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Human Capability and the Combat Edge

It is human capacity and proficiency, combined with machine technical capabilities, that provide a fighting edge for the ADF

Media Release
13 Oct 2022

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will increase its members in uniform to almost 80,000 strong by the year 2040. To compliment the personnel workforce increase, large scale hardware capability upgrades are imminent. Simply put, training systems must evolve to be more resilient, effaceable, iterative, and flexible, or the ADF may fail to meet expected effectiveness.

It is human capacity and proficiency, combined with machine technical capabilities, that provide a fighting edge for the ADF.

The backdrop of the current geopolitical landscape looms as a large motivator to ensure the ADF is maintaining an advantage over any potential adversary. War fighters must maintain this leverage for the ADF to continue pertinent operations or run the risk of becoming quickly overwhelmed by a numerically superior force.

The Australian Government and industry are rapidly investing in ever increasingly technological advanced and networked hardware. The result being ADF members are obliged to operate in a system wide manner to maximise the battlespace impacts of that capability. It is imperative that both foundational, and role specific training, meets this ever-increasing demand.

For the ADF to remain competitive, the warfighting effect for every single ADF component must be cohesive and impactful. The “common soldier” is no more; but is a walking combative Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) integrator and a feasible linchpin for the services to operate together. The technical and non-technical skill sets required of modern ADF uniformed personnel cannot be underestimated.

Established training architectures have been in place for a long time without a discernible need to change tack other than some modest improvements. While current learning management package frameworks have met legacy training requirements, throughput objectives need to be increased to meet future workforce targets. Growing purchase costs may consequently result in leaner system resources, and coupled with the urgency to increase training potency, requires smarter and more effective training systems, employing appropriate data structures.

Imagine if you will, a data measurement framework across an entire training system that allows commanders and capability managers to better understand and visualise the impacts of training management throughput decisions. The potential exists to adjust specific input levers and measure specific throughput effects, while communicating those decisions in a transparent manner to the command chain, industry, and arguably more importantly, subsequent commanders in training management roles.

Building a long term, pervasive and clear data framework allows for a lineage of capability managers to tweak the system for throughput numbers with corresponding iterative competency upgrades, in concert with industry and changing command intent.

A learner centric training system with human performance at the core, embedded with situational and networked training competencies, delivered alongside a data centric management framework to sharpen output standards, and increase throughput numbers, can meet ADF commitments.

Capability and technology acquisition projects should demand an increased focus on the importance of the training system that delivers the hardware, and personnel capability.