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  • The Right People in the Right Place at the Right Time

    Not all motivations are the same. Corporal Dylan Williamson demonstrates the importance for supervisors, and the Australian Defence Force as a whole, in understanding the differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Having these motivations balanced correctly helps develop personnel, which in turn benefits the organisation. Motivation is also linked to retention, ensuring the organisation can continue forward supported by driven and experienced members. The process of selecting and nurturing personnel for the appropriate role begins at recruitment. However, as Williamson explains, it is a career long endeavour for leaders at every level to maintain a motivating environment. On the back of the release of the 2020 #AFSTRAT, there have been several posts highlighting the need for creativity within the workforce. Such posts attest that with increased creativity producing an accelerated Observe Orientate Decide Act (OODA) loop, the fighting force will likely have an intellectual and competitive edge. This presents as a plausible argument however, overlooks one of the biggest variables within our organisation: individual motivations. As any supervisor can attest to, giving the same task to two individuals with identical training and experience does not always result in the same outcome - for either efficiency or accuracy. This is common within the technical workforce, and can result in a requirement to balance the “good” technicians between teams to spread their effectiveness on exercises, or to stack efficient workers on one crew when something is high priority. For an organisation to thrive, it must fully understand why this behaviour occurs. One potential reason has to do with how the individual views their role and purpose, and what their motivations are. Someone who treats their role as ‘day job’ versus a long-term career may produce different outcomes. The ‘day job’ worker approaches their day with the mentality of needing to meet a number of tasks which are to be endured in order to go home. They have little interest in achieving anything outside of what is the minimum required. Their behaviour and output may present as inefficient as they look to stretch out a task until the end of the workday in a behaviour referred to as socially loafing. These workers may simply have different motivations, and may not desire to stretch themselves to achieve more unless the reward is worth it. The second type of worker views their role and purpose with the lens of a long-term career. These individuals approach the workday with the mentality of how much can be achieved with the time they have. These individuals are likely to be goal orientated . In order to increase both efficiency and accuracy across the workforce, Air Force should be selective when it comes to motives in recruiting and retaining people for particular roles, as people are the foundation and key to any strategic plan. Motivation types One reason for these two widely different role perspectives may be individual motivations; commonly known as intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. The individual that treats their role as a ‘day job’ may be more extrinsically motivated. Extrinsically motivated individuals are commonly motivated by money or other material objects. Intrinsically motivated individuals are motivated by internal factors. Typically the kinds of things that motivate these individuals may not seem motivating to others, but to the individual, they are significant. For example; successfully fixing an ongoing aircraft maintenance fault, running a marathon or having a piece of writing published. Recruitment and Retention Identifying the right type of individual in the recruitment phase is the first step in having a motivated, creative workforce to aid in increasing the speed of the organisation’s OODA loop. Recruiting the right people with the right type of motivation which best suit their primary role will assist this process. Specifically, identifying someone with aligned role motivations makes managing motivation easier for supervisors; whether that be intrinsic or extrinsic. While identifying motivations in recruitment may assist initially, motives for remaining within Defence can change. Therefore, our organisation needs to continue to support supervisors in understanding how they can adapt to motivating a changing workforce. The importance of recognition One example of how Air Force can retain personnel who are intrinsically motivated is through recognition – of both big and small achievements. When a supervisor, manager or commander takes the time and effort to acknowledge even the small achievements, the individual experiences the neurobiological benefits of intrinsic motivation. Having a Senior Non-commissioned Officer (SNCO) provide a meaningful compliment to their team at a progress point, it can be highly beneficial in maintaining motivation. In this case, it is important to utilise intrinsic motivation as extrinsic reward is not always possible. Another way this can occur is to have individuals create their own ‘to do’ lists and bask in their own satisfaction when they cross something off their list. Rewarding intrinsically motivated personnel needs to be tailored. This means providing something of significance to the specific individual. One such example could be to provide exercise time. If an intrinsically motivated individual wants to exercise over their lunch break, make it happen. If this means giving them a little extra time for lunch then so be it. The productivity gained by these individuals conducting their chosen activity over lunch is likely to outweigh the additional time provided to eat. Furthermore, the organisation would be aiding these individuals by providing the opportunities to chase one of their personal goals during their lunch break which, in turn, generates greater organisational satisfaction. The