The Joint Air Power Com­petence Centre (JAPCC) organised the "2015 Air and Space Power Conference" in Essen, Germany from 23 – 25 November. The JAPCC is an accredited NATO Centre of Excellence which aims to provide key decision-makers with effective solutions on Air and Space Power challenges, in order to safeguard NATO and the Nations’ interests. This inter­nationally renowned annual conference provides an interactive forum for delegates to exchange ideas and perspectives on Joint Air and Space Power topics.

NATO StratCom COE supported JAPCC in organization of this conference as today’s global communication capabilities greatly amplify the impact and speed with which one can change foreign and domestic public opinion and potentially influence Alliance activities or operations. Dealing with disinformation is a major challenge for NATO and Western Strategic Communications campaigns. There has, until now, been relatively little study of the role of Stra­tegic Communications and airpower. Through this conference, the intention of the JAPCC was to deepen NATO’s understanding of this relationship. NATO requires public support to conduct operations and must improve its ability to communicate airpower’s role in strengthening international peace and security. Deputy director Colonel Aivar Jaeski made his intervention in panel "Strategic Communication and its Relationship to Airpower", giving an overview on NATO countries StratCom and StratCom doctrine development status in NATO.

The JAPCC Conference attracted senior military, political, industry and academia leaders. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Air Power and Strategic Communications – NATO Challenges for the Future’. Airpower is one of the primary means through which NATO deters and combats hostile regimes, as well as conducts intervention and stability operations. Now, and in the foreseeable future, the demand for NATO airpower will continue to grow. Its incredible speed, versatility and precision can achieve objectives at low cost and low risk, with little collateral damage or civilian casualties. To NATO, the value of airpower is clear. It’s equally as clear to an adversary, some of whom have minimal military capability to counter it and must instead leverage the information environment as their predominant weapon. Entities hostile to NATO understand that the general public’s knowledge and opinion of airpower are vulnerable. Indeed, the more prominent airpower becomes in operations, the more likely it will be targeted in disinformation campaigns ­designed to misinform the public and undermine support for NATO’s airpower employment.

More information about the conference is available here.