In this report, the major presentations and discussions at the Williams Foundation seminar on the requirements for fifth generation manoeuvre held on October 24, 2019 in Canberra, Australia are highlighted along with interviews conducted before, during and after the seminar as well.
The definition by Air Commodore Gordon of the Air Warfare Centre:
“The ability of our forces to dynamically adapt and respond in a contested environment to achieve the desired effect through multiple redundant paths. Remove one vector of attack and we rapidly manoeuvre to bring other capabilities to bear through agile control.”
The Australians are working through how to generate more effective combat and diplomatic capabilities for crafting, building, shaping and operating an integrated force.
And the need for an integrated force built along the lines discussed at the Williams Foundation over the past six years, was highlighted by Vice Admiral David Johnston, Deputy Chief of the ADF at the recent Chief of the Australian Navy’s Seapower Conference in held in Sydney at the beginning of October:
“It is only by being able to operate an integrated (distributed) force that we can have the kind of mass and scale able to operate with decisive effect in a crisis.”
The need for such capabilities was highlighted by the significant presentation by Brendan Sargeant at the seminar where he addressed the major strategic shift facing Australia and why the kind of force transformation which the Williams Foundation seminars have highlighted are so crucial for Australia facing its future.
In the future there will be times when we need to act alone, or where we will need to exercise leadership.
We have not often had to do this in the past – The INTERFET operation in Timor, and RAMSI in the Solomon Islands are examples.
We are far more comfortable operating as part of a coalition led by others. It is perhaps an uncomfortable truth, but that has been a consistent feature of our strategic culture.
So I think our biggest challenge is not a technical or resource or even capability challenge – it is the enormous psychological step of recognising that in the world that we are entering we cannot assume that we have the support of others or that there will be others willing to lead when there is a crisis. We will need to exercise the leadership, and I think that is what we need to prepare for now.
To return to the title of this talk: if we want assured access for the ADF in the Asia Pacific, then we need to work towards a world that ensures that that access is useful and relevant to the sorts of crises that are likely to emerge.
I will leave one last proposition with you. Our assured access for the ADF in the Asia Pacific will be determined by our capacity to contribute to regional crisis management.
That contribution will on some occasions require that we lead.
The task now is to understand what this means and build that capacity.
In short, it is not just about the kinetic capabilities, but the ability to generate political, economic and diplomatic capabilities which could weave capabilities to do environment shaping within which the ADF could make its maximum contribution.
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Hi Intensity Operations and Sustaining Self Reliance - final report released by Robbin Laird, Second Line of Defense and Williams Foundation Fellow.
The latest Williams Seminar held in Canberra on April 11, 2019 focused on the strategic shift for Australia within the context of the evolving global situation.
Facing the rising challenge posed by the 21st century authoritarian states, and by the changing nature of alliances in the Pacific and in Europe, Australia needs to enhance its sovereign capabilities to operate within a regional or global crisis.
And this requires, Australia to have more capability to sustain its evolving integrated force and to do so in the service of the direct defense of Australia.
The Williams Foundation Seminar: The Requirements of High Intensity Warfare. Presentations are now available on the website.
On 21 March the Williams Foundation was proud to welcome Dr Robbin Laird as a Williams Foundation Fellow.
The Board thanks Dr Laird for his continued contribution to the core goal of the Williams Foundation; to promote the development and effective implementation of national security and defense policies as they impact on Australia’s ability to generate air power appropriate to its unique geopolitical environment and values.
The Board and members of the Foundation greatly value the support Dr Laird has provided in the past and looks forward to continuing your involvement in future Williams Foundation programs.
For bios of our Research Fellows, AVM John Blackburn AO (Retd), Dr Alan Stephens and Dr Robbin Laird visit our webpage.
Also see link Second Line of Defence
Dr Robbin Laird
Second Line of Defense The Future of Electonic Warfare
Final Report: A New Approach and Attitude to Electronic Warfare in Australia
08/26/2017 – The Williams Seminars now for several years has been looking at the emergence and potential evolution of a fifth-generation combat force.
In effect, the recent seminar was a case study of the tron warfare piece of building an integrated force which can operate a variety of payloads in a diversity of conflict situations. …
After 26 years of continuous combat deployments, major combat operations, and surges, the United States Air Force’s level of readiness is below the hollow force levels of the late 1970s. The effect has been to reduce an Air Force once capable of two simultaneous major regional conflicts to one that could effectively muster a win in one region at the cost of its remaining global combat capability. High-end, fourth-generation fighters, coupled with healthy sortie rates, flying time, and realistic training scenarios, made the latter half of the 1980s a model for readiness. An assessment of today’s Air Force in each of those three areas reveals a marked decline in capability. Senior Air Force leaders need to convey the real level of readiness to Congress and the Trump Administration in a way that will get this service the funding and support that it needs to regain absolute air dominance.
Link to article here
Download report here
Dr Robbin Laird has released the final report from the Williams Foundation seminar on Force Integration held on 11 April 2017.
Designing the Integrated Force: The Australian Defense Force Repositions for the Next Phase of 21st Century Force Structure Development
04/27/2017 – If you do not set of the objective of trying to optimize combat capability and consider that shaping the joint effect as a key means to doing so, then the challenge is clear.
How do you get a strategic handle on where your force is moving to and how do you ensure that it is as effective, lethal and sustainable as possible?
The Williams Foundation, PO Box 5214, KINGSTON ACT 2604