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

adfjournal.adc.edu.au

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

40AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE JOURNAL NO. 150 SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2001Defence capabilities need to be assessed fortheir utility in meeting these requirements.The adoption of a maritime strategy as acornerstone of Australian Defence Policy andthe development of integrated capabilities willensure that the ADF is able to respond in anappropriate manner to a wide range of threats.This is not dissimilar to the function of civilianemergency services, which are equipped,trained and prepared for a wide variety ofpotential tasks. The nature of the task at thetime will determine what resources will bedeployed. The secret to success being theability to quickly judge what resources arerequired to meet the task and the speed ofresponse. It will be vital for Australia’sstanding within the region in the future thatany military response is seen to be effective.This requires the establishment and preparationof a force that is well trained and prepared tobe able to act quickly and robustly to anygiven situation and to have the inherentflexibility to adjust to a changing situation.The establishment of a Maritime Strategyas a cornerstone of Defence policyconsiderably enhances the ADF’s ability todeploy within the region and confers upon theADF an ability to maximise the land, sea andair space for manoeuvres. When the principlesof Mobility and Flexibility are applied, theADF will acquire a significant capability toremain responsive to changing circumstancesand requirements within the region, includingmainland Australia and the offshore territories.To this end Army have now developed aconcept for warfighting in the littoral entitled –Manoeuvre Operations in the LittoralEnvironment (MOLE), 2 which is likely toremain relevant until at least 2020.Manoeuvre Operations in the LittoralEnvironment allow land forces as part of anADF deployed joint force or regional coalitionto achieve the strategic outcomes of deterrence,coercion or denial through the creation ofoperational shock. 3 Operational shock literallymeans paralysing the enemy to the point ofcollapse. Operational shock is achieved bycombining advanced technologies, tacticalproficiency and creative patterns of manoeuvrein order to generate a series of events againstwhich an enemy is unable to respond.The rational dislocation and emotionaldisorientation that results provide anumerically smaller force with the bestopportunity to discourage a rational enemyfrom further offensive action. 4Retaining the initiative and freedom ofaction, especially when the enemy is militarilymore powerful than Australia, will be essentialboth to achieve operational shock and to avoidpiecemeal destruction. Tying down forces tohold ground may reduce the options forsubsequent manoeuvre, thereby threateningthe deployed task force’s capacity to retain theinitiative. In some circumstances, however, thedeployed task force may need to seize and holdground in conjunction with manoeuvre. Ingeneral the operational requirement may bebest met by a number of actions of limitedduration to achieve limited objectives.Manoeuvre Operations in the Littoral seeksto concentrate overwhelming effects atparticular places and times. This may beachieved by conducting simultaneousoperations at a tempo the enemy cannot matchincluding simultaneous forced entry from boththe sea and air. The forces that conduct theseentry operations may then conduct manoeuvreoperations, or seize and hold points of entryfor larger or more capable follow-on forces.Following successful manoeuvre operationsthere will usually be the requirement totransition to stability operations. Stabilityoperations are likely to involve at the outset,manoeuvre forces prior to handover to forcesmore appropriately configured for the conductof these operations.To acquire such a capability the ADF wouldneed to critically examine its force structureand levels of readiness. The development ofsuch a force would require that its key modusoperandi be established upon the concepts of

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