Australian Army Discussions and Updates

Takao

The Bunker Group
So we are back to the lack of technical depth in defence, too much work for the ( totally useless and underworked apparently) uniformed and civilian technical people to complete so the pollies decide what to buy on who has the best power point and cocktail parties.

The various defence reviews (started under Hawke and carried on even as far as Gillard) gutted defence department institutional knowledge, out sourcing to industry, who predominantly hired from the ADF and APS. Now everyone's fighting over a shrinking pool of technically competent people with many senior roles going to technically incompetent people.

I don't know if there are even enough good people to train and mentor the people required going forward thanks to the false economies of the 90s and 2000s.
Yes and no.

No - In this specific case, we have no idea why it was missed, just that it was. And obviously never chased down by staffers from either side of the lake. I couldn't say if it was a deliberate passing the buck to the Government in a CYA-style move, an honest clerical error or a symptom of a poor bureaucracy (uniform and civilian).

Yes - But there is some truth in the competence levels. I was convinced on the value of the APS at my DMO posting where they stood as the bulwark against contractors out-waiting our posting cycle. And then in units where they acted as brakes against slipping culture. The APS are a phenomenal organisation that really need a good PR firm. Unfortunately, there is no incentive to stay, and the lack of experience a the senior levels shows. I'm not sure I know 5 APS who have been in longer than 15 years in areas that they can learn these lessons....

But....the APS has an excuse. They don't have career management. The services on the other hand, especially Army, are woeful at the tech / non-tech balance. We continue, year after year, to shoot ourselves in the feet, ankles, shins, thighs, knees and calves. And that's the personnel side. We pride ourselves on "lessons learnt"; but I cannot remember an occasion outside some individuals where a new project went "can you old project people talk to us about good and bad things please?" Or provided a report.

Gosh - I know the LAND XXX desk officer well. Has a strong background in said capability - was an operator now jumped to the tech side. Really good person, strong ethics and drive. But all their knowledge on the platform and project XXX is replacing? Comes from their Regt time. They were provided nothing that said "When we did Project XXX-1, this is what we learnt". They went and spoke to people to try and understand, but many were unavailable. Wha...?
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Ha!

It was a point of discussion at the last posting - so the big boss pulled the actual submission as part of our "lessons learnt when dealing with Government". There was much mortification...

One job!
I read somewhere that the RNs admirals thought the need for, and benefits of carrier air power to be so self evident, they didn't bother explaining it to anyone outside navy. At the same time RAF staff officers could pretty much RPL a master's degree in marketing and communication.

If you don't communicate why you need what you are asking for (or even tell them what it is you want) to those who control spending, you are never going to get what you need.

:rolleyes:
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Yes and no.

No - In this specific case, we have no idea why it was missed, just that it was. And obviously never chased down by staffers from either side of the lake. I couldn't say if it was a deliberate passing the buck to the Government in a CYA-style move, an honest clerical error or a symptom of a poor bureaucracy (uniform and civilian).

Yes - But there is some truth in the competence levels. I was convinced on the value of the APS at my DMO posting where they stood as the bulwark against contractors out-waiting our posting cycle. And then in units where they acted as brakes against slipping culture. The APS are a phenomenal organisation that really need a good PR firm. Unfortunately, there is no incentive to stay, and the lack of experience a the senior levels shows. I'm not sure I know 5 APS who have been in longer than 15 years in areas that they can learn these lessons....

But....the APS has an excuse. They don't have career management. The services on the other hand, especially Army, are woeful at the tech / non-tech balance. We continue, year after year, to shoot ourselves in the feet, ankles, shins, thighs, knees and calves. And that's the personnel side. We pride ourselves on "lessons learnt"; but I cannot remember an occasion outside some individuals where a new project went "can you old project people talk to us about good and bad things please?" Or provided a report.

Gosh - I know the LAND XXX desk officer well. Has a strong background in said capability - was an operator now jumped to the tech side. Really good person, strong ethics and drive. But all their knowledge on the platform and project XXX is replacing? Comes from their Regt time. They were provided nothing that said "When we did Project XXX-1, this is what we learnt". They went and spoke to people to try and understand, but many were unavailable. Wha...?
I've noticed a culture of late of industry employing and advancing ex defence people well beyond what they would ever be allowed to do in the ADF or APS.

