Home' Air Force News : August 29th 2013 Contents 2
August 29, 2013
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RESPECT -- EXCELLENCE -- AGILITY -- DEDICATION -- INTEGRITY -- TEAMWORK
Living the Air Force Values:
FLTLT Phil Mayne
EARLIER this month, CAF AIRMSHL
Geoff Brown brought together Air
Force's commanding officers to review
and build on the progress made to date
in delivering the New Horizon program.
The Commanding Officers' Call,
held at RAAF Base Glenbrook, gave
COs the opportunity to engage directly
with Air Force senior leaders and hear
presentations ranging from ethical lead-
ership to barriers to cultural change.
Launched in September 2012, the
New Horizon program leverages exist-
ing safety, continuous improvement and
adaptive culture programs to further
evolve Air Force culture.
AIRMSHL Brown said New
Horizon improved Air Force capability
by developing and sustaining things that
enhanced capability, and by preventing
the issues that degraded capability.
"New Horizon is about capability
because people create Air Force capa-
bility," AIRMSHL Brown said.
"Our COs lead capability; their units
are responsible for operational deliv-
ery, and they directly shape and influ-
ence almost every member of Air Force.
They have the most influential role in
the success of New Horizon of anyone
in Air Force. We need to take advantage
"I'm confident that our command-
ers are better equipped to move New
Horizon forward as a result of this Call,
so it has been great value."
A key feature of the Call was a
presentation by Sex Discrimination
Commissioner and author of the Review
into the Treatment of Women in the
ADF, Elizabeth Broderick.
She highlighted what a privilege it
was to work with the many Air Force
personnel who were genuinely deter-
mined to make their service inclusive,
respectful and high performing.
Her speech emphasised that
developing a more inclusive culture
and recruiting more women into Air
Force, and into the ADF, was about
improving capability. She also high-
lighted the need for change as a result
of the shrinking of Air Force's tradi-
tional labour market. She said Air Force
faced a significant training cost with
every unwanted departure impacting
the future operational effectiveness of
CAF supported this view, telling
commanders that New Horizon was all
about making Air Force a better organi-
sation, one that can attract, recruit and
retain the best people now and into the
"Most of the policy work to date
focuses on entry to Air Force," he said.
"Targeted strategies such as the
graduate pilot scheme and the tempo-
rary special measure of Recruitment
to Area will contribute to building a
critical mass of women at recruitment.
"Merit remains the principle selec-
tion factor for promotion and com-
mand because it is fundamental to get-
ting the best people in our supervisory
and leadership roles."
CAF said over the past three dec-
ades there had been three major cata-
lysts for Air Force change.
"The first involved flying safety,"
he said. "Throughout the 1980s and
early '90s we lost too many planes and
"Then we had the F-111 Deseal/
Reseal Board of Inquiry, which forced
us to look at our ground safety."
He said the Skype incident at the
Australian Defence Force Academy and
the subsequent ADF cultural reviews
were the latest catalyst for change.
"After listening first-hand to the
experiences of Air Force people who
have been sexually abused, and reading
many cases of inappropriate behaviour,
I took a vow that Air Force needed to be
different," AIRMSHL Brown said.
"Our people need to understand
that this sort of behaviour is no longer
"My aim is that every Air Force
member will feel physically and emo-
tionally safe in the workplace, both at
home or when deployed."
Director-General Air Force
Improvement AIRCDRE Adam Brown
said New Horizon relied on outstanding
leadership to be successful.
"While all Air Force people are
leaders in their own right, it is our
commanders' leadership in particular
that engages and inspires," AIRCDRE
"They create the high energy levels,
the innovation, the focus on people and
the trust within their units that is so fun-
damental to achieving New Horizon's
intent of being a better Air Force."
He said the COs were able to col-
lectively analyse CAF's intent, exam-
ine policy initiatives, debate the critical
issues requiring action, and commit to
actions within their units.
"We covered a lot across the four
days, and came away with a clearer
appreciation of what actions are neces-
sary to eradicate unacceptable behav-
iour and build diversity within Air
Force," AIRCDRE Brown said.
He said the activity achieved a
number of outcomes.
"Firstly, it got all of our COs on
the same page with respect to New
Horizon," AIRCDRE Brown said.
"Over the past 12 months we have
been on a journey within Air Force
Headquarters to come to grips with
the cultural reality presented by the
various Defence cultural reviews.
"To some extent, we needed to take
our COs on that same journey so they
could better explain the program to
"But, most importantly, the COs
developed action plans to address key
personnel issues. They identified a raft
of ideas that we have not previously
"This is the value you get from
bringing together such a power-
ful group of people from across
During the event CAF launched
the inaugural RAAF Leadership
Companion. The booklet will help
members of all ranks gain a greater
understanding of what is required of
them as ethical leaders.
CULTURAL CHANGE: COs
participate in a group discussion
during the Commanding Officers'
Call at RAAF Base Glenbrook.
Inset, the RAAF Leadership
Companion booklet provided
Photos: LAC David Said
New Horizon pledge
CO 381ECSS WGCDR Sonia King
attended the COs' Call.
What was your attitude going into the
event and did it change during the
four days? I think that, from the out-
set, while all COs were supportive and
involved in the New Horizon initiative,
some of us were seeking further guid-
ance on where the program was going.
Getting together with COs of vastly dif-
ferent types of units allowed us to talk
through concerns, initiatives and ideas
of how we can progress CAF's intent in
a consistent and cohesive way.
What was your impression of the
event? Did it answer your questions
or better inform you about the New
Horizon program? It was a fantastic
opportunity to meet many other COs
and leverage off their experience and
knowledge. I believe most people
agreed it was extremely worthwhile.
The opportunity to hear from and
submit questions to presenters such as
CAF, DCAF, ACAUST, DGPERS-AF and
Elizabeth Broderick helped in under-
standing the issues, and also dispelling
a lot of myths.
Do you agree New Horizon is all about
building and sustaining capability? It
was clearly articulated what the chal-
lenges were in regard to where the Air
Force had traditionally recruited from,
and where we would be recruiting from
in the near future. We can't rely on what
has worked in the past anymore and
need to initiate new strategies for Air
Force to continue to be a great place to
work, and an organisation that people
want to join. Over the course of the
event it became clear that the changes
were not all about sustaining capability;
it is equally about making the changes
because it is fundamentally the right
thing to do.
How will you take New Horizon to your
troops? I'm intending to work together
with my executive team to personalise
the issues within my unit and get dis-
cussion started at all levels. There were
a lot of great ideas from around the
room on different strategies that have
worked for different COs and units, so
we'll explore those. Using those exam-
ples will also help get a consistent mes-
sage across the Air Force that wherever
somebody is posted to, they know their
CO has been to this conference, has
participated in the discussions, has
heard and contributed towards ideas
and examples of how to demonstrate,
implement and ensure the behaviours
that will keep the Air Force a capable,
safe and diverse workplace. This is our
Air Force and everybody at every rank
is responsible for how we move ahead.
Everybody was keen and energised dur-
ing the conference, and actively think-
ing of what would and wouldn't work in
their own unit.
COs' Call -- a commander's perspective
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