Beltway Confidential

Did US defense cuts shorten your career? No worries, mate, Australia wants you

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Beltway Confidential,The Pentagon,National Security,Defense Spending,Australia

Are you a member of the finest military the world has ever seen, who might be out of a job soon and is looking to get a nice tan? Then you're in luck: Australia is hiring.

Even as U.S. defense spending dwindles, Australia may be looking to almost double its budget. A white paper released last month urged the Australian government to increase defense spending to $50 billion, or 2 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, by 2023.

For those who don't want to face a still-struggling job market, and who want to remain involved in the military, the Australian government is willing to foot the bill on visa application and relocation expenses. Australia will also sweeten the deal with citizenship, subsidized housing and free health care. American recruits can also look forward to becoming subjects of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Under a lateral recruitment scheme, Australian military forces, including the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy, are looking to fill position that are left empty by shortfalls in domestic recruiting.

The Air Force is looking to fill a number of positions including engineers, scientific officers, fighter pilots, squadron leaders and intelligence specialists.

A successful applicant should have no trouble fitting in quickly, as the Australians use much of the same equipment as Americans.

Capt. Thomas Tilque, a former U.S. servicemember now working for the Australians, described Brisbane, where he is based, as "similar to San Diego," in an interview with Stars and Stripes.

“I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

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