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Air Force chief signs charter for China Aerospace Studies Institute

Air Force Lt. Gen. James Heckler conducts a class at the China Aerospace Studies Institute, a research arm of the Air Force which recently received its Defense Department charter. Photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/U.S. Air Force
Air Force Lt. Gen. James Heckler conducts a class at the China Aerospace Studies Institute, a research arm of the Air Force which recently received its Defense Department charter. Photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/U.S. Air Force

July 28 (UPI) -- The charter of the China Aerospace Studies Institute received its charter from the Air Force this week, which the branch said Wednesday indicates its plan to focus on the potential military threat from China.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown has signed the charter for the Air Force research organization, which conducts research on China aerospace activities "directly enabling the warfighter's understanding of Chinese aerospace and strategic thinking," officials said in the release.

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CASI is headquartered at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and at National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.

In June, it partnered with the Air Force Culture and Language Center to co-host a two-week "Belt and Road Initiative" training event to take a closer look at China's global economic and political objectives.

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"By studying 'everything that flies' in China, we can better understand decision making, limitations, opportunities and challenges in competition," Brown wrote in the newly signed charter. "CASI serves as the Department of Air Force's premiere center for the study of China and its aerospace capabilities."

CASI's key functions include publication of original research on Chinese aerospace development and engagement with Air Force and Defense Department analysts through conferences.

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The institute also will maintain a physical and virtual library of unclassified written materials on Chinese military strategy and mentor Air Force personnel on matters of the Chinese military.

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"Strategic competition with China is the organizing principle for our strategy, plans and systems," said CASI Director Dr. Brendan Mulvaney. "Our current initiatives -- accelerate change or lose, joint all-domain operations and agile combat employment -- are all about being prepared to confront Chinese aggression.

"A foundational understanding of China is a necessary first step to achieve the cross-domain integration and innovation that will be decisive in future conflicts," Mulvaney said.

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