alternative is for the individual to perceive the organisation as preventing the progression of a personal goal. This is only an example and each case would need to be tailored to the individual by their supervisor. Provide a sense of purpose On the whole, humans live and work through creating meaning. When supervisors, managers, and commanders take the small effort to provide the ‘why’, significant outcomes will be produced. At a flying squadron, one such example may be an executive providing a detailed and specific brief to the workforce about the purpose of the exercise they are about to conduct. Such a brief needs to provide more than just the pre-deployment exercise overview – it needs to contain the purpose. Explaining ‘why’ these missions need to be flown, what they achieve for the organisation as a whole, and how these missions play a role in a real-world scenario is critical to motivation. The right people produce creativity Recruiting the right kinds of people with the right motivation, and placing them in the right role at the right time, is a key prerequisite for cultivating creativity. As the right people build greater experience and knowledge, and are supported correctly with either intrinsic or extrinsic aligned motivations, they are more likely to tackle new problems and adapt to new ideas and environments. They will further build greater confidence to offer ideas that may seem out of the ordinary or non-conventional. They will have the experience to break down ideas that didn’t work to identify why in order to come up with a way to address them. But most importantly, they will build the awareness to identify when something is a problem when it may not be obvious. This awareness directly contributes to the OODA loop of their workforce. Air Force strategy relies on people to achieve strategic goals. Therefore, recruiting and retaining the right kinds of people for the right job is essential to achieve any broader strategy. Corporal Dylan Williamson has spent 13 years in the Air Force as an Armament Technician. Having posted around Hornet Squadrons for his career, he is now posted to 77 Squadron during the first stages of standing F-35 maintenance. CPL Williamson has a Bachelor of Psychological Sciences, and has recently commenced postgraduate studies. He is motivated to strive for ways to improve his squadron’s workforce. The views expressed are his alone and do not reflect the opinion of the Royal Australian Air Force, the Department of Defence, or the Australian Government. References Cerasoli, C. P., Nicklin, J. M., & Ford, M. T. (2014). Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives Jointly Predict Performance: A 40-Year Meta-Analysis. Psychol Bull, 140(4), 980-1008. doi:10.1037/a0035661 Di Domenico, S. I., & Ryan, R. M. (2017). The Emerging Neuroscience of Intrinsic Motivation: A New Frontier in Self-Determination Research. Front Hum Neurosci, 11, 145-145. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2017.00145 Fang, M., Gerhart, B., & Ledford Jr, G. E. (2013). Negative effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation: More smoke than fire. World at Work Quarterly, 16(2), 17-29. Lounsbury, J. W., Moffitt, L., Gibson, L. W., Drost, A. W., & Stevens, M. (2007). An investigation of personality traits in relation to job and career satisfaction of information technology professionals. Journal of information technology, 22(2), 174-183. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jit.2000094 Lounsbury, J. W., Moffitt, L., Gibson, L. W., Drost, A. W., & Stevens, M. (2007). An investigation of personality traits in relation to job and career satisfaction of information technology professionals. Journal of information technology, 22(2), 174-183. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jit.2000094 Magnus Bergendahl, Mats Magnusson & Jennie Björk (2015) Ideation High Performers: A Study of Motivational Factors, Creativity Research Journal, 27:4, 361-368, DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2015.1088266 Peterson, J. B., Doidge, N., & Van, S. E. (2018). 12 rules for life: An antidote to chaos. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being. The American psychologist, 55(1), 68-78. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68 Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2020). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation from a self-determination theory perspective: Definitions, theory, practices, and future directions. Contemporary educational psychology, 61, 101860. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2020.101860 Scott S, W., & Francis J, F. (2013). POWER, MORAL CLARITY, AND PUNISHMENT IN THE WORKPLACE. Academy of Management journal, 56(4), 1002-1023. doi:10.5465/amj.2010.0960 Weston, S. J., Cardador, M. T., Hill, P. L., Schwaba, T., Lodi-Smith, J., & Whitbourne, S. K. (2021). The Relationship Between Career Success and Sense of Purpose: Examining Linkages and Changes. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci, 76(1), 78-87. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbaa162 Wiersma, U. J. (1992). The effects of extrinsic rewards in intrinsic motivation: A meta analysis. Journal of occupational and organizational psychology, 65(2), 101-114. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8325.1992.tb00488.x

  • Leading Edge – Australia’s air and space power in the next century

