10.14 However, a number of factors have constrained the ability of part-time personnel to play a larger role in the delivery of trained and ready capability. These factors include:
the complexity of the tasks performed by the ADF (and the sophisticated and intensive mission preparation required);
the availability of part-time personnel for extended duty;
the complexity, cost and availability of some equipment (and the higher training load required to maintain competencies);
the significant annual wastage rate among part-time personnel, which can be a brake on the delivery of capability; and
the dispersion of part-time units and facilities.
How is it that if the USA Army has "reserves" (We don't call them reserves BTW, we call them Army. If you are part of the "reserves" you are Army period.) then why are Australian reserves suddenly more stupid then every other human organization on the planet and unable to deploy?
This is not a flippant remark. I have ties with Australia and I am irritated, surprised and not a little bit concerned by the described situation in this thread that (if true) the Australian Army has such a glaringly STUPID weakness.
Item one: Every nation needs Defense. Because every nation also has other needs like Education and so on you also need reserves. Why? Because it is more efficient. It is far cheaper to maintain a cadre of (as I think Abe said) willing citizens then to maintain a fully functional Army ready to go into combat with an hour's notice.
In other words reserves maintain a nation's ready CAPACITY to provide Defense.
This whole debate about whether reserves are essential or not is ridiculous. They are, or otherwise you wouldn't have a Defense Force that would have sustainable capacity. Ergo, if you don't have a strong and robust program of supporting citizens willing to provide Defense Capability and Capacity to your nation then your Nation's Defense is inherently weak. This is a truth, not an opinion.
The analogy is dry twig or green twig. You want a green twig that can bend, not a dry twig that will snap, if you place it under pressure.
Anyway, to address the issue of complexity of equipment and training. The answer is to buy the RIGHT equipment. If your reservists don't have the capacity to fight, it is not because of lack of intelligence to create the capability to fight. It is because they lack the correct equipment. Lets take a look at that in more depth.
Remember Performance ( or in this case your ability to provide Defense) is the sum of Capacity AND Capability. Capability is easy to create because a dominate component of Capability in Defense is training (Education). If your training is not yielding results then you have 3 key areas to look at:
1) Is the curriculum relevant? (are you teaching the right thing?)
2) Is the equipment or tools you are using Capability enhancing? (Are you using the right tools and Does it take a long time to train or a short time to train on these tools?
3) If 1 and 2 are good then are you allowing enough Time for your Capability to mature?
I find it bizarre that this is not self-evident.
It also seems that Australia has a very serious problem I alluded to above. From the comments floating around here, there seems to be a delimiter between Australian reserves and Australian Defense. The answer is to get rid of the delimiter. Make the reserves "regular army training units" or what have you, but the idea that they are different is dangerous, counter productive and a waste of both money, human resources and time. All you do is create bitterness and lower morale on either side of the artificial divide you have created, allocate resources inadequately and end up with a Defense Force that is a shadow of it's full potential.
To sum up:
- Treat your people right
- Buy the right stuff
- Train the right way
An example of training right ( as it seems people are not getting the obvious). Separate your training units into two and then split them up into two different time zones. Apply a curriculum where the two units support each others efforts. This is called a "Do-Check loop". The ideal would be to separate them by 12 hours. This makes training 60% more productive for the same amount of time (1 day) and it is particularly effective in virtual environments. For example ( and just one way to do it): Just because the USA has an exercise at White sands or whatever, does not mean EVERY unit in Australia cannot participate in that exercise while in Australia. All you do is re-create the exercise in the middle of a training grounds the same size as the one on the other side of the planet and MIRROR it.
You can LEARN more stuff this way.. e.g. Rimpac Hawaii does one thing... your guys in Australia want to do it another way... so they do and you can immediately COMPARE (Do-Check loop). Don't have enough warships? Paint a fishing boat blue.