Air and Space Power Conference 2019: ‘Multi-Domain’ operations to drive RAF’s future
Military leaders from around the world will join forces with senior government officials and leaders from the global air and space power community on 17-18 July for the annual UK Chief of the Air Staff’s Air and Space Power Conference 2019. The theme of this year’s event, ‘Multi-Domain Operations for the Next Generation Air Force’, sets the tone for an ambitious two-day programme designed to explore the potential – technologically, structurally and doctrinally – for the RAF to exploit the air, space and cyber power domains with other armed services, partners and allies to counter new types of challenge posed by competitor states, above and below the threshold of war. Launching the Conference, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal Gerry Mayhew, said: “This year, the Chief of the Air Staff’s Air and Space Power Conference will focus on how the RAF – in concert with global allies and partners – can exploit the full potential of multi-domain operations to respond to the challenges of a rapidly-changing global context. This will be a unique forum for international air and space-minded specialists to challenge existing thinking, share cutting-edge ideas, and explore exciting possibilities. I very much look forward to the debate.” The conference will be split into four sessions. The first will examine the complex geopolitical landscape and the rise of unfriendly activity across a range of domains that falls below the threshold of actual conflict or direct military action. Entitled ‘The Utility of Air and Space Power in Sub-Threshold and ‘Grey Zone’ Scenarios’, this session will focus on how air, space and cyber technologies can be utilised and protected in an ever-widening spectrum of strategic competition.
The second session, ‘Emerging Technology and Innovation: New Ways of Delivering Air and Space Power’, will offer military and industry perspectives on the direction of travel for future air and space applications, equipment and doctrine. The ability to seamlessly exploit and safeguard the air and space domains is deemed essential to maximising the effectiveness of emerging technologies and concepts. The third session, ‘Developing Our People: The Challenge and the Opportunity’, will draw on best practice from international allies and partners to examine how air and space commanders can best be prepared to meet the challenges of a future partially defined by multidomain operations. Finally, ‘Collective Approaches to Multi-Domain Operations’, will explore how harnessing capabilities across all domains will be key to gaining decisive advantage, whether acting independently or in a Joint, Allied or Coalition context. The RAF’s re-formation of Number 11 Group as a dedicated Multi-Domain Operations Group reflects its commitment to achieving seamless command, control and execution across environmental boundaries. This session will include perspectives from the Joint arena and international partners. Confirmed keynote speakers include the UK Secretary of State for Defence, The Right Honourable Gavin Williamson MP, and Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff. Air Commodore (Ret’d) Mark Roberts, Air and Space Power Association Chairman, said: “ASPC 2019 is the lead platform for strategic debate around how the RAF and its global allies can best harness innovation and disruptive technologies to drive their air, space and cyber power capabilities and effective interoperability. This year’s conference is now appropriately renamed to reflect the importance of the space environment and space-based capabilities for military operations. As the premier international forum for senior air and space power professionals, ASPC 19 promises to be thought-provoking and transformative for air power strategists, operators, the science and technology community and business leaders alike”.