Chief of Army History Conference 2023

Chief of Army History Conference 2023 (CAHC23) will examine the theme of ‘In Brown and Green waters: Australian Army Operations in the Littoral'. This theme will examine the history of Australian Army operations in the littoral to support the development of Army’s Littoral Manoeuvre Concept. It will reflect Army’s more than 100 years’ experience with operations in the littoral, both seaward and inland, and demonstrate how Army adapted training and doctrine historically in response to this strategic requirement.

CAHC23 will be conducted at Adams Auditorium, ADFA in Canberra on Thursday 16 November 2023 from 9:00am to 5:00pm and registration for attendance, both in-person and online, will be through Eventbrite.

The conference will be conducted in a hybrid format with in-person and online attendance. All presentations will be live streamed to those wishing to participate in the conference remotely. Remote attendees can interact with the Q&A sessions online via the dedicated conference website. On the completion of the conference, the recorded presentations will be uploaded to the Army YouTube site.

The conference keynote speaker will be Professor Peter Dean, Director, Foreign Policy and Defence, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Professor Dean was Co-Lead of the 2023 Defence Strategic Review (DSR) Secretariat where he served as senior advisor and principal author for the Independent Leads, His Excellency Professor the Hon. Stephen Smith and Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AC AFC (Retd). Professor Dean has an extensive background in military and defence studies and has authored numerous books and articles on the US-Australian alliance, Australian defence policy and military operations. Professor Dean has studied Australian operations in the littoral extensively and identified a range of lessons learnt relevant to developing Army’s Littoral Manoeuvre Concept.


The conference presentations will be delivered by 19 academics, historians and ADF members presenting on a range of historical examples related to Army’s operations in the littoral.

Sustaining littoral operations

  • Dr Rhys Crawley: Gallipoli; landing, sustainment & withdrawal
  • Ms Nicole Townsend: Tobruk; sustainment and relief
  • Prof Bob Breen: Operation Morris Dance, Sailcloth, Warden & Quickstep

Combined operations

  • Prof David Horner: Military strategy and command SWP amphibious operations 1942-45
  • Prof Peter Dean: Joint overseas operational training school & combined operations training centre
  • Dr Dayton McCarthy: OBOE – Combined Operations

Joint operations

  • Mr Martin James: RAAF and the OBOE operations
  • Dr Bob Stevenson: Rabaul & the ANMEF
  • Dr Joshua Schroeder: Small boat operations from Vietnam to Iraq: The USMC experience

Intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance

  • Prof Christine Helliwell: Operation SEMUT: Preparing for OBOE 6
  • CMDR David Wright: Controlling and denying the maritime space
  • Mr Peter Djokovic: Reconnoitring the beaches

Army littoral operations in the Second World War

  • Dr Karl James: Bougainville - Manoeuvring in the littoral space
  • Ass Prof Garth Pratten: Oboe riverine operations
  • Dr Mark Johnstone: Aitape-Wewak: Combined arms operations in the littoral

Operating in boundaries

  • Dr Bob Marmion and Mr Andrew Dagg: Army in coastal defence – Port Phillip Bay experience
  • CAPT (RAN) Alastair Cooper: Army - Navy boundary for amphibious responsibility
  • Mr Tim Gellel: Forward observation line; "Fortress F"



16 November 2023,
9:00 am – 5:00 pm


Adams Auditorium, ADFA
Australian Capital Territory