Australia’s Army: A Future Ready Land Force

The following is a transcript of Acting Head Land Capability Brigadier Ian Langford’s speech to the ADM Congress, which took place in Canberra on Wednesday 22 June 2022. A list of references made in this speech are available through the Australian Army Research Centre website.

“It is my aim today to talk to you about our Army, but more specifically, land power as it relates to conduct of combat operations in a modern, high threat environment. This is to be expected, and as the Ukraine conflict is revealing, remains a relevant modality of warfare today.

In addition to preparing for these types of operational contingencies, it is also worth recognising the important recent contribution Army has made to our nation over the past two years where we have been extremely busy responding to domestic crises to include pandemics, bushfires and flooding...”

“In conclusion, I want to again thank the event organisers for a chance to brief you here today.

Rest assured, Army is paying attention to the need to be an agile and effective member of the joint force. Responding to the challenges of future warfare must recognise war’s unchanging nature, in addition to reflecting its changing character. With respect to the war in Ukraine, we are watching this very closely.

For Army, an initial response to these challenges will be four-fold. First, the ways in which we conceptualise how to employ land warfare especially across the Indo-Pacific region warrants continual review to ensure that operating approaches are effective against contemporary and forecasted threats.

Secondly, Army must continue to focus on how it operationally generates its forces, to include how it trains, educates, and prepares its people and equipment.

Thirdly, Army must continue to prioritise its development and application of emerging technologies, to include robotics, tactical drones and automation, for this is how small Army’s generates the type of “small, cheap and many” tactical asymmetries needed to win in war, and lastly, Army must continue to balance its capabilities to ensure its maximum utility to the joint force – this includes its planned acquisition of long range offensive fires, its ability to set and command operational theatres through its battle management systems and its own contribution to joint force projection through its planned acquisition and upgrade of its aviation and littoral projection capabilities”.

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