A key part of the AARC’s charter is to enhance the professionalism, leadership and ethical awareness of Australian soldiers and officers. To fulfil its role, one of its directed tasks is the conduct of staff rides and battlefield study tours.
These activities involve the deep study of a battle or campaign, the key component of which is an extensive field phase that allows an examination of the actual ground where the fighting occurred. In order to elicit critical discussion and insights that can be applied to contemporary warfighting, these activities seek to:
- Expose students to the timeless human dimensions and dynamics of warfare, especially those factors which interact to produce victory or defeat.
- Provide case studies in areas such as; the application of the principles of war, operational art, combined arms operations, the relationship between technology and doctrine, leadership, unit cohesion, and how logistical considerations affect operations.
- Show the effects of terrain upon plans and their implementation, and the impact of key terrain on specific battles.
- Encourage lifelong professional development via the in-depth study of military history, leadership, combat experience and innovation.
Some recent activities run, and the outcomes achieved are detailed below.