USA — Defense Leaders Laud Air-Sea Battle Concept Initiative

WASHINGTON — The air-sea bat­tle con­cept being devel­oped by the Air Force and Navy exem­pli­fies the clos­er, more inte­grat­ed rela­tion­ships the mil­i­tary needs in order to con­front future chal­lenges, top Pen­ta­gon lead­ers said.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recent­ly laud­ed the new con­cept as “a prime exam­ple of how we need to keep break­ing down stovepipes between ser­vices, between fed­er­al agen­cies and even between nations.”

Speak­ing at the U.S. Air Force Acad­e­my grad­u­a­tion and com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mo­ny May 26, Mullen urged the cadets to embrace this spir­it as they launch their mil­i­tary careers.

“The mil­i­tary owes it to our com­man­der in chief and to the Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers to oper­ate effec­tive­ly and effi­cient­ly across the bat­tle space,” he said, putting extra empha­sis on “effi­cient­ly.”

This requires that the ser­vices “inte­grate our efforts with each oth­er and with our civil­ian coun­ter­parts” and “work seam­less­ly with old allies and new friends,” Mullen said. It also, he added, requires the ser­vices to “keep pace with a flat­ter, faster and more inter-con­nect­ed world.”

Adm. Gary Roug­head, chief of naval oper­a­tions, and Gen. Nor­ton Schwarz, Air Force chief of staff, have teams flesh­ing out details of the plan that will pro­mote clos­er coop­er­a­tion between their ser­vices.

Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates called the con­cept one of the “more inno­v­a­tive strate­gies and joint approach­es” the U.S. mil­i­tary needs in fac­ing the future. Speak­ing last month at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Expo­si­tion here, Gates called the agree­ment between the Air Force and Navy to work togeth­er on the air-sea bat­tle con­cept “an encour­ag­ing devel­op­ment.”

The con­cept “has the poten­tial to do for America’s mil­i­tary deter­rent pow­er at the begin­ning of the 21st cen­tu­ry what Air-Land Bat­tle did near the end of the 20th,” Gates told expo­si­tion atten­dees.

The Army and Air Force adopt­ed the air-land bat­tle con­cept two decades ago to deal with the then-War­saw Pact threat in Europe, sig­nif­i­cant­ly boost­ing U.S. com­bat pow­er.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)