United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Transcript

Press Operations Bookmark and Share


Background Briefing on Air-Sea Battle by Defense Officials from the Pentagon

Presenter: Defense Officials
November 09, 2011

            MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  This afternoon -- background briefing on air-sea battle.  Basically we will begin with a presentation, then we’ll walk through some of the slides.  The presenters are defense officials and we will go on from that. 

            We also have a policy rep if there is a specific question that runs into the policy realm, we anticipate this being (inaudible) 30 minutes, so with that, gentlemen.

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  Okay, good afternoon, all.  Welcome.  (Inaudible) with my colleagues, we’re going to tag-team this brief here and push it through.  My voice is failing a little bit today, so I’ll try to project, but -- so to set this up, two years ago the secretary of defense, then Secretary of Defense Gates, tasked the secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy to collaborate to create an air-sea battle concept that integrates air and naval forces in order to operate in the anti-access area of denial environment. 

            It has taken us from then to about now to complete the work of writing that concept.  Only just recently the secretary of defense has acknowledged the work as credible work and has given us the green light to move forward with the implementation of the air-sea battle concept. 

            Next slide please. 

            I’d like to start by describing for you a little bit of what we see.  We’re going to start today, talk to you about the air-sea battle -- excuse me, the anti-access/area-denial challenge.  We’ll give you a few definitions on that.  Then we’ll roll into air-sea battle afterwards.

            So state, regional, and non-state actors have been developing, proliferating, and acquiring emerging modern military capabilities, technologies.  And these technologies are enabling what we will call anti-access area denial.  They create a challenge for us.  These types of things, these types of modernization you see listed there, things like precision fires (inaudible) range, expanded capabilities in the realm of electronic warfare and cyber warfare.  Also, advanced integrated air and missile defense systems.  Submarines of increasing capability.  Surface combatants and modern aircraft all of increasing capability. 

            All of these things combined together could be used to create challenges to access and challenges to other -- keep you out of an area or make it very difficult for you to maneuver within an area. 

            In order to keep -- we began with the end in mind, and the end in mind was freedom of access in the global commons.  U.S. military forces will maintain freedom of action in the global commons.  So to operate in the global commons in environments such as I laid out, with capabilities that would be described as anti-access/area-denial capabilities means that you would operate at some level of risk to mission and force, and therefore we must develop capabilities of our own.  That’s the basis for the concept. 

            That environment demands that U.S. forces be able to turn quickly from a defensive posture to one of offensive posture -- not to turn and leave an area, but to stay in place and to continue to operate within an area of the global commons and not to be pushed out. 

            We must be able to fight in those contested environments across all domains -- okay -- in order to prevail.  We cannot cede a single domain in order to prevail in an environment such as that.  And that does include cyber and space -- the cyber and space domains.  So we’re talking about five domains.  The three physical domains, if you will -- air, maritime, and land domain -- but also and equally as important, the space and cyberspace domains. 

            The bottom line of the A2/AD challenge means that, as in World War II in the Pacific, getting to the fight is a fight and can be a fight, like I said.  So that is the challenge that globally anti-access/area denial poses.  Next slide, please.

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  Good afternoon, everybody.  For the purposes of the question and answer, my name is (inaudible).  And just backing up very quickly for a moment, it would probably be useful just to put a definition of how we -- what we define anti-access and area denial as.  A bunch of words in the slides, but they very simply come down to this:  Anti-access we look at as our ability to get to a theater or an area of operation where area denial is our ability to operate within that area.  Basically, one is getting there, the other is your ability to stay there, plain and simple.  Next slide, please.

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  As the title of the slide suggests, anti-access/area denial is about systems, it’s about technologies and capabilities.  It’s not about a specific actor.  It is not about a specific regime.  It’s about our ability to confront those systems and overcome them no matter where they are or how they're presented.  To that end, for example, we see state actors with well-funded militaries that possess the most advanced kinds of anti-access/area-denial capabilities and technologies -- in some cases, multilayered across all of the war-fighting domains.  Some of the capabilities that we're thinking of (inaudible) spoke to and presented on the second slide. 

