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Combat Call | #FightReady: What is your recommendation for the Defence Strategic review?

On 3 August 2022, the Government announced an independently-led review that will consider Defence's force posture and force structure. The Defence Strategic Review aims to help Defence better understand where it should prioritise investment, as well as ensure the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is well positioned to meet the nation’s security challenges through to 2033 and beyond.

The review comes on the back of the 2020 Defence Strategic Update which highlighted the region's rapidly changing strategic circumstances, and significant reduction in warning time. In calling for the review, the Defence Minister emphasised the rapidly evolving situation “necessitates an immediate analysis of where and how ­defence assets and personnel are best positioned to protect Australia and its national interests.” According to Minister Marles, the review would also explore opportunities to “better integrate and operate” with the United States, the United Kingdom and other strategic partners.

Given the potential for significant change to the structure of the ADF and capability prioritisation, the topic has already generated much discussion on #miltwitter. While it may be tempting to capture your thoughts in 280 characters, The Central Blue is putting the call out for your thoughts in short (300 word) or longer (500-1500 word) formats.

Send us your ideas

Given the speed of the Review, we want to hear from you by 20 November 2022.

Pieces submitted by this time will be eligible for the Dr Alan Stephens Air Power Literary Prize, and be sure to checkout our Author Guidelines before sending your work to

Themes to consider

Interested to respond, but unsure where to start? Consider writing a response to one of these thematic questions:

Strategy & Air Power

  • What is the ADF’s strategy and what role does the RAAF play in it?

  • Is the ADF too focused on one threat?

  • What future strategic challenges require an operational response involving the RAAF?

  • How would you reprioritise air capability in the Integrated Investment program?

  • What investment is required to support ADF preparedness within the air and space domain?

  • What air and space power capabilities do we need to bolster?

  • In what ways should we rely on the AUKUS arrangement?

  • What lessons from recent state-on-state conflict do we need to incorporate into our thinking and investment?

  • What is the role of space capabilities in the current environment?

Acquisition, industry & technology

  • What capabilities should we seek to acquire? What are the pro/cons? What do we cut to fund it?

  • What is industry's role in Australia's future strategic posture?

  • Is the acquisition process adequate to meet the current challenges? Are there any other options? What are they?

  • Should we be investing in more creative ISR and IAMD systems (think floating rigs, balloons and other disposable capabilities) in our northern approaches?

Personnel & basing

  • What ADF & civilian workforce challenges need to be considered in a potential rebasing program?

  • What incentives and initiatives will be required to attract the right technical expertise away from key population centre's to bases and longer-term deployments?

  • What can be learned from FIFO industries such as mining? How might this model be applied in a Defence setting?

  • Are our air bases suitability agile and adequately prioritised and funded?

  • How agile are infrastructure and estate planning & management processes?


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