General Norton A. Schwartz, USAF and Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN have authored a story over the weekend that focuses on AirSea Battle. The article attempts to answer many lingering questions, and takes on the difficult task of laying out more detail behind the purpose of AirSea Battle.

Worth reading in full.

Regardless of what ‘else’ AirSea Battle doctrine ultimately does for the United States, the daunting task of working out the technical integration challenges of the US Navy and US Air Force so that both services can be interoperable during combat operations is a worthy enough task to make the AirSea Battle effort important. From an outside perspective, realizing genuine interoperability might seem like an easy thing, but it is likely one of the more difficult challenge of AirSea Battle doctrine facing both services. There are more than a few stories where a Navy aircraft and an Air Force aircraft would be over the same mission target in Iraq or Afghanistan, and neither pilot could talk to the other. That seems so basic at casual glance, and yet it is anything but simple.

Posted by galrahn in Air Force, Navy

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  • The Chiefs make a good point here – that past collaborations between Navy and Air Forces have been ad hoc and dropped as soon as the immediate need passed. This effort has to be more broad-based and cultural, while at the same time being very deeply technical. It’s a tough challenge.
    The caution against marketing every new idea as supporting Air-Sea Battle is also appropriate, and will be ignored by business development people throughout the defense industry.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “The caution against marketing every new idea as supporting Air-Sea Battle is also appropriate, and will be ignored by business development people throughout the defense industry.

    Ain’t it the truth? For a full decade, every last gizmo anybody invented was “interoperable”.

  • It would actually be cool and useful if said gizmos were, in fact, “interoperable.” Eventually of necessity they will be, but it’s not clear whether they will soon enough. A little too much Hollywood thinking in the real world — there’s a huge gap between a zoomy concept made into a light-up movie prop and a deployable tool.

    A look back at those ad-hoc USAF/USN/USMC missions would be most illuminating. One example — the 1979 “Winchester” B-52 missions:

  • Andy (JADAA)

    Well, we have to hope that at least one aspect of this “interoperability” will work: Real-time airborne SIGINT collection, analysis and dissemination. The Navy used to have a robust capability that has been willfully and deliberately cut from, at one time, six full-time units to soon become merely two. The USAF does it differently, and it will be the BG Commanders who will have to sail into and stay in harm’s way with a lot less direct support than they used to have, and need. But that’s OK, I’m sure there’s some great Power Point slides to show how future unicorns will cure all of that. Sometime in the “future.”

  • UltimaRatioReg


    That Power Point slide has one of those squiggly arrows on it. It HAS to work with one of those!

  • Derrick

    Why is this a new concept? I thought this type of strategy was pretty well perfected during World War 2 when the US navy had no choice but to protect forces as they went overseas? Is it just updated to reflect new technologies? To me this is something that the US military should always be thinking about, that’s all.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Good point. Others seem to be missing the “newness” of it and of the “strategic pivot” being so talked about.

  • Matt

    I’m still waiting for a strategy to win the war we are currently engaged in. How bout a strategy that involves attacking the enemy where he is…Pakistan. Or attacking the 2 bomb factories in Paksitan that provide the Taliban with pretty much ALL the expolisives they use.

    OR maybe we should just give them some AWACS planes and some cash…yea that’ll really show them who is boss.

    Is Nancy Pelosi in charge of strategy? Who is getting the kick- backs for the AWACS and the cash? Bet it’s her.



    What AWACS? We gave them P-3Cs.

  • Derrick

    Just a minor suggestion: since the article linked to in the above post mentions space and cyberspace, perhaps if they renamed the concept to SpaceWebAirSea Battle, then it may more fully encapsulate some of the suggestions in the concept? What I was able to understand, which wasn’t much, was that the concept had been expanded to incorporate dealing with cyberspace threats as well as threats to satellites and outer space communications, sensors, etc…

  • Matt

    I stand corrected. They are indeed P-3Cs. Thank God they will now finally have the tools they need to tell us such things as where Zaaharry is and where the bomb factories are…

    Why is it possible to make certain things blow up in Iran but not in Pakistan? Maybe someone should look into giving VISA some business so Pelosi might take a different view. Can you pay for the P-3Cs with her Visa?

    I hope we can override the steering on those planes…