RAF Centre for Air Power Studies

A couple of years ago the RAF established a Centre for Air Power Studies. The centre has at its heart an attempt to work with academia as learning tool for thinking about air power. In this it is is linked to KCL’s Defence Studies department. For an Air Power historian the most useful aspect of the Centre’s activities are the publication of the RAF’s in-house journal Air Power Review. Full of interesting articles on air power subjects it is a very useful resource. The centre has also started to make available some of the Air Historical Branch narratives that were previously on available from the AHB on the National Archives. These staff studies make for some interesting reading. RAF CAPS also holds an annual conference and several of these have made there way into publication that are available as e-books, currently available are:

Joel Hayward (Ed.) Air Power, Insurgency and the “War on Terror” (Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies, 2009)

Neville Parton (Ed.) Air Power: The Agile Air Force (Royal Air Force, 2008)

RAF CAPS has been around since 2007 and is positive move by the RAF in an attempt to think more analytical about its role in the world. The RAF has often been pragmatic in its views, for example, its strategic doctrine of the Second World War era, AP1300, was effectively only replaced in the 1990’s by AP3000, which has since its first publication in 1990 been revised four times. Indeed AP1300 was revised several times and last issued in 1964 and supplanted by NATO doctrine in the 1970’s.

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