Australia’s military put to the test in a multi-national environment

The Defence Department announced on May 6 that the ADF is undertaking a simulation-based, multi-layered Command Post Exercise at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane and Headquarters Joint Operations Command in Bungendore, NSW.

Exercise VITAL PROSPECT will see some 1200 ADF personnel practice operational command and control of a coalition force incorporating approximately 200 personnel from the American, British, Canadian and New Zealand defence forces in a high-end, mid-intensity conflict scenario, against a highly capable fictitious enemy.

During the exercise the Brisbane-based Deployable Joint Force Headquarters (DJFHQ) and the ADF’s Theatre Air Control Centre (TACS) will be put to the test running the conflict at an operational level, across the expanses of northern Australia and its approaches.

Exercise BLUE DIAMOND, within VITAL PROSPECT, will focus on assessing the Australian Army’s 7th Brigade Headquarters in its role within the land phase of the conflict scenario.

An American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies Program (ABCA) Command Post Exercise, Exercise AQUA TERRA, will be integrated within VITAL PROSPECT to maximise interoperability within a coalition environment.

The Chief of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Ash Power, will oversee the exercises and said they provide an opportunity to confirm the ADF’s deployable command and control capabilities within a complex and demanding scenario.

“Operations don’t just happen—each requires intricate planning. These exercises provide both the ADF and our coalition partners with the opportunity to plan and to practise Joint Task Force Headquarters processes, using the power of simulation,” Lieutenant General Power said.

“We are rehearsing some very complex processes during these exercises.

“This enables us to put into practice the lessons we and our coalition partners have learned on recent operations, against a tough adversary, to ensure we continue to maintain and improve our capabilities. The power of modern simulation systems allows us to practice far more realistically and cost effectively than has been possible in the past.

“This year, the integration of the ABCA Exercise AQUA TERRA will give the ADF the opportunity to work closely with our coalition partners, improve interoperability, and exploit information to support the ongoing transformation and modernisation of ABCA armies.”

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