Journal Edition 25 Editorial 2017 was another fruitful year for the JAPCC. While we continued our core business as NATO’s catalyst for the improvement and transformation of Joint Air and Space Power; some significant projects were completed and many new interesting work strands were initiated. Our ongoing efforts to improve cooperation amongst NATO, EU and…
It is our great pleasure to present the results of last year in the Joint Air Power Competence Centre Annual Report 2017. The past year was another successful one for the JAPCC. While we continued our core business as NATO’s catalyst for the improvement and transformation of Joint Air and Space Power; several significant projects were completed, and many new interesting activities were initiated. This was largely due to the hard work and commitment of the outstanding women and men provided by our sponsoring nations.
Given the strategic nature of airbases and the vulnerability of most, if not all of the assets grouped on them, it is apparent that the methods of protecting them will have to become much better. As a key component, this process will require dedicated, air-minded Force Protection (FP) forces that are specifically trained and organised for the task.
The following Proceedings consolidate significant points from the keynote addresses, the panel discussions and attendee contributions to form a summary reference of the event and to highlight areas for future consideration and development. The document does not record the minutes of the Conference; rather, it highlights the major themes and draws together thoughts and ideas from all elements of the Conference. For a fuller understanding of the topic, readers are encouraged to read these Proceedings in conjunction with the previously published Conference Read Ahead material. In the spirit of the Chatham House Rule, no statements, opinions or ideas are attributed to any particular individual within this record.
One method of quickly employing ground forces is through airmobile operations. When airmobile forces are employed by helicopter, part of their equipment is transported as an Underslung Load (USL) underneath the helicopter. For NATO forces to operate in a combined manner, it is essential that the equipment of one nation be transportable by the helicopters of another nation. Although Helicopter Underslung Load Equipment (HUSLE) and helicopter USL standards are available and approved in NATO, interoperability appears to be limited.
As a vital component in the projection of Air Power, Cyberspace has surpassed its mark as an enabler, now recognized as not only critical to mission assurance but a Domain of operations in itself. Consequently, it is critical that the systems operating in Cyberspace be secure, reliable and available and establishing these criteria by employing defensive measures alone may be insufficient.
NATO is facing an increasingly diverse, unpredictable and demanding security environment, ‘an arc of insecurity and instability along NATO’s periphery and beyond’. In recent times this has led to a range of steps by NATO to reinforce its collective defence, enhance its capabilities, and strengthen its resilience. NATO has committed itself to provide its armed forces with sufficient and sustained resources, thereby underlining its stated strategic intent that ‘NATO’s essential mission is unchanged and that NATO will ensure that it has the full range of capabilities necessary to fulfil the whole range of Alliance missions, including to deter and defend against potential adversaries, and the full spectrum of threats that could confront the Alliance from any direction’.
Network technology is expanding at an exponential rate. As technology improves, effectively unlimited connectivity is no longer strictly a future concept; however, combined decision-making and data sharing processes (or maybe ‘protocols’) are not evolving at the same speed as technology. Machines will boost communication in a networked environment to levels yet to be determined. This will require nations and the Alliance to alter current communication patterns.
It is our great pleasure to present the 24th Edition of the JAPCC Journal. A prominent theme permeating this journal is the significance of the Joint Strike Fighter arriving in many NATO Allies’ national forces. Starting off, Major General Max A. L. T. Nielsen, the Danish Air Chief, provides us his perspective on the unprecedented potential of the F-35 and the challenge of developing Tactics, Techniques & Procedures to fully exploit its 5th generation capabilities in a system of systems with 4th generation aircraft that will remain widely in service. This is a capability that is going to truly transform the way NATO air power is employed across all domains including space and via cyber.
In military operations over the last twenty years, air power has repeatedly proven to be NATO’s great asymmetric advantage. Air power’s ability to accurately strike targets, support troops on the ground, provide accurate and timely intelligence, and transport troops, equipment and supplies over vast distances give NATO an incomparable advantage against its enemies. Moreover, in a crisis, it is air power that is the first responder due to its ability to react quickly and with precision. Yet, it is air power’s very success that makes it the main target for information warfare waged against NATO. In this information battle waged by NATO’s opponents, disinformation is a primary weapon and air power is a primary target.