The 10th International Air and Space Doctrine Seminar presented the Brazilian Air Force’s (FAB, in Portuguese) operational doctrine to air forces of Latin America, Canada, and Spain in the city of Madrid, Colombia. The Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) Noncommissioned Officers Academy organized the event held August 22-24, 2018.
Representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Spain attended the event. The objective was to share preparation and execution of aerospace power doctrine of participating countries.
According to Colonel Federico Bocanegra Bernal, commandant of FAC Noncommissioned Officers Academy, the event brought together technical experts. The commandant pointed out the importance of grasping operational doctrines from partner nation air forces to establish understanding and cooperate among them. “The integration also contributes to interoperability among the forces, which helps combat transnational threats that affect the continent,” he told Diálogo.
This was the first time that Brazil participated in the international seminar. According to FAB Colonel Luiz Guilherme da Silva Magarão, air attaché in Colombia, the strategic partnership both countries have in the region prompted the invitation. “FAB was invited to participate in many operational, doctrinal, and academic events, always with an outstanding role,” said Col. Magarão. “The knowledge exchange between partner nations is very positive and led to significant growth for bilateral activities between both countries.”
During the seminar, participating nations presented their doctrinal differences and peculiarities, and how they adapt to laws specific to each country. Participants also addressed the necessary adjustments of air power to technological innovations, both in aerospace and cybernetics. “The use of remotely controlled unmanned aerial vehicles remains controversial in nearly all air forces,” said Col. Magarão.
Service members also discussed the need to adapt air force doctrines to new cyberspace scenarios. Air power should encompass airspace and cyberspace power.
During the seminar, FAB presented its new operational readiness process, as well as the restructure of the force, which started in 2016. FAB also highlighted significant positive impacts while accomplishing the constitutional mission. FAB Colonel Pedro Henrique Cavalcanti de Almeida of the Preparation Command (COMPREP, in Portuguese) addressed the alignment of areas of preparation and allocation post-FAB reorganization.
The former Air Operations General Command (COMGAR, in Portuguese) once managed both activities. The Aerospace Operations Command now oversees FAB’s assets allocation, whereas COMPREP defines assets preparation. Both commands were recently created.
“COMPREP did not simply inherit COMGAR’s processes. The institutional restructuring and realignment optimized operational training and doctrinal development, which are the two end-goal activities of the Preparation Command,” said Col. Pedro at the event. “The Preparation Command redesigned their business model, making it more modern, agile, and solely focused on delivering aerial assets to secure the sovereignty of our air space and the integrity of the Brazilian territory.”
“FAB’s restructuring is already a success story, and discussing this new process was very important to confirm that it is ground-breaking, cutting edge, and a permanent process of innovation for our force. The feedback received during the event could not have been better, proving that we are on the right track and setting a precedent,” Col. Pedro said.
Participating nations also addressed joint and combined doctrines and the importance of interoperability. During the seminar, FAB explained the operational model of COMPREP’s new exercise to prepare service members and assets for United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions.
Exercise Tápio, conducted in May 2018, simulated an irregular war scenario with humanitarian crises, using characteristics similar to UN missions around the world. The activity mobilized about 700 service members of the Brazilian Armed Forces.
For Col. Pedro, being exposed to other air forces’ operations during the seminar helped improve the country’s doctrine. “It was very important for our processes to know what is done in Latin America, Canada, and Spain as it will serve as a reference in the many areas requiring quality improvement in the adopted doctrine,” he said.
Brazil’s participation in the Colombian event was very beneficial, said Col. Magarão, especially for the current reorganization process and its effects to the development and update of the doctrinal process. The topic of reorganization sparked great interest from attending air forces, particularly FAC, who also promotes organizational reforms.