Skip to main content

‘Transforming Land Power’ Series Competition

2022 AARC Short Thoughts Competition

A panel of Australian Army Warrant Officers take questions from the audience at the 2021 Senior Enlisted Conference in the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Australia’s strategic environment is complex, increasingly contested, and rapidly evolving. Major power competition, militarisation, disruptive technological change and new threats pose challenges to Australia’s national security. These developments test Army’s capacity to generate highly trained, disciplined and fit tactical units; preserve its capacity to operate within the joint force; while simultaneously delivering Army forces in support of the national interest when and where they are needed.

The AARC fosters thought leadership to enhance Australian land power to help meet these challenges. We work to raise the level of professional debate on war, military force, future land capability development, and its challenges within Army, the nation, and internationally. The AARC is the Chief of Army’s lead agency for land power research.

In the lead-up to the Chief of Army Symposium 22, the AARC’s 2022 Short Thoughts Competition invited submissions of 1000-1500 word articles with the theme ‘Transforming Land Power’. This was an opportunity to communicate ideas about land power to Army’s senior leadership and a wide range of readers, and in the process help to inform and shape Army’s future.

Articles submitted are published on the AARC’s Land Power Forum, as part of the ‘Transforming Land Power’ series. A compilation of meritorious entries will also be available to Symposium attendees.

The winning and commended entries of the competition were announced on 8th July 2022.

2022 Short Writing Competition Submissions
Australian Army soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment prepare for a dawn raid on a suspected insurgent position at the Tully Training Area on July 17 during Exercise Hamel 2014.
The Requirements of Training Insurgent Tactics
Land combatgrey zoneIrregular WarfareTransforming Land Power

For the ADF to deter and disrupt an invasion and occupation of Australia, it is necessary to arm and train our force to conduct asymmetric warfare against an occupying enemy. Ian Richards explores why.

Marines, assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and embarked aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20), navigate a formation of combat rubber raiding crafts toward Crowley Beach during an amphibious raid rehearsal as a part of Talisman Saber 17..
Where the Shore Meets the Sea
Land combatOur RegionJoint warfareTransforming Land Power

Based on the expectation that the future of land power will be in the littoral environment, Dr John Nash considers the transformation demanded of Army as it integrates in the joint environment as part of a whole-of-ADF maritime strategic capability.

An Australian Army rifleman from Alpha Company of 8th/9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, fires an F88 Austeyr rifle into an "enemy" window during Exercise Ram Horn at Wide Bay Training Area, Queensland.
Meeting the Challenge of Protracted Battle
Land combatgrey zoneIrregular WarfareTransforming Land Power

This Post by Sam Baumgarten opens by describing the concept of protracted battle in the context of supporting military theory. It then makes the case for why the Army must continue efforts to enhance its ability to achieve decisive battle outcomes against semi-irregular opponents.

Mobile devices on grass; Image credit: Pixabay user - Goumbik (userid 3752483)
Intellectual Transformation: Professionalisation of the Other Ranks
Cognitive edgeLeadershipFuture ReadyTransforming Land Power

Reflecting on observations made by Richard Barrett in 'The Profession of Arms needs a CPD Program' John Wellfare makes a strong bid to resolve a challenge faced by many leaders throughout the organisation – how to achieve professionalisation of the ADF at the other ranks (OR) level.

Army Reserve soldiers from 13th Brigade on patrol in search of suspects of interest during a simulated scenario as part of 13th Brigade stability operations training at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.
Domestic Security Force to Transform Army Land Power
Land combatForce DesignArmy & SocietyTransforming Land Power

John Brennan outlines the importance of enhancing Army's capability and flexibility to draw on the part-time force to meet Australia's security requirements in peace and war. Using overseas examples, he proposes a force design model to effect such an outcome.

3D Printed Drone from Markforged. Image credit:
Adopting Additive Manufacturing and its Impact on Land Power
Land combatAdditive ManufacturingIndustryTransforming Land Power

K identifies the opportunity that exists for Army to transform land power through the innovative use of additive manufacturing to generate a more resilient supply chain, particularly in the field.

Australian Army soldier from the School of Armour, remotely controls an autonomous M113 AS4 optionally crewed combat vehicle (OCCV) at the Majura Training Area, Canberra..
From Tanks to Robots
Land combatRobotics & Autonomous SystemsEmerging TechnologiesTransforming Land Power

Robotic and autonomous systems represent the potential future of land warfare. Opening with this assertion, William Hill looks to history to see how technology has transformed the nature of warfare and analysing the implications for land combat capabilities.

