Joint Air & Space Power Conference 2020

Leveraging Emerging Technologies in Support of NATO Air & Space Power

Due to the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the Joint Air Power Competence Centre had to take the decision to cancel the JAPCC Annual Joint Air & Space Power Conference scheduled for 8 –10 December 2020 in Essen, Germany. Protecting the health, safety, and well-being of our attendees is paramount.

How NATO and its member nations will use emerging technologies to support the effectiveness of their military efforts in air and space, is a question of remaining relevance. Unfortunately, we did not have the possibility to gather this year in Essen to exchange our thoughts and discuss ideas and approaches with panellists and amongst all other participants. The JAPCC is therefore particularly thankful that some of our prospected keynote speakers and panellists agreed to provide their key messages in short video statements and allowed us to make them available to you. They are supposed to provide another valuable contribution to further discussions.

General Jeffrey L. Harrigian

Director JAPCC

The foundation of effective Air and Space power in the future is the ability to rapidly transmit data through hardened and resilient networks that enable Joint All-Domain Command and Control across all Services and partner nations. Competing effectively in the Information Environment is essential to assure access to the capabilities, products and services provided through Space and Cyberspace upon which our Alliance forces are increasingly dependent.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach

Chairman NATO Military Committee

NATO is working to counter all threats across all domains. We must be able to defend ourselves in the digital age, the age of Electronic Warfare. This means, we should expand our proficiency in joint Electro-magnetic spectrum operations via Cyber and Space infrastructure. It requires increased investments in Cyber, Space, EMS capabilities, and in the people.

Major General Michel Friedling

Commander, French Space Command

Space is essential for decision-making and military operations in all domains. Due to emerging threats it is increasingly contested, and potentially becoming a new area of confrontation and a warfighting domain. Challenges to be addresses include Space Domain Awareness, Resiliency, Agility/Versatility of Space assets and Interoperability as a key factor for success.

Dr Timothy Grayson

Director, Strategic Technology Office at DARPA

Developing new technologies to bring Allies and partners closer together in the all domain fight also means looking for opportunities where a technology is not just a new capability, but a way to inspire new military constructs and stimulate a broader discussion about transformation. We need a large continuously adapting range of options to deter and contain incrementalist aggression.

Lieutenant General Luca Goretti

Deputy Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force

We need an effective Space Domain Awareness and the capability to conduct stratospheric and suborbital flight. Future assets have to cooperate at high altitude and speed to secure the necessary strategic advantage. Many critical functions rely on services provided by space assets. We need to implement effective protection measures to safeguard their availability.

The Joint Air & Space Power Conference 2020 was planned to take place from 8-10 December 2020, in Essen, Germany.

In 2020 the Joint Air & Space Power Conference should have focused on how NATO leverages emerging technologies in support of Air & Space Power. Specifically, how do new capabilities operating in and through Space integrate into NATO Operations; both from a standpoint of additional capability contribution as well as potentially new challenges? Additionally, Information Competition coupled with an increasingly congested and contested electromagnetic spectrum, indispensable to modern military operations, causes questions as to how NATO secures and exploits Information and Information Flow. Furthermore, as NATO acquires new capabilities while continuing to rely on legacy systems, how do operators manage the battlespace across all operational domains? And lastly, what are those technologies currently in the mind’s eye but have a decade or more before they will be realized in the battlespace, and what must we do today to prepare for their eventual entrance into the arena?

Conference Themes

Space. In the closing days of 2019 NATO recognized Space an operational domain, referencing its importance in keeping the Alliance safe and in addressing security challenges, in line with international law. As NATO continues to integrate terrestrial and extra-terrestrial operations, what will be NATO’s role in ensuring freedom of movement in and through Space? Not only to ensure access to ever-increasingly important Space-based services to terrestrial operations, but also to enable operations in Space in pursuit of freedom of movement for extra-terrestrial operations.

Competing in the Information Environment. Great power competition involves myriad activities that generally occur below the threshold of actual armed conflict. This range between pervasive peace and all-out war is sometimes referred to as the gray zone, and the battles here are increasingly being fought using information and information technology to influence public perceptions and exert influence on and through both military and non-military instruments of power. The information flow that enables these gray zone exchanges is inextricably reliant on access to and security of the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) to allow for the use of communication technologies through which the information flow occurs.

Battlespace Management. Today the Battlespace has become more complicated than it ever was in the past. This is due to the year to year military use of ever more sophisticated high-tech equipment in each operational domain in order to be able to gain an advantage during military operations to ensure mission success. Currently those who possess the most up-to-date information, and are able to better manage that information, are more likely to be one step ahead in congested and contested Battlespace, and that Battlespace now includes Space and Cyberspace, in addition to the traditional domains of Land, Sea, and Air.

Future Developments. Many of today’s military conflicts are still largely contested with predominately Industrial Age forces and mind-set … both of which are increasingly changing. The exponential growth in technology, coupled with increasing applications, and understanding, of those technologies is rapidly changing the tools we use in our daily lives and in the conduct of military operations. As NATO transitions more firmly into the Information Age, the tools it utilizes to address security issues and ensure the safety of the Alliance have the potential to increasingly alter the way in which NATO goes about its business.