    In this piece, multiple-time contributor Chris McInnes makes the argument that the RAAF must build the capacity and capability to lead complex air – and now space – operations in its region, either in coalition or isolation. During its first century, many of the RAAF's operations have either been apart of a coalition or even under the direct command of other allied forces. To be ready for the future, McInnes puts forward a number of recommendations to enable the RAAF to independently lead air power operations in its second century. You can follow Chris McInnes on Twitter at @guiness_aus The Royal Australian Air Force’s second century poses new challenges for the service as the comfortable assumptions that shaped its first century crumble. One hundred years of contributing to operations led by others leaves the RAAF ill-prepared to lead operations, but this is precisely what it must be prepared to do in the next century. This will be a profound institutional challenge, but is one which presents opportunities, and one for which the RAAF’s proud achievements provide firm foundations. The RAAF built a fine leadership record in technical and managerial spheres over its first hundred years. From a tiny base in 1939, the RAAF built itself into the world’s fourth largest air force by headcount in 1945. The service’s implementation of airworthiness and technical regulations since the early 1990s has become a benchmark for military aviation and safety around the world, while its force element group (FEG) structure was an innovative construct that positioned the service superbly to manage individual capabilities. These are just a few of many examples of positive RAAF leadership. But examples of strong institutional leadership from the RAAF on operations are harder to find. During World War 2, the RAAF’s organisational leadership – or lack thereof – in the European theatre was best summed up by historian Alan Stephens, as an, “institutional disaster.” Unlike the RCAF which aggregated Bomber Command’s Canadian squadrons under a single group led by a Canadian, the RAAF did not pursue opportunities to direct or influence the operations of Australians in the bomber offensive against Germany. As a result, the RAAF gained limited institutional insight into the challenges of running a major air war. In the Pacific, the RAAF did command its own units in the guises of Nos 9 and 10 Operational Groups and 1st Tactical Air Force, directed by RAAF Command under AVM William Bostock. However, this learning opportunity was squandered by appalling in-fighting between Bostock and AVM George Jones, the RAAF’s chief from 1942 to 1952, and the reality that Australian forces were effectively sidelined after the New Guinea campaign concluded. Jones had Bostock summarily retired in 1946, despite high praise from Bostock’s wartime American operational superiors, and with him went virtually all the RAAF’s experience of operational higher command. The RAAF’s leadership during WW2 is perhaps best summed by the title of an authoritative book on RAAF higher command during the war by Norman Ashworth, How not to Run an Air Force! While the RAAF could proudly claim in 1945 it was the fourth largest group of people wearing the same air force uniform, it lacked the operational coherence and direction to truly be the fourth largest air force. During WW2, the RAAF excelled at generating and contributing small units to operations run by larger air forces. This approach persisted after the war. Australia’s air contributions to Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other conflicts comprised individual force elements operating in isolation from each other. Australia maintained national command of its air units and Australian airmen performed admirably in embedded or liaison roles, but the RAAF provided little operational leadership. There were of course exceptions to this rule. Australia led air operations in its region on multiple occasions, including the 1999 intervention in East Timor and the response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. While valuable, these operations did not require the RAAF to lead a full spectrum of air operations or face the strain of sustained combat. In 2014, the Australian air task group (ATG) to combat ISIS in Syria and Iraq formed and deployed as an integrated package comprising eight F/A-18F Super Hornets, a KC-30A tanker transport, and an E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft. This was an impressive achievement and an improvement on past practice, but it should not obscure the reality that the package’s individual elements operated separately and under the direction of American operational commanders. While the ATG was well-led by first-rate individuals, their span of responsibility and influence over the campaign was limited. Moreover, the RAAF’s lack of formed expeditionary command and control elements made the work of these individuals more difficult and was perhaps the principal deficiency in the RAAF’s otherwise impressive force package. Two enduring characteristics of Australia’s geostrategic environment enabled this highly successful approach. Firstly, Australian air power maintained an enormous technical and tactical regional superiority. Circumstances in which Australian air power alone or in the lead would have to fight for control of the air or operate in contested areas were exceptionally unlikely. Secondly, the RAAF could reliably rely on larger air forces to lead coalition operations which might involve combat or genuine opposition. With these reassuring assumptions in place for one hundred years, the RAAF could comfortably overlook the need to build and maintain the capabilities necessary to lead and manage complex air operations. Indeed, these assumptions enabled it to refine its management and contribution of individual force elements to a fine art, including through the creation of and evolution of the FEG. But this focus on managing individual capabilities comes at a cost. The FEG structure means personnel can become very senior indeed without significant exposure to capabilities from other FEGs, much less the challenges of leading and managing all the elements necessary to generate and sustain air operations. Australia’s Five Eyes partner air forces maintain command echelons to do just this, in the form of wings in the USAF and RCAF, stations in the RAF, and bases in the RNZAF. Crucially, these are significant in-garrison command appointments at the group captain level and mean senior officers, and many other personnel, in these air forces have first-hand experience