In 2021, the Royal Australian Air Force celebrated 100 years of service - a monumental achievement celebrated all around Australia. The Central Blue marked the occasion by seeking submissions which answered the question; What will the RAAF look like in 2121? What lessons from the past 100 years can we apply to the next 100? And How do we build and grow people for the future Force?
Submissions which pushed the creative boundaries and forced the reader to imagine a new future were considered for the Dr Alan Stephens Air Power Literary Prize.
The Central Blue received a number of high calibre entries, with many varied and interesting themes. While there can only be one winner, we felt it particularly pertinent to offer two honourable mentions.
Squadron Leader Brendon Bishop made the Case for a Universal Multi-Domain Shipping Container. He highlighted that the standardisation of containers was revolutionary to the global domain, and yet, these successes would not be sufficient for #AirForce2121. Identifying the shortfalls of current technology, Bishop offers the next step for logistics to enhance this essential operational element. As Bishop demonstrates, the integration of information technology and conversion to multi-domain standardisation is not only vital for the Air Force, but for the globe.
We also want to highlight Ben Luther’s submission who asked us to re-think the role of a key Air Force function: Test & Evaluation. In his reflective piece, Ben considers what future Test and Evaluation will have to contend with. He asks the question: is the approach, which is based in 1950s thinking fit-for-purpose over the next century?
While there are a number of other stellar contributions which you can read on our webpage, we can only have one prize winner. We are pleased to announce the 2021 Dr Alan Stephens Air Power Literary Prize winner is Wing Commander Travis Hallen and his 12 year old, Hamilton-obsessed daughter (who plans to join the RAAF).
In his submission Losing Jefferson, Hallen has his readers enthralled from start to finish. He used science fiction to explore an Air Force where autonomous drones are not a reality, but a leading contributor to personnel security. He described a world where humans put their utmost trust in machines, built personal connections and developed the bonds of mateship.
We congratulate Wing Commander Travis Hallen, and his daughter, on their winning article.