The Society’s 150th anniversary coincides with the 60th anniversary of both the Shrivenham Defence Academy and the RAeS Swindon Branch. We will therefore use the local Branch’s annual Sir George Greenhill Lecture to celebrate all three anniversaries, with a Military Air Power Reception and Lecture taking place in the splendid facilities of the Joint Services Command and Staff College at the Defence Academy, Shrivenham.
Clearly, 2016 holds a great significance in relation to the centennial recognition of the use of Military Air Power during World War One. This was the first occasion that aircraft were employed by the military on a large scale. Initially this involved the use of tethered observation balloons for artillery spotting and Zeppelins for reconnaissance and strategic bombing raids over Britain and the Eastern Front. However, aeroplanes were also being introduced at the outset of World War One, initially for reconnaissance but developing quickly into other roles such as aerial combat, bombing and ground attack. Indeed ‘ace’ fighter pilots were soon being portrayed as modern ‘knights’, and severe competition emerged between the long-standing and traditional maritime and land forces and the ‘new kid on the block’ – Air Power.
Since those early days, we have seen a remarkable development of Military Air Power both in terms of employability and technological advancement. These factors will all be acknowledged during the evening, with the aim of celebrating both the historical and current developments of Military Air Power.
Following an initial reception for invited guests, two presentations will be delivered. In the first, Dr David Jordan FRAeS, an air power specialist from King’s College and resident lecturer at the Joint Services’ Command and Staff College, will address the historical aspects of air power. This will be followed by the keynote address from the , Air Marshal Sir Barry North KCB OBE MA FRAeS RAF, who will address the present day and future developments for UK air power.
This event is by invitation only and RSVP of attendance is required due to security restrictions.