Troops and equipment will be moved to northern Australia in a bid to make the army more prepared for combat in the region.
Major changes to the army will involve generalist units being restructured to specialist combat brigades, with hundreds of soldiers moving north.
The Darwin-based 1st Brigade will be light combat, while the 3rd Brigade based in Townsville will be armoured combat and the 7th Brigade in Brisbane a motorised unit.
A new 10th Brigade will also be set up in Adelaide that will focus on long-range firing capabilities, along with air and missile defence.
The changes stem from major findings from a landmark review into Australia's defence force, which found land forces needed a restructure.
Defence Minister Richard Marles said the changes would make sure Australia would have an army of the future.
"We will have our three combat brigades in our northern bases which is exactly what the defence strategic review sought in the recommendations that it made ... this is an important step for our army," he told reporters in Townsville.
"This builds an army which will be able to protect, which is what we are seeking to do as a result of the defence strategic review and this is the basis upon which we will be creating the army we need for Australia's future."
The restructure will relocate about 800 army personnel, with about 500 of those to be based in Townsville. Adelaide won't see a return to current numbers until 2027 or 2028.
Mr Marles said the restructure would take five to six years to fully implement.
"This is about making sure that we are leading the challenge that's been provided to us by the defence strategic review, having a focus on our forward bases," he said.
"In trying to bring to bear three highly effective world-class combat brigades, that provides really exciting opportunities and really exciting prospects and careers for people who are in (the) army."
The changes will make Townsville the home of the army's armoured vehicles, while motorised combat will be a focus in Brisbane.
Acting Chief of Army Major General Richard Vagg said the changes would allow the defence force to be better resourced.
"We've got a unique opportunity with a number of new equipments starting to be delivered from next year, so we can position them at the point of need," he said.
"Adaptation is in army's DNA. As we adapt to this new structure, we'll have an army that is optimised for operations in the littoral environment."
The acceleration and expansion of medium and heavy coastal manoeuvre vessels, capable of transporting land forces, are also being considered including water landing craft.
The vessels could be based in Darwin, northern Queensland and Brisbane.
American landing craft could also be stationed in Australia to help plug capability gaps.
Armoured vehicles and army planes will be stationed in Townsville as will tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and Apache and Chinook helicopters, growing the army's presence in north Queensland.
The move means Townsville will hold all the army's armoured power and almost half of its aviation capabilities.
Abrams tanks, M113 armoured personnel carriers, Hawkeis, Bushmasters and towed Howitzer artillery will be moved from Brisbane.
Darwin will be refocused towards light, agile and quick strike forces.
Australian Associated Press
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