leading and applying all the elements necessary to sustain air operations, from aircraft and armaments to administration and amenities. In the RAAF, the first in-garrison opportunity to hold command of all elements needed to sustain air operations is found at the Air Commander Australia, a two-star position. These assumptions and their consequences are not valid for the RAAF’s second century. Firstly, Australia’s region is now home to some of the most capable and rapidly advancing air and space forces in the world. As partners or adversaries, these forces generate a different model of regional operations with which the RAAF must contend. The RAAF should not always expect to lead operations in the region but, as one of the most mature and experienced air forces in the region, it should aspire to play a key role in supporting others and building regional leadership capabilities. Secondly, Australia’s great and powerful friend has wearied of global leadership and declined in relative power. Even before the rise of the Trump Administration’s ‘America First’ policy, the Obama Administration’s ‘lead from behind’ approach during the 2012 operations in Libya compelled Britain, France, and NATO to lead with American support. The US’s limited role during the 1999 East Timor intervention was an early indication of this trend in Australia’s region. Add to this the strain that increasing US-China competition throughout the Indo-Pacific is placing on US forces, and the RAAF should anticipate that its traditional ‘big brothers’ will be looking to others to lead in Australia’s near-region. Consequently, the RAAF must build the capacity and capability to lead complex air – and now space – operations in its region, either in coalition or isolation. There are positive steps underway. The Air Warfare Centre’s establishment and focus on integration is important, and the restructure of 78WG as a tactical air wing focused on air-land integration is also a step in the right direction. These measures arose from sustained strategic direction since the launch of Plan Jericho in 2015 to better focus the RAAF on integrated capabilities and operations. The most recent RAAF strategy continues this trend. But the pace needs to accelerate, and more investment is required. Building operational leadership capabilities in the RAAF is not simply a matter of running training courses, episodic exercises, procuring equipment, or encouraging personnel to read more widely. It is the combination of these things as well as a significant shift in the service’s culture and focus and a recognition that operational leadership requires the generation and maintenance of command-and-control force elements, just like any other force element. For the RAAF, this requires development of the wing as the key tactical leadership echelon, just as it is in in Australia’s Five Eyes partners. Part of this culture shift is also a recognition that operational leadership is not a generalist skillset that comes with time and experience, nor one that resides in commanders alone. The skills needed to lead complex air operations, let alone multi-domain operations, are specialised, perishable, and collective. The aptitude for such skills is also likely to be found in workforces beyond those that have traditionally dominated command and leadership role in terms of rank, background, and seniority. In seeking to grow these leadership skills and capabilities, the RAAF should be cautious about approaches that seek efficiencies or to economise in other areas to free up resources – the hard-won strengths the RAAF has built up over the last century remain fundamentally important to its success. The deteriorating circumstances that drive the need for investment in operational leadership do not diminish the need for ongoing technical and tactical excellence. The answer to this challenge is and, not or. But as the RAAF looks to its second century, the imperative to build leadership capabilities is also an opportunity to craft a high-value niche in the Indo-Pacific air and space power community. At present, there is no Indo-Pacific equivalent to NATO’s Tactical Leadership Program or the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Air Warfare Centre. These initiatives focus on building the leadership, planning, and execution skills necessary at the wing level for integrated air operations. The RAAF should explore building an Indo-Pacific equivalent to train, develop, and exercise operational leadership capabilities within the Indo-Pacific air and space power community. The RAAF has the foundations for such a program such as major international exercises like Pitch Black, superb training schools, and large and increasingly well-equipped training ranges. These foundations are currently episodic or focused internally, but provide a firm base upon which the RAAF can build an enduring capability. An Indo-Pacific Air Warfare Centre in Australia would strengthen regional engagement and build operational leadership capacity among like-minded regional air forces. The initiative could be run in partnership with advanced air forces such as Singapore, Japan, and the US, with training and development opportunities open to all. Importantly, the RAAF leadership capabilities would reap a disproportionate return on investment as its personnel and systems routinely engaged with partners from across the region to practice and apply the art and science of leading air operations. The RAAF can no longer just contribute to operations its second century; it needs to lead. The comfortable assumptions of its first one hundred years are gone, driving an imperative for greater independent capacity. The RAAF’s first century leaves a fine foundation from which this imperative can become an opportunity for the RAAF to lead the development of a collective air and space power community that strengthens security for all in the next century. This piece was originally published in the Australian Defence Business Review on February 8, 2001.

