Page 44 - Australian Defence Magazine September 2018
P. 44

Diggerwortks has a rapid spiral development program in place.
for the soldier system win
With all due apologies to Jane Austen, some years back your correspondent wrote that it was a truth universally acknowledged that no matter what equipment was issued, the soldiers would think it was crap and that other stuff was better.
THAT’S no longer the case and hasn’t been for some years, mostly thanks to Diggerworks, the organisation officially formed in 2011 to ensure the issue kit was the best possible, that it was acquired and issued speedily and that soldier feedback was considered and improvements imple- mented. In short, a system that worked.
Though the soldiery will always find something to complain about, the volume
of complaints is nothing like the dim days of the 2000s when soldiers grumbled that their body armour and much else wasn’t up to the type of war they were fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Australia had come out of a long period of peace and procurement practices had developed to buy kit infrequently in large quantities and only after all due process had been faithfully followed.
Former Army chief Lieutenant General Peter Leahy remains critical of the then De- fence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and its inability to respond promptly to emerg- ing operational needs, seemingly taking the view: “We’ve got a process. We need to go through the process – what do you mean you want this quickly?”
The Diggers weren’t shy about detail- ing the shortcomings in their equipment.
44 | September 2018 |

   42   43   44   45   46