Defence and civilian capabilities combine

Civilian partners were closely involved with last week’s Talisman Sabre 2019 exercises, which brought Australia’s military alongside international partners.

Employees from Cubic Defence Australia worked on board HMAS Adelaide to calibrate weapons before a simulated amphibious assault on Langham Beach, Queensland.

The amphibious battle group utilised Cubic Defence Australia’s knowledge to sight systems that were fitted onto small arms. These systems allowed soldiers to fire lasers and for measurements to be recorded on accuracy and effect.

Cubic Defence’s specialty in tracking allows for operators to understand the efficacy of their weapons in these simulated battle exercises.

“For Talisman Sabre, that means Forces Command can see how the forces are working together because we can give them a holistic analysis,” said operations logistics manager for Cubic Defence Australia, Ben Ouwinga.

The systems have the ability to be scaled up for uses beyond small arms, according to Ouwinga.

“We also have the ability to instrument 58 high-fidelity vehicle kits, ranging from an M1 Abrams tank to ASLAVs [ light armoured vehicles] to M113s [armoured personnel carriers] for full shoot-and-be-shot engagement capabilities.”

This example gives an insight into how the military is incorporating the talents of the wider economy in its sophisticated systems, as well as giving employees of Cubic Defence Australia a picture of how their work is being applied, as audio-visual analyst Celine Wood found.

“The experience has given me a perspective on what it is the soldiers and sailors do; it gives you more respect for them and an understanding of how they feel, so you see them as individuals more than just numbers,” said Wood.

For members of the defence force, utilising non-defence produced technologies gives the defence forces particular capabilities.

“This is a very important part of Talisman Sabre because it allows Army to understand the mechanics of the manoeuvres as they unfold in a real-time environment,” said Cubic liason officer Major Pat McErlean.

“My understanding is that Cubic are at the forefront of this technology, which is only getting better and better.”