  • [Part 2] NASA Remote Piloted Aircraft Displaced in Time and Space is Ingenuity

    In the second half of his series on NASA’s remote piloted aircraft, join Squadron Leader Michael Spencer as he deep dives into the Martian Air and Land operating environments, the unique difficulties these pose to the mission, and how success in disruptive technologies is increasingly becoming a collaborative effort. Understanding the complexities of this mission gives greater appreciation for NASA’s recent success on 22 April with the first flight of Ingenuity, while also inspiring ways that innovations such as Ingenuity can reimagine traditional mission methods both on Earth and beyond. The Martian Air and Land Operating Environment NASA’s "Ingenuity" helicopter was designed as an experimental technology demonstration with humankind's first powered and controlled flight on another planet. The designs for the mission and mission system have critically relied on years of scientific observations of Mars, the Martian air and land operating environments, and the Sun-Earth-Mars integrated operating environment. The Ingenuity mission follows design principles that can be important considerations for remotely piloted air power on Earth. Remote Pilots displaced in Space and Time One Earth day is 23 hours 54 minutes while one Mars sol is 24 hours 40 minutes. The different lengths of day on each planet impact the cyclic predictions for when the communications network can connect and transfer signals between the Earth ground station and the Perseverance base station. Furthermore, NASA requires that its Earthbound Mars mission workforce synchronise with the Martian sol cycle to be agile and responsive to any unexpected issues arising during the mission. The Earthbound workforce needs to cumulatively add 40 minutes to their daily routine, displacing their body clocks. Working to Mars time enables NASA mission planners, operators, and support crews to respond more quickly to the daily downlinked mission results, fault-finding, replanning, and timely uplink of commands for the next day's mission on Mars. Mars Air and Land Operating Environment The Martian surface features a mix of terrain with canyons, dry lake beds, craters, and volcanoes covered in fine dust and rocks. Fine red dust covers most of the Martian terrain, giving it a similar appearance to the red dust of the Australian Outback. Ingenuity's vertical lift capability provides an advantage for take-off and landing options; most powered fixed-wing aircraft need a prepared runway to function. The Martian atmosphere is a thin sheet of mixed gases surrounding the planet and comprises mainly carbon dioxide (95%) and oxygen (1%). Like Earth’s atmosphere, gravity holds the atmosphere to the Martian surface and atmospheric density, pressure, and temperature all decrease with altitude. The air density on the Martian surface is equivalent to about 1% of the air density at the Earth's surface where conventional helicopters operate. Ingenuity will demonstrate flight in similar flying conditions found in Earth's upper atmosphere above 100,000 feet. Currently, no helicopter has ever flown above 40,000 feet in Earth's atmosphere. Martian gravity is equivalent to about one-third of the gravity on Earth. Ingenuity has a mass of 18 kg on Earth and only weighs the equivalent of 6 kg on Mars. The thinner atmosphere and lower gravity on Mars enable Ingenuity to aerodynamically generate a greater lifting force than would be possible on Earth with the same vertical thrust. The air temperature at the Martian surface varies between minus 140 degrees Celsius overnight to plus 30 degrees Celsius during the day. The cold temperatures can cause damage to material components, joints, and coupling. Moving parts can also be susceptible to damage from both the freezing cold temperatures and the daily thermal changes as temperatures vary between the minimum and maximum temperature. Sun-Earth-Mars Integrated Operating Environment Mars is the fourth planet away from the Sun and the next planet beyond Earth. Newtonian physics describes how the planets orbiting further away from the Sun take longer to complete their orbit around the Sun (i.e. Earth-365 days; Mars 687 Earth days). Consequently, the direction and distance between Earth and Mars are changing non-linearly. The closest point of approach between Earth and Mars is about 62 million kilometres (5-minute radio signal transit), and the maximum separation is about 401 million kilometres (20-minute radio signal transit). The planets' relative positions are significant for keeping Earth ground station antennas pointing at Mars and realising the transmission time needed for signals to arrive at Mars and vice versa. The changing relative positions of the Earth ground station on the rotating Earth, a Mars-orbiting communications satellite (i.e. relay station), and the Perseverance rover (i.e. base station) sitting on the surface of a rotating planet, all together complicate the determination of the antenna pointing angles and duty cycles for the workforce on