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Chief of the Air Staff’s Air Power Conference 2011
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The 2011 Air Power Conference took stock of the implications of the SDSR for the size, shape and structure of the UK’s armed forces and focused specifically on the air and space contribution to national security in the context of fiscal constraint and where operations in Afghanistan remain the main effort.
The conference debated how the delivery of air and space power can maximise value in support of the national interest. Delegates were encouraged to examine how air and space power can be used to create influence and provide ‘smart power’ in conjunction with other government departments, contributing to the provision of security in the round, with particular focus on operations in Afghanistan. Partnership were important, and perspectives were sought from and exchanged with allies and partners.
Space and cyberspace are growing in significance - both to defence and to critical elements of the national infrastructure. These and other strategic trends were considered as a backdrop to more detailed discussions such as the balance between synthetic and live training, between manned and unmanned force elements, between capability and mass, and between high (and emerging) technology and lower technology capabilities.