Australian Army soldiers work in the command post during the field phase of the Operator Administrative Basic Course at the Army School of Ordnance conducted at Bandiana, Victoria.
Transforming Land Power – One Story at a Time
Land combatPeople, Culture and EthicsArmy & SocietyTransforming Land Power

The future of the Australian Army is inextricably linked to the society that it serves. In its efforts to transform land power, Annie North challenges Army to invest in storytelling to build the trust-based personal relationships needed to sustain and grow the force.

Australian Army Brigadier Martin White (left) at the Army Robotics Expo and Quantum Technology Challenge at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Outcomes of ‘Short Thoughts Competition’ – Transforming Land Power
ModernisationArmy & SocietyArmy in MotionTransforming Land Power

Entries in the the 2022 AARC Short Thoughts Competition, ‘Transforming Land Power’ have now been judged. Authors spanned a range of ranks and backgrounds proving that good ideas are not the monopoly of a particular area, group or rank band. This Post lists the winners and commended entries. Winners will be awarded a trip to the Chief of Army Symposium 2022 and a book voucher. All entries are in the process of being posted on the Land Power Forum.

A Shadow Unmanned Aerial System from the 20th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, is launched at Townsville Field Training Area, Queensland.
Transforming Land Power from the Air
Land combatAccelerated WarfareEmerging TechnologiesTransforming Land Power

James Eling makes the case for Australia to develop a sovereign manufacturing capability for Unmanned Combat Aerial Systems (UCAS) – drones able to deliver kinetic effects to provide a scalable, effective and agile capability for our soldiers.

Corporal Laura Wakeling's recruitment journey left an impression, with Laura opting to join the Defence Force Recruiting Centre Toowoomba as a careers coach, helping others find their own fulfilling career in the Australian Defence Force..
Recruitment for the Future
Land combatPeople, Culture and EthicsArmy & SocietyTransforming Land Power

In this Post, Tingting Luo explores the issue of land power transformation through the lens of concurrency pressures, the challenges posed by a competitive employment market, and the enduring need for Army to foster a sense of Service.

High Mobility Rocket Artillery Systems of the United States Army and United States Marine Corps launch rockets during a firepower demonstration held at Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, during Talisman Sabre 2021.
Thinking Deep: The need for a Deep Battle Concept for the Australian Army
Land combatAccelerated WarfareEmerging Threats and OpportunitiesTransforming Land Power

As the Australian Army contemplates the transformation of land power, it needs to focus on developing a deep battle concept. Jason Kirkham explains why.

Royal Australian Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III prepares for takeoff at Nackaroo Airfield, Bradshaw Field Training Area near three United States Marine Corps MV-22B tilt rotor aircraft as part of Exercise Loobye.
The Australian Army’s Coming Strategic Role
Accelerated WarfareEmerging TechnologiesStrategyTransforming Land Power

Will Army need to transform its philosophy, organisation, and cultural hierarchy if its to achieve the full potential of long-range strike weapons? Dr Albert Palazzo is convinced that it will.

An Army approach to Transforming Landpower
Land combatPeople, Culture and EthicsArmy in MotionTransforming Land Power

Transforming land power involves comprehensively changing Army's ability to project force in and from land in peace, crisis and in war. MAJGEN Chris Field provides a conceptual framework within which Army can achieve such change.

File image of the Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tank, the nominated replacement for the current Main Battle Tank, was provided by the US Government for Defence public affairs usage.
LNG: Keeping Australia in the Fight
Emerging Threats and OpportunitiesLand combatStrategyTransforming Land Power

Connor Cruickshank makes the case for increasing land capability by better utilising the potential of liquefied natural gas in combat vehicles.

Corporal Jeromy Ringshaw from Charlie Company, Army Recruit Training Centre, marches as part of a formed body during basic training at Kapooka, New South Wales.
Role and structure of a Reserve Force
TrainingForce DesignStrategyTransforming Land Power

The ADF should develop a land force mobilisation capability by investing more effectively in the training of the ADF Reserve Force. Stephen Chamarette discusses why.

A Shadow Unmanned Aerial System from the 20th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, is launched at Townsville Field Training Area, Queensland.
Combat Power Beyond 2022
Emerging Threats and OpportunitiesLand combatStrategyTransforming Land Power

In response to the challenges posed by rapidly advancing technology, Bruce Cameron recommends changes to the ADF's core philosophy of war and new principles for the guidance of commanders.

The views expressed in this article and subsequent comments are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

Using the Contribute page you can either submit an article in response to this or register/login to make comments.