Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 3 2010 Contents 11
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ChIEF OF ThE DEFENCE FORCE’S COLUMN
It is difficult to believe that it has already been 10 months since the concept of
the Strategic Reform Program (SRP) was introduced to everyone. At that time,
we established the SRP’s importance in achieving a more effective and efficient
Real reform can now begin
The Government has now endorsed our
implementation plan and we are able to begin the
real work of the SRP. The Secretary and I are really
pleased to have reached this stage because we
can get down to the work of truly embarking on the
implementation phase of the SRP.
The strategic environment we face is ambiguous
and challenging, and we need to ensure our ADF
has the capability required to respond effectively in
such an uncertain environment. What the SRP does
is to deliver a stronger, more agile, harder-hitting
and muscular defence force for Australia.
The SRP will deliver gross cost reductions of
around $20 billion, to be re-invested into the
delivery of stronger military capabilities. It will also
go towards remediating areas where there has
not been enough funding in the past; and it will
modernise the Defence enterprise – all of which is
absolutely essential to support the ADF.
As an organisation, Defence must actively
minimise waste, improve processes, and ensure
that our time and money is being invested wisely.
Of course, the reforms required by the SRP are
not going to be easy, however there is a level of
senior leadership commitment to this program that
I have not seen in this organisation before. It is this
united leadership that I believe will take Defence
forward to ensure we can deliver Force 2030.
Cost reduction is vitally important to the Program,
but it has to be reform-led. I can assure you that
the success and safety of ADF operations, training
and people has stayed at the forefront of my mind
during the planning phase of the SRP. The ADF
has a hard-earned reputation for excellence on
operations and it is not one that I am prepared to
jeopardise – our people are first-class and deserve
to be supported in the best possible way.
The Prime Minister has made it very clear that he
regards Australia’s security as a key Government
objective. We need to be able to defend Australia
by having the ability to deter and defeat armed
attack. We also need to have the adaptability to
move into the South-Pacific – whether on natural
disaster missions, relief operations or stabilisation
and security operations. Similarly, we need the
option to be able to provide tailored Defence
contributions in the Asia-Pacific or further afield if
required. These capabilities constitute the essence
of our military strategy.
When each of the Services’ individual reform
programs are complete, I believe Force 2030 will
truly be a joint force that can excel on joint and
inter-agency operations and make a meaningful
contribution to coalition operations.
Now that the SRP has been endorsed by
Government, Defence is accountable for this
reform. I am very satisfied that we have developed
a robust and comprehensive performance
monitoring system with a very strong emphasis on
ensuring that reforms are not only implemented
but that Defence capability will not be adversely
The Government, the Defence Strategic Reform
Advisory Board, the Secretary and I believe we are
well-positioned for success, but the reform plan
is long-term and each step is vitally important.
Further, the SRP crucially relies on cultural and
behavioural change across the organisation;
indeed, it is paramount to its success. It is
therefore up to each and every one of us to
contribute and commit to this program of reform.
For that reason, I am encouraging everyone in
Defence to be innovative; to have confidence in
themselves, their team and our organisation; to be
resourceful; to collaborate across boundaries; to
take ownership of the reform and the plan; and to
challenge themselves and each other – and to start
today. Because we are building Force 2030 today
and every day from now on.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone who was
instrumental in developing the implementation
plan. The high levels of collaboration and
consultation have been evident throughout this
whole process, and your enthusiasm and careful
analysis have been particularly impressive.
“I am encouraging everyone in Defence to be innovative;
to have confidence in themselves, their team and our
organisation; to be resourceful; to collaborate across
boundaries; to take ownership of the reform and the plan;
and to challenge themselves and each other – and to start
- Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston
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