Some ex ADF techos are great but to be brutally honest most can't even qualify as civilian trades until they have fully qualified at WO, CPO, or Flt Sgt level. Officers too, they are basically tech personnel managers until they are senior Majors or equivalent with maint unit, spo and project experience.

Contractor comes along, hires an ex junior officer, OR, etc. because of their "experience" and puts them in-charge of experienced and qualified civilian trades, para professional and even profession engineers, without any old and bold grey hairs to supervise. They say jump, the civies say why? it all goes to sh!t and no one knows why. Well some of us do, if someone's not good enough to be an Articifer, Charge, Responsible Manager etc. in uniform, they almost certainly aren't good enough to do the equivalent in civilian employment.
 

Stampede

Well-Known Member
An interesting article from ASPI re the Tiger replacement.




Of note are the uncertainty of manned platforms in the future battlespace mentioned in the last paragraphs.

Mirrors my view of the vulnerability of slow moving manned flying things near the "frontline".

Food for thought without an answer at this stage.



Regards S
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
A small paperwork error? Sounds very much like a ‘cover your arse’ error, lol!

Sounds very much like if it all turns to $hit refer back to the ‘non’ recommendation, very good, very good indeed.

As the old saying goes, ‘rule No 1, cover your arse! What’s rule No 2? See rule No 1, cover your arse!’
Hmm, not quite the way I remember it. Air 9000 phases 2,4 and 6 were combined in the one project which meant Navy became involved (although Mark R, a Navy CAPT, was already the PD by that time if I remember correctly) and we certainly made a recommendation, which, although it might have been caveated, was accepted. And no, I can’t go into more detail.
 

Bob53

Active Member
I've noticed a culture of late of industry employing and advancing ex defence people well beyond what they would ever be allowed to do in the ADF or APS.

Some ex ADF techos are great but to be brutally honest most can't even qualify as civilian trades until they have fully qualified at WO, CPO, or Flt Sgt level. Officers too, they are basically tech personnel managers until they are senior Majors or equivalent with maint unit, spo and project experience.

Contractor comes along, hires an ex junior officer, OR, etc. because of their "experience" and puts them in-charge of experienced and qualified civilian trades, para professional and even profession engineers, without any old and bold grey hairs to supervise. They say jump, the civies say why? it all goes to sh!t and no one knows why. Well some of us do, if someone's not good enough to be an Articifer, Charge, Responsible Manager etc. in uniform, they almost certainly aren't good enough to do the equivalent in civilian employment.
It’s a common mistake in all walks.... Experience doesn’t always equal good. I’ve seen plenty of blokes with 20 years experience but the problem is they have repeated 1 years experience 20 times and never progressed. Same for high level educational qualifications. A great personal example was a CEO who had not 1 but 2 MBA and turned out the be a Giant goose...in 18 short months burnt through a genuine mountain of cash ... double the annual business revenue .......with no outcome, turned from significant profit to massive loss and nearly killed the business before he was sacked....well resigned to spend more time with his family. Of course the opposite can also apply but my experience is the book is often way different to the cover...read several chapters before employing.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I've noticed a culture of late of industry employing and advancing ex defence people well beyond what they would ever be allowed to do in the ADF or APS.

Some ex ADF techos are great but to be brutally honest most can't even qualify as civilian trades until they have fully qualified at WO, CPO, or Flt Sgt level. Officers too, they are basically tech personnel managers until they are senior Majors or equivalent with maint unit, spo and project experience.

Contractor comes along, hires an ex junior officer, OR, etc. because of their "experience" and puts them in-charge of experienced and qualified civilian trades, para professional and even profession engineers, without any old and bold grey hairs to supervise. They say jump, the civies say why? it all goes to sh!t and no one knows why. Well some of us do, if someone's not good enough to be an Articifer, Charge, Responsible Manager etc. in uniform, they almost certainly aren't good enough to do the equivalent in civilian employment.
All of which simply highlights the technical vandalism by government when they trashed/cancelled the three services technical trade schools which did produce excellent qualified tradesmen.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
All of which simply highlights the technical vandalism by government when they trashed/cancelled the three services technical trade schools which did produce excellent qualified tradesmen.
Very true, I owe a disproportionate amount of the knowledge and skill I picked up over the years to the old and bold people I worked with and for in my 20s 30s and into my 40s. It saddens me that the institutions and industries that grew these people no longer exist, that I didn't get to chance to attend them and follow in the footsteps of my mentors.

