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War Thunder and Open Source Experiments?

February 6th, 2018 by James Davis

Not everyone thinks that online games are the realm of the military professional. In my case I don’t feel bad about it because I play to interact with my 12 year old,  or so I tell myself. We play War ...

150 Years On – What’s Left to Learn from the ‘Letterman Plan’?

January 16th, 2018 by Nick Alexander

The story of MAJ Jonathan Letterman and the ‘Letterman Plan’ should exist forever in Combat Health lore as one of the professions most magnificent tales of innovation and success. Appointed as Medical director of the Army of the Potomac in ...

Commander Combat Training Centre’s ‘Fast Five’

January 12th, 2018 by Damian Hill

The following is based upon my experience over the last five years as a Commanding Officer and Commander of the Combat Training Centre (CTC). It encompasses failure, success and the odd epiphany. Importantly, it is a synopsis of the thousands ...

Book Review – Max Hastings – Das Reich

January 9th, 2018 by James Davis

Don’t be fooled by the cover of “Das Reich.” The burning village and camouflage smocked SS Troopers hint at something in the Sven Hassell genre, rather than a sophisticated view of topics given little treatment elsewhere. The stories of the ...

Return to the Jungle: a Renaissance of Close Country Warfare

January 5th, 2018 by James Lewis

The Indo‐Pacific region is in a period of unprecedented transformation, accelerated by the shifting distribution of economic and political power[i]. The importance of the Indo-Pacific to Australian security cannot be overstated and the Army must prepare to conduct operations in ...

Trusting Imperfection: Getting Mission Command to Succeed

January 5th, 2018 by David Caligari

The commander also strikes and accepts compromises in his [or her] command: not all his men and officers will be perfect, and he must accept this fact and plan accordingly.  General Sir Rupert Smith, The Utility of Force [i] Mission ...

OPFOR TEWTS – Understanding the Enemy’s Mind

January 5th, 2018 by Chris Sharp

Defeating the enemy’s will. That is the essence of manoeuvre warfare, that you defeat the enemy’s will to fight rather than his ability to fight. But how do you defeat a man’s mind? David A. Grossman Introduction Tactical Exercises without Troops ...

Contemporary Strategic Effects of Army Attack Aviation

January 5th, 2018 by James Kingham

Army attack aviation is a niche capability possessed by a minority of global militaries. As a capability which had its genesis in the Vietnam War, and received its validation in the deserts of Kuwait and Southern Iraq in 1991, Army ...

Close Infantry Assault

January 5th, 2018 by Ted Taber

The key to Army’s success on our next battlefield will be ensuring we pay adequate attention now, and applying enough resources to institutionalise these lessons so we don’t have to learn the hard way. LTCOL N [1] The survivability of the ...

An Eye on the Sky – UAS as an Enduring Presence in Conflict and Training

January 5th, 2018 by James Easton

Ex Diamond Run – Battle Group Missions Watch #BrisbanesBrigade complete delay, block and clear missions during the final stages of #ExDiamondRun at Shoalwater Bay. This is combined arms at its best with infantry providing manpower, tanks firepower, artillery offensive support ...

The Busy Platoon Commander’s Reading List

January 5th, 2018 by Chris Hall

There are many reading lists available to the military professional and an increasing focus on Professional Military Education within Army. These reading lists are a treasure trove of suggestions from more senior leaders who have had time to gradually read ...

Less is More: The Enabled Combat Brigade Headquarters

January 5th, 2018 by Brad Spiel

INTRODUCTION The Army must be a force capable of exerting ‘land power for strategic effect across the modern spectrum of peace, crisis and war’. To this end the Army must be able to defeat peer forces in a conventional setting as well ...

A Shared Responsibility – Growing our Understanding of Air Defence

January 5th, 2018 by James Easton

Air Defence continues to grow as a capability and concept against the increasingly complex array of airborne threats. In Australia, this can be seen through the recent announcement of a new Short Range Ground Based Air Defence system, as well ...

