Issue 1 - 4th February, 2011
Nominations Sought for Advanced Air Power Course 2011-01
Nominations are sought for the 2011 Advanced Air Power Course. The course is available to all members of the Australian Defence Organisation and selected foreign military personnel. There is no cost to participants, including those from other military services.
If you are interested in developing your knowledge of air power then you should seriously consider becoming a participant on the course. RAAF members are strongly encouraged to apply given that understanding air power is part of your core business. Please look at the APDC website where you will find information about the course content, nomination process, eligibility and contacts.
Seminar: Air Power in Counterinsurgency: Asymetric Advantage or Strategic Vulnerability
Thursday 24 February, 2011
Speaker: Air Commodore Paddy Teakle, Joint Air Power Competence Centre – NATO
Venue: R1 Theatre
Time: 10.30 – 11.30
The seminar will look at the employment of Air Power in counterinsurgency operations using current operations in Afghanistan as the contemporary case study but also drawing on historical precedent. It will examine how air power is tasked and applied despite a complex Command and Control construct. It will cover kinetic and non-kinetic effects and look not only at offensive air power but at ISR, EW, air mobility and rotary operations. It will also explore the rebirth of a nation’s air force by looking at current and future developments in the Afghan Air Force. It will draw out many lessons which if not properly learned could create enduring problems for Air Power in future years. The seminar will also try to glimpse the future and look at the challenges posed by the hybrid threat and the factors which could precipitate future conflict in the near to mid-term.
A Seat at the Table – Beyond the Air Component Coordination Element
by LTGEN Mike Hostage, USAF
Air & Space Power Journal, Winter 2010
Airmen must have a seat at the table when the Joint Forces Command organises, plans and executes operations. Guaranteeing that seat requires meaningful daily interaction by a direct representative of the Joint Force Air Component Commander, who has the air power resources and authority to make a difference. LTGEN Hostage argues that although Combined Air and Space Operation Centres (CAOC) have state-of-the-art communication technologies that allow the command and control of air power from distant locations, they lack the portability to allow an air component commander to co-locate with every ground commander – a fact that he says has hampered discourse and cooperation with joint partners. Further, he believes that the current Air Component Coordination Element (ACCE) construct is wanting, and that effective integration at all levels requires more than just close proximity. ACCEs require adequate authority and resources to improve the integration of air power with surface manoeuvre. He argues that an empowered ACCE will aid the surface commander’s success through the provision of world-class air support and this in turn will help ensure an airman’s seat at the JFC table.
Airpower, Spacepower, and Cyberpower
by Benjamin S. Lambeth
Joint Forces Quarterly, 1st Quarter 2011
Space and cyber were specifically noted in the 2009 Defence White Paper as capability priorities for the ADF. This article, written by Ben Lambeth, a respected and prolific air power writer, discusses the interrelationship of air power, space power and cyber power concepts and is therefore of particular interest to the RAAF and the ADF. Lambeth argues that rather than discussing air power, there is now a need to develop unified three dimensional theories that stress the synergy of air, space and cyber power. He borrows from Clausewitz in stating “space, like the Earth’s atmosphere and electromagnetic spectrum, may have its own grammar, but it does not have its own logic.” This argument largely reflects how the USAF defines air power “the synergistic application of air, space and information systems to project global strategic military power.” However, although Lambeth is correct in noting “while the air, space, and cyberspace mediums are all separate and unique physical environments, taken together, they present a common warfighting challenge in that operations in each are mutually supportive of those in the other two”, his argument is problematic in not acknowledging that space and cyberspace equally impact land and maritime environments as it does air. In this regard, the challenge for the ADF and the RAAF is not in recognising space, cyber and air as one but in understanding cyber and space as truly joint domains which the air, land and maritime environments must exploit in an integrated manner.
Spacepower and Warfare
by M.V. Smith
Joint Forces Quarterly, 1st Quarter 2011
"In the bluntest of statements: space warfare is a certainty in the future because the use of space in war has become vital … Regardless of public sentimental or environmentally shaped attitudes towards space as the pristine final frontier, space warfare is coming." The author provides this quote of Colin Gray to support his logic-based argument that space warfare is inevitable, especially between two spacefaring nations at war. While recognising that space is not exclusively a military operating environment and that significant support continues to exist among nations of the world to avoid the weaponisation of space, this article is very much a description of possible offensive and defensive space warfare measures. For the majority of nations, including Australia, who are predominantly consumers of space capability rather than providers, this article serves as a warning that the hardening of military and civilian communication, navigation and sensor systems against the potential loss or disruption of space based capabilities is a prudent hedge against possible future space warfare.
by Rebecca Grant
AIRFORCE Magazine , Vol. 94, No. 1, January 2011
January/February 2011 marks the twentieth anniversary of Operation Desert Storm. In this article, Rebecca Grant recaps this pivotal event and notes a number of enduring lessons learned regarding the use of air power in major joint operations. For five weeks, from 17 January to 24 February 1991, the US led Coalition conducted offensive independent air operations against Iraqi forces in Iraq and occupied Kuwait. This enabled the subsequent Coalition ground offensive, backed up by a significant amount of air support, to achieve their objectives in only four days, while experiencing unprecedented low numbers of friendly force casualties for warfare at this level. From the air power perspective, Operation Desert Storm represented a watershed moment for its employment, where unity of command of air forces, the delivery of precision weapons, the employment of stealth aircraft and the significant integration of space assets into air operations became new norms.
Did you know ... ?
In 1973-74, huge areas of Australia were inundated in what were, at that time, the most damaging floods in our history. The RAAF responded with detachments from eight operational squadrons as part of a massive flood relief operation. Aircraft, including Hercules, Caribou, Dakota and Iroquois, operated out of small country airfields across the flooded regions, as well as from RAAF bases in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. They airlifted people stranded by the floodwaters, dropped fodder to livestock marooned on pockets of high ground, airlifted food and supplies to isolated communities, and flew sick and injured to medical aid centres. A large number of RAAF personnel, especially the men and women based nearby, also assisted those in need on the ground.
The views expressed in this newsletter and the linked articles are entirely those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Royal Australian Air Force.