By Group Captain John Alexander, GBR AF, Acting Assistant Director Transformation, JAPCC
… the great uncertainty of all data in War is a peculiar difficulty, because all action must, to a certain extent, be planned in a mere twilight, which in addition not infrequently – like the effect of a fog or moonshine – gives to things exaggerated dimensions and an unnatural appearance.
Clausewitz On War
Air Power has been used to minimize the ‘fog of war’ since its invention. During the French Revolutionary Wars balloons were used to observe the enemy, to allow commanders to orientate, decide and act more quickly than the enemy. The aeroplanes’ first combat mission was observation. The ability to command and control air power within joint and combined operations, underpinned by Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance is just as important today over what our Executive Director, Lieutenant General Schubert, in his article, calls the empty battlefield. The theme of this edition of the JAPCC Journal is the transformation of Air C4ISR.
General Hobbins, Director JAPCC, leads with his vision for the future of C4ISR – Net-Centricity. Shifting the focus from machines to information, Net-centricity involves people, processes, information fusion, and systems. ACT then outlines its efforts to bring coherence to Joint ISR.
A common theme is the transformational aspects of NATO’s lessons learned in ISAF – led by General Back’s article on ISAF ISR. Another theme is the human aspects of C4ISR transformation – of command and control, of locating the air commander, and the management of change in the NATO AEW Force. Then there is the challenge for ISR to find an elusive irregular foe. Also we have the German view on the notion of a network enabled, effects-based, comprehensive approach to conflict, and a perspective on the same subject from a British author. Other articles include the use of data standards, the use of targeting pods for ISR, and an Israeli view on man machine interface and the display of information.
Many articles emphasise the challenge of the role of Air Power in irregular warfare. This is the theme of the next edition of the JAPCC Journal and of the Annual JAPCC Conference in Kleve on 16-18 October 2007.
The JAPCC continues to transform. We have articles from our outgoing and incoming Assistant Directors Transformation (and Journal Editors) – Air Commodores Dugmore and Porter. Finally, this is General Schubert’s last edition of the Journal as our Executive Director before he retires in September. The Journal, like much of the JAPCC, has been General Schubert’s conception, and its success a product of his leadership.
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