The precise application of combat power from the air has been of strategic importance to the Alliance since NATO’s inception. Time and again, NATO and its Member Nations have turned to Joint Air Power as the first, and in some cases only, military response option.
‘Our Alliance now faces the increasingly dire risk of not having the right capabilities and / or sufficient quantities of air power and access to space capabilities to cope with the security challenges outlined in NATO’s forward looking Strategic Concept.’ – This is a quote from General Frank Gorenc, out of the foreword of the JAPCC study ‘Air and Space Power in NATO – Future Vector’. It refers to the lengthy run of defence cuts over the last decades and the diminishing Air and Space Power capabilities as a consequence.
This study provides a detailed assessment of current RPAS components’ limitations and vulnerabilities, addressing operational, technical and legal questions. It outlines a vision of possible future conflict scenarios and compares these predicted threats with current capabilities. The study focuses on Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) and High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) RPAS.
For more than fifteen years now, NATO has been actively pursuing efforts to improve the operational capabilities and competencies of the Alliance. Today, essential shortfalls still exist and the transatlantic capability gap has become even greater. Although this capability and competency gap in NATO is not new, it has become more apparent with the recent developments in the Ukraine and the changes in the relationship between Russia and NATO.
As we prepare for the future, it is critical that NATO and its nations capture the lessons identified from recent crisis response and combat operations. Turning these into lessons learned as we transition from NATO in operations to NATO prepared for operations is paramount. This transition combined with the on-going financial crisis makes it certain that investment in future Air Power capabilities will be under heavy scrutiny. It is thus critical for NATO and its nations to actively investigate, develop and promulgate their vision for Air and Space Power for the future.
The JAPCC was requested by the NATO Air Training Command – Afghanistan (NATC-A) to perform a study regarding NATO’s ability to assess, train, advise and assist foreign aviation forces in airpower employment, sustainment and force integration. The objectives of this study are to define the terms ‘Air Advisor’ and the Air Advisor mission and determine the anticipated future mission requirements. It then identifies the gaps between those requirements and current capabilities and makes recommendations on how best to fill those gaps.
JAPCC initiated a comprehensive project ‘Air and Space Power in NATO – Future Vector’. This project intends to chart a future path with viable options and solutions to guarantee that Joint Air and Space Power continues to contribute to the security and success of NATO and its nations.
Fiscal constraints, reduced manning, evolving focus of effort, operational misalignment, fleeting relevance, and a challenging strategic environment are just a few of the significant forces which united and demanded JAPCC to rethink, refocus and regroup.
The aim of this publication is three fold: to educate the reader in the current status of NATO’s AAR capability; to explain, in detail, the areas of concern; and to inform the reader of solutions to address these concerns.
The purpose of this Capstone Document is to inform the members of the JAPCC, NATO organizations, SNs, contemporary organizations, academia and to whom it may concern about the ‘raison d’être’ of the JAPCC.