The JAPCC Conference 2016
The 2016 Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) Conference was held between 4th and 6th October in Essen, Germany. It considered whether NATO’s employment of airpower over the past two decades in operations where environmental conditions have been neither contested nor congested had resulted in a reduced level of preparedness – both doctrinally and in terms of training – for alliance air power to be utilised optimally in a degraded environment. This is a broad topic and is one that has perhaps not had the visibility it deserves in recent years. Recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been conducted in environments where our adversaries, though lethal and innovative in some areas, lacked the technical sophistication to deny us the full spectrum access we need in order to successfully bring air power to bear. Put simply, modern air power is a high tech business and it is reliant upon the ability to gain unrestricted and assured access to the entire electromagnetic spectrum, space, and, increasingly, cyberspace. Environmental degradations, be they imposed by an adversary or created by natural phenomena, have a massively debilitating effect on the ability to successfully employ air power across all its roles.