Majura International Training Complex
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have maintained a range of training structures for local and overseas police being deployed in the Asia-Pacific region, such as the School of Peacekeeping Operations (SOPKO). However, as deployments to Timor, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands expanded with the creation of the International Deployment Group (IDG), in 2005 the AFP opened a new purpose-built training complex at Majura in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), near an existing ADF training area.
Majura – [Google Earth*] Location: S35° 15′ 09.39″, E149° 11′ 42.89″.
*Google Earth (free download) required.
IDG Training Initiatives Australian Federal Police Annual Report, 2004-05, p67
“The School of Peacekeeping Operations (SOPKO) is the arm of Learning and Development (L&D) responsible for the formulation and execution of training for personnel who are going overseas on peace support operations or capacity development missions. Training conducted by SOPKO includes:
- international deployment pre-deployment training (IDPT) – a generic training program undertaken by all deploying staff
- mission specific briefings-these briefings provide staff with information regarding issues specific to their mission and are conducted immediately before departure
- in-country induction training for PPF personnel in the Solomon Islands – induction briefings to newly-arrived members teaching specific skills that staff require to perform duties, such as boat handling and quad bike familiarisation.
“In 2004-05 SOPKO completed 23 training programs with a total of 636 members trained. Of these, 62 members were from Pacific Island nations including Fiji, Tonga, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Kiribati.”
lDG training initiatives, Australian Federal Police Annual Report, 2005-06, p68
“The lDG develops and provides training for members involved in offshore AFP missions. Training delivery is undertaken on behalf of the lDG by the School of Peacekeeping Operations, which is functionally aligned with the Learning and Development stream of the AFP. The lDG has recently created a management level position to enhance coordination with the School of Peacekeeping Operations due to the high volume of activity generated by offshore missions.
“Essential in the preparation of all members awaiting deployment is the International Deployment Pre-Deployment Training course conducted at the AFP International Training Complex in Canberra. International Deployment Pre-Deployment Training is a scenario-driven, hands-on program providing instruction and simulation in a range of areas relevant to the needs of members being sent overseas. Training includes subjects such as capacity development, human rights and cultural awareness, as well as basic skills, such as four-wheel driving and field first aid.
“In 2005-06, the School of Peacekeeping Operations completed 15 training programs training 356 members. Of these, 101 were from Pacific island nations including Fiji, Tonga, Nauru, PNG, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, the Cook Islands, Palau and Samoa [deployed under RAMSI].”
SI Police Officers lead the way in cultural training for PPF, Media release, RAMSI website, September 2007
“Three Solomon Islands police officers are heading to Australia to help train new members of RAMSI’s Participating Police Force (PPF). Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF) officers, Inspector Juanita Matanga, Constable MacArthur Pania and Constable Oliver Buira left for Australia today after being invited by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to work with Australian police trainers at the International Deployment Group (IDG). The IDG is the arm of the AFP which prepares Australian and Pacific Island police for deployments to countries all around the world, including the Solomon Islands. PPF Commander Denis McDermott said yesterday that the importance of properly training police deploying to Solomon Islands in local culture, customs and practice was well recognised. “
Australian Federal Police Overseas Operations, Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Audit report No.53, 2006-07 Performance Audit, p28
“A new $2.8 million AFP International Training Complex, in Canberra, was opened in 2005 to give Australian and overseas personnel a dedicated facility to build their skills to assist in achieving stability in the region. The complex recreates the environments that police might experience when deployed on overseas missions. Designed to reflect the streetscape of a small overseas township, it enables true-to-life scenario training which helps to prepare police for the challenges they will face. The complex was purpose-built for IDG but training at the facility will extend beyond the needs of the IDG to cover counter terrorism, search and rescue, protection and forensics.”
Prime Minister opens new AFP International Training Complex, AFP Media release, 23 June 2005
“A new $2.8 million training complex, officially opened today by the Prime Minister, The Hon. John Howard MP, provides a first class venue to ensure Australian and international personnel are equipped with the skills they need to assist in achieving stability in the region….
“The AFP International Training Complex at Majura recreates the environment that police experience when deployed on overseas missions. Designed to reflect the streetscape of a small overseas township, it enables true-to-life scenario training which helps to prepare police for the unknown and sometimes dangerous challenges they will face…..Located on a 198 hectare site, the facility incorporates 18 different buildings and structures including a corner store, town hall, police station, local school and marketplace.
“The complex has been purpose-buiIt by the AFP’s International Deployment Group (lDG) which was created in February last year following an Australian Government funding injection of $1 billion over five years. However, training provided at the facility will extend beyond the needs of the lDG, to cover counter terrorism, search and rescue, protection and forensics. The venue will also be utilised by other emergency service organisations and law enforcement agencies.
“AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty said “The AFP has been participating in peacekeeping and regional support missions for more than 40 years. In recent years we have seen the benefits of a collaborative approach in helping to restore law and order in the Royal Solomon Islands and working with the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP) to enhance capacity and achieve long-term law enforcement objectives. The success of missions like RAMSI relies on the delivery of first class pre-deployment training which has led to the development of this new facility.
Firing range opens at Majura, AFP Media release, 12 December 2005
“Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Mick Keelty will officially open a new $5.3 million police firing range at Majura….the building comprises a 25m, nine lane closed range and classrooms for theory-based learning. The new firing range and classrooms feature environmentally friendly building principles such as fresh air louvers to control air flow and water run-off from the roof diverted to underground tanks for irrigation purposes.
Majura Training Area (MTA) Extension to Improve Defence Capability, Defence Media Release CPA 084/07, 30 March 2007
“The Department of Defence today announced plans to extend the Majura Training Area (MTA) in the Majura Valley, ACT. The proposed extension will provide additional land for Defence training purposes and will occur over the next 12 months. The area to be included will be used for “non-live firing” operations only. The MTA, which lies to the north and east of the Canberra Airport, is an essential training facility used intensively by the Australian Defence Force, particularly the Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Military College cadets. The proposed extension to the south will incorporate Defence land that previously provided a buffer to the former RAAF Base Fairbairn. Defence will invest over $3 million in improvements and enhanced training capabilities at the MTA over the next 12-18 months.”