Some Implications of the Army Reserve Call Out for Operation Bushfire Assist 2019-2020
During the latter months of 2019 and the new year of 2020, Australia experienced catastrophic and widespread bushfires. As the situation worsened, the federal government unexpectedly called out the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Reserves to bolster an already significant deployment of ADF regular forces to contribute to a massive interagency and volunteer community response. This deployment was the largest ever peacetime domestic ADF operation in response to a natural disaster.
As the lessons of Operation Bushfire Assist 2019-20 are absorbed by the ADF there will be an opportunity to recast the value proposition of the Reserves as part of the Total Force. As government seeks to build the national resilience to natural disasters, COL Mark Armstrong argues that the ADF Reserves are an accessible, persistent and cost-effective means to apply available human capital in regions and communities. After all, in an uncertain strategic environment and given emerging non-traditional security threats, ‘every possible capability’ may be required again soon.
COL Mark Armstrong will discuss these lessons and implications in this seminar.