To be able to operate in the ‘grey zone’ the air force needs to shape, deter and respond to potential threats.


In an interview with ASPI, RAAF chief (CAF), Mel Hupfeld made several points. He noted that Australia would have little warning of a potential conflict. That potential enemies exploit the grey zone in ways which avoid escalation to full conflict warfare. He also noted that ‘high-end warfighting remains a core function of air power’. He also said that the air force must be able to provide the government with a broad range of options ranging from cooperation to conflict. CAF emphasised that though platforms are essential, it is the people who operate them that make the difference. The air force is technology-based, but it is vital to have people who know when and how to use this technology. One take-away from this interview is that all members of the air force need to be able to recognise when they are operating in the grey zone.