Editor-in-Chief’s Message (RCAF Journal - SUMMER 2015 - Volume 4, Issue 3)

In 2005, the senior Air Force leadership of the day took a bold step when they sanctioned the standing up of the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre (CFAWC). It was by no means a hasty decision, as the requirement and organizational construct of the unit had been under discussion for several years. CFAWC reflected an understanding that dedicated intellectual horsepower was required to support an air force in the throes of transforming from a Cold War focus to one that addressed a broader range of threats and capabilities. Although doctrine production, specialist training and lessons-learned programme implementation were key tasks of the new centre, often overlooked was the mandate to promote and support airpower[1] thought and education. Now, after a decade of hard work on all fronts, we should take a moment to reflect upon CFAWC’s efforts to grow the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF’s) intellectual capital.

A cursory glance at CFAWC’s original implementation plan highlights the emphasis that Air Force senior commanders placed on the need to encourage professional airpower study and education. A need to engage with similar Allied agencies was balanced with the requirement to establish linkages with a broader Canadian academic and air-power community. Important as these activities were, CFAWC also sought to tap into an oft-neglected source of airpower thought—members of the RCAF. The individuals who practise air power at the proverbial coalface were given a voice beyond their community through publications such as the Royal Canadian Air Force Journal, the Curtis Papers and Sic Itur Ad Astra series and, most recently, the InForm short articles. The material contained therein serves to stimulate airpower thought and study while at the same time permitting an open and frank discussion on issues of interest to air-power professionals.

The importance of this type of intellectual discourse cannot be overstated. The RCAF is good at what it does, but there is always room for improvement and growth. Mastering our chosen profession demands career-long study, application and critical analysis. With this in mind, my staff and I have selected a small sampling of some of the “best” articles that typify those criteria and that CFAWC has been privileged to shepherd into print over the last 10 years. Best is a relative term, but these articles merit a reread. They are prime examples of musings that, at the risk of generating disagreement or “gently poking the bear” with respect to policy and procedures, caused us to pause and think about what it is we do.

I encourage you to take a few moments of your time to read, or perhaps reread, the following articles. It is our hope at CFAWC that they encourage the submission of material of equal or better quality and depth. We look forward to the next decade of airpower thought and discussion—who knows where it might lead!

Colonel Kelvin Truss


CFAWC―Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre
RCAF―Royal Canadian Air Force


[1]. AIRPower is derived fundamentally from the RCAF vision articulated in the capstone publication, Air Force Vectors, which brings together the concepts and capabilities that position the RCAF as “an agile and integrated air force with the reach and power essential for CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] operations.” AIRPower has both a practical (air power) and intellectual (airpower) element, and both elements, from tactical air power application to strategic airpower mindedness, need to be mastered to ensure the comprehensive and integrated application of AIRPower (or “AIRPower in Formation,” which represents the Commander’s central message to RCAF personnel). (return)

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