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)