Today @AuManufacturing’s special editorial series Land Forces 2022 turns to the AUKUS agreement and the new focus on collaboration it has spawned. Here, Michael McLean explains how a grass roots industry board that he chairs, is bringing together leading industry advisors and management consultants from New Zealand, UK and USA to collaborate and support AUKUS.
The Australian Army in their Adaptive Campaigning for the Future Land Operating Concept (2009) had the Adaptation Cycle of “Adapt-Act-Sense-Act”.
It ’emphasises the importance of orientation for making sense of the observed situation’, which is a basis for decision and action.
Defence Minister Richard Marles has warned in a stark illustration of the dangerous strategic environment the nation faces and in 2022, he has communicated a consistent narrative and support for the previous government on AUKUS to Adapt-Act-Sense-Act.
The McLean Defence Advisory Board (Australia)
In this context, the McLean Defence Advisory Board (Australia) was formed to bring together advisors and management consultants from New Zealand, UK and USA to collaborate and support AUKUS.
The team blend their experience in Above the Line in Managing Defence Complexity and Defence + Industry clients in building Below the Line Sovereign Industrial Capability since 1988.
As the Adaptation Cycle, the McLean Defence Advisory Board “has a greater understanding of complex situations as well enhanced capacity to deal with them, the ability to learn at all levels, and an understanding of when adaptation is needed”.
The Board members have assisted defence and industry supply chains for interoperable, functional configuration and risk mitigation in operational contexts, implemented and sustained adaptive client capacities.
The defence minister said in his interview of 18 September 2022 with David Speers, ABC Insiders said ‘this AUKUS deal will see Australia move beyond interoperability to interchangeability with the United States’. Where ‘Interchangeability is making it so we really are able to seamlessly when we are working together and operating together as one force, but it also means – and we really hope this in respect of AUKUS – that it can provide a platform for building a common defence industrial base across the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia’.
Building a common defence industrial base
That ‘building a common defence industrial base’ and with a sense of urgency, given the changing and complex operating environment, was in part of the amalgam for the McLean Defence Advisory Board.
As reinforced by Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy, who said at the Hunter Defence Conference in September that the Defence Strategy Review will have an ‘engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including Defence industry, national security think tanks, State and Territory Governments and key individuals as Australia’s strategic challenges will require an imaginative, better-designed, whole-of-nation approach to defence industry’. Further, ‘by supporting the delivery of the Review will be the Government’s Defence Industry Development Strategy’.
McLean Defence Advisory Board will be making a submission to the review with a construct drawn from the Standards Australia HB 186:2019 ‘The Stakeholder Approach to Organizational Sustainability’. This will finalise the outcomes from the Boards’ stakeholder engagements to make a submission to the review contextualised from Land Forces 2022.
A brief background of the board’s membership:
In New Zealand:
In the United Kingdom:
In the United States:
And in Australia:
@AuManufacturing’s special editorial series Land Forces 2022 is brought to you with the support of Thales Australia and BAE Systems Australia.
Picture: Michael McLean