Sustaining machines – the logistics of autonomy in military organisations

Logistics in War

This article is adapted from a presentation given at the Williams Foundation seminar on ‘Next Generation Autonomous Systems’ delivered in Canberra in April 2021. Militaries using autonomous weapons will, if we are optimistic about the technology, necessarily look very different in twenty, thirty years in the future. It is largely self-evident that bringing new technology into military organisations is challenging. By David Beaumont.

Sustaining machines – logistics and autonomous systems

Logistics in War

This article is adapted from a presentation given at the Williams Foundation seminar on ‘Next Generation Autonomous Systems’ delivered in Canberra in April 2021. Automation offers military logisticians tremendous advantages and has to be a part of their future. The opportunities for automation in logistics are virtually limitless, only requiring technology and entrepreneurship to deliver a generational change to military technology. By David Beaumont.


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Delving into the dark recesses – how do we sustain self-reliance?

Logistics in War

Logistics has long been regarded as a crucial component of military capability, and the supply and support given to armed forces a major constituent of operational success. Logistics constraints and strengths can shape strategy, determine the form and means of operations, and if given nothing more than a passing glance by military commanders and civilian planners, will prevent combat forces from ever achieving their full potential in the air, and on the sea and land.

Realising the sustainable joint land force

Logistics in War

Two decades ago, as Western militaries confronted a new strategic paradigm with declarations that a ‘revolution in military affairs’ was underway, the US Army Chief of Staff General Reimers declared: ‘There will not be a revolution in military affairs unless there is a revolution in military logistics’ (1996). This view, since paraphrased or made contemporary by Reimer’s successors and many others, reflects a truism in military transformation. By David Beaumont.

Building on bedrock or sinking into quicksand – a report on Sustaining Self-Reliance

Logistics in War

‘Supply chain security continues to occupy our minds as we intermingle our desire for national prosperity through global trade with our desire to prevent the loss of native capacity to build military capability, mobilise and sustain operations. Indeed much of the seminar was focussed upon industry and the way in which national economic power is transformed by logistics efforts into military combat power and potential. By David Beaumont.

Shaping the Eco-System for Logistics Innovation: The Impact of Automation and Autonomous Systems

Logistics in War

It is based upon an interview which followed a recent Williams Foundation Seminar on Next Generation Autonomous Systems. We have seen in some militaries over-reliance on commercial IT systems which leaves their logistics system vulnerable to adversary cyberattacks. By Robbin Llaird.

Is logistics the ultimate conventional deterrent?

Logistics in War

This debate is being litigated through the Williams Foundation who are running a seminar on the topic during August 2018. . Nations are naturally competitive, and one of the principle roles for standing militaries is to deter others from undertaking military action within this competition. Recently Western militaries have contended that adversaries, real and potential, do not always distinguish peace and war. Distance, once again, became important to the military mind.

Editorial: Continuing the discussion on sustaining self-reliance

Logistics in War

As mentioned in recent posts, and supported by the collaboration between The Central Blue and Logistics in War, the Williams Foundation hosted a day-long seminar on the topic ‘Sustaining Self-Reliance’ The term ‘self-reliance’ has a special meaning for the Australian Defence Force (ADF), being evoked in strategic policy and as principle applied across a variety of logistics functions and activities. By David Beaumont.

5th-generation energy for 5th-generation air power

Logistics in War

Editorial Note: On 11 April 2019, the Sir Richard Williams Foundation is holding a seminar examining high-intensity operations and sustaining self-reliance. The aim of the seminar, building on previous seminars and series looking at #jointstrike and #highintensitywar , is to establish a common understanding of the importance and challenges of sustaining a self-reliant Australian Defence Force in a challenging environment.

The strategic logistician and professional possibility

Logistics in War

The requirements for logisticians operating at the strategic level of militaries has been an explicitly addressed topic by senior leaders on Logistics In War , noting many posts implicitly support the conclusion that logisticians must adapt in some way to face what is known about the future. This article will attempt to describe a some of these demands, as discussed during the seminar, to highlight the complexity of the professional challenge. By David Beaumont.

One hundred logisticians, one bullet and designing the future logistics system

Logistics in War

No matter which military we are talking about, and as the now Chief of Defence Force remarked, successful logistics comes with the efforts of many. As a complex system, the processes and acts of sustaining and maintaining a military force can often take a life of their own. To be frank, Western militaries are finding themselves in an uncomfortable place with respect to the globalisation of defence manufacturing. By David Beaumont. ‘I

When Coincidence Meets Determination – An Interview with Rob O’Byrne

Logistics Bureau

I decided to join the military high school. I think it was in 2010 that I was at a seminar listening to someone pitching a VA business. It’s really cool to see what a coincidental seminar visit can lead to in a few years’ time. I first learned about them at a seminar where the chairman of B1G1, Paul Dunn, talked about how businesses could get focused and do a lot of good at the same time.

Far from Sanctuaries: Sustaining a Fifth-Generation Fight in the Indo-Pacific

Logistics in War

This post is an adaptation of Mrs Cain-Riva’s presentation at the Williams Foundation’s #selfsustain seminar, held in Canberra on 11 April 2019. We must think beyond military bases and consider how we develop a network of power projection locations within the national support base and across the region. By Donna Cain-Riva. ‘ Logistics In War’ and ‘The Central Blue’ are jointly publishing the #selfsustain series.