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  • 28 Apr 2020 6:04 PM | Anonymous

    Dr Robbin Laird, Research Fellow, The Williams Foundation, Canberra, Australia has released a new report.

    The Williams Foundation research fellow, Dr Robbin Laird, has opened the aperture on the debate around an integrated 5th generation ADF with an insightful examination into the development of the Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessel. Conceived not simply as a replacement platform but as an adaptable and integrated capability within a joint force, Dr Laird presents the OPV program as a model for future capability development. This report compliments his previous work on 5th Generation air power Concepts within the ADF.

    VADM Tim Barrett AO, CSC, RAN (Retd), Former Chief of Navy and Williams Foundation Director

    The Coming of the Australian Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel: A Case Study of Building a New Platform for the Australian Fifth Generation Force

    The Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessel is the first of the new build platforms.
    It provides the template with regard to the entire reset of how the Australians are seeking to build out their integrated distributed force.
    The contours of the new template are in place and can be identified and this report provides an initial identification and assessment of the new approach.
    The new build OPV is not just a new platform; it is the spearhead of a new approach. And that approach as well as the OPV template is the focus of this report.

    E-book version

    Report - single page 

    Second Line of Defense website

  • 17 Nov 2019 7:49 AM | Anonymous

    Final Report - Dr Robbin Laird

    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.

    What is fifth generation manoeuvre?

    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.

    Direct download of the report:

    And for an ebook version

    or for a direct read of the e book version

  • 01 May 2019 8:11 PM | Anonymous

    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 report can be downloaded here.
  • 30 Sep 2018 6:46 AM | Anonymous
    The Williams Foundation Seminar on the Imperative for an Independent Strike Deterrent, August 23, 2018.

    In this report, the major presentations and discussions at the Williams Foundation seminar on the imperative for an independent strike deterrent held on August 23, 2018 in Canberra, Australia are highlighted along with interviews conducted before, during and after the seminar as well. The focus is upon shaping an effective deterrent strategy as the ADF works its way forward with force integration.

    Link to (ebook version) 

    Report Author: Dr. Robbin F. Laird, Research Fellow, The Williams

  • 26 Apr 2018 8:27 AM | Anonymous
    Dr Robbin Laird, Second Line of Defense has released the final report of our recent Conference on on the Requirements of High Intnsive Warfare

  • 29 Mar 2018 7:36 AM | Anonymous

    The Williams Foundation Seminar: The Requirements of High Intensity WarfarePresentations are now available on the website. 

  • 28 Mar 2018 7:43 AM | Anonymous

    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 

  • 27 Aug 2017 2:49 PM | Anonymous

    Robbin Laird
    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. …

  • 01 May 2017 9:06 AM | Anonymous

    April 2017, The Heritage Foundation

    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

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