The Australian Military and Logistics: When Preparedness Equals Survival

Author: 
M Delaporte

The material comprises a 2014 interview with Air Vice Marshall John Blackburn (Retired), in which he poses a number of questions relating to the resilience of Australia’s Defence logistics capabilities. The questions and tacit solutions he proposes have become more relevant given recent instability in the South China Sea and the current shifts in US foreign policy. Expeditionary by nature, the Australian Defence Force has been careful to limit its vulnerabilities by taking specific decisions, such as investing in strategic capabilities and diversifying its supply chain. However, there is now a change in the game with the increased globalization of the latter both commercially and militarily. The change of technology brought in, in the case of Australia, with the acquisition of the Joint Strike Fighter, means a switch in business model and therefore in logistics concept of operations. Of particular note, is AVM Blackburn’s concerns regarding Australia’s fuel stocks and dependencies.