Aide Memoire – Advising and Mentoring Foreign Militaries

January 5th, 2018 by Nicholas Wilson

60 tips to become a more effective advisor Advising and mentoring foreign militaries has been carried out by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as far back as the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force’s occupation of German New Guinea in ...

Death From Above – Armoured Mortar System

January 5th, 2018 by Frank Tamsitt

Death from above or a crude weapon for a crude war? The utility of the armoured mortar system in future warfare The future operating environment will be violent and chaotic with military forces deploying the latest lethal technologies alongside weaponry of the past ...

A Joint Force – An Overview of Army’s Land Combat System

January 4th, 2018 by MAJGEN F.A. McLachlan

Keynote Address delivered on 26 October 2017 by Major General Fergus McLachlan AM, Forces Commander – Australian Army, to the Northern Australian Defence Summit, Darwin Convention Centre, written in collaboration with Colonel Ian Langford DSC and Bar, Director Future Plans Headquarters Forces ...

Australian Tactical Design: Development and Use of Decisive Events

January 4th, 2018 by Luke Dawson and Benjamin Gray

War is a science covered with shadows in whose obscurity one cannot move with an assured step. Routine and prejudice, the natural result of ignorance, are its foundation and support. Maurice de Saxe – My Reveries Upon the Art of ...

Mentoring, Mission Command, and the Value of the Officers’ Mess – Increasing the ‘Speed of Trust’

January 4th, 2018 by Michael Scott

This blog reflects on the important role of the Army Officers’ Mess in the author’s early regimental service. Traditions of the Army Mess A quick online search will inform the inquisitive officer that the military tradition of the Mess started ...

What is Modern Military Leadership? A Primer

January 3rd, 2018 by MAJGEN F.A. McLachlan

The Australian Army senior leadership team has been articulating the need for our Army leadership style to evolve to take on a more modern form. On the other hand our Army prides itself on its high level of performance in ...

Training The Way We Fight – Aide Memoire for RSOI&E

January 3rd, 2018 by Michael Keefe

The Benefits of Incorporating Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, Integration and Extraction into the Training Environment INTRODUCTION Whether it is deploying on global operations or on the ‘Road to Hamel’, countless hours are lost to administration in the final weeks prior ...

Using Social Media as a Junior Military Leader

January 3rd, 2018 by Clare O'Neill

Military personnel will soon lend their ears (or at least their time) to beginning-of-year mandatory briefs. These briefs will be filled with reminders of ‘what not to do’ from alcohol to safety. The social media brief will deliver a shopping list ...

Owning Your Professional Military Development – Junior Officers

January 3rd, 2018 by Clare O'Neill

Doctrine Man recently penned the well-known military adage that “no one can manage your career better than yourself”. Deployments, top jobs and plum geographic postings won’t be handed to you on a silver platter. This adage has a similar application ...

Driving Innovation Forward: Why Tempo Is Everything

January 2nd, 2018 by Tim Jones

A commander must accustom his staff to a high tempo from the outset and continually keep them to it. If he once allows himself to be satisfied with norms, or anything less than an all-out effort he gives up the ...

ReUnions and the Returned & Services League of Australia

January 2nd, 2018 by Michael Scott

Opportunities for decentralised & informal care to our Veterans & our Wounded, Injured and Ill ‘The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them’ Colin Powell In the lead up to Christmas 2016, ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Session 5 – Innovation and Strategy – ‘Learn and Adapt but Still Lose’ – Professor Daniel Marston

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Innovation and Strategy – ‘Learn and adapt but still lose’ – Professor Daniel Marston Daniel Marston BA MA (McGill) DPhil (Oxon.) FRHistS holds a Professorship in Military Studies and is also the Principal of the Military and Defence Studies Program ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Sessions 3 & 4 – Practical Innovation

