A central part of the EAG’s work concerning Interoperability in Future Combined Air Operations (IFCAO) took a significant step forward when the EAG Permanent Staff conducted a key workshop on 21 and 22 February at RAF High Wycombe. The Workshop included twenty-six experts from all seven EAG nations, as well the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) and HQ Air Command, plus members of the EAG permanent staff. This event was the first time that such a strong multinational contingent of experts had been assembled to discuss the interoperability challenges of integrating 4th and 5th generation aircraft operations in Europe. The additional participation by the USAFE and HQ Aircom reinforced the EAG expertise contributing to the event and was both valuable and extremely welcome.
The aim of the Workshop was to define the goal for 4th and 5th generation fighter integration and identify the issues that have to be resolved to achieve that goal. The results of the workshop, which included several syndicate sessions, validated the substantial IFCAO work already carried out by the EAG Permanent Staff and highlighted many additional challenges and opportunities concerning future multinational operations. The Workshop conclusions will now be used to take the EAG’s development of its IFCAO work forward and a second workshop that will build on these results is being scheduled for later this year. The conclusions of this first Workshop, will shortly be presented to the EAG Working Group. Subsequently, proposals for continuing this work well into the future will be presented in the summer to the EAG Steering Group, which consists of the seven Air Chiefs.