On 14 December, the EAG Nations took a significant step forward in their collective programme to address interoperability challenges of the future, the Combined Air Interoperability Programme (CAIP). This step came in the form of the Kick-Off Meeting of the CAIP Management Board, an OF5/6 level body containing representatives from the seven EAG Nations, which met for the first time at the EAG Headquarters at RAF High Wycombe in the UK.
The CAIP has been developed under the direction of the EAG Steering Group, comprising the air chiefs of the seven EAG Nations, to address the interoperability challenges that will need to be resolved for operations involving combinations of 4th and 5th generation weapon systems. As well as participation from the seven EAG Nations, the CAIP has been developed with the support of specialists from the United States Air Force Europe (USAFE), NATO HQ AIRCOM and the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP). Many EAG projects have traditionally been conducted on an individual basis over a two to three-year timescale. However, the implementation of the CAIP is an evolutionary development in the EAG’s way of working, as it introduces a programme-based way of managing multiple projects and has an initial planning horizon of five years that will be updated on a continuous, rolling basis.
The Kick-Off Meeting of the CAIP MB, which was organized by the EAG Permanent Staff, was attended by representatives from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The Meeting was Chaired by the EAG Deputy Director, Air Commodore Robert Adang and discussed the prioritisation and direction of a spectrum of interoperability challenges concerning future air operations, air enablers, air command and control, and more general items. This work is not being conducted in isolation, but involves cooperation with other partner organizations and countries throughout the EAG’s network, including NATO. The completion of this Meeting marks the start of the execution of the CAIP and the projects it covers. The next Management Board Meeting is scheduled to take place in May 2018.