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Group Captain Jerome Reid Jerome Reid is a self proclaimed disrupter and the new Director of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Plan Jericho. Plan Jericho provides the strategic framework for Air Force’s transformation to a 5th-generation integrated fighting force. Through ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Session 2 – Innovation and War – Why We Innovate, How We Fight and Ethics

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Why We Innovate – Lieutenant Colonel Clare O’Neill Clare O’Neill is a Royal Australian Engineer and has been the Chief of Army Scholar and Fulbright Scholar in Australia-United States Alliance Studies at Georgetown University. Clare is the Founder of Grounded ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Session 1 – Innovation and the Future Fight – Cyber, Artificial Intelligence and Gamification

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Innovation and the Future Fight – Cyber, Artificial Intelligence and Gamification Cyber – Alastair MacGibbon Mr Alastair MacGibbon is the Cyber Security Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Australia.  He leads the Government’s Cyber Security Strategy, aiming to transform ...

#DEFAUS17 Videos – Welcome Address – Junior Leaders and Innovation – MAJGEN Rick Burr, DSC, AM, MVO

December 22nd, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

Welcome Address – Junior Leaders and Innovation by MAJGEN Rick Burr, DSC, AM, MVO Major General Burr is the Deputy Chief of the Australian Army, a position he has held since January 2015. Graduating from the Royal Military College—Duntroon in ...

Combat Adaption Through Time

November 2nd, 2017 by Cameron Gibbins and James Kingham

Reflections from the Chief of Army History Conference – and why you should be there in 2018. Sir Michael Howard called adaption “an aspect of military science that must be studied above all others.”[1] Driven by the central importance of ...

Enabling C2 Survivability – Deception, Technology and Redundancy

November 1st, 2017 by Jacob Marshall

Survivability of communication systems has been called into sharp focus given technology advances and their use in contested theatres. It is here that communicators need to balance survivability while still enabling C2 so that land forces can operate securely in ...

Book Review – British Generals in Blair’s Wars

October 3rd, 2017 by Daniel Hebditch

British Generals in Blair’s Wars is a collection of essays covering the British Army’s campaigns during the premiership of Prime Minister Tony Blair from 1997 to 2007 and their aftermath. This period saw significant success for the United Kingdom in ...

Second Battle of El Alamein – The Lost Manoeuvrist Battle?

September 10th, 2017 by Daniel Hebditch

The Second Battle of El Alamein was the decisive battle of the North African campaign fought between the Allied 8th Army and the Axis Panzerarmee Afrika over 23 October to 4 November 1942. Its significance was feted, a touch inaccurately, ...

Partners In Innovation: Observations From ‘Across The Ditch’

September 3rd, 2017 by Gareth Rice

This year I was fortunate enough to attend the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) second annual Army Innovation Competition at Linton Military Camp. The competition formed the centerpiece of a recent drive in the NZDF to promote an innovative military ...

Conversation Starter – Goodbye To All That

August 29th, 2017 by Richard Barrett

Goodbye to all that [1] There comes a time in every career when we will ‘soldier no more’. When one or both parts of the relationship between Army and the individual is no longer suitable, tenable or desired. As long ...

#DEFAus17 – Idea Pitchers Webinar, Mon 18 Sep 1900hrs AEST

August 27th, 2017 by DEF Aus Committee

Are you a creative or innovative ADF member? Have you been tracking the launch of the DEF Aus Forum 2017? Seen the #defaus17 hashtag starting to trend? Got an idea that you think you want to pitch, but you’re not ...

#DEFAUS17 Idea Pitch – Gamefying Individual Readiness

August 24th, 2017 by Solomon Birch

  Some kinds of inevitable change are hard to notice, in the same way that while walking through a forest the type of trees might slowly change until you’re actually walking in a completely different type of forest without realising ...

Book Review – The Human Face of War by Jim Storr

August 3rd, 2017 by Chris Hall

Any army would be better if its officers displayed a more questioning attitude to their profession. Jim Storr Jim Storr’s The Human Face of War is a highly readable companion to doctrine that explores not just what to do in warfare ...

