RAF Red Arrows, Bournemouth Air Festival 2013 by Ian Kirk (2013)

RAF Air Power Conference 2018

Focus on Building the Next Generation Air Force

The 2018 Chief of Air Staff’s Air Power Conference (APC18) will take place in London on 11-12 July 2018 – this year’s theme is ‘Building the Next Generation Air Force’.  The conference will cover a diverse range of contemporary topics including innovation and future technologies; recruitment and retention of the next generation of Royal Air Force personnel; the novel application of non-military capabilities; and leadership in increasingly complex environments.

Confirmed speakers include: the Royal Air Force’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier; Air Marshal Stuart Atha (Deputy Commander Operations); Air Vice-Marshal Simon ‘Rocky’ Rochelle (Chief of Staff Capability); Air Commodore Roddy Dennis (UK Air Component Commander); Commissioner Cressida Dick, CBE, QPM; Nigel Whitehead (Group Managing Director, Programmes & Support, BAE Systems).
The RAF’s Air Power Conference is renowned for its challenging content and unrivaled quality of speakers. The event starts on Wednesday morning with four launch events followed by two days of high-ranking keynote speakers and four sessions of four or five speakers from the military, industry and academic worlds. Each session concludes with a questions and answer session encouraging delegate participation and exciting debate.

Air Power Conference Provisional Programme

Please note, all speakers and topics are subject to change.

Day 1   

Morning launch events will include:

COS Cap Air Vice-Marshal Simon Rochelle OBE DFC MA on the current capability challenges and innovation

Lincoln University on Virtual reality and innovation – Case study: the RAF100 virtual flypast

UK ACC Air Commodore Roddy Dennis OBE MA AOC 83 EAG on  the changing strategic and operational environments from an Air Commander’s perspective

Maj Gen Dawn Dunlop Commander NATO AEW & Control Force on cultivating innovation in a multi-national environment.

After lunch our first Keynote Speaker will be Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF Chief of the Air Staff, followed by keynote two from The Right Honourable

Mark Lancaster TD VR MP Minister of State for the Armed Forces.


Conference session 1 “Ad Astra – Modernising For The Future” will be chaired by Air Vice-Marshal Simon Rochelle OBE DFC MA COS Cap

Panel Members will include :

Mr Scott Winship Vice-President Advanced Programmes, Northrop Grumman

Mr Michael Christie Strategy and Market Development Director, BAES

Lockheed Martin Representative (TBC)

Surrey Satellites (TBC)

Conference session 2 “A 21st Century Air Force for 21st Century People” will be chaired by Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE Commandant RAF Air Cadets

Panel Members will include

Mr Peter Cheese CEO, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Air Vice-Marshal Christine Elliot CBE MA BSc COS Pers

Mr Gary Headland CEO, The Lincoln College Group

Miss Sophie Caffrey FDM Everywoman in Technology Apprentice Award winner, Leonardo

Mr Rob Edmunds Aerospace Engineer, Leonardo

Day 2 

We will open proceedings with a Keynote Speaker from the Cabinet

Conference Session 3  “The Novel Application of Non-Military Capabilities for Greater Air Power Effect”  will be chaired by Director Joint Warfare Air Vice-Marshal Bruce Hedley MBE

Panel Members will include

Prof Hugh Durrant-Whyte Chief Scientific Advisor

Prof Paul Monks Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, Leicester University

Conference session 4 “Command, Leadership and Decision Superiority in the Next Generation Air Force” will be chaired by Group Captain Jim Beldon MBE MPhil MA BSc Director of Defence Studies

Contributions from:

Air Marshal Stuart Atha CB DSO MA BSc Deputy Commander Operations

Commissioner Cressida Rose Dick, CBE, QPM

Followed by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC ADC MA RAF Chief of the Air Staff, closing remarks

For the latest version of the programme and to purchase tickets for the event go to:


Serving personnel have the opportunity to interact with the Conference via the APC18 Livestream and Live Q&A. Further details for serving personnel can be found on the RAF Intranet.

Source: RAF; Air Power Association.

Image: RAF Red Arrows, Bournemouth Air Festival 2013 by Ian Kirk (2013).

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