            These actors continue to develop new capabilities and grow their inventories.  But remember, for us an important challenge is they proliferate them.  And so for us, where we find them may be in places where we have to defend U.S. vital interests and the interests of our allies.

            Some emphasize gaining information dominance, especially through electronic warfare,    counter-space and cyber war.  Broadly speaking, these have been written about in the Western literature, but we see that what they do is they create asymmetric effect, asymmetric impact, and so air-sea battle addresses these things and how they are to be successfully encountered.

            And then the fourth bullet, while not all states with high-end A2/AD capabilities have malignant intentions towards the U.S., the most purposeful advancement of capabilities that present unique challenges to U.S. forces is of great concern.  If I had to distill that down into what does that mean, it's about access and freedom of action and making sure you have enough of what you need to get after your goals and to protect and preserve your vital interests.

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  So I wanted to talk a little bit about A2/AD and regional powers.  The U.S. is significantly more likely to face A2/AD capabilities intentionally proliferated from the advanced state actors to regional powers, so it's not just about advanced state actors who developed that technology, it's their intent to proliferate them, and their demonstrated proliferation of such capabilities.  Regional powers continue to acquire and develop a wide range of A2/AD capabilities.

            Precise guided munitions of increasing range can go a long way for creating areas of access denial and anti-access and area denial simply by posing a great threat to anybody who would come into the range ring of one of them.  And so it's not just about them, though.  It could also be well-funded non-state actors.  They can acquire guided rockets.  We're talking about smaller ranges, but still can create access challenges with guided rockets, missiles, mortars, and even in some cases advanced surface-to-air and cyberspace capabilities.

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  A little bit into the concept itself, ladies and gents.  What we're talking about here is a concept that takes us from our current -- (inaudible) -- jointness to a higher level, and you'll hear things like cross-domain operations discussed.  Traditionally, we have the three physical domains -- the maritime, the air and the sea domains.  Now we're talking about going into space and cyber and the integration across those.  That's a much higher standard that we intend to attain.  And so that's going to require initially the integration of air and naval forces and expanding from there. 

            What this is not, this is not telling the COCOMs [combatant commands] how to do their job.  This is the three services in this case getting together and using the Title 10 authority of our service chiefs to organize, train and equip our force, and a collaboration amongst the services to create those capabilities so we can field them (inaudible) the combatant command.

            Lastly, at the end of the day, this is about maintaining the military advantage to operate in the global commons.

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  What the slide doesn't include on it is what's the priority of air-sea battle.  The priority is to develop air and naval forces that are integrated.  So air-sea battle -- given that's the priority, air-sea battle represents change.  And there are, as we say, three dimensions of change: institutional, conceptual and material.  So allow me to sort of move into each of these and sort of unpack what they mean.

            Institutional.  Service and joint cooperation by establishing enduring organizational constructs that continue the collaboration to address the environment of A2/AD as it evolves over time.  These capabilities do not remain static.  We attain new insights, discover new things.  We have to learn and refine over time.

            Conceptual change.  It's executed through the operational design of air-sea battle.  Air-sea battle is not a war plan.  It's not a (inaudible) plan.  It's not an operational plan.  It's a framework of design which articulates and describes what the problem is.  It describes how capabilities and forces are integrated to accomplish what the combatant commanders need to have done through the services and the air and integrated naval forces that they provide.

            The third dimension of change is material and nonmaterial solutions.  This isn't about a shopping list.  This isn't about protecting (inaudible).  This isn't about any of that.  It is about systems and innovations, it's about collaborative development and vetting them to ensure that we are complementary and appropriate, and redundant material and nonmaterial solutions have been mandated by capacitor requirements, we have interoperability, we have compatibility, and they're fielded with integrated acquisition strategies seeking efficiencies where they can be achieved. 

