Joint Air & Space Power Conference 2017
The Role of Joint Air Power in NATO Deterrence
The Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) hosted, from October 10th to the 12th its annual Joint Air and Space Power Conference, held in Essen, Germany, with a multinational team of distinguished speakers and panellists. The audience was formed of more than 300 people including 68 Flag Officers along with members of Academia, politicians and industries. There were 27 NATO and Partner nations represented.
The theme for this year’s conference, ‘The Role of Joint NATO Air Power in NATO Deterrence’ provided the catalyst for important debate which will help shape thinking regarding the future development of effective Joint Air Power. The issue of deterrence was raised extensively in the previous two JAPCC conferences, both in the context of strategic communications and with regard to NATO’s ability to operate in a degraded environment. Appropriately then, this year’s Conference was dedicated to deterrence and, specifically, to consider the role of Joint Air Power in delivering deterrent effect.
General Tod D. Wolters, the Director of the JAPCC, opened this year’s Conference. In his opening remarks, he welcomed attendees, distinguished speakers and panelists. In reiterating the importance of this event and its Airpower Deterrence focus he said, “it is clear that our levels of cooperation have never been higher through the dedication to NATO’s three core tasks of Collective Defense, Crisis Management, and Cooperative Security, and precision focus on deterring potential threats to the Alliance. The key to deterrence is demonstrating that NATO has both the political will and the military capability to back up the assurances of the North Atlantic Treaty”.
Three Keynote Addresses were delivered by Lieutenant General Jeffrey Lofgren, from Allied Command Transformation, Dr. Ralf Brauksiepe, Parliamentary State Secretary from the German Ministry of Defence, and General Sir James Everard, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Top experts from the political, academic, military and media spheres then debated, in four themed panels; Today’s Security Challenges and Threats to NATO and Partners; Political Cohesion and Decision-Making – is NATO fit for Deterrence?; Deterring from the 3rd Dimension – NATO’s Current Capabilities; and finally Joint Air Power – Urgent Priorities. The themes generated robust discussion of the threats faced; and questions about how the Alliance and its partners might best evolve and leverage air and space capabilities to enhance Deterrence and sustain NATO’s three core tasks.
In closing remarks, General Wolters acknowledged that “the stability of the NATO Alliance is immeasurably important to the maintenance of peace and order in the world, not just the North Atlantic. The challenges we face are multi-directional and multi-dimensional, and they will not be overcome without multilateral and multi-domain solutions”.