Welcome to the Land Power Forum for 2022
Welcome to the Australian Army’s Land Power Forum (LPF) and the Australian Army Research Centre (AARC) website. The Forum is a place for writers – and readers – to consider the future of the Australian Army and the use of ‘land power’ within the constellation of joint capabilities. It is also an important gateway to other research products developed by or for the AARC, and the Army’s Future Land Warfare Branch. These include: the Australian Army Journal, Occasional Papers and Research Reports, and the proceedings of seminars and other events. You can also find a repository of articles and presentations concerning the Army’s journey with technologies through the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO); technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence that will complement the Army’s current and future materiel. Further, the website provides access to the Australian Army History Unit (AAHU) which stewards the Army’s corporate memory, funds research and maintains a network of museums and archives.
Most importantly, the AARC website and the LPF offer ways for authors can engage with others in ways they may otherwise not have the opportunity to do. This extends beyond providing military education or other information, to a professional discussion about the use of military forces in protecting Australia and its national interests.
The Land Power Forum was launched in 2020 with the article Pulling Forward the Future. In this article I described how the Australian Army had engaged in a ‘contest of ideas’ over some years, and had launched strategic plans and guidance to guide the institution in its approach to organisational change.
Organisational change is not just inevitable, but entirely normal …… Army’s capacity to innovate will be reflected in its ability to offset against emerging organisational challenges or strategic threats, or responding to crises. Responding quickly, efficiently and effectively to an unforeseen strategic need will be a direct consequence of how Army sets the environment for transformation right now.
This imperative remains real despite all that has happened over the last two years. Change may be tremendously difficult now, but given the complex situations that all in Army face, and the ADF and Australia faces, it will only be harder to transform the Army in the future.
In 2021, the Army was just one of many national institutions embroiled in the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian Army, as part of a larger Defence commitment, maintained a high, exhausting, tempo supporting a range of tasks which followed from 2020. Defence capability plans were confirmed following the Defence Strategic Update, and received a major refresh once ‘AUKUS’ was announced. Nuclear submarines may have been the headline, but AUKUS offered a wide range of technology sharing and other partnership opportunities between the Army and the land forces of the US and UK. International activities recommenced, and the Army returned to the region to work with longstanding partners and nations. Although COVID-19 remained an ever-present issue during 2021, the Army proved able to meet objectives across numerous areas.
A lot has happened in two years – enough to give pause to even the most optimistic. However, adaption has also occurred, and the hard work of recovery from crisis must carry on. New practical and pragmatic solutions to problems will be required to ensure that the Army’s transformation continues apace. New methods will need to be put in place to train, to prepare, to sustain and to ensure the Army’s workforce maintains best practice. Thoughts are required, and the opportunities which may be found over the next two years should be discussed. Naturally, the AARC and the Land Power Forum provides a venue for those with a vested interest in the Army, and the enduring importance of ‘land power’ to the ADF and the nation.
If you’ve thought about writing for, or about, the Australian Army, please contact the AARC here. The Land Power Forum publishes articles frequently. For a full list of the AARC’s other programs check here, and a huge range of journal articles and research papers on a variety of topics in the Library. It will become apparent there are many ways in which your writing can contribute to the future of the Australian Army.
2022 promises to be another busy year for the Army, but also one of many opportunities. The Land Power Forum is an opportunity for all to contribute to this transformation, and an opportunity to have your well-researched opinions and arguments count. We look forward to hearing from you.
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.
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