            The Air-Sea Battle Office was recently stood up.  In our roles as the service leaders and senior service representatives inside that office, broadly speaking, we do three things, and we will do them going forward as a multiservice audience -- or correction -- office, we will facilitate the interagency -- correction -- inter-service and interagency coordination during the development, the implementation and the maturation of the concept.  We'll supervise the implementation of the training, manning and equipping of integrated air and naval forces.  And we will manage the execution of the air-sea battle concept over time.

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  That's all.  We'll take questions.

            Q:  I'm Colin Clark (inaudible).  I don't want to get into a discussion which I'm sure we could spend hours on about hybrid warfare, Hamas, and some of the examples which clearly seems to have influenced some of this thinking.  But if you could maybe give us some examples of how this will be applied or is beginning to be applied, that might be really helpful in sort of helping us get a handle on what is not a con-op, what is not a strategy, what is not a -- it's hard to say what it is.

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  So it's an operational concept, right, that describes how we will shape -- how the combatant commander  can use this concept to shape the anti-access/area-denial environment to his or her favor, to the combatant commander's needs.  So what does that mean?  So it means that we organize, train and equip.  We talked about cross-domain operations.  We put together forces that are networked and integrated, more tightly networked and integrated, have practiced cross-domain operations such that they can enable forces to remain in a very challenging, a very complex A2/AD environment and, as I said earlier, not be forced to be move out but enabled to stay right where they are. 

            The follow-on action that may be at the combatant commander's discretion, whatever it is that the combatant commander wants to achieve after that, that's entirely up to their discretion.  We're not trying to transition into that line at all.  This concept just talks about how the ways and means that are necessary to stay relevant, to stay in the environment and to shape the environment favorably so that you can conduct follow-on operations.

            Q:  Is this directed at China?  Obviously this is going to be for the Asia Pacific.  Is there that element too?  And if not, what other forces have anti-access area-denial forces?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  That's a great question.  Go back to that list of capabilities that we provided.  Now correlate that to those things that are out there, those nations that are out there that want to acquire more of that and deploy more of that.  Those are the things that we're fixated on inside this concept because the concept, as I said earlier, isn't about a specific actor.  It's about countering anti-access/area-denial capabilities.

            Q:  And if I could just follow up.  The secretary when he was in Asia spoke about enhancing capabilities in Asia.  Will this office be involved in those enhanced military capabilities?

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  Such as they apply to anti-area/access area denial, they apply globally.  So to answer specifically -- so I'm not giving you a specific answer to that.  But such as the secretary intended to address anti-access/area denial, that's where the concept --

            Q:  And what are some of those --

            DOD OFFICIALONE:  -- all around the world.

            Q:  -- enhanced capabilities that we're looking at?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:   Make sure we understand the question right.  It goes back to there are capabilities that exist now and capabilities that may be proliferated in the future that will narrow, if we do nothing, our military advantage.  We obviously seek to not have that advantage narrowed.   Doesn’t matter who has the capabilities, they will proliferate.  We know this.   We knew this back in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and in that case it was the Iraqis.  There are others who have this.  So we don't necessarily know who is going to present that to us in the future, but we know it will probably be out there in some fashion. 

            Those capabilities we expect to increase in proficiency and technology, so we have to figure out how to stay ahead of that curve and keep the advantage we have.  And this concept is our plans on how to do that through the networked integrated cross-domain force of the future.

            Q:  So does the standup of your office mean that there'll be no product called air-sea battle, no document that lays out the details, or will there be a report or strategy as well as potential future documents and strategies going forward?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  I would say there's going to be a plan of communication, a strategy, if you will, and it will contain some explanation for the military problem of A2/AD as we see I, and what we are doing to refine air-sea battle to improve it and operationalize it.  And that is probably the granularity at least here in this era that you should probably expect.

            Q:  Do you have any timeline for when that'll be either out here or going up to the Hill, or when can we expect there to be --

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  I don't have a timeline for you.

