The Air and Space Interoperability Council (ASIC) is a formal five nation military organisation with a mandate to enhance coalition warfighting capability through air and space interoperability. Member nations are those within the Five Eyes community and consist of representation from their respective Air Force, and also includes the United States Navy. Based in Washington DC, the Council's Management Committee oversees the execution of the Vision and Mission with the cooperation of experts from member nations' defence departments.
ASIC, originally called the Air Standardization Coordination Committee (ASCC), was formed in 1948 to manage the Air Standardization agreement between Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. This agreement was aimed at those nations being able to conduct combined air operations and provide each other with certain essential services. In addition, it was agreed that the ASCC should promote the economies that would result from standardising air materiel support and also encourage the exchange of research and development information. The ASCC was expanded to include Australia in 1964 and New Zealand in 1965. Expressed in the simplest of terms, the ASCC sought to promote interoperability, through standardisation, across the spectrum of expeditionary warfare and share relevant information and technology. This concept remains as valid today for ASIC as it was in 1948. The organisation went through transformation and rebranding in 2005 to reflect the current global strategic environment, and a renewed emphasis on coalition expeditionary operations.
Fully integrated and interoperable coalition air and space forces.
To enhance current and future coalition warfighting capabilities through air and space power interoperability.
- Looking to the Future - Building interoperability into future capability.
- Measures of Interoperability - Developing valid measures of performance and establishing effective feedback loops.
- National Imperatives - Each member nation is committed to making significant and valued contributions to coalition operations. ASIC needs to be recognised as an effective mechanism for member nations to achieving this outcome.
To enable the timely execution of the ASIC Vision and Mission, standing working groups were established in seven key warfighting functional areas.
- Agile Combat Support
- Air Mobility
- Aerospace Medicine Group
- Command, Control and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
- Force Application
- Force Protection
ASIC maintains close links with other interoperability fora, harmonising activities and working in collaboration on major projects. These include ABCA Armies, AUSCANNZUKUS and TTCP. As three of the member nations also belong to NATO, cross functional networking with this organisation is ongoing and pivotal to the Council's execution.
Notes and references
- Five Eyes countries consist of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom & USA, often abbreviated to the acronym AUSCANNZUKUS (Oz-can-zukus).
- The Management Committee consists of five members, one from each member nation and a small admin staff.
- ASIC Website
- The meanings of "integrated" and "interoperable" largely overlap, but it is important to capture both shades of meaning. "Integrated" describes a state in which ASIC member nations' forces operate as a seamless unit. "Interoperable" reflects ASIC’s primary focus; a state in which forces and equipment can operate together to accomplish the mission.
- The term "warfighting" is used because warfighting represents the core function of the military as well as the most challenging condition of military activities. It is recognised that joint and combined activities extend beyond warfighting.
- Five Eyes and other related organisations' websites
- The Five Eyes Air Forces
- Royal Australian Air Force
- Royal Canadian Air Force
- New Zealand Defence Force
- Royal Air Force - United Kingdom
- United States Air Force
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