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December 14, 2017
EY events marked Army’s
progress in 2017.
CA Lt-Gen Angus
Campbell was pleased
with Exercise Talisman Sabre
demonstrating the integrated triservice
effect which emerged from digital
“HQ 1 Div achieved a level of con-
nectivity and digital command and
control we have never seen before. It
enhanced the entire force,” he said.
“It was pleasing to talk to the sol-
diers and see how enthusiastic they
were in being part of one of the most
sophisticated exercises we’ve done.
“I’m delighted with the Reserves
integration I saw. It’s indicative of the
work being done around building ready
and immediate capability and seeing a
Total Force emerge.”
RSM-A WO Don Spinks echoed
the Chief’s sentiment.
“It’s the first time in my career that
virtually everything on the water and in
the air belonged to us,” the Army’s top
soldier said, referring to the breadth of
command of assets during the multina-
“As far as my impression of the
soldiers, I couldn’t tell who was who
between the full-time and part-time
troops. The Reserves are just as capa-
ble when given the opportunity and
that’s the biggest difference. Once you
give them opportunities to become pro-
ficient with new kit, there’s not much
Reserve integration is a key compo-
nent of Plan Beersheba.
“Beersheba had four components:
Building the Total Force integration of
the Reserve; development of Army’s
amphibious capability; development
of like-brigades – the 1st, 3rd, and 7th
as the basis of the fourth compo-
nent – the rotating three-year Force
Generation model,” Lt-Gen Campbell
“This construct is designed to better
enable our Army to prepare forces for
operations; to lift the quality of train-
ing; and to sustain it on operations.
I’m delighted with how we’ve gone but
it’s vital we stick to it as Army moves
RSM-A had a practical view on
“I think it will really help our abil-
ity to raise, train and sustain our forces
and help us to prepare to fight better,”
“It will certainly help us with the
husbandry of our equipment through
its life of type and become more effi-
cient in its use.”
Plan Beersheba’s aim to allow for
sustained operations was also key in
how Army would perform in the inter-
national arena alongside other nations.
“‘Stronger together’ is the theme
and the reality. Our government has
indicated there is a need for contribu-
tion to various international missions,”
Lt-Gen Campbell said.
For the soldiers, the RSM-A con-
sidered it imperative.
“In an operational sense, it is the
ability of the digger, the NCO and the
young officer to interact and have that
empathy in those roles that is critical.”
With year’s end rapidly approaching, Chief of Army and RSM-Army discuss where they thought Army
excelled in 2017 and where they think we can improve for next year, Maj Conway Bown reports.
The year in review
THE 2017 Defence Blood
Challenge is over.
This year’s target was 7000
whole blood, plasma and platelet
donations, and we did it with 7244
(at time of print, final day yet to be
Army led the way again this
year with 2646 donations, saving
potentially 7938 lives and produc-
ing donation rates only slightly
down from 2016. There were sig-
nificant increases in the numbers
for the other two services, with
Navy (up 9 per cent) and Air Force
(up 5.2 per cent) improving on last
year’s donation figures.
Donated blood is versatile, as
one single whole blood donation
can supply 22 medical products.
That is potentially 58,212 blood
products from Army alone.
Sally Gavin, from Red Cross
Australia paid tribute to the Army
personnel who had donated to the
“Army has always set the
standard for donations within
Defence,” Ms Gavin said.
It is no accident Defence holds
the blood challenge post-winter,
and just before the holidays.
“The timing of the challenge
is very important to Red Cross,
it prepares a lot of product for
the very busy festive and holiday
season, helping all those in need,
including hospitals, patients, and
the Australian community as a
whole,” Ms Gavin said.
Soldiers and officers
As part of cultural reform of Army,
CA identified sources of talent that had
not been adequately invested in.
“I am pleased with where I see
Army moving. As you know, I aspire
to see more women and Indigenous
Australians serving because I want the
full breadth of talent in the Australian
population available to Army,” he said.
WO Spinks also saw cultural
reform encompassing a broader aspect.
“We still have work to do in other
areas. We do need to change the way
we behave; we must treat and respect
each other much better than how we
have done,” he said.
“We have to live our values.”
Inspiring soldiers was an important
theme to CA to retain our talent.
“In times of challenge, our lead-
ership should be getting better. Our
soldiers are highly intelligent and con-
nected,” he said.
“They will move – and vote with
their feet – if they don’t get a sense of
fulfilment and purpose in their work.
We must lead through inspiring and
RSM-A said a more efficient use
of in-service transfers would retain
already trained soldiers.
“We also need to recognise service
and if they do leave, to allow them to
do so with dignity and respect. If they
want to come back we should be more
willing to accept them back into ser-
vice,” he said.
We do need to
change the way we
behave; we must
treat and respect
each other much
better than how we
RSM-A WO Don Spinks
Gnr Alexander Bell, of 11/28RWAR, demonstrates one of Battle Group Cannan’s mortars to RSM-A WO Don Spinks and CA Lt-Gen Angus Campbell at the Shoalwater Bay Training
Area during Exercise Talisman Sabre.
Photo: Cfn Priyantha Malavi Arachchi
Army – 2646
Air Force – 1893
Navy – 1529
Defence civilians – 1182
Figures at December 8
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