000 pounds ($272,000) for the training.

Canada’s Department of National Defense was also investigating its own former service personnel, noting they remained bound by secrecy commitments after they leave the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Australian Defense Department will report to the minister by Dec. 14.

Neil James, chief executive of the Australian Defense Association think tank, said Australian laws on on treason, treachery and secrecy protection were convoluted and depended on circumstances.

“For example, it’s pretty hard to charge anyone with treason outside wartime,” James told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

James said there were no circumstances in which former Australian military personnel should be working with the Chinese.

“Most people in the Defense Force would be disgusted if people are actually doing this, because you’re potentially training people to kill Australians in the future,” James said. “That’s just not on. It’s a moral obligation and a professional one as much as it’s a legal one."
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Old 10th Nov 2022, 09:47
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Beats working for QF or VA. At least in China you don't have to pay your respects to the alphabet soup types.
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Old 10th Nov 2022, 10:10
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Originally Posted by spektrum View Post
Beats working for QF or VA. At least in China you don't have to pay your respects to the alphabet soup types.
Wonder how you’d feel, when the communist thugs you are providing training in the advantages of western military ethos, blow your former colleagues out of the sky on a routine patrol in the South China Sea? Not an improbable scenario.

The deficiencies in PLA military pilot training have been well documented. Historical evidence of the failures of regimented training, flowing into rigid command and control in combat, which failed the test against Western military training are also easily researchable. All Western military fast jet pilots know these facts and to work with the PLA in a training capacity is not far from treason.

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Old 10th Nov 2022, 11:36
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I would have thought The Official Secrets Act covers everything that was not in the public domain at the time you signed it.
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Old 10th Nov 2022, 11:43
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On my journey through the halls of aviation doom, I did 2.5 years working for a Chinese air carrier. To say that was an odd experience is an understatement. In 2.5 years, I travelled over and back from my land far far away, and did the Recurrents for the type I had flown years before, and did CAAC medical after medical after medical, and in the whole time, the PRC manner of doing business resulted in a logbook that never included time in the aircraft. The previous company, we logged 1000FH a year, in China, I did zero flight time in 2.5 years, but I enjoyed the scenery, the bike riding, and the frequent visits to HKG for the day. Like the story goes, "you not in this for the hunting are ya, son....". They paid on time, and in the end, I went instructing on types elsewhere, cuz I'm apparently addicted to crew meals and jet lag.

20 years before, on my first arrival into the old airport at Shanghai, before Maui or his equivalent had fished Pudong out of the water, the drive into the Swissotel by the Bund was illuminating. Already the major location in the world for high rise construction cranes, all the glittering facades, sitting magnificently framed by McDonalds and Coke flags, of all of the buildings, the occupancy rate was explained to be... 3%. That is over 30 years ago. The PRC backed developments in SCS regional countries today, have... 3%-5% occupancy. I like their accounting, I think I could give up R&D and sit on a beach for the next thousand years with figgerz like that.

Doing an arrival into one big town in the PRC a while back, we got plonked into a spot that we initially declined, we considered that it would be problematic to push our jet... but rules is rules so we parked, eventually. It took 5 hours to get the aircraft pushed back due to the rules is rules, the tugs that would work were not allowed to do so, the tugs that would not work were the ones that were required to do so. No end of pleading, ranting, yelling was going to change the outcome, so, I went off and made a tow bar adapter to make the square peg fit the round hole. [If you ever want to have fun, state unable RVSM in the middle of China, whatever is supposed to happen and what happens don't residue on the same rock extant the sun].

I enjoy China, a lot, it is fascinating. It is its very own Potemkin homage.

Is it smart to be applying knowledge that was refined by all of those before to the PRC? In military matters, no, were we not taught that if you aren't winning the fight you're just not cheating enough? A GAU-8 to the knife flight is a more desirable outcome, and providing for chickenfeed the competency that has been derived over time by the forbears of the current mil drivers seems to be unfortunate. If we can't keep the guys, then we are part of the problem but giving a potential adversary a help up in their ability to take out our teams is untidy thunkin'. IMHO.
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Old 10th Nov 2022, 23:08
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Originally Posted by Gnadenburg View Post
Wonder how you’d feel, when the communist thugs you are providing training in the advantages of western military ethos, blow your former colleagues out of the sky on a routine patrol in the South China Sea? Not an improbable scenario.

The deficiencies in PLA military pilot training have been well documented. Historical evidence of the failures of regimented training, flowing into rigid command and control in combat, which failed the test against Western military training are also easily researchable. All Western military fast jet pilots know these facts and to work with the PLA in a training capacity is not far from treason.

Clearly you haven't noticed how governments throughout the West are moving closer to communism each and everyday! China is a test bed for the West. Ask yourself, who were the Bolsheviks? When you find your answer you will find out they control everything...
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 00:47
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Whilst we are trying to ban military personnel from using their acquired skills for the highest bidder perhaps we could also ban politicians from taking highly paid positions with organisations that they were regulating whilst a minister, acting for the good of the people.

Just a thought.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 00:55
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Originally Posted by Icarus2001 View Post
Whilst we are trying to ban military personnel from using their acquired skills for the highest bidder perhaps we could also ban politicians from taking highly paid positions with organisations that they were regulating whilst a minister, acting for the good of the people.

Just a thought.
Those aquired skills were provided by the Australian taxpayer. They shouldn't be allowed to potentially be used against them when it suits the back pocket of the beneficiary.

Just a thought.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 01:29
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Originally Posted by SandyPalms View Post
Those aquired skills were provided by the Australian taxpayer. They shouldn't be allowed to potentially be used against them when it suits the back pocket of the beneficiary.

