Battlespace Management Operations, part of RAF Global Enablement, have hosted a Tactical Air Command and Control (C2) Symposium with 8 NATO Allies and Partners this week at RAF Boulmer. Personnel and units from across NATO and Partners brought a range of perspectives and experiences in deployable Air C2 and Agile Combat Employment.
Battlespace Management Operations personnel have recently returned from Estonia where they had been conducting Op Azotize; weapons controllers and data link operators worked closely alongside host nation and NATO personnel to ensure the integrity and protection of NATO’s Eastern Border. They did this alongside our ongoing mission to ensure the integrity of UK Airspace, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, where Air Battle Managers from Battlespace Management Operations regularly control missions to intercept and shadow Russian military aircraft which approach UK airspace.
This is the largest deployable air C2 conference that RAF Boulmer and UK Battlespace Management Operations have held. Participants were briefed on lessons learned on the importance of agile air C2 from ongoing conflicts, which led into working group discussions on how we can better operate with Partners together during conflict.
Air Commodore Jamie Thompson, Commander Global Enablement, closed the symposium with a keynote speech, during which he highlighted the current geo-political situation and how Tactical Air C2 will provide the battle-winning advantage in a future conflict:
The RAF is constantly developing our Agile Combat Employment, and C2 is a key component of that. This event has allowed NATO nations to share lessons learned and develop future tactics on how we work in a contested environment, from remote locations and with limited support. We will continue to develop these tactics as a C2 community to counter the ever-changing threat.
Battlespace Management Operations consists of 19 Squadron, 20 Squadron and 78 Squadron operators who are supported by the cyberspace professionals of the Engineering Wing. Battlespace Management Operations conduct 24/7 air surveillance of the UK, assigned NATO airspace and other locations overseas and direct military air systems to protect the UK and our NATO Allies.
90 Signals Unit are a key enabler in how the RAF exercises C2, through ensuring a robust communication network, such as secure chat facilities with other Force Elements. This was recently tested during Exercise Agile Pirate, during which Battlespace Management Operations personnel deployed to Remote Radar Heads located around the UK to control Quick Reaction Alert Typhoons; the first time this has been practiced in over 10 years.