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The Land Power Forum blog is published by the Australian Army Research Centre in order to generate discussion and debate about the future of Army.

It is a forum for informed analysis, commentary, thoughts and ideas. Contributions are welcomed from stakeholders, subject matter experts and those interested in future land warfare.

Articles
Single quad rotor drone in centre of image with sky background. Image by andri333 from Pixabay.
Manoeuvreist Doctrine in the Age of Autonomy
Robotics & Autonomous SystemsEmerging TechnologiesHybrid Warfare

The Ukraine war has thrust small drones into the spotlight as an integral component of combined arms warfare. Matthew Krupczak contends that commanders must consider the doctrinal implications of both current and evolving off-the-shelf drone technologies and procure countermeasures.

Ruins in Croatia, Kupari
A Plan B: How Might Australia Support Resistance?
grey zoneHuman SecurityIrregular Warfare

Andrew Maher presents an operating concept for the ADF that involves supporting regional nations to resist the imposition of control from autocratic actors. Constituting a strategy of deterrence by denial, he asserts that the 'unconventional deterrence' capability that would result from such efforts complements Australia's existing approach to deterrence and is firmly aligned with the direction set by the Defence Strategic Review.

Bees flying with blurred grass background. Image by Cosmin Nedelcu from Pixabay. Link to image source:https://pixabay.com/users/ncsmnd-18882607/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=6615607
Conceptualising Agency in Swarms
Robotics & Autonomous SystemsEmerging TechnologiesHybrid Warfare

Zena Assad considers the concept of swarming. She reflects on how the term has evolved from its origins in the field of biology to its modern application to describe characteristics of robotic systems. Noting the effect of rapid technological advancements on the capacity of such systems to self-organise, she identifies the challenges in setting operational goals for these capabilities as well as offering solutions.

Australian Army soldiers deployed on Operation Resolute conduct a long range patrol on Katers Island in remote Western Australia.
2 (Australian) Division and National Strategy
Force DesignMilitary theoryFuture Ready

The Defence Strategic Review has prompted significant re-consideration of the role of Army in the defence of the nation. To guide Army’s new purpose, an understanding of Australian Defence and Security Strategy is fundamental, as is recognition of Australia’s strategic interests. This short articles introduces some of these strategic interests and a PME program being run by 2 (AUST) DIV in 2024.

An Australian Army soldier runs past an Australian Light Armoured Vehicle on Forrest Beach, Queensland, as part of an amphibious assault activity, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2021.
Putting the Band Back Together – Part Two
Future ReadyModernisationForce Design

Mark Mankowski's builds on his argument that the division is the appropriate highest echelon of command for the Australian Army. Having considered in Part 1 the measures he considers necessary to reinforce, Army’s largest unit of action, in this post he discusses the requirement for more formations in an enabled 1st (Australian) Division.

Occasional Paper release - Geostrategic Trends and Atrocity Risk
Human SecurityStrategyOur Region

In Occasional Paper 19, published today, the authors focus on geostrategic trends and atrocity risks, analysing the relevance of these trends to Australia's strategic interests. In this Post, the authors summarise the results of the project which led to the paper's development and they highlight the significance of the challenge facing states seeking to prevent atrocity crimes.

Australian Army soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment and the 5th Aviation Regiment conduct small boat patrols during Exercise Black Cutlass 2023 off the coast of Townsville, Queensland.
Putting the Band Back Together – Part One
Future ReadyModernisationForce Design

In this Land Power Forum Post, Mark Mankowski argues that the division is the appropriate highest echelon of command for the Australian Army. Based on this assessment, he considers the need to reinforce the division as Army’s largest unit of action.

A Ghost Robotics unmanned ground vehicle supports Australian Army soldiers conduct an enemy position clearance during an autonomous systems showcase at the Majura Training Area, Canberra.
Outcomes of ‘Spring Short Thoughts Competition’ 2023
ModernisationEmerging TechnologiesEmerging Threats and Opportunities

Submission topics included technology innovations, strategic RAS applications and tactical employment of RAS to address a diverse range of challenges Army may face in future. These contributions provide meaningful opportunities for Army to continue preparing its land forces.

Occasional Paper release - ADF Engagement with Fiji
Our RegionPeople, Culture and EthicsLandpower lessons

The ADF has a long history of defence international engagement within our region and beyond. In Occasional Paper 18, Dr Michael O'Keefe seeks to extend the policy literature through a case study of international engagement with Fiji by detailing how a successful approach from 2014-2017 contributed to the achievement of Australian foreign policy goals.

Maximising the Traction, Energy Efficiency and Manoeuvrability of Wheeled Robots
ModernisationRobotics & Autonomous SystemsForce DesignAccelerated Preparedness

The authors of this post make the case for wheeled robots as a military capability. Using the example of a 6 wheeled robot, the authors explain the principles of terramechanics and its relevance to maximising traction, energy efficiency and manoeuvrability.

