Brainstorming the Future
(Source: Royal Australian Navy; issued Oct 05, 2017)
Defence is holding its first force design conference to gather ideas from around Australia and the globe on designing the future force.

Decision-makers, practitioners, innovators, military partners, and researchers from Defence, industry, academia, and government agencies will join forces in Canberra from 10-11 October to discuss how to design and deliver a joint Australian Defence Force that is capable, potent and agile.

Deputy Director Force Options Development Commander Roger Fonhof, from Force Design Division, said the division, established last year post the First Principles Review, was transforming the way Defence undertakes force design, by making the force structure review a business-as-usual process.

“Force design is one of the big changes resulting from the First Principles Review,” Commander Fonhof said.

“It will finally provide Defence with an enduring capacity to review itself, to make sure we have the right mix of capability to do what we need to do today and in the future.

“We need to answer questions such as: What does the Australian Defence Force need today, tomorrow and well into the future? How can we maximise innovation and technology to give us an edge?

How do we continue to deliver an Australian Defence Force fit-for-purpose for today’s operations while also designing an Australian Defence Force that can not only fight but win, in future operations?”

Force Design Division is seeking to create a collaborative environment to promote creative thinking and to explore force option opportunities.

Commander Fonhof said it was critical the Australian Defence Force achieved the best fit in terms of capability and resources available while keeping within its budget.

“So it’s about frank and fearless advice, the understanding of options, benefits, trade-offs and implications,” he said.

Head Navy Capability Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead said Navy had embarked upon the most ambitious recapitalisation of its Fleet and supporting infrastructure since the Second World War.

“This offers both opportunities and challenges, but Navy’s potential will only be realised through a joint approach, which encompasses force design through to integrated warfighting,” Rear Admiral Mead said.

“It is absolutely essential that Navy’s needs and requirements are developed through a joint lens, and force design is the pathway by which we materialise our future order of combat.”

Head Force Design Air Vice Marshal Mel Hupfeld said he encouraged leaders in the fields of innovation, research and Defence to provide their ideas on areas such as collaboration, experimentation, wargaming, innovation, and options development to help Defence deliver a joint force by design.

“I’d like to enlist the collective wisdom to help the ongoing professionalization of our workforce and evolve the world-class tools, techniques and methodologies we need, so that every soldier, sailor and airman and airwoman has access to the best capability systems solutions at the right time in the right location,” Air Vice Marshal Hupfeld said.

“We have to be able to provide a clear, coherent, relatable and consistent capability narrative to both the public and government. This narrative must begin internally, before we begin our engagement with other external stakeholders, including central agencies, industry and academia.

“We draw on experts and information sources from both within the department and beyond. In particular, we work closely with our Service Chiefs and Group Heads who play a vital role providing input into force design, as well as a critical role in shaping the design of the future force.”

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