Home' Defence Magazine : Defence Magazine Issue 1 2018 Contents 54 Defence Issue 1 2018
FTER two years as the inaugural Head of
Force Design, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld
handed over the reins to Rear Admiral
Stuart Mayer in March 2018.
Since being stood up on April 1, 2016,
Force Design Division, part of the VCDF Executive
in ADF Headquarters, has been busy maintaining the
integrity of the Integrated Investment Program (IIP).
At the same time, the division has been building
a Force Design methodology and is poised to deliver
the design of a capable, agile and potent future force.
In its first 18 months, the Division helped imple-
ment two of the key First Principles Review (FPR)
a strong, strategic centre to strengthen accounta-
bility and top level decision-making, and
a single end-to-end capability development
function within the Department to maximise the
efficient, effective and professional delivery of
Mel views the Division’s role as providing the
‘front-end’ to an innovative process that translates
strategic policy into a vision of the future force struc-
ture and provides proposals that are consistent with
the Government’s requirements of the future ADF.
Reflecting on his role, Mel says his remit was to
ensure the ADF of the future was a truly integrated
force with optimal cross-service, cross-platform, and
key international partner interoperability.
“We are the sum of all our parts. As a small force,
we are more potent when we are working together,”
“We can ensure there is not a level playing field
[with respect to a potential adversary] by being more
integrated across the ADF, as well as with our allies.”
He says the process of designing an integrated
‘One Defence’ force is complex, continuous and
Force Design Division has adopted a busi-
ness-as-usual cycle of tasks to replace the previously
episodic Force Structure Reviews. This includes
introducing a Force Design Cycle that summarises
how the Division will deliver evidence-based capabil-
ity investment and force structure options.
The Defence Capability Assessment Program
(DCAP) was also developed as the program of activ-
ities through which the Force Design Cycle will be
The Force Design Cycle and DCAP have the abil-
ity to operate at different rates to support Defence’s
response to both short notice changes and longer term
forecasts in the strategic, environment or technical
It is also designed to be iterative, building on the
knowledge, decisions and perspectives captured in
This is intended to provide Defence and
Government with a more effective organisational and
decision-making model that builds a collective under-
standing of the current, planned, and future force and
how these elements align with strategic guidance,
resources and circumstances.
“This process monitors long-term trends and grad-
ual shifts but also builds a warm base of evidence that
enables us to be agile and responsive to surprises,”
“Regardless of timeframes, the purpose of Force
Design Division is to provide decision makers with
early, evidence-based analysis to enable capability
and investment trade-off decisions.
“We cannot afford to allow investment in capabili-
ties that don’t or won’t integrate with the Joint Force,
and that don’t fit within appropriate balance of invest-
“Likewise, we cannot afford to be inefficient in
decision timelines, nor fail in being agile in response
to rapidly developing technology, and threat, and stra-
It has been a whirlwind two years for the develop-
ing division, as it designed and started to lay down its
path to meet Government requirements for FPR.
The Division is championing innovative and
unique strategies that are now being followed around
the world, as the ADF leads the way by implementing
a continual review of a truly integrated force.
Force Design Division, alongside the Integrated
Portfolio Management Branch, have focused on the
implementation of the IIP, which streamlines funding
and prioritisation across six over-arching streams,
instead of focusing on individual projects in isolation.
This allows decision makers within Defence and
Government to understand how each investment will
support or impact the broader Joint Force.
Aurora Daniels and
The Force Design Division has been busy designing
a capable future force
DESIGN AND ITS
ARE ALL OF DEFENCE,
ARE CRITICAL TO
ACHIEVING THE BEST
AIR MARSHAL MEL HEPFELD,
FORMER HEAD FORCE DESIGN
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