Joint Air Power Strategy

A changed and still evolving security environment compelled the Alliance to maintain its ability to respond to crisis while adapting its deterrence and defence posture and its ability to project stability. Consequently, NATO has undertaken several initiatives and strands of work to increase readiness, responsiveness, and the resilience of our own forces to meet the full spectrum of current and future challenges and threats from any direction or distance, simultaneously and in coordination with other national and international actors.

At the Wales Summit it was stated that “NATO needs, now more than ever, modern, robust and capable forces at high readiness, in the air, on land and at sea, in order to meet current and future challenges.”[1] Additionally, HoSG indicated that, “NATO Joint Air Power capabilities require longer term consideration” and tasked the NMA to conduct an analysis of the future role of Joint Air Power (JAP).

Noting the NMA advice, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) further tasked the development of an Alliance Joint Air Power Strategy[2]. This strategy, an important aspect of NATO’s military adaptation, will provide NATO with an enduring direction for future development, employment towards achieving the desired effects and goals of the Alliance, and improving air power’s contributions to the resolution of future crisis or instability and projection of stability. The MC furthermore emphasized that the development of a conceptual basis for NATO Joint Air Power will ensure constant evolution and adaptation of air power to meet the challenges of the future security environment and also help steer the transformation efforts of the Alliance.

The aim is to develop a common understanding of how Joint Air Power (Ways) supports NATO’s objectives (Ends), through an all service and multi domain approach, which considers both supporting and supported roles. This advice is a first step in the development of a Joint Air Power Strategy and serves as the conceptual basis (i.e. Ends and Ways) for further development of future generic Joint Air Power capabilities (i.e. Means).

In 2017 the NATO C2COE will participate in three (3) Workshops to draft the document that will be forwarded to the NAC. After endorsement of the 28+ NATO nations (represented in the NAC), this document will serve as the Joint Air Power Strategy document and be used in the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP).

For more information on the NATO C2COE activities related to this project, please contact our project officers: LTC (NLD AF) Jelle BODE (jelle.bode@c2.coe.nato.int) and Major (NLD AF) Ron Werkman (ron.werkman@c2.coe.nato.int).


[1] PR/CP(2014)0120, Wales Summit Declaration, 5 Sep 14.
[2] PO(2016)0115, NATO’s Joint Air Power Strategy, 25 Feb 16.