Earth. Moreover, radio blackouts naturally occur when the Mars orbiting relay satellite is either below the Martian horizon and not visible to Perseverance or the satellite is passing over the far side of Mars which blocks its transmissions to Earth. Figure 4. Artist rendering of commercial Mars satellites providing communications back to Earth (NASA image). Additionally, Earth and Mars will occasionally be positioned directly in line but on opposite sides of the Sun when solar flux disrupts radio transmissions, which causes a radio blackout between the two planets for about two weeks. The blackout period requires that mission planners use accurate simulation prediction models of the planetary orbits and planet rotations to precisely determine the antenna pointing angles and predictions of radio blackout periods. A remotely piloted system will need to rely on automation to continue functioning with a planned extended-duration mission or contingency actions when line-of-communication is broken. Space is a complex environment for understanding natural disruption risks to radio signals travelling between Earth and Mars, up to approximately 401 million kilometres one-way. Significant threats can be attributed to radiation effects from space weather, solar winds, and solar storms that can disrupt radio signals and unprotected electrical systems. Cosmic background radiation noise and unpredictable cosmic radio bursts can also disrupt radio transmissions. It is essential to understand the natural environment to understand the risks to mission activities and correctly attribute causes and effects that may drive better system designs for damage prevention or functional designs for more straightforward repairs and remediation. An Australian Connection is Critical to Mission Success Australian technical staff employed by CSIRO operate the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN), during Australian daylight hours, from the NASA Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex (CDSCC) Tidbinbilla. CDSCC Tidbinbilla is one of three ground stations strategically located around the world (i.e. Madrid, Spain; California, USA; Tidbinbilla, Australia) to assure continuous communications links with interplanetary and deep space missions as the Earth rotates. The DSN must be operated 24/7, requiring the ground crews in each station to transfer the line-of-sight communications link to the next DSN station with Mars in its field-of-view as the Earth rotates. Management responsibility for operating the DSN is also rotated between the three separate DSN crews as the daylight operating hours shift across the globe. Australians operate CDSCC Tidbinbilla, and the DSN under an Australia-US agreed treaty being executed by CSIRO and NASA. Figure 5. Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex Tidbinbilla (NASA image). Conclusion Ingenuity is a remotely piloted rotary aircraft displaced in space and time. NASA uses Ingenuity to innovate ways for using off-the-shelf materials and engineering to develop a helicopter to disrupt the established means and missions traditionally used for interplanetary exploration. The first powered, controlled flight in the air sets a milestone for the first use of air power by humankind on another planet. Reviewing and understanding the details of NASA's achievements with Ingenuity helps understand design risks for RPAS missions and mission systems on Earth. About the Author Squadron Leader Michael Spencer is a Maritime Patrol & Response Officer in the Air Force Reserve. He started his Air Force career as a Navigator in P-3C Orions, conducting long-range maritime patrols. During an extensive and diverse Air Force career, he completed postgraduate studies in space science at the Royal Military College of Canada for duties back in Australia in the Defence Space Coordination Office and Defence acquisitions of ground-based space surveillance systems. Currently, he is employed in the Defence COVID-19 Task Force and the Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Team. He also promotes space interests and opportunities through volunteering with the Space Law Council –Australia & New Zealand and the American Institute for Aeronautics & Astronautics. Bibliography Open-source intelligence available online from NASA for Mars, Perseverance, and Ingenuity. Air Force (2013). AAP1000-D The Air Power Manual. Sixth Edition. Air and Space Power Centre. Online at Accessed 27 March 2021. Air Force (2019). AFDN 1-19 Air-Space Integration. Air and Space Power Centre. Online at Accessed 27 March 2021. Associated Press (2021). NASA unveils details of Mars helicopter Ingenuity, containing piece of Wright brothers' first plane, ABC News. Online at Accessed 25 March 2021. NASA (2021). Deep Space Network – Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. Online at Accessed 27 March 2021. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2021). Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Landing Press Kit. Online at Accessed 25 March 2021.

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