Command and Leadership – Fit to Fight

July 30th, 2017 by David McCammon

“Australian Soldiers identify with their Battalion. It’s indeed their family: it leads, feeds, clothes, directs and exhausts them. Its veins are its Sections and Platoons, its limbs the companies. It has the capacity to inspire their actions, to drive them ...

The Humble Gardener — A Leadership Reflection on McChrystal’s Team of Teams

July 30th, 2017 by Steve Cotterill

Trust, Common Purpose, Shared Consciousness, and Empowered Execution  “Few of us are criticised if we faithfully do what has worked many times before.” General McChrystal [i] As I have now made the decision to leave the military and seek a new ...

Transformation of War – Mortal Violence for Rational Ends

July 26th, 2017 by Mark Mankowski

War is simply a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means Carl von Clausewitz And the nature of the case [the war against the Persians] first compelled us to advance our empire to its present height; fear being ...

Chief of Army’s Futures Day – 28 September 2017

July 24th, 2017 by Clare O'Neill

What does the future hold for Army? How will Army fight in the Future Operating Environment? How can Army best respond to both the opportunities and challenges posed by emergent and disruptive technologies? How do we hone the cognitive edge ...

DEF Australia Letters from Talisman Sabre: The Four Currencies of War

July 13th, 2017 by Tom McDermott

Introduction: Ex TALISMAN SABRE and the Beast The Australian military is about to conduct its largest multi-national amphibious operation since the landing of the 7th Australian Division in Balikpapan, Borneo in 1945. Over the next two weeks 33,000 Australian, American, ...

Book Review: Team of Teams – New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

July 9th, 2017 by Brendan Robinson

Do you work in an organisation where the pursuit of getting more from less is the ultimate goal? Have you always thought that one action determines the next? If your answer is yes, maybe it’s time to face up to ...

Developing Blended Learning: A Digital Learning Platform for Army

July 6th, 2017 by David Caligari and Katherine Mansted

A career officer [or soldier] is going to school as long as he [or she] lives. General Matthew Ridgway & Harold H. Martin, Soldier: The Memoirs of Matthew B Ridgway, 1956, p. 27 Army should harness the potential of the ...

Learning from the Marine Corps Commandant’s Professional Reading List

July 5th, 2017 by Matthew Dirago

Introduction The Marine Corps Commandant’s Professional Reading List (CPRL) is published annually, providing books ‘most pertinent for professional development and critical thinking at each level’. It is a comprehensive list organised into: Commandant’s choice which all Marines must read, and ...

Book Review – Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror

June 10th, 2017 by Nicholas Waugh

Blood Year, written by David Kilcullen, captures the events leading up to and following the 2014 crisis in the Middle East. The book analyses key occurrences surrounding the emergence of ISIS and how the West made several strategic errors enabling ...

Imagining the Future – Global Security in the Age of Autonomous Machines

June 4th, 2017 by Alistair Dickie

FOREWORD Clare O’Neill 2017 It can be a difficult and daunting activity to visualise the future operating environment when there are a myriad of different possibilities and problems at play. It can also be difficult to openly debate your ideas knowing the future may well ...

The Perils of Centralising Defence Innovation (and how to overcome them)

May 25th, 2017 by Tim Jones

As innovation gains momentum throughout defense forces, a common theme seems to be emerging. Militaries, in particular Western ones, are increasingly seeking to centralise their dispersed innovation cells into single innovation ‘hubs’ in order to better coordinate and deliver innovation ...

Silos of Intellectual Excellence

May 12th, 2017 by Emily Chapman

Republished with permission from The Central Blue  In this post, Emily Chapman makes the case for increased ‘jointness’ in professional education, outlining a number of proposals to increase collaboration across the services and prevent silos of intellectual excellence.  A single RAAF Officer pitched to a ...