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  I think your question is kind of -- you're looking for a report, and a report is not the end state of what we need to do here.  The end state of what we need to do is to help engender a force that's ready for future challenges.  And so that integration was supported by this building -- as you know, this building does a lot of things, primarily money -- but the integration takes place out in the operating forces.  So the service chiefs who field those forces to the combatant commanders, we want to field better forces that are better able to integrate out in the operating world.

            Q:  But that's a change, that's why I asked.  Because your service chiefs and other officials from this building have told Congress it's somewhere in the process, somebody has it, they're going to sign it out and you'll see it at some point.  And so if the end state now is not for them to get a document, but rather, for this to be a continuing office, that seems new.

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  We didn't say no one would ever got a document.  Let's be clear about that.  To the extent reporting is advised and required, you can expect that that's going to happen.  It’ll happen in the appropriate channels in the appropriate mechanisms.

            Q:  Gentlemen, I just want to get the timeframe solidified.  On the release here it says the office was stood up August 12th.  Couple-part questions.  One, has this office been functioning and operational since August 12th or is it operational as of today?  And as of today, or whatever date, has the secretary of defense signed off on this concept?

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  So the office was stood up in August, as the release says, and we have been laying the groundwork in preparation for the go -- from the green light from the secretary of defense to go forth and implement.  So we have been doing the good work necessary to lay the track, if you will, so we can roll this train out of the station.  So we have been functioning for that time.  We are functioning now.

            Q:  Has the secretary of defense signed off on the (inaudible) concept?

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  As I said up front, he has acknowledged it as credible work and he has green-lighted the implementation of the air-sea battle concept.

            Q:  Forgive me if I’m misunderstanding this, but what’s different about the international environment that makes this necessary at this time?  I mean, from my understanding, anytime a combatant commander faces the need to go into a hostile environment, that commander has to consider the anti-access/area-denial capabilities of the enemy.  And why is this necessary now compared to what’s happened in the past? 

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  So, simply put, and maybe I’m taking too much of the answers, but so simply put, we’re talking about freedom of access in the global commons.  Increasing ranges of precision fire threaten those global commons in a new way, in new, expanding ways.  That in a nutshell is what’s different.

            Q:  So how much does, Eddie Walsh, (inaudible).  How much does the threat of satellite proliferation by China, especially to countries in Latin America and other places in the world, enter into that calculation?  When you said precision fire, that’s one aspect, but these ISR capabilities are another.  And I see that you have information dominance as part of your objectives here, so is that one of the things that’s going to fall under your area? 

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  When you say satellite proliferation, what are you really asking about?  Are you asking -- help me out there.  Am I to understand --

            Q:  Well, I mean, it’s been argued that China is embarking upon satellite diplomacy.  You know, launching satellite capabilities for other countries around the world that could be used for ISR purposes.  Venezuela I think is one of them. 

            So, you know, one of my colleagues asked about China.  And you were talking about proliferation over and over again.  It’s obviously about more than just precision fire.  There’s other capabilities that are out there.  Is this proliferation of satellite technology and ISR specifically one of the main concerns you have in the ability to dominate in the air-sea battle space?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  I want freedom of action in space and I want access to it.  And to the extent that a nation would attempt to develop and field a capability of any kind that would attempt to deny or preclude or preempt my freedom of action in space or access to the things I have in space, or want to get from the things in space, it’s relevant and I’m concerned about it. 

            Q:  And just as a follow-up, how would that differ from space operations generally conceived?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  How would that differ?

            Q:  How would your office and what you’re trying to achieve differ from the larger objectives of the U.S. military in space operations?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  I would say these are hand-in-glove ideas.  These are not differences.  They are collaboration, and it’s a collaborative approach. 

