The Military Communications and Information Systems (MilCIS) conference and expo was held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra recently, bringing together Defence personnel, contractors, industry and academia.
MilCIS provided the opportunity for the Defence Information and Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem to discuss current and developing technological capabilities, project initiatives, and operational requirements.
Defence leaders, including Associate Secretary Matt Yannopoulos and Head of ICT Operations Major General Murray Thompson, headlined the conference, giving presentations on key issues impacting the sector.
They both emphasised the pivotal role that industry plays in facing Defence’s strategic challenges now and into the future.
“As outlined in the 2020 Defence strategic update, Australia’s strategic environment is now more complex, competitive and contested than it was when I was last in Defence in 2013,” Mr Yannopoulos told the gathering.
“As a result of that environment, $270 billion is being invested in capability over this decade to help the ADF shape our environment, deter actions against Australia’s interests and to respond with credible force when required.
“The delivery of ICT is critical to delivering on the Defence mission in this environment.
“Twenty-first century defence capabilities are highly sophisticated, and they can only be manufactured or acquired by a defence ecosystem which sees industry and Defence work in genuine partnership.
“We are committed to holding up our end of that bargain.”
ICT forms the backbone of Defence, enabling ADF operations and supporting the Defence enterprise.
It also plays a substantial role in Defence’s transformation agenda, with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) program forming the most significant transformation Defence has seen since the services amalgamated into a single defence force in the 1970s.
Defence's acting Chief Information Officer Jeffrey Goedecke said: "We have a huge program of work to deliver in the next five years, with the implementation of ERP, a new ICT operating model for Defence and the imminent launch of our Defence ICT Strategy and Defence Cyber Security Strategy".
The MilCIS expo demonstrated the best and brightest innovations in the Defence technology ecosystem.
The event ran in a virtual and in-person format and was successful in forging even stronger partnerships between the Department of Defence, Defence industry and academia.