02 June 2017

News Story: More Than Joint - The Aussies Forge A Way Ahead

A RAAF F-35 Lightning Fighter

Australian Air Marshal Leo Davies highlighted the “institutional interoperability which the Royal Australian Air Force was shaping with its closest allies, and notably with the US Air Force and the US Navy during his recent visit to the US. The Aussies are not simply camp followers – they are shaping a way ahead an integrated force, rather than staying at the service platform level.

When Davies introduced the new RAAF strategy at the Avalon Air Show earlier this year, he highlighted the service’s way ahead:

“I don’t believe we, as an Air Force, understand how joint we need to be. We have come a long way – we talk a lot about joint, but I am not sure we are culturally able to shift from doing Air Force stuff first. I would like the Air Force in a joint context to begin to put the joint effect before our own Air Force requirements.”

When I interviewed him recently in his Canberra office, Davies underscored that the RAAF and the other services were adding new platforms as part of force modernization. But adding a new platform, even a key one like the F-35 was not enough to generate force transformation.

“It is not about how does this new platform fit into the force as it is, it is about how does this new platform enable the force to fight the way we need to be able to in the future?

“It has to be realistic but in a sense the reality we are looking at is not just the Air Force as it has fought in the past and present, but the Air Force as it vectors towards the future fight. If you don’t do this you will be only discussing and debating platforms in the historical combat space,” he said. “And when we come to new platform decisions, we are positioning ourselves to ask the right question of the services: How does a particular platform fit how we will need to fight in 10 year’s time? Is the Navy or the Army or the Air Force entitled to that particular capability choice if it doesn’t fit that criteria?”

Read the full story at Breaking Defense