Instead I, and many like me, are in the situation where we know we are not as knowledgable and experienced as our mentors but find ourselves working with and for people who don't even know what they don't know, dellusionally believing they know it all.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
Very true, I owe a disproportionate amount of the knowledge and skill I picked up over the years to the old and bold people I worked with and for in my 20s 30s and into my 40s. It saddens me that the institutions and industries that grew these people no longer exist, that I didn't get to chance to attend them and follow in the footsteps of my mentors.

Instead I, and many like me, are in the situation where we know we are not as knowledgable and experienced as our mentors but find ourselves working with and for people who don't even know what they don't know, dellusionally believing they know it all.
Yep I blame a lot of this on the rise of excessive influence by the bean counters, who tend to look to much at the annual budget as aposed to what the long term effect will be in the decades ahead.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Yep I blame a lot of this on the rise of excessive influence by the bean counters, who tend to look to much at the annual budget as aposed to what the long term effect will be in the decades ahead.
Many of them fail even as bean counters. Any half-competent bean counter should know that you need some beans in reserve, for next year's crop & in case of problems, such as bad weather. You also need to make sure that the soil's in good nick, the plants are protected from pests, etc. All these take people, who need to know what they're doing & hang around long enough to pass on their knowledge & skills.

Failure to do all this properly can leave you desperately short of beans. You can get away with it for a while, but in the long term it costs more. Competent bean counters know this & allow for it. I've seen a lot of the results of incompetent bean-counting, though, the sort who think that if we have enough beans to get us through for a short time as long as everything goes just as it is now, with no problems, then everything's going to be absolutely fine.
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
New boats have been on the horizon for a long time. The Caimen 90 has been discussed before and is AU owned. A search didnt reveal any other local contenders. They certainly look like big beasties.

The LARC replacement isn't as clear.


Another much awaited announcement, good to see, early days, waiting on more details and requirements, could speculate and extrapolate a lot from some of the Ministers comments :)

The Caimen 90 is actually a design from the UK company BMT Group :)


Cheers
 

Richo99

Member
New boats have been on the horizon for a long time. The Caimen 90 has been discussed before and is AU owned. A search didnt reveal any other local contenders. They certainly look like big beasties.

The LARC replacement isn't as clear.


Caimen 90 is definitely a contender.

Given we appear to have overcome the fear (?) of buying Asian defence hardware (spgs & possibly ifvs) then maybe this Japanese product is a contender for the larc v replacement.

 

Gryphinator

New Member
Another much awaited announcement, good to see, early days, waiting on more details and requirements, could speculate and extrapolate a lot from some of the Ministers comments :)

The Caimen 90 is actually a design from the UK company BMT Group :)


Cheers
Apologies, I saw that after posting.I swear I saw they were going to build them here (QLD??) Hence why I thought it was an Australian company. Also I remember an article about them potentially being sold to the US.
 

John Newman

The Bunker Group
Apologies, I saw that after posting.I swear I saw they were going to build them here (QLD??) Hence why I thought it was an Australian company. Also I remember an article about them potentially being sold to the US.
You are confusing two totally different ships.

Caimen 90 (from BMT UK) is more of a direct replacement for the Army LCM-8 watercraft:


What you are thinking about is this:


The SLV will probably be put up as a contender for replacement of the retired Navy LCH when that project eventually happens, it may be that the Army ends up operating those ‘larger’ ships.

Some other contenders for that could include:


Or:


Anyway, at this stage it’s the LARC-V fleet and LCM-8 craft that are up for replacement first, the LCH replacement will come later.

Cheers,
 

Gryphinator

New Member
You are confusing two totally different ships.

Caimen 90 (from BMT UK) is more of a direct replacement for the Army LCM-8 watercraft:


What you are thinking about is this:


The SLV will probably be put up as a contender for replacement of the retired Navy LCH when that project eventually happens, it may be that the Army ends up operating those ‘larger’ ships.

Some other contenders for that could include:


Or:


Anyway, at this stage it’s the LARC-V fleet and LCM-8 craft that are up for replacement first, the LCH replacement will come later.

Cheers,
Apologies (again)
Night shift brain this week.

Sea Transport was the company I was thinking of....
 
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