Australian Army Craftsman Sean Van Der Heyden, from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, receives instruction from Major Ashley Crosby during the Army Headquarters Robotic demonstration at Lavarack Barracks, 31 July 2020.
Embracing automation and robotics in the modern ADF
ModernisationRobotics & Autonomous SystemsIndustry

Khuong Nguyen explores the potential of emerging autonomous technologies at scale to help meet Army's domestic and international strategic challenges. Drawing on overseas case studies, he examines opportunities for accelerated adoption of emerging robotic technologies.

Australian Army soldiers from 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australia Regiment prepare to participate in a live-fire Platoon attack at Cultana Training Area as part of 9th Brigade's Exercise Rhino Run 2023.
Assessing autonomous options in force design
Robotics & Autonomous SystemsArtificial IntelligenceEmerging TechnologiesAccelerated Preparedness

‘How do you achieve more with less, possibly when your forces are already committed?’
In this LPF Post, Hannah Woodford-Smith proposes a model to enable assessment of asymmetry between employment of conventional forces and autonomous solutions.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment carry out urban warfare training at the MOUT training area in Townsville.
‘Holding the Door Open’ – Securing a Point of Entry to Facilitate Littoral Manoeuvre in the Near Region’ - Part Five
Amphibious/joint/interagencyHybrid WarfareEmerging Threats and OpportunitiesLittoral Warfare

The Land Power Forum littoral manoeuvre series on securing points of entry (POE) closes out with this fifth and final post. In it, Charles Knight identifies and explores functional capability enhancements that offer the potential to increase the capacity of a smaller force to secure an urban POE more effectively.

Background image of Australia on Earth from a space perspective. The cover of Australian Army Journal Volume XIX Number 2 from 2023 is displayed on the right side of the mage with a shadow.
Release of Australian Army Journal Vol XIX No 2 2023
Amphibious/joint/interagencyAustralian Army JournalLandpower lessons

As Army transforms to meet contemporary security challenges, it must optimise for littoral manoeuvre operations by the sea, land and air as part of the integrated force. Drawing on lessons from the ADF's operational history within the region and beyond, this volume of the Australian Army Journal applies focus to Australian operations in the littorals.

A map of Borneo showing an overview of the Oboe operations (Source: Macarthur Reports)
What can the Australian Army learn from the 1945 Borneo Oboe operations?
Landpower lessonsAmphibious/joint/interagency

Alexander Lenart reflects on the benefits of participating in the Australian Army Staff Ride to Borneo. He finds that the lessons learned from the 1945 Oboe operations still resonate today.

Army's new Tactical Uncrewed Aerial System, the Integrator, quietly soars through the air during 20th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery's operator training course in Coominya, Qld, on 28 July 2022.
The Robotic Revolution
ModernisationRobotics & Autonomous SystemsIndustryAccelerated Preparedness

This LPF Post considers the possibilities presented by autonomy and robotics. Author Jerimy Tucker considers how these technologies can reduce organisational burden by increasing the effectiveness and preparedness of land forces.

A United States Army M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) fires in Puslatpur, Indonesia during Exercise Super Garuda Shield 2023.
Fires in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
ModernisationEmerging Threats and OpportunitiesArtificial Intelligence

The fourth industrial revolution has heralded an era of artificial intelligence, automation and robotics with considerable potential benefits to the Australian Army. Jason Kirkham examines this proposition with a focus on Army's indirect fires and targeting responsibilities.

Drones flying above an enemy position demonstrate in concept surveillance (green), electronic warfare (blue), and attack (orange) capabilities during a human-machine team exercise at Puckapunyal Military Area.
Economies of Scale Provided by Automated Solutions
ModernisationEmerging TechnologiesRobotics & Autonomous SystemsAccelerated Preparedness

Adam Wawrzkowicz makes the case for an ADF equipped with high-impact, low cost capabilities able to achieve asymmetric strategies. He focusses on the benefits of deliberate deception support by robotics and autonomous systems.

Australian Army Aircrewman, Corporal Stewart Eddleston looks out over floodwaters in the Kimberley region of Western Australia from an MRH-90 Taipan helicopter.
Enhancing Resilience
Army in MotionModernisationEmerging Threats and OpportunitiesAccelerated Preparedness

This is the first entry to the AARC Short Thoughts Competition Spring Edition that focuses on the topic of mobilisation. In this submission, James Alexander considers the cumulative effect of seemingly innocuous events on national security. He challenges the ADF to generate a common operating picture to meet the threat of indirect attacks from adversaries.

V9905007 "OPERATION STABILISE" 2 OCT 99 Pic by SGT W. Guthrie LCPL Ross Peters of Hobart, Tasmania, and PTE Paul Everett of WA provide outer perimeter protection for members of A Company, 3 RAR, 1 Platoon conducting a building clearance in Dili.
‘Holding the Door Open’ – Securing a Point of Entry to Facilitate Littoral Manoeuvre in the Near Region’ - Part Four
Amphibious/joint/interagencyEmerging Threats and OpportunitiesHybrid Warfare

In Part Four of the AARC series on littoral manoeuvre, Charles Knight discusses the personnel-intensive requirements of deploying a perimeter of detection when securing Air or Sea Points of Entry.

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