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The Art of Air Power: The Fundamentals of Air Power Course

Course convenor

WGCDR Rick Soesman is the course convenor. 


2014 CAF Message release BAPC

The intent of the Fundamentals of Air Power Course (FAPC), formerly known as the Basic Air Power Course (BAPC), is to introduce students to the foundation concepts of air power. It is not designed to define the merits of one aircraft type over another, but to put into context how airborne systems are used within the security framework of the government. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
   - define air power;
   - state the characteristics of the air domain;
   - describe the core and supporting air power roles;
   - describe the concept of balance in the application of air power;
   - describe the role of air power in national power.


The FAPC is open to all ADF junior officers, CPLs and below, and Defence Public Servants from APS2 to APS5. While priority will be given to RAAF members, nominations from Navy and Army personnel are welcome.  Selected overseas students are also panelled for the course.
Note: Completion of the FAPC is not a pre-requisite for the higher order on-line air power courses. However, they do build on one another, so it is recommended that you complete them in order.

The FAPC is generally conducted four times each year.


Participation on the FAPC assumes that students have little or no knowledge of air power. The course involves reading six short essays grouped into lessons and answering a few questions drawn from the lessons. The culminating task will draw together the threads of the course into summarising air power. The course comprises the following lessons:

  1. Air Power Characteristics and Roles, and Creating a Balanced Air Force.

  2. Control of the Air.

  3. Strike.

  4. Air Mobility.

  5. Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, and other Critical Enablers.

  6. The Air Campaign.


Academic supervision is provided by Wing Commander Rick Soesman and Group Captain Phil Edwards. The course is coordinated by the APDC Education staff, who are the point of contact for further information.


There are two formative and two summative assessment areas on the BAPC.

The formative assessment comprises:
   - question and answer responses and participation on a weekly forum
   -  a weekly untimed open-book online quiz

The summative assessment comprises:
   - a 30-question examination comprising questions selected from the weekly quiz
   - a  700-word written assignment answering the question 'What is air power?'

Students are required to undertake all elements of formative and summative assessment in order to achieve an overall pass in the course.

Course Schedule

The admin week is your time to test your login and add your welcome comments to test the forum. The course then runs for approximately nine weeks. Each week’s lesson opens at 0001 on a Friday and closes at 2330 the following Sunday (10 Days). Your participation in the weekly lessons can be added at any stage during that lesson's active week. Access to the online course can be gained through any device that has connection to the internet.

Week 1:         admin week
Weeks 2-7:    weekly lessons
Weeks 8-9:    assessment writing 
Week 9:         assessment submission

Course completion

On successful completion of the FAPC, a graduation certificate will be issued and for ADF members PMKeyS reporting will follow.  


Individuals can nominate for the FAPC through their Unit Training Co-ordinator or Orderly Room. The FAPC PMKeyS code is 213844.