Air Cdre Simon Edwards

Assistant Chief of Staff - Capability Delivery, RAF


Time: March 3, 2020
Location: Serena Hotel, Islamabad
Event Type: Conference
Organized By: Team CASS

About Speaker

Air Commodore Simon Edwards joined the RAF in 1990. He is Qualified Flying Instructor on the Tucano and Central Flying School trophy holder. Thereafter, he was promoted to Squadron Leader (2001) and posted to Headquarters Strike (now Air) Command, as the desk officer the RAF’s Urgent Operational Requirements. A return to the front line followed, flying C17 with 99 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton. Promoted to Wing Commander in 2005, he attended the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham, completing the advanced course alongside a Master’s degree in Defence Studies. He then worked in the Ministry of Defence (2006), within the Directorate of Joint Capability. He was subsequently selected to command 99 Squadron and returned to the C17 and RAF Brize Norton. During his time in command the Squadron was almost entirely dedicated to the support of UK and Allied forces in Afghanistan, including an unprecedented level of aeromedical evacuation flights. A return to the Ministry of Defence followed, this time as Chief of Staff (Strategy) within the Air Staff.

He graduated from the Royal College of Defence Studies, in July 2017 and won the Bon Oeuf trophy. He then worked as a Senior Policy Adviser in the National Security Secretariat before attending the Higher Command and Staff Course at Shrivenham, graduating in April 2018. He has now returned to Air Command on promotion to Air Commodore, as an Assistant Chief of Staff in the Capability area. His responsibilities includes Programme Director for the UK Military Flying Training System and the Senior Responsible Owner for the A400M Airlifter programme.

TOPIC OF SPEECH: Next Generation Training

Force posturing requirements to cater for future threats would require transforming the existing militaries into modern, efficient and agile professional forces capable of handling technologies of the future. The session intends to explore viable options to meet the future development, training, and force structure objectives of industrially dependent nations, especially in view of the new emerging alliances and shifting balance of power

The analysis of core technological developments and the emerging nature of future warfare indicate the requirement of a paradigm shift in conduct of NGT. The change is already under-way in tech savvy countries who have geared-up their force structure with the induction of qualified professionals, well conversant with technological advancements. The term NGT is widely believed to include training aided and conducted through the employment of modern training aids. However, use of technology alone may not suffice in imparting knowledge of the basics, concepts and benefits of emerging technologies which will form the core of modern warfare systems. Moreover, without expanding the training sphere at all levels of the force structure, it would be difficult for organizations to accrue meaningful benefits. This is especially true for developing countries, which operate legacy, as well as modern systems and employ a workforce with varying academic and age brackets.

The talk aims to justify the requirement and compulsion to significantly improve all domains of training in developing future militaries. Case studies of changes implemented in advanced forces and training models would shed light on training modalities required for developing countries.