You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Army boss on the hunt for skilled recruits

AAP logoAAP 4/10/2016 Belinda Tasker

The army is facing a battle to attract skilled recruits at a time when Australia's defence forces are trying to devise high-tech solutions to future combats potentially involving the cyber sphere and space.

Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell said while the "Orwellian need for rough men and women is not going away anytime soon", the army has to compete with the corporate world for people with more high-tech skills.

The problem could also be linked to the general public not necessarily being aware of the need for specific skills in Australia's defence forces, he suggested.

"It is quite literally a fight for talent and a fight for particular aspects of talent," Lt Gen Campbell told the Lowy Institute on Tuesday.

"It is a force - army, navy, air force - that is very high tech and is becoming higher tech in its capabilities."

Lt Gen Campbell said the army was "giving it our best shot" to attract talent and reinvigorating its recruiting methods.

His comments followed a speech to institute members about how technology has pushed Australia's defence forces to think about battles beyond land and sea.

Innovation in the non-geographically bound domains of air, space and the cyber world was driving connectivity and complexity across the Indo-Pacific region, meaning the army must develop a multi-domain strategy to handle potential conflicts in the future.

"It will not suffice for the Australian army to remain a continental army like we have for most our history," Lt Gen Campbell said.

"The use of force and coercion will be increasingly be generated and delivered across ... all the domains of land, sea, air, space, cyber and soon possibly artificial intelligence."

But Lt Gen Campbell says it's not simply a matter of the army embracing every new bit of technology it can get its hands on as that would be too expensive.

"Technology works best when partnering with human endeavour," he said.

"It's the human part of war rather than the scientific part where the answers lie. Human innovation and partnership created the problems we face. Human innovation and partnership will be the key to solving them."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon