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Chief of the Army explains doctrine in interview with Defence Connect

Chief of the Army explains doctrine in interview with Defence Connect

10 August 2020

Spearheading the evolution now transforming the Australian Army, Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO, is responsible for ensuring the force is ‘ready now and future ready’ to meet the missions of today and the future.

The ‘Army in Motion’ philosophy necessitates a force that is continuously adapting to an ever-changing environment

The ‘Army in Motion’ philosophy necessitates a force that is continuously adapting to an ever-changing environment

Speaking to Momentum Media’s director – defence and aerospace Phillip Tarrant, LTGEN Burr spoke about the central idea of an ‘Army in Motion’ in context to the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan.

The ‘Army in Motion’ concept recognises the major challenge of ‘Accelerated Warfare’, which describes changes occurring in global, regional and domestic operating environments.

According to LTGEN Burr, the ‘Army in Motion’ philosophy necessitates a force that is continuously adapting to an ever-changing environment, taking guidance from its core strengths and principles, yet always remaining open to developing new ways of employing capabilities.

“In many respects the future's already here, and it really imposed on us as an Army to think about how we organise to accelerate in our own response to that and how we think of ourselves to be able to be ready now, but also gear up for that future,” he told Tarrant. 

“That's been the central philosophy of what we've called the Army in Motion; an Army that needs to continuously adapt to an ever-changing environment, to not be fixed in its ways but be guided by its core strengths, the principles that underpin how we employ capabilities.”

The Australian Army is often called upon to meet myriad challenges facing decision makers – as technology has evolved, so too have the operating concepts and doctrine available to the Army.

The Commonwealth government recently announced a $270 billion investment in modernising the Australian Defence Force, and a growing focus on the Indo-Pacific region.

The Army is expected to be the beneficiary of $55 billion over the next decade, with a focus on building Army’s capacity to conduct traditional, high intensity combat capabilities.

The 2020 Defence Strategic Update and 2020 Force Structure Plan, released on 1 July 2020, have been major themes directing commentary and analysis on Momentum’s integrated media and market intelligence platform for the defence sector, Defence Connect.

According to Tarrant, it was a privilege to have a discussion with the Chief of the Army so soon after the delivery of these two foundation documents and hear first-hand how the Chief was shaping the Australian Army.

“An ‘Army in Motion’ is the central idea to how the Army responds to ‘Accelerated Warfare’ and contributes to the wider Defence strategy for ensuring the sovereignty of Australia,” Tarrant said.

“LTGEN Burr articulated these two guiding pillars of Army doctrine in context with the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plan, offering insights and narrative into how the backbone of the Army – its people – will deliver on it.

“The Chief was clear that good soldiering, recruitment and retention of talent was central to the future of the Army, and creating the next generation of leadership. 

“Talented and capable people are the Army’s competitive advantage. This was a major theme of the discussion, and a clear priority for LTGEN Burr as he continues to shape the army to respond to any challenge,” Tarrant said.