Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 4 2009 Contents ADAPtIVe ARMY
a more adaptive organisation that is better
able to generate and prepare land forces
for contemporary and future conflicts
is the new-look adaptive army being
implemented in 2009.
Army is undergoing its most significant
organisational and cultural changes in a
generation. This will see new approaches to
training and education, improved technology
and better management of land material being
embraced, making Army more relevant and
responsive to the challenges of the future.
Chief of Army Lieutenant General (LTGEN)
Ken Gillespie said the Adaptive Army initiative
would better position Army to carry out its
responsibilities in generating and preparing its
forces for operations, while ensuring the most
effective and transparent use of resources.
“We must ensure that Army’s structures and
processes are appropriate for the challenges we
face – now and in the future,” LTGEN Gillespie said.
But the changes will not happen overnight.
“This is an ongoing process and I see one of
the principal challenges of my time in command
of the Army is to ensure that we are positioned to
be able to continually adapt to the environment
around us,” LTGEN Gillespie said.
The last time that Army undertook such
a wide-ranging self-examination was in the
early 1970s when Army adopted the Functional
Command structure (Training Command, Forces
Command and Logistics Command) which was
used, with some changes, until the end of 2008.
“However, this approach is outdated and
is no longer appropriate to the current security
environment or new joint command and control
arrangements,” LTGEN Gillespie said.
“There are, arguably, too many headquarters
and this slows down decision cycles – it
prevents the quick sharing of lessons learned
and it challenges the implementation of mission
command, so we need to address this situation.”
The Adaptive Army initiative was born from the
work done by a team of planners from across the
Army that developed and war-gamed a range of
options to ensure that Army can raise and prepare
land forces more effectively and efficiently.
A key characteristic of the Adaptive Army is
that it must continually review and adapt to remain
fit for the changing environment. For Defence there
are exciting times ahead as the Army evolves in
order to continue achieving operational excellence
and the Chief of Army is looking forward to seeing
the changes fully realised.
Until now, much of the implementation of
Adaptive Army has been structural change.
However this is only the tip of the iceberg. The
organisational changes that have already
occurred (such as HQ 1st Division becoming a
Functional Command) and those about to occur
(the establishment of Forces Command on 1st
July 2009) are designed to enable a broader
range of changes in the Army. For example, the
establishment of Forces Command will allow Army
to introduce the new Army training continuum.
This provides a unified approach to individual and
collective training under a single command, and
more closely aligns Army’s training continuum
with its operational deployments and preparation
“These changes will allow us to be a better
Army and it will position us well to respond to the
requirements of Government,” LTGEN Gillespie
said. “Through 2009 and beyond we will continue
the development of a hardened, networked,
adaptive – and above all – ready Army.”
Fundamental to the success of the Adaptive
Army concept is the ability to recruit, train,
develop and retain first-class officers, soldiers
and public servants. The Army People Plan has
recently been released and this will shape the
direction in personnel for the next decade.
This stream sees improved, integrated systems
being implemented to improve knowledge
management as well as the use of new
technologies, such as blogs and wikis, to improve
communication throughout Army.
Improved education and Training
A new Army Training Continuum will be
implemented combining individual and
collective training to better prepare forces for
More efficient management processes will be
introduced to reduce the cost of equipment
ownership. Availability of land material will
improve by reducing equipment holdings
within units and increasing the capacity of
the maintenance system from unit level to the
national support base.
changes to army structure
Army Headquarters has been reorganised along
with the formation of a new Forces Command
(focussing on the provision of training),
Headquarters 1st Division (focussed on the
preparation of deploying forces) and Special
nEw APProAch EmBrAcES
By Leila Daniels
We must ensure that Army’s structures
and processes are appropriate for the
challenges we face – now and in the future.
– Chief of Army Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie
The five streams in
implementing an adaptive army:
aBoVe: soldiers from the reconstruction Task
Force build the first of two bridges in afghanistan
in august last year. an example such as this
is part of the adaptive army initiative.
Photo: CPL Neil Ruskin
Private marcus ryan carries an F89 minimi
machine gun on patrol through the Dorafshan
region of southern afghanistan during
operation mani ghar. Photo: CPL Ricky Fuller
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