• Runway Sunset

London, UK, 24 February 2020: The UK’s Royal Air Force Chief of the Air Staff will challenge UK and international air chiefs and military commanders at this year’s Air & Space Power Conference (ASPC 20) to find ways to think, act and share information at a higher tempo than their adversaries to secure the cognitive edge in future operations. 

Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, will host the annual global forum which attracts more than 40 air and space power chiefs among its 500-strong high-ranking delegates. These include military commanders from all services and senior professionals from the business, science and technology and academic communities.

Launching this year’s conference, Air Chief Marshal Wigston said: “Information will be at the very heart of the future air and space environment which is why achieving and maintaining Information Advantage is so important to all our futures. ASPC 20 will bring together international air chiefs and senior decision-makers from the UK and NATO, as well as aerospace industry partners and air and space power professionals. Our aim is to put Information Advantage at the forefront of international air and space power debate.”

The event, to be held at the Institute of Engineering and Technology in London on 15-16 July, will focus on how the RAF together with its fellow services, government agencies, security and technology partners and international allies, can establish and maintain information advantage in contested environments across the five operational domains – air, space, land, sea and cyber. ASPC 20 will also explore how the human component is being leveraged in harmony with technology, organisational reform and conceptual development to secure the cognitive edge required for operational success.

Air Marshal (Ret’d) Greg Bagwell, President of the Air & Space Power Association which is delivering the event in cooperation with the RAF, said: “Information Advantage is not a new concept; protagonists have always sought to know more about each other in order to exploit a vulnerability. The difference today is that the long foretold future vision of Warfare has finally been overtaken by reality. Twenty years ago information advantage gave you a fractional edge; today it is the multiplier that is the difference between winning and losing.  Whether it be the growing importance of networks or space, or the compression of time and space that hypersonics bring, information advantage is now the critical factor not an optional extra.”

In addition to Air Chief Marshal Wigston, confirmed keynote speakers include the First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, and the recently appointed Chief of Space Operations at the US Space Force, General ‘Jay’ Raymond.  Senior UK ministerial attendance is also anticipated.

ASPC 20 combines in-depth studies, panel sessions and four keynote addresses over two days.  The opening panel session, entitled ‘Information Advantage in an Era of Persistent Competition,’ will explore the strategic landscape against which the competition for information advantage is being waged.  Perspectives on the breadth and scale of the contest will range across the services to the technology arena, including assessing the role of propaganda in the digital space.  The second panel session, ‘Sharing Information – Synergising Inter-Agency Co-operation’, will identify how air and space forces contribute to the achievement of information advantage and interlink with defence intelligence and national security agencies. The third session, ‘An Information-enabled Next-Generation Air Force’, will evaluate the key attributes of the future air and space warfighter from a variety of joint force and international perspectives. The final session, ‘Putting Information Advantage at the Heart of the Next Generation Air Force’, will address the RAF’s strategy to grow its future generation around information-based skills and capabilities. The session includes a vision for future defence research and innovations in new technologies and processes to keep UK and allied air and space forces ahead of their adversaries.

The Programme is conceived and administered by the RAF’s Centre for Air & Space Power Studies (CASPS).

About the Air and Space Power Association

The Air and Space Power Association (ASPA) is an independent authoritative voice and platform for discussion and debate on the influence and relevance of air and space power both now and in the future.  The ASPA organises the annual Air and Space Power Conference on behalf of the RAF. The Conference provides an unrivalled opportunity to convene global air forces to discuss operational issues and future capabilities.

About RAF CASPS

RAF CASPS is an RAF think tank which focuses on the strategic and conceptual study of air and space power.  It seeks to: generate evidence-based academic research; provide strategic influence through coordinated engagement with think tanks, allies and other professional bodies in the defence and policy space; leverage the intellectual horsepower of external institutions and RAF personnel; and help inculcate a philosophy of learning and critical thinking within the RAF.

For further information about the Air & Space Power Conference 2020 please visit the website: https://www.airpower.org.uk/air-space-power-conference-2020/

Follow The Air & Space Power Association on Twitter at: @airpowerassn

Follow the Conference on Twitter: #ASPC20

For media enquiries, please contact:  Carol Reed carol@airpower.org.uk +44 (0)7879 697681

–ENDS–