            Q:  And just one last follow-up.  Then how is it not redundant?  I guess that’s a follow-up to his question.  I mean, how is it not a redundant task to go down that path?  What makes it different in what you’re trying to achieve versus what --

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  Okay, that’s a good question.  Here’s what I would say without getting too complex.  Nature of warfare doesn’t change.  Its character does.  So in the 21st Century, if nations are going to field new generations of capability that seem like a sort of parent-child -- a child of a parent relationship, but these capabilities do new and advanced things that have strategic implications, we’ve arrived at something different.  And so understanding what that is and countering them is a different kind of task. 

            And this gets to the what is new.  We’re not saying A2/AD is new.  It’s been around in warfare for a long, long time.  In this century, what does it mean when these new, long-range -- as was said earlier -- precision systems are employed?  What are those consequences?  The concept attempts to answer some of those questions and get after it.

            Q:  Viola Gienger, Bloomberg News.  You seem to have to go out of your way not to mention China.  Doesn’t that kindd of complicate how practically applicable your work is going to be?  I mean, if you’ve got to plan a range of specific scenarios, right, or are you just going to be working at the very theoretical level without ever putting a face to this threat that you’re talking about?  And I don’t mean necessarily that it’s only China, but I am saying that you’re talking air-sea battle, you’ve got to develop plans based on this concept for a variety of scenarios.  And your bosses have said over and over again that China is one of the problems of area denial.  So how do you square that?  How do you proceed without being able to mention the name?

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  We have an arguably simple task.  We don’t plan for the geographic combatant commanders.  That’s their lane.  The services’ lane, the Title 10 lane, is to organize, train, and equip the forces that are provided to the combatant commander.  So we don’t develop strategy, and we don’t develop their plans.  What we do field is forces that can support their plans.  So the dialog that we have is between us and their components is what are those kind of things that they need us to field, whether that’s a material thing or a capability involving everything from training to how we organize people and organizations out there. 

            We are universal.  I’m not sure we want to say just conceptual, but we are a bit more universal and general in how we approach the problem. 

            Q:  David (inaudible) from Defense News.  Are there any material solutions that you’re going to need immediately to defeat this challenge?  I mean, what are some things that are going -- that we’re going to see coming out of this, like in terms of (inaudible)?

            Q:  And duplications you’ve been able to eliminate, perhaps.

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  Since we just finished the concept and we’re just starting down the road to implementation, we don’t -- I would submit we don’t have an immediate programmatic answer.  Certainly the services -- and it’s been stated already.  Anti-access/area denial is not a new warfighting challenge.  This has been around for as long as people have fought war.  But that’s not new.  The services and the department have always worked at these problems.  There’s a renewed focus on this, you could argue, but those things right now are already within the services’ budgets. 

            What we’re looking at here -- again, it goes back to the game we play now may not be a good enough game in the future, so we have to raise our level of play in order to keep that military advantage that we want to have in the future. 

            We do expect in the future to have interdependencies that will be programmatic as well as operational.

            Q:  But this is right now more of a doctrinal thing than a material thing.  Would that be fair to say?

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  It would be fair to say that -- and I shouldn’t speak for my service brethren, but the material solutions are not a result of the interactions we’ve had with the concept -- (inaudible). 

            Q:  Is there any sense of the cost of the office?  How much does it cost to stand up this office?

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  There’s no particular cost because the services are doing it out of their own constructs.  They’re reorganizing within their own constructs, so all three of our services were taken out of hide, if you will.  We’re working already within our service lines, so we’re just now going to be sitting in one common place to advocate, facilitate for this activity.

            Q:  Sirs, what changes will this mean to service members out in the field?  Will there be new MOSes?  (Inaudible.)  Will service members out, you know, as you man, train, and equip see a difference because of your office?

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  What they will see, I think, in due time, is that you’ll see more of this.  So it’s not just that I’m training Navy how to act in this environment.  I’m training Navy how to know what I can get from this colleague and from this colleague so that we can collectively -- and they know the same of me -- so that we can collectively fight.  So joint, but not necessarily the big joint way of thinking.  Joint in that the services are taking this on to collaborate together, to work together, so the training will reflect that.  And the proficiency that we gain at our cross-domain operations will in time reflect that. 

