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Article – ALTC Fiction Competition: As the Crow Flies

The Australian Defence Force is modernising rapidly. Emerging technologies and operating methods present a range of opportunities to significantly enhance capability. To ensure this modern force is appropriately sustained into the future, the ADF’s logistics capabilities cannot afford to be left behind.

The Army Logistic Training Centre Fiction Competition encouraged writers and multimedia artists to visualise the future of logistics in the 2025 – 2040 timeframe.


On a cold and foggy morning, Private (PTE) Smith is on piquet. He has been on piquet for what seems like an eternity. Not much has happened since his arrival to the front line of Atropia. The 1st Royal Australian Regiment have been in the main defensive position for weeks with little to no action. All that PTE Smith has done so far is dig pits and piquet. All that infantry training so far hasn’t amounted to much.

It’s a good thing PTE Smith is paying attention though, as cracks sound out and the whoosh of bullets fly pass him. PTE Smith reacts and finally gets to get some rounds down.

His Section Commander starts screaming for an update and PTE Smith provides a target indication to bring the section to the party! Corporal (CPL) Grimes shouts over the gun fire to give his section a fire control order so they can win the fire fight.

It isn’t long before PTE Smith and his section are running low on ammo. He screams back to his section commander that he’s running out and a number of other riflemen scream in agreeance. CPL Grimes knows what he’s got to do.

Using his tactical communications device (TCD), he presses the notification for a resupply of ammunition. His TCD has a number of quick touch options, from ordering ammunition to calling in medical support. In an instant, his demand for supplies, together with location, quickest route, enemy threat and estimated arrival time, is sent back to the Company Quartermaster Storeman for immediate action.

The quartermaster soldier receives the demand through his operating terminal and quickly runs to the vehicle to grab the ammunition. Meanwhile a drone is powered up, begins route planning and awaits stores to be hooked up.

In less than one minute, the stores are hooked up, mission data sent to the drone and it’s on its way to the front line to resupply the section in contact.

Flying above the tree line and free from obstacles or ground threats, the drone can get to where it’s needed fast. This system negates the need for a cumbersome logistic resupply. Landing exactly at the section commander’s feet, using the GPS tracker in his TCD, the section is restocked and ready to continue the fight.

The drone returns on its original flight path to the Company Quartermaster position and docks in the charging station ready for another mission.


About the author:  Allon Carter joined the British Army in 2001 and in 2005 he commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst into the Royal Logistic Corps. In January 2013, he successfully transferred to the Australian Regular Army and gained an appointment in the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps.

Allon is currently Officer Commanding, Supply Wing at the Army School of Ordnance and has deployed on operations as an Ammunition Technical Officer. In his spare time, Allon enjoys using his own drone.

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