Just a thought.
Exactly, the training was provided at no cost and the government is entitled to decide how it gets used. There are controls on the export of defence related equipment and weapons systems, the knowledge of how to operate them should fall under the same regime.

Anyone who has served in the defence forces offering their services to a potential enemy of their country is treason. Their knowledge of tactics and our weak points would be invaluable to an aggressor in any future conflict. They deserve to be locked up.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 01:43
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So guilty until proven innocent hey? Gotta love our democracy.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 01:58
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Human beings, being what they are, I'd imagine quite a few disaffected people given what's happened around the world in the last 3 years. And I'd imagine quite a few of them would be saying 'go **** yourself' to the 'establishment.' Who you thought was your government looking after your interests now looking after their mates, can't imagine why they're doing it?

Interesting times eh
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 02:36
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
I would have thought The Official Secrets Act covers everything that was not in the public domain at the time you signed it.
One of my contemporaries in my B.Eng (Mech) at university 30 years ago worked in vehicle emissions for a well known first tier supplier of fuel injection systems. He saw the writing on the wall for the Australian car industry well before it finally imploded and 15 or 20 years ago took a position in Hong Kong teaching the Chinese how to make modern car and truck motors meet modern emissions requirements.

While I'm sure he had knowledge of the finer points of his previous employer's systems which was not in the public domain, what he really had to offer, both to his previous employer and to the Chinese, were the skills to develop the next decade's systems to meet the next decade's emissions standards.

Not secrets, but skills.

Interestingly, the marketfor his skills looks like it will peter out due to electric vehicles just about the same time he's ready to retire.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 02:37
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Those aquired (sic) skills were provided by the Australian taxpayer. They shouldn't be allowed to potentially be used against them when it suits the back pocket of the beneficiary.
So by your logic any engineer, doctor, scientist etc who gained their degree in Australia before university fees were tied to students should not work overseas as their qualification was paid for by Australian taxpayers? In particular they should not go to a potential "enemy" of Australia to build bridges, cars, trucks, help provide medical care etc

Good luck with that.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 02:49
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Lots of ex RAAFies been training Saudi pilots for yonks…..
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 03:06
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Originally Posted by Capn Rex Havoc View Post
Lots of ex RAAFies been training Saudi pilots for yonks…..
Yes, but that’s the Saudis, our partner in peace. <eyeroll>
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 03:12
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Originally Posted by Zeta_Reticuli View Post
Clearly you haven't noticed how governments throughout the West are moving closer to communism each and everyday! China is a test bed for the West. Ask yourself, who were the Bolsheviks? When you find your answer you will find out they control everything...
Why don’t you just spell out your antisemitism for all to see, you ignorant racist flat-earth MAGA Qanon tw*t?
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 03:20
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Originally Posted by Chronic Snoozer View Post
So guilty until proven innocent hey? Gotta love our democracy.
i don’t think anyone has been accused? And here the debate is as to whether you are treasonous or morally defunct if choosing to train PLA pilots.

Plenty of researchable RAND studies into the Western advantage in a potential war with China. Our military advantage is deteriorating or in some areas being eclipsed by China. Western military aircraft and doctrine are still a significant advantage and deterrent. Any ex-mil pilot who has trained the CCP knows they have done wrong and the coin isn’t any better than flying civilian airliners on contract there. I know this from ex-French Mirage pilots kindly training the CCP at their frontline fighter squadrons.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 04:07
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Has anyone considered that this could actually be more useful to us than the Chinese? When you export a weapons system you send the 'export' version with limited capabilities (Our missile goes 100km so we'll sell you one that goes 90km etc) - well surely the same goes for training and tactics?
Having people not only embedded within the opposition but actually training them must be like a lottery win for the intelligence community.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 05:44
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
Exactly, the training was provided at no cost and the government is entitled to decide how it gets used. There are controls on the export of defence related equipment and weapons systems, the knowledge of how to operate them should fall under the same regime.

Anyone who has served in the defence forces offering their services to a potential enemy of their country is treason. Their knowledge of tactics and our weak points would be invaluable to an aggressor in any future conflict. They deserve to be locked up.
Very, very interested in your take on “potential enemy”. Given the amount of backing from western countries in other countries that than end up being the “enemy” that than end up being trading partners etc suffice to say all should be considered potential enemies (as the US does hence not all goodies are supplied when weaponry is sold). Also a bit limited with “defence force”. Should that not include government employees and also research and development areas in the commercial sector and clothing companies that supply for the defence and caterer’s and.....

Last edited by finestkind; 11th Nov 2022 at 10:49.
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Old 11th Nov 2022, 07:02
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Originally Posted by finestkind View Post
Very, very interested in your take on “potential enemy”. Given the amount of backing from western countries in other countries that than end up being the “enemy” that than end up being trading partners etc suffice to say all should be considered potential enemies (as the US does hence not all goodies are supplied when weaponry is sold). Also a bit limited with “defence force”. Should that not include government employees and also research and development areas in the commercial sector and clothing companies that supply for the defence and caterer’s and.....
If you happen to think getting an ASIC is a hassle, then don't ever bother applying for Defence Baseline clearance (the lowest of levels).. anyone wanting to do anything at all on an Australian defence base (including all government and commercial employees, visitors, catering, cleaning, etc.) or supply anything technologically interesting to same has to pretty-much download your entire life story (including your close family's), to the ADF security screening system from which no-one ever escapes. It's intense and thorough and completely necessary in the world we live in. If you want to work in the ADF space you put up with it; if it's too hard, you don't get past the front gate.

So I'm with RS: I don't believe for 2 seconds that our Defence Dept somehow missed this.
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