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  There’s another big component to what you just said.  America has been in two COIN [counter-insurgency] wars for a decade.  There’s an entire generation of Marines and sailors and airmen and soldiers.  This is all they’ve known is countering insurgency.  What we’re saying is, in the future there are going to be other kinds of threats and we’re going to have to respond to protect our vital interests, and so more than the examples you laid out is the recognition of that in the joint force and getting after training for those alternative futures and those things.

            Q:  When this concept is fully implemented, do you expect any change in the roles and the missions of allied countries?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  I don’t think that is necessarily ours to answer directly because it gets into policy, but I think for our purposes what we do need to make sure of is that we don’t leave our allies and our partners behind as we implement these things, and we are very conscious of that. 

            SENIOR DOD OFFICIAL: We can just say from a policy perspective, given the policy implications of what you’re talking about, there is every intention that as the concept is employed in particular theaters, there are obvious implications for working with allies when you’re thinking about interoperability, C4ISR, et cetera, so there will be an allied role in air-sea battle as trained and exercised and operated in the future. 

            Q:  Hi, Sam (inaudible) with Jane’s.  I just had a couple of quick questions.  One of them would be, have you all identified as far as looking at the individual platforms, you know, that you’re going to be working with, like, for example, I know the Naval Postgraduate School messed around with some ideas of using like on a table-top exercise using A-10s as a counter to like a (inaudible) boat threat?  You know, have you all gone to that level of granular detail to look at like, you know, what you all could bring to the fight and what will be included in this concept and what won’t be, on a platform level.

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  Yes. 

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:   Yes.

            Q:  So, for example, would an A-10 be -- you know, I mean, right now, I mean, they had that great example in Libya where the (inaudible) called in an A-10 and a P-3 to handle some swarm boats that were coming out of Misurata.  You know, that seems like something analogous to what you all are talking about.  Can you --

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  So there’s a large portfolio of U.S. capabilities.  There are many combinations. 

            Q:  As you know, the Capitol Hill is scrutinizing the defense budget, so given the fact that air-sea battle doesn’t have a specific actor or a specific threat, do you -- are you confident that you are able to sell this to Capitol Hill and say that you could allocate this budget for something very important for the next 30 years or so?

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  So we see one possible role for the air-sea battle concept is as a focusing lens.  As my colleague mentioned earlier, absent the air-sea battle, our services would still be spending on A2/AD capability.  But with the focusing lens of air-sea battle and understanding how to operate in an environment such as that, we can make smarter decisions.  We can make smarter decisions about knowing what the three of us are up to, to include our Army service partners as well.  Understanding what are we doing to get after the A2/AD problem, using the lens of air-sea battle to focus that, to eliminate unnecessary redundancy, to ultimately get at shared, sustained advancements through programmatic collaboration.  That’s what we’re seeking to that we can man, train, and equip the right types of forces able to succeed in the A2/AD environment, and ultimately ensure freedom of access in the global commons. 

            Q:  (Inaudible) Inside the Air Force.  I wonder can you talk about some of the actual day-to-day work that you’ll be doing in this new office, both since August until now, and into the future.  And second, is this office viewed as temporary until you’ve achieved a certain goal, or is it envisioned as a permanent office that will become a part of the Pentagon?

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  I can answer the last one first.  Talking to my leadership, we see this as an enduring relationship.  This is the -- the -- we always look for quick answers, but our view -- and I don’t want to make this sound like an air-land battle and give those expectations; however, the parallel here is that was a long developing concept before it came to fruition.  We believe we have the same kind of journey that we’re beginning here with you today. 

