The Future of RAF-USAF Co-operation and Integration

ARLINGTON, VA (May 19, 2020) — The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce a new entry in its Mitchell Forum short paper series, “The Future of RAF-USAF Co-operation and Integration” by Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Royal Air Force Chief of the Air Staff. Prior to becoming Chief of the Air Staff, he was Deputy Commander Capability, responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of all aspects of Royal Air Force capability including people, equipment, infrastructure, and training.

Based on an address he delivered during a ‘Mitchell Hour,’ Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Mike Wigston gives his appraisal of the current and future state of the RAF-USAF bilateral relationship. After setting out the changing geostrategic context which is challenging the post-1945 rules-based international order, ACM Wigston provides his analysis of the growing state-based threats across all domains that are stalking the U.S., U.K., and their allies. He highlights the enduring closeness of the two air forces’ relationship and why, in an emerging era in which multi-domain operations and information advantage will be decisive, the USAF and RAF need to redouble their partnering efforts. He argues that ‘control of the air’ – and, increasingly, space – remains the foremost responsibility of air forces, but the U.S. and U.K. edge has been eroded in recent decades as competitor states have advanced their own capabilities. In response, Wigston asserts the goal of reinforcing and expanding RAF-USAF cooperation and integration over the next three years, building on the solid foundations that together they have constructed in peace and war over the past century.

The Forum presents innovative concepts and thought-provoking insight from aerospace experts here in the United States and across the globe. To afford publishing opportunities for thoughtful perspectives, the Forum provides high visibility to writing efforts spanning issues from technology and operational concepts to defense policy and strategy.

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