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About the Air Power Development Centre

The Air Power Development Centre provides practical and effective analysis and advice on the strategic development of air and space power to the Chief of Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force and its partners.

Vision

To guide Air Force into the future

Mission

To support strategic decision-making about the future of air and space power for Air Force and its partners

The APDC operates with six related sections: Executive; Strategy and Engagement; Development; Doctrine, Education and the Office of Air Force History.

For a detailed overview of the APDC, including its goals, you can view the Centre's Strategic Plan.

Historical Overview

Air and space power is a cornerstone of Australia’s security, and Australia’s unique strategic geography means that will always be so. As the principal provider of Australia’s air and space power, the RAAF is tasked with the conduct of air and space operations in pursuit of the nation’s security and defence. As exponents of air and space power, all members of the RAAF have an inherent responsibility to be knowledgeable regarding the theory and doctrine of air and space power; Air Force members are to be professional masters. In recognition of this basic need, the then Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Ray Funnell AC ordered the formation of the RAAF Air Power Studies Centre in 1989 to develop and articulate air power doctrine.

The Centre produced the RAAF’s first Air Power Manual in 1990, which at that time was only the second of its type in the world. As well as establishing the strategic foundation for the application of air power in an Australian context, the Air Power Manual also brought international acclaim to the Centre and the RAAF. From those roots the development of strategic air and space power doctrine and the promotion of air and space power have remained the APDC’s primary goals.

Over the years the Centre has evolved into an agency that provides subject matter expertise for air and space power education and a well-developed publication program. Since 1991, the APDC has been responsible for the conduct of the Chief of Air Force Fellowship program in which selected members of the RAAF undertake research in key air and space power issues which have direct relevance and applicability to Air Force. In 1997, the RAAF Historical Section was amalgamated with the Centre, and is now known as the Office of Air Force History.

The Air Power Studies Centre was renamed Aerospace Centre in 2000 and then became the Air Power Development Centre in 2004.

Currently, the APDC has responsibility for the following:

  1. Strategic advice regarding air power.
  2. Development and review of air and space power doctrine.
  3. Air power education, within the RAAF and the ADF, including the conduct of CAF Fellowships and international conferences.
  4. Air and space power assessments.
  5. Air and space power applied historical analysis, and Air Force historical record keeping, through the Office of Air Force History.

With the RAAF poised at the beginning of significant change to the way air power will be delivered in the 21st century, the APDC has repositioned itself to be able to provide strategic guidance to the Air Force in transitioning to better ways of doing business.

 
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AIR AND SPACE POWER FOR AUSTRALIA'S SECURITY