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AU hosts 2015 forum on PLAAF aerospace forces

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --  Air University is hosting a forum Oct. 21 where China experts will give presentations on the current trends in China's aerospace forces, including the People's Liberation Army Air Forces.

 The forum is being presented by the China Aerospace Studies Institute and will be held at Squadron Officer College's Husband Auditorium, 1-5 p.m. The Maxwell community is invited to attend.

 CASI, currently housed at RAND Corporation's Arlington, Virginia, office, was created in partnership with the Air Staff as an initiative by the Headquarters Air Force director of Strategy, Concepts and Assessments.

 "The Air Force leadership recognized a void in research on the capabilities and operating concepts of China's evolving aerospace forces," said Allen Peck, director, Air Force Research Institute. "The China Aerospace Studies Institute will help fill this niche, providing high-quality and unclassified research on China's aerospace forces."

 Presenting at the forum will be:

 - Mark Cozad, RAND senior defense analyst, "Trends in PLA Air Force Joint Training";

 - Dr. Eric Heginbotham, RAND senior political scientist, "From Theory to Practice: PLA Air Force Training at the Operational Unit";

 - Kenneth Allen, CASI/Defense Group, Inc., senior China analyst, "Overview of PLA Air Force 'Elite' Pilots";
   
    and

 - Cristina Garafola, RAND research assistant, "Trends in PLA Air Force Ground-Based Air Defense Training"

 Operating as a hybrid organization, CASI employs subject matter experts from RAND, Air Force, academia, and think tanks to research Chinese aerospace developments as it pertains to U.S. strategic imperatives in the Asia-Pacific region.

 "While Air University has hosted individual experts to provide lectures to professional military education classes, the mini-conference will be the first formal CASI event at Air University," said Peck. 

 He noted that the plan is for CASI to transition to an Air Force-sponsored entity in fiscal 2017, with Air University and National Defense University each hosting small detachments of about six people.

 "The AU detachment," he said, "will be involved in research, outreach and the educational aspects of the university's mission."

 To learn more about CASI, visit www.rand.org/paf/casi.html. To learn more about AFRI, visit www.au.af.mil/au/afri.