ISSUE 150 : Sep/Oct - 2001 - Australian Defence Force Journal

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ISSUE 150 : Sep/Oct - 2001 - Australian Defence Force Journal

36AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE JOURNAL NO. 150 SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2001overall security reviewed. The pre-eminencegiven to the adoption of a Maritime Strategy inrecognition of Australia’s geo-strategicposition within the region would indicate thatan ability to quickly deploy highly mobileforces by sea and/or by air throughout theregion would be a key capability. These tasksmight cover a variety of contingencies,including humanitarian and peacekeeping.Such a capability will however require a moreholistic approach be adopted by the ADF forthe development and acquisition of Defenceequipment, in order that Defence capabilitiesmeet the total force requirement and not justthose of a particular Service. Indeed, thedevelopment and acquisition of new andemerging capabilities must be predicated uponan “effects” strategy, where a particularcapability is derived from determining theoptimum result to achieve the required “effect”.This approach is consistent with the “futures”methodology now being adopted by a numberof our allies who are looking to develop futurecapabilities predicated specifically upon the“effects” required.An Historical PerspectiveThe need to maintain a large standingArmy and strong Navy to primarily supportoverseas campaigns has been a major defencecharacteristic of the 20th century.Involvement in the Boer War, two World Warsas well as other regional conflicts since, haveborne testament to the need to maintain suchforces, which have in the main, beenconventionally structured, and organised alongtraditional British military lines. Whilst themaintenance of such forces were appropriate tomeet the requirements of the time, it is worthremembering that such organisations had theirgenesis in the 18th and 19th centuries, andreflected the requirements of that period, wherethe Fleet and large standing armies weremaintained to protect national interests athome and abroad.The realisation by a number of our alliesthat the requirement to use military force inthe future has changed has brought about afundamental change to their organisation and“modus operandi”. In the US and UK, forcestructures and the modus operandi, haveradically changed to reflect the need to havehighly mobile forces available to react to awide variety of “out of theatre” contingencies,including peacekeeping and humanitarian aid.Indeed the focus has moved away from theneed to conduct warfare in a deliberate andset-piece manner, with large formations, towarfare conducted quickly by lightly equippedbut highly mobile forces of all arms, able toreact quickly and effectively to changingdemands. This was effectively demonstratedrecently by the UK in Sierra Leone with theinsertion of Airborne and Amphibious Forcesto help restore law and order in that country.Such forces, by their mobility are able to retainthe element of surprise and are generally ableto create the impression of having greaternumbers deployed than is actually the case.Whilst the ADF today has contracted fromits former size, it nevertheless continues toreflect the structure and organisation of amuch larger force. This is particularly sowithin Army where there still remains muchhollowness, and whilst Army 21 andRestructuring the Army (RTA) have gone along way in redefining Army’s future structureand role, they do not reflect the wider ADFmodus operandi of the future. In similar vein,the RAN since the end of World War II hascontinued to develop and acquire capabilitiesconsistent with perceived conventional navalrequirements. The RAN has however nowdeveloped a modest amphibious capabilitywith the bringing into service of the LPA’s(amphibious transports) HMAS Kanimbla andManoora to augment the Amphibious HeavyLift Ship, HMAS Tobruk and the LCH’s(landing craft heavy). The employment of thehigh speed Catamaran, HMAS Jervis Bay, also

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