Power of five drives our future

NEW light has been shed on the imminent 10-year strategy that will shape a world-class, fifth-generation Air Force.

CAF AIRMSHL Leo Davies (pictured) gave a preamble to the 2016-2026 plan during an address to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on July 19.

AIRMSHL Davies outlined five distinct “vectors” that are crucial to the 10-year strategy – joint warfighting, people, communications, infrastructure and international engagement.

He said these five vectors would set Air Force on a path to success.

“The vectors will allow Air Force to adapt to change coherently, but also to prevail against the challenges that will be inherent to Air Force’s future as we become the first fully fifth-generation Air Force in the world,” AIRMSHL Davies said.

“These vectors have been chosen for their simplicity and we can tailor appropriate language for clarity. Vectors have both direction and magnitude and we can measure success against them.

“Delivering this strategy also recognises that Air Force needs to embrace a new view of leadership. We must recognise that corporals are our most junior leaders and leadership belongs at every level of Air Force.”

AIRMSHL Davies said a total fifth generation Air Force would not be realised, or would take longer to deliver, without a strategy to guide the service.

He said infrastructure was one of the vectors because Air Force’s demographic was changing rapidly.

“Today we have over 1000 members who are classed as ‘married with dependents working unaccompanied’. This means they are geographically dislocated from their families for the whole duration of a posting,” he said.

“We need to understand our workforce better, in terms of their needs and their desires, and match our infrastructure to best suit. It is about who they are, where they can work, and how we can work to ensure they stay with us as part of Air Force’s future.”

AIRMSHL Davies said 19.2 per cent of Air Force personnel were women and 1.1 per cent were indigenous, meaning the service did have the best Australia had to offer.

“We have established a clear vision to grow female representation to 25 per cent by 2023, as a minimum and not as a goal,” he said.

Air Force would start tackling the international engagement vector by strengthening its relationship with the International Policy Division in order to support the implementation of the Defence White Paper.

“This will include increasing the priority Air Force places on broader Defence international engagement activities,” he said.

“Air Force will also continue to pursue international engagement opportunities through individual and collective training and exercises to build transparency and trust with other nations, especially those in our region.

AIRMSHL Davies said in coming months he would release a formal strategy and “I welcome your feedback in the interim as we finalise this work”.

 The full transcript of CAF's speech can be read here: http://airpower.airforce.gov.au/UploadedFiles/General/2016_19JULY_ASPI_Speech.pdf