FOREWORD - DEFENCE MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, November 2003
Air Chief Marshal Sir Anthony Bagnall GBE KCB FRAeS RAF
Defence is no stranger to change. The effectiveness of our Armed Forces has always been predicated upon our ability to predict and respond to an evolving threat environment. The situation we face now presents unique challenges for two reasons. First, by virtue of the scale and pace of change in the threats we face – a threat in a constant state of metamorphosis; and second, by the nature of the evolving technologies available to combat it. Technologies that we must exploit to the full. This combination of circumstances means that we must be increasingly responsive and flexible, with decisionmaking processes that match this ambition, both nationally and in coalition, and accelerated and integrated equipment programmes. We need to be more agile in determining the military effect we wish to produce, and harnessing our programmes to bring together combinations of systems to that end. This means greater synergy between our equipment projects, and better integration of complex new systems with the legacy equipments we must continue to field for some years to come.
The demand for information in today’s and tomorrow’s battlespace also means that we need not only to be able to move it in great volumes, but make it secure yet accessible and comprehensible to a variety of users with different needs. This demand for information is mirrored in the headquarters environment. The new refurbished MOD Main Building will be configured to allow maximum use of efficient electronic systems and we must all, as managers, ensure that – in this information age – we keep our eyes firmly on the goals that we have set ourselves.
All this means that the key themes of this edition, modernisation, training, education and procurement, are topics of greater relevance today than ever before. Predictably, we face challenges in responding to the new strategic environment. The MOD Headquarters must play its full part in ensuring that our business processes are configured to meet the demands of the future.