A lot has happened since I spoke at the ADM Congress in February this year. COVID-19 is a serious and expanding problem that will be with us for some time. It is amplifying and accelerating threats, the impacts of advancing technology, and tensions between states.
This is not unexpected. Army anticipated Accelerated Warfare and designed Army in Motion for good reason. These frameworks are the foundation of how we intend to respond to the challenges we face, and adapt to the environment and new capabilities described by the Prime Minister in the Defence Strategic Update and the Force Structure Plan. The interview with Army’s Head of Land Capability in this month’s ADM From The Source will focus on what these mean for Army.
As ever, Army is balancing between being Ready Now and Future Ready. At present Army is contributing to Operation COVID-19 Assist in every state, and engaging in the region. We are Ready Now for other contingencies, despite disruptions and restrictions, and have maintained a disciplined approach to training while complying with government direction. As we support COVID-19 Assist we are also strengthening our links to state based emergency services to be ready for the approaching high risk weather season.
We are in this together. Responding to crises is a team effort. I appreciate the hard work of defence industry to manage supply chains, assure the safety and wellbeing of their workforce, and continue to deliver and sustain defence capability despite the disruptions. Strong teams are our best response to the current situation, and how we will manage the challenges of the future.
The relationship between Army and industry is key to delivering the Government’s 2020 Force Structure Plan and to ensuring we have a joint force that can meet the threats of today and adapt quickly to emerging threats. We need to work together to build sovereign capability, maintain a capability advantage over our adversaries, and develop the workforce of the future.
Army already partners with, and is directly supported by, many Australian businesses. These partnerships embrace leading-edge technologies and help unlock Australia’s potential for new ideas. However, to meet the challenges of Accelerated Warfare, we need to build more effective, mutually beneficial and faster ways of doing business that facilitate open exchanges of information and ideas. There is rich potential to do this with Australia’s small and medium businesses.
To achieve this, Army needs industry’s help in understanding how we can use new technology, adapt our capabilities to address new challenges, and ensure our internal processes support innovative ways of doing business. Army seeks to communicate requirements early, provide more engagement opportunities, support innovation and experimentation, and provide regular updates on the progress of our capability development.
We are grateful for the support of Australian Defence Magazine who help build understanding between industry and defence to enable the ADF.