A change in name marks a new direction for an Air Force centre focused on air and space power, which encourages ideas from across Defence and beyond.

Chief of the Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld launched the Air and Space Power Centre (ASPC) on December 2 in Canberra.

The centre replaces the Air Power Development Centre that has supported the development of air power concepts and strategies since 2004.

Various factors led to a change in direction for the Air Force’s air-power thinktank, and the Air and Space Power Centre will facilitate that change. 

The change is more than a name change, according to Air Marshal Hupfield.

“In providing a forum for the contest of air and space power ideas, this centre will inform future strategies for air and space power’s use in pursuit of our national interests,” he said.

“It will shape our thinking about the capabilities we need to achieve those strategies. 

“And it will embed continued reform of Air Force culture as it becomes more integrated into the joint force.”

The Air and Space Power Centre (ASPC) is a key element in supporting the Air Force Strategy 2020 (AFSTRAT) and in developing future generations of air and space power strategic thinkers and practitioners. 

ASPC director Group Captain Jason Befley said the centre would be engaged with Air Force’s  workforce at all levels. 

“While the Chief of the Air Force has committed to allowing the centre to engage in a genuine contest of ideas, even the most disruptive of Air Force’s thinkers are still going to be shaped by our culture and experiences within it,” he said.

“A true contest of ideas must involve many voices, perspectives and arguments – the diverse perspectives of the joint force, academia, other government agencies and thinktanks, and the ideas and networks you can access. 

“Only when we actively support different ways of thinking can we challenge current thinking and discover new solutions to our challenges.”

He said it was important to note air and space power were not the sole domain of Air Force and the thinking that shaped future capabilities was not the sole domain of senior officers.

“The ADF is full of smart people who only need a forum to share their ideas. Well, the ASPC is going deliver exactly that. I can’t wait,” he said.

A true contest of ideas must involve many voices, perspectives and arguments.

Various means will be used to ensure everyone in Air Force, across the Department of Defence and other stakeholders can access information, including podcasts, e-books, and hard-copy publications, which will be available to order through the ASPC intranet site.

Members of the ASPC also will be actively seeking ideas and contributions from everyone with an interest – regardless of rank, experience or position.

At the launch event, Warrant Officer – Air Force Fiona Grasby said it was fantastic that personnel, regardless of rank and experience, would have the opportunity to consume and contribute material critical for Air Force’s future, but could access support to learn and grow their capabilities.

“I wholeheartedly encourage all airmen and airwomen to get involved.” 

Some of the changes include: 

• air/space: a crowd-sourced digital blog, which will be available once the ASPC website is launched. Anyone can contribute a proposed blog article to airpower [at] defence.gov.au

• creation of a regular digital newsletter to share recent publications, blogs, events and other learning opportunities across the strategic and air and space power global communities. Sign up at the ASPC website to join the distribution list.

• production of publications that discuss air and space power topics that go beyond platforms to include C4I, personnel, logistics, air bases, legal and ethical issues.

For more information, visit the ASPC internet and intranet pages, and follow the centre on Twitter (@ASPC_Australia) and LinkedIn.