Both Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO, and Defence Minister Christopher Pyne were keynote speakers at the event, which has become the Australian Army’s leading event bringing together national, regional and global partners to discuss issues relevant to the future of land forces.
With a focus on the importance of land power in the Indo-Pacific, this year's event witnessed strong language from new Defence Minister Pyne, who highlighted the need for Australian engagement, leadership and presence in the region.
"For Australia, the Indo-Pacific region fills our vision across the cardinals of the compass and is the arena where our common future will unfold. Australia lies at the geographic centre of this region and holds the fulcrum between the Indian and Pacific corners of Asia. Australia’s continued engagement and close work with regional partners is an absolute must," he said.
CALFS18, held alongside the Land Forces Defence Industry Exposition 2018, played host to senior commanders of militaries from around the world.
For LTGEN Burr, the importance of robust international partnerships and the future of the region ever-present.
"Building on our international and industry partnerships is essential to generate capability advantage," he said.
"As 'An Army in Motion' we must continually improve and adapt in order to be always future ready. Over the next three days I look forward to strengthening relationships with national and international security leaders as we discuss the application of land power in the Indo-Pacific."
CALFS18 comprises four sessions linked to the seminar theme:
- The Indo-Pacific: the region of global connection;
- Land power and countering violent extremism;
- Generating land power through partnering; and
- The character of future Indo-Pacific land forces.
The seminar series is designed to maximise discussion and interaction by capitalising on the collective knowledge and experience of participants. Attendance at the seminar is by invitation only and the proceedings will be published after the event.
CALFS (previously named Chief of Army’s Exercise) has provided the Australian Army and its national, regional and global partners with a forum to discuss issues relevant to the future of land forces for many years.
Minister Pyne echoed LTGEN Burr's comments, saying, "The Australian Army – including through its engagement with your (foreign partners) countries – plays a critical role in this growth structure from which all partners benefit. Engaging with nations in our region – and beyond – bilaterally, regionally and globally, and doing so through collaborative activities will help us understand our strategic environment to respond to those shared challenges which I mentioned earlier."
Recent Chief of Army’s Exercises considered topics as diverse as the air/land battle, the human dimension of war, the application of social networking to Army, adaptive responses to complex environments and the modernisation of land forces in the Indo-Pacific. A number of the concepts developed in previous exercises have resulted in action that has improved the modern Army.
"This seminar enables us to strengthen our partnerships with other international military leaders, Defence industry and academia and explore opportunities for unlocking Army’s potential," LTGEN Burr said.