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Anglo-Australian Air Power in the Defence of ANZAM *CANCELLED*

15 September 2017


In this talk, Wing Commander Travis Hallen of the Royal Australian Air Force will examine the role of air power in defending the sea lines of communications of the ANZAM region during the Cold War.

Australian and US crews around the nose of an RAAF Lockheed Neptune of No. 10 Squadron c. 1965. (Source: Australian War Memorial)

The defeat of the Japanese Empire in 1945 removed the only threat to Commonwealth maritime security in the Asia-Pacific region. Planning on the benignity of the maritime domain during the initial Post-War period, Australian and British Air Forces significantly reduced the relative size of their maritime patrol fleets compared with their bomber and fighter capabilities. However, concerns over the growth of Soviet naval capabilities in the region led to a revision of the potential threat posed to Commonwealth maritime security in Asia. The result was the creation in 1948 of what was to become known as the ANZAM (Australia, New Zealand and Malaya) Region, and the development of a set of air and naval plans to provide for the defence of Commonwealth interests in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Air power was to play an important role in ANZAM planning. Lessons from the Second World War in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans highlighted the importance of long-range maritime patrol aircraft in providing surveillance and defence of sea lines of communication (SLOC). As a result, both Australian and British Air Forces reinvigorated their respective maritime patrol capabilities, laying the foundations for what would become a key feature of both countries’ air power capabilities during the Cold War.

This lecture will analyse the role air power played in preparations for SLOC defence in the ANZAM region. In particular, it will answer three questions, first, what role did ANZAM play in Australian and British Cold War strategy? Second, what was the role assigned to air power in military planning for the defence of ANZAM? Third, how did the requirements of ANZAM shape the development of maritime patrol aviation in Australia and Britain?

This lecture will be held in the National Cold War Exhibition Auditorium at RAF Museum Cosford at 12:30 PM on Friday 15 September 2017.

This lecture is free of charge. However, we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket as seats are limited. Booking is quick and easy; we just need some basic contact information. If you would like to support the Museum by making a donation, you can do so here.


Wing Commander Travis Hallen is a serving Royal Australian Air Force Air Combat Officer and is currently Deputy Director of Development at the RAAF Air Power Development Centre. He is currently undertaking a PhD in International Politics and Strategic Studies at the Australian National University. In 2016, I was appointed as an inaugural Sir Richard Williams Foundation Scholar, a cooperative program between the Royal Australian Air Force and the Sir Richard Williams Foundation aimed at developing serving officers as air power scholars.


The Cold War Lunchtime Lectures forms part of the RAF Museum's Research Programme for 2016. This programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies, the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures and other events such as conferences. More details bout the programme can be downloaded here.

For more details about the RAF Museum Research Programme, please email our Historian, Dr Ross Mahoney at

Please note that lectures are subject to change.

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