18th June 2018


18 June 2018

London, UK, 18 June 2018: More than 70 armed service chiefs from 61 nations will be attending the 2018 Chief of the Air Staff’s Air Power Conference, the largest ever gathering for this global forum, to be held in London 11-12 July.

The high-ranking attendees will join over 400 delegates across the global air power community to hear leaders from the UK Government, the military, the scientific, technology and industrial community and academia address the theme of ‘Building the Next Generation Air Force’. The two-day conference will be the cornerstone of a week-long series of events marking the RAF’s Centenary.

Keynote speakers at this year’s event include The Rt. Hon. Mark Lancaster, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, UK Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, UK Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier and The Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood, Minister for Defence People and Veterans.

The high-profile line-up of speakers also includes General Sir Gordon Messenger, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff; Commissioner Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police Commissioner; Air Marshal Stuart Atha, Deputy Commander Operations, Air Command; Air Marshal Philip Osborn, Chief of Defence Intelligence; Air Vice-Marshal Bruce Hedley, Director Joint Warfare; Major General Dawn Dunlop, Commander NATO AEW & Control Force; and a senior international operations commander.
Commenting on this year’s conference, Air Vice-Marshal Mike Wigston, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, said: ‘This year’s conference marks a break with the past as it focuses on ‘future watching’, not only for the RAF but also for our allies. We want to look at how air power moves into the information age in terms of command and control, the recruitment of the right people, skills and mindset, and the application of new technologies. This needs to be a forward-looking ‘next generation’ debate. This debate is critical as the operational capabilities of the RAF and its NATO allies have been watched and assessed by adversaries and they are now at serious risk of being countered,’ he added.
The Air Power Conference will engage the RAF’s allies around crucial air power issues, including the proliferation of new technologies including drones and ballistic and cruise missiles and other non-conventional threats.

‘We will counter these platforms through faster decision-making, by better, faster information fused from space to the surface and our edge will be the way we work with our allies. This is how we take the world on, through debates like the Air Power Conference and the UK’s Modernising Defence Programme,’ AVM Wigston commented.

‘We know where we need to get to, and we know how to get the disruptive and innovative capability into the force. This conference will examine everything, including how to apply disruptive technologies and ‘novel’ capability and work differently to bring new force multipliers into service quickly.’

The two-day conference will be divided into four sessions that will frame the high-level debate. One session, ‘Modernising for the future’, addresses artificial intelligence and autonomous air vehicles, disruptive technologies and the future of space support to military operations. A further session, ‘The novel application of non-military capabilities for greater air power effect’, focuses on emerging technologies and their applications while ‘Command leadership and decision superiority’ will address joint force and complex multi-agency operations. There will also be a session on how to confront the personnel challenges of the 21st century and how to employ dynamic skills development around new and emerging technologies. Speakers include Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot, Chief of Staff, Personnel, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, Commandant RAF Air Cadets, while Sophie Caffrey, Everywoman in Technology Apprentice Award winner for Leonardo, will provide her perspective on dynamic skills development in air and space power.

Speakers from the business, technology and academic world include Michael Christie, Strategy and Market Development Director for BAE Systems, Lt Gen (Ret’d) Burton Field, VP Strategic Planning, Lockheed Martin, Scott Winship, VP Advanced Programmes, Northrop Grumman and
Anita Bernie, Director of Exploration Missions, Surrey Satellite Technologies, as well as the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Hugh Durrant-Whyte.
The event is being delivered by the Air Power Association (APA) in partnership with the RAF Centre for Air Power Studies.
About the Air Power Association
The Air Power Association is an authoritative voice and platform for discussion and debate on how air power influences today’s world and its relevance to the future. Through conferences, debates and forums, we stimulate discussion of the air power environment. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in air power debate.
The Air Power Conference is a leading global air power forum aimed at promoting understanding and debate about the role and future of air power. The conference was launched 25 years ago as an opportunity to convene global air force allies to discuss operational issues and future capabilities ahead of the Royal International Air Tattoo, the world’s most prestigious military air show.
For further information about Air Power Conference 2018 and booking your place please visit The Air Power Association website: www.airpower.org.uk/air-power-conference-2018/

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