Brigadier Andrew "Boomer" Smith of the Australian Army spoke to two INTA classes on Tuesday, 29 March 2011.
Smith is one of approximately 50 foreign officers detailed to UC Central Command (CENTCOM) is Tampa Florida and is currently serving as the Director of the Combined Planning Group for CENTCOM. Smith spoke on the role of CENTCOM and the global importance of the CENTCOM area of operation (AOR), which includes the Middle East, southwest Asia, and central Asia. His talk highlighted the interconnections between economic factors, geography, and human elements that can contribute to higher risk of conflict. Highlighting a number of transnational challenges that impact stability – water security, piracy, arms smuggling, he spoke about the role for security cooperation and coalitions to address those threats.
Brigadier Smith's previous assignments have included a tour with the UN Mine Clearance Training Team and working with Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. During 1999-2000 Brigadier Smith raised and commanded the Australian Defence Force's Joint Incident Response Unit (JIRU), which was responsible for providing a range of high-end chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) response capabilities for the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games. He also earned a PhD from the Department of Politics of the University College, Australian Defence Force Academy on the role of military forces in homeland security.