VCSAF: America is an air and space nation

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force vice chief of staff dis­cussed many top­ics con­cern­ing the cur­rent and future state of America’s air­pow­er at the Air Force Association’s Glob­al War­fare Sym­po­sium Nov. 18 in Los Ange­les.

Air­pow­er has made the Unit­ed States a glob­al pow­er, Gen. Phil Breedlove told an audi­ence of approx­i­mate­ly 300 AFA mem­bers, Air­men and indus­try offi­cials attend­ing the annu­al conference. 

“It has allowed us to achieve unprece­dent­ed con­nec­tiv­i­ty, facil­i­tat­ing our nation’s eco­nom­ic rise as well as our abil­i­ty to influ­ence events half a world away with­in hours,” he said. 

Breedlove said Amer­i­ca is an air and space nation and in almost every cat­e­go­ry the U.S. has been the glob­al bench­mark for air and space power. 

“The unique com­bi­na­tion of speed and flex­i­bil­i­ty has made air­pow­er the key to our strate­gic agili­ty — and in the future of small­er, less-deployed mil­i­tary forces, agili­ty will be the name of the game,” he said. 

Speed and flex­i­bil­i­ty, two ten­ants of air­pow­er, pro­vide the Air Force with the strate­gic, oper­a­tional and tac­ti­cal abil­i­ty to rapid­ly move between the­aters of oper­a­tion, Breedlove said. For exam­ple, with on-going air oper­a­tions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Air Force was able to simul­ta­ne­ous­ly pro­vide sup­port to the Japan earth­quake human­i­tar­i­an oper­a­tions and pro­vide com­bat air sup­port to NATO over Libya. 

“This abil­i­ty to rapid­ly move from one the­ater of oper­a­tion to the next, unin­hib­it­ed by moun­tains, deserts, straits or vast oceans, allows our nation­al lead­ers the strate­gic flex­i­bil­i­ty to choose when to engage — and when to dis­en­gage — from con­flict,” Breedlove said. 

The suc­cess of air oper­a­tions in the quick build-up and response to the Libya cri­sis relied on intel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and recon­nais­sance assets for not only strate­gic, but oper­a­tional and tac­ti­cal plan­ning as well, the gen­er­al said. 

“We had nei­ther the time nor the on-sta­tion assets to begin build­ing detailed tar­get lists for strike air­craft,” Breedlove said. “We threw a whole range of ISR assets at the prob­lem and relied on the inge­nu­ity and flex­i­bil­i­ty of our Air­men to piece them together.” 

Lessons learned from the Libya oper­a­tion and oth­er recent oper­a­tions high­light­ed a need to defeat anti-access and area-denial strate­gies of poten­tial adver­saries, he said. The Air Force also rec­og­nized the need to devel­op a clos­er air-sea inte­gra­tion with the Navy. 

With­out full insti­tu­tion­al sup­port, the arrange­ments and coop­er­a­tive suc­cess­es between the two com­po­nents would atro­phy again and for this rea­son a strate­gic part­ner­ship has been formed with the cre­ation of the Air-Sea Bat­tle Office at the Pen­ta­gon, Breedlove said. 

“Togeth­er, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps are devel­op­ing the Air-Sea Bat­tle oper­a­tional con­cept in order to cre­ate an endur­ing part­ner­ship between our nation’s air and sea ser­vices to defeat these (anti-access and area-denial) strate­gies,” Breedlove said. 

Bud­getary con­straints affect how the grow­ing threat of anti-access and area-denial adver­saries will be addressed, he said. 

“Our task would be daunt­ing even in the rel­a­tive­ly per­mis­sive bud­get envi­ron­ments of past decades, dur­ing which we enjoyed a greater abil­i­ty to pur­chase cut­ting-edge weapon sys­tems and capa­bil­i­ties,” Breedlove said. “Our bud­getary strat­e­gy has been to reduce capac­i­ty while main­tain­ing capability.” 

The future Air Force will be capa­ble of accom­plish­ing many of the mis­sion sets of today, but will do so at a sig­nif­i­cant lev­el of risk and with less capac­i­ty to respond to mul­ti­ple crises, he added. 

“I am con­fi­dent that Amer­i­can air­pow­er, com­bined with the com­pli­men­ta­ry capa­bil­i­ties of our joint and coali­tion part­ners, will con­tin­ue to be deci­sive, no mat­ter the foe we face,” Breedlove said. 

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

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →