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Aerospace leaders discuss challenges, opportunities

by Tech. Sgt. Scott Wakefield
Det. 4, Air Force News Agency

5/25/2007 - LONDON (AFPN) -- Royal United Services Institute officials invited members throughout the aerospace community to attend an air power conference at their headquarters May 24 at Whitehall in London.

The air force chiefs of staff from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy, and the U.S Space Command vice commander, were guest speakers for the event. 

The director of RUSI, British Navy Rear Adm. Richard Cobbold, said the conference is a forum to discuss "the challenges and opportunities air power faces as it seeks to maintain its continued relevance and utility."

As the host nation, British Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, the British chief of staff, gave an overview on the theme of the conference: "Agile, adaptable, capable: Challenges and opportunities for air power."

He reminded the defense contractors in attendance that it was important for them to make sure they make their products "affordable" or they could price themselves out of the market.

Gen. T. Michael Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, talked about the U.S. viewpoint on 21st century air power.

"The activities of an air force is extremely important to us as we look into our future," he said, adding that keeping up with technology is also important because it gives us our "speed, advantage, and range of payload."

The air force leaders discussed the capabilities each country brings to the fight, and their ability to work with their allies in the air. 

Lt. Gen. Frank G. Klotz, vice commander of U.S. Space Command, addressed the capabilities of space, describing the men and women of the command and the assets that give a "global reach" around the world. One such example is the Global Positioning System, which can be used to determine positioning of military forces, navigation of forces and guidance with weapons.

"Space is a great enabler to allow all military forces, whether operating on land, on sea or in the air to be more agile and more adaptable," General Klotz said.

He also addressed the recent Chinese anti-satellite test, which successfully destroyed a derelict Chinese satellite. The general said it's important to maintain "space situational awareness."

"In order to protect our space assets, the first and fundamental task is to know what's going on in space, and to know what's going on with our satellites," he said.

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