Today’s Australian on Defence

I had an early morning call (at 09.30) telling me to buy the Australian today.  The Defence Section is essential reading (though you have heard almost all of it already!).  The article by Rick Burr is a puff-piece exercise on how to use 1,000 words to say nothing …

Apparently, the new government wants to review our purchase of 78 Abrams tanks as they are concerned about armed drones using them as targets.  Who knew?  Why weren’t our military midgets told about armed drones?  After all, we have a whole Strategic Planning & Future Warfare department in Russell Offices headed by a Major-General ‘commanding’ about 60-100 staff (if you include the civilian academics and external consultants).  Their sole function is to determine the changing face of the battlefields of the future and recommend the force structure, its size, how it will fight and (in broad terms) the equipment it will need to achieve the objective.

Two points:

  1. They do not suggest, plan or determine the doctrine on how the military will be deployed or how they will use their materiel to fight the actual battles (that’s the responsibility of Operations Command).
  2. DMO has the right to modify suggested equipment (to suit the ‘unique’ Oz environment).  This requires independent input (and the following is deliberately designed to fry your brain) from AWRE, MRL, PE&E, TTU, Log Comd, Trg Comd, ONA, ASIO, ASIS, FS&P, OH&S, RAEME Technical Branch, Corps Heads, other Fort Fumble departments & Uncle Tom Cobbly and all his relatives.  There are new inputs from the Climate Change Assessment Department {not a joke}, the Joint Defence Diversity, Gender & Equity Department {not a joke} and the Environment & Sustainability Section (managed by the BoM).  They can also ask for external reviews by RAND and innumerable tame consulting firms if they are not getting the ‘right answer’ (which is the thought-bubble that first occurred to them).  The decision to build the Bushmaster took 8-years.  The current decision on the IFV has been under consideration for over two years as DMO and the people who will die in them disagree on which vehicle they should buy.  Ennie, Meenie, Minee, Mo …

Two articles are striking:

  1. Defence spent several years and – wait for it – $960M EVALUATINGthe Israeli Command & Control Battle Management System, then rejected it without explanation.  After all, what would the Israeli’s know about fighting wars against hugely superior numbers.  As best as I can ascertain ELBIT (the Israeli company) refused to modify it as DMO demanded.  After all DMO are the masters of change management and improvements …  Secondly, some of the software was ‘sealed’ as the Israelis would not reveal how it performed some tasks.  This was unacceptable to Operations Command as they felt the Israelis could use it to spy on us, you know, like the Chinese do every day.

Alistair Pope

  1. 0419-367-726


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  • Kenneth Taylor May 28, 2022  

    Nothing has changed. The pompous gronks up top build castles in the sky and the poor bloody digger has to go in and collect the rent. Only trouble is they didn’t put in a Draw Bridge and the mote is full of crocks.

    A better use of money and time would of course be to invite those who are going to use the equipment to evaluate it. But hell what would the Canon Fodder know about evaluating and using the equipment? The B.S.C, needs a good clean out and replacement with Service Personnel who know what it is like to duck and weave over the patch they have fought over. Get rid of the desk jockey’s and those leachers from the civvy swamps. Put the money to a better use and get rid these dam civilian academics and external consultants they are as useful as a hole in a fuel tank.
    A good example of Experts doing their thing is the Sydney Fairy’s, and 8 years to make a decision? The Dam Second World War only lasted 6 years. Thank God these over payed pompous gronks were not in charge then.

  • Alan Foyle May 28, 2022  

    Don’t worry, Elmer Fudd the PM and his offsider Penny WANG will protect us from the baddies. Labor, the parade of the dopes in Australia.

  • Jack Snell June 9, 2022  

    What a way to treat the people who actually have to use this equipment.

    Since the Tange reorganisation (remember Gough?) we have had more reviews and reorganisations of the equipment procurement system than the average Digger gets hot dinners and still we manage to stuff it up royally. When will we get rid of all these politically correct entities and get down to Defence’s core business. I think it is attributed to George Orwell that we sleep soundly in our beds at night because rough men are prepared to do violence on our behalf. The job is to manage violence, not pander to every fad the civvies and especially politicians can think up.

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