Issue 2011-10 
7th November, 2011



Seminar: Five Power Defence Arrangements by Air Vice-Marshal Warren Ludwig AM, Commander of the Integrated Area Defence System at Butterworth, Malaysia

Event info: Monday, 21 November from 1000 - 1045 in the R1 Theatre.

The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) was established in 1971 between Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom. An FPDA 40th Anniversary celebration and meeting of Defence Ministers from each nation was held in Singapore on 1 Nov 11. Across the 40 year life of the Arrangements, the FPDA has evolved from a nascent air defence capability to one which now incorporates world-class combined and joint training and activities. The FPDA continues to evolve to remain relevant to each of the member nations, is an effective part of the regional security architecture and Australia’s participation remains firmly in the national interest. The briefing will provide an overview of the FPDA, outline the current exercise and activity programs, and discuss its continued evolution including the challenges.

Note: This seminar is restricted to FPDA member nation personnel.



Pathfinder 165
Facets of Air Power: Strike

Pathfinder 166
Oswald Watt: The Leader the RAAF Never Had


Working Paper #33 – Professional Mastery and Air Power Education

Published: October 2011
Author: Sanu Kainikara

This paper focuses on professional mastery, which is a critical attribute for success for every member of the ‘profession of arms.’ Dr Sanu Kainikara explores the elements that comprise the profession of arms from an air force perspective and cites air power education as an essential ingredient to the air force’s achievement and maintenance of strategic influence. The paper concludes by highlighting some fundamental truths about air forces maintaining their professional mastery through a continuous process of education, learning, introspection and the practical application of knowledge.



Access to APDC Publications through DLS Online

While most RAAF Air Power Development Centre products are available for downloading in PDF format from our website at, the Defence Library Service (DLS) Online now provides you with the capability to download many APDC and Defence products, audiobooks and eBooks, including many titles from the 2010 and 2011 CAF Reading List, to your computer, smartphone, iPod® or eBook reader. Once registered, you will be provided with access to authoritative information relevant to the work of the Australian Defence Organisation.

Through DLS Online you can:

  • tap into a wealth of information resources
  • obtain ready access to the services offered by our library staff
  • become a member of the library, which will enable you to borrow from our hardcopy collection
  • request material online and have it delivered directly to your desk, or nearest DLS library you best.

For further information please explore the DLS Digital Media Library at, email or contact your nearest DLS library.

Recommended Reading

The USSBS’ [United States Strategic Bombing Survey's] Eye on Europe
by Phillip S. Meilinger
Air Force Magazine, Vol. 94, No. 10, October 2011

Allied strategic bombing in World War 2 has drawn some criticism with several historians and academics questioning its overall value. In this article, Phillip Meilinger, one of the world's most respected air power writers, provides a concise and compelling reappraisal of its decisive contribution to the allied success through the lens of analysing the US Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS). By discussing its formation, purpose, composition, processes and findings, Meilinger clearly illustrates the survey’s significant effort, impartiality, impact and overall findings.  He notes that the survey concluded that strategic bombing had a catastrophic effect on the German economy and transportation system and this in turn had a fatal impact on the German armed forces.  Although the Allies’ strategic bombing campaign in Europe was costly and has drawn a remarkable amount of criticism regarding its effectiveness, Meilinger asserts that close examination of the USSBS clearly leads one to the conclusion that this campaign “measurably shortened the war and saved tens of thousands of American and Allied lives.”

The USSBS European and Pacific War Summary reports are available at:


Australia's Wedgetail - Linking the Joint Battlespace
By SQNLDR Simon Wildermuth
The Journal of the JAPCC, Edition 14, Autumn 2011, p 16-20

The introduction of  the  Wedgetail AEW&C capability is a major step for Australia. It provides a much-needed central node within the increasingly networked ADF. This paper by SQNLDR Wildermuth describes how the Wedgetail will be used as a truly joint capability, one that embraces the integration of the RAAF with the Australian Army and the RAN to achieve joint effects. Although airborne control platforms are not new—they have been operated extensively by US, UK and other forces—Wedgetail is a significant step along the path to a fully integrated, networked, and expeditionary ADF. Wedgetail is helping to change the ADF's warfighting mindset. While the functionality of individual capabilities in the ADF continues to be of great importance, the contribution those platform-based capabilities make to the overall ADF warfighting system is being increasingly looked at as the effect that really counts. 


Enduring Freedom’s New Approach
By Rebecca Grant
Air Force Magazine, Vol. 94, No. 10, October 2011

On the tenth anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Rebecca Grant chronicles the early days of the US-led effort to disrupt and depose al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and its Taliban hosts. The initial concept of operation in OEF involved the use of small teams of predominantly SOF personnel, with air power, to support the Northern Alliance’s efforts to end the Taliban’s control. This “new approach” to joint warfare and air power projection proved to be highly effective, but the author points out that it was an evolutionary product of dynamic targeting experience in Bosnia and Kosovo, and concept experimentation conducted by the USAF prior to this conflict. Arguably this approach has been further demonstrated, refined and validated during Operation Unified Protector (NATO air operations in Libya), and military forces like the ADF which contain the requisite air, ground, and C2 components to employ this approach should take note.


The Looming Crisis in Defense Planning
By Paul K. Davis and Peter A. Wilson
Joint Force Quarterly, issue 63, 4th quarter 2011

Consideration of the quantity and confluence of emerging strategic factors and trends are demanding a re-think of US grand strategy. The authors of this article state that the US Government and Department of Defense are facing a “once-in-a-century” challenge involving changing levels of technological dominance, uncertainty about the character of future conflict, geostrategic rebalancing, particularly in the Asian-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, and obsolescence of American military equipment and concepts, all happening concurrently. This thought provoking article is of great interest to America’s allies and partners, particularly those like Australia who reside in or near the regions of changing geostrategic balance indicated above.


Air Power Quote

"This is modern war. It’s not like Desert Storm. You go into it with your nose first, slowly. You get your grip. You get others to fight for you. And you use airpower as much as you can and stay as high as you can."

- GEN Wesley K. Clark, USA, retired.

GEN Clark made these comments in reference to the early stages of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, although he had retired from military service in May 2000. As an Army officer who had commanded Operation Allied Force in 1999 when he was NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, GEN Clark’s comments about the continued importance of air power in post-Desert Storm, non-state on state, modern warfare are noteworthy.


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.

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