How does Australia define its security interests?
GILMORE: The recent promulgation of Defence White
Paper 2016 has helped to define what is a unique security
challenge for Australia. Our strategic planning recognizes
the regional and, indeed, global nature of Australia’s security interests — and the very different sets of challenges
that are created for the defense force by the behaviors of
states and non-state actors, such as terrorists.
There are six key drivers that shape Australia’s secu-
rity interests. The first is the roles of the United States
and China and the relationship between them, which
we see as a mix of cooperation and competition into
the future. The second is challenges to the stability of
a rules-based global order, competition between coun-
tries and major powers as they variously try to promote
their own interests outside established rules. The third
is the enduring threat of terrorism. A subset of that is
the spread of extremism, which is worsened by foreign
terrorist fighters who are returning to our shores. State
fragility is the fourth one, caused by uneven economic
Australia’s interoperability with the United States
promotes seamless security cooperation relationship
As the Australian Defence Attaché and head of the Australian Defence
Staff in Washington since January 2014, Royal Australian Navy (RAN)
Rear Adm. Steve Gilmore oversees the close defense relation-
ship between Australia and the United States.
An officer in the RAN since 1977, he has served in the crews of nine
warships, including as commanding officer of the Anzac-class frigate HMAS Arunta. Gilmore served as the RAN liaison officer to the
U.S. Navy Doctrine Command in Norfolk, Va., and upon returning to
Australia was posted to Maritime Headquarters as commander, Plans,
involved in the planning for all Australian Defence Force and RAN
operations and exercises involving major fleet units. He later served
as the director of Maritime Combat Development in the Capability
Systems Division of Australian Defence Headquarters.
Promoted to commodore in January 2005, Gilmore was appointed
director general, Navy Strategic Policy and Futures. He then was
selected to command Coalition Task Force 58 in the northern Persian
Gulf, and was responsible for the conduct of all maritime security operations. During this period, he served at sea on USS Antietam and USS Normandy. He became the commander of Navy Systems Command in September 2007 and was promoted to rear admiral in June 2008.
In October 2009, Gilmore was appointed commander, Australian Fleet, responsible for capability generation and
warfighting standards across all RAN submarines, surface ships and aircraft. He served as the deputy chief
of Joint Operations at Headquarters, Joint Operations Command, before assuming his current assignment.
Gilmore discussed Australian global interests and maritime operations with Managing Editor Richard R.
Burgess. Excerpts follow.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 30 SEAPOWER / JUNE 2016