            Q:  (Inaudible) a lot of what you’re talking about sounds in general like what the Pentagon does and what the entire military, political, intellectual, industrial apparatus deals with all the time.  How many people are in your office -- in the Air-Sea Battle Office?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  Well, there’s a (inaudible) of us.  Right now it’s about a dozen to 15 people, but we have access to all the people across the staffs, all the people in the fleet and field major commands.  So we have access to, essentially, the full depth of our services.  The combatant commanders, and all of them as we embark on this collaborative venture.  And we will meet all of them. 

            Q:  I’m trying to understand what you’re doing that other people are not doing in numerous locations.  So if the War College is thinking about this -- all the different war colleges are thinking about this all the time.  I mean, industry has their own think tanks.  All the think tanks in town have done this.  This building is full of dozens of operations doing this.  So what are you -- what is your core group of a dozen people doing here that we need to pay attention to and convey that’s not being done elsewhere?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  Yes.  There’s a lot of synchronization that’s required here.  We want people getting after this intelligently and effectively and efficiently in ways that are not duplicative or ways that work at cross purposes.  And so essentially here, in this building, given what we do in the Pentagon, we’re ideally placed to do that.  

            Q:  (Inaudible) Inside the Navy.  How do you envision this concept affecting how programs are run, or some programs are run in the future?  A little bit, will you get it through?  And when requirements are drafted out for certain programs, do you envision that this concept might have an effect on some of these programs?

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  I think we’re early to tell.  We shouldn’t set expectations for things that we can’t predict.  What we do think we can get to and we’re working towards and this is part of the journey is as we take this out to our components and we look to integrate, there are things that we’re going to need to do to help integrate that force.  And that’s going to help identify interdependencies that we’re going to have to match up, whether they be programmatic or training or organizing.  So those interdependencies are what we seek to coordinate here.  But that goes across the board, not just programmatic.

            Q:  Could you give us an example to make that more concrete?

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  An example of what?

            Q:  What you just described.

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  Sure.  We’ll only offer this at the risk of being prescriptive, which is what we don’t want to be with the concept.  So (inaudible).

            Q:  And we can tell people what you’re actually doing.

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  But, for example, it was just in the back of the room.  If you have a swarm boat threat out there, and I’ve ridden a Navy ship once or twice, you know, and if you drive ships, that’s a fairly significant (inaudible) in certain parts of the world.  Is it inconceivable that maybe the Air Force can help prosecute maritime objectives?  How often do we do that right here?  So I’ll leave the rest to your imagination but there is a nearly limitless number of things we can look at to start integration.  Our challenge is actually the opposite.  Our challenge with the modest invest that we have on people, because this is not standing up new parallel large organizations.  This is leveraging with a few guys our organizations as they currently exist to then look at what are these opportunities for integration and from there -- and you probably don’t have to take many -- you are going to extract a plethora of things that you need to learn from them and the interdependency reporting between these.

            Q:  Could you gentlemen help explain something for me?  It’s Ann Roosevelt with Defense Daily.  How does this concept fit into the Joint Chiefs of Staff, from joint concept of operations and the re-look that General Dempsey has called for?  And how do you ensure that you’re not a stovepipe with, say, the Army often bushes somewhere who also deals with A2/AD and how do you incorporate that?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  So a lot of our work is state of the art, and it’s characterizing A2/AD in a way that the joint force hasn’t quite understood or hasn’t quite arrived at that understanding of what it is.  And its ramifications and consequences our work will inform the follow-on conceptual work that will be executed by the chairman and other people for quite some time.  It’s a concept that won’t tell you everything you will ever need to know right now.  And there’s a lot of refinement that must occur over time.  We will feed a lot of those efforts.

            Q:  And about the Army, sir?

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  And what was your question on the Army?

            Q:  I wanted to know how you did (inaudible) not stovepipe?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  I’m sorry.  I didn’t hear your question.

            Q:  How you would incorporate the Army in your work since you don’t want to stovepipe the Air Force and Navy when the Army also has area denial concerns.

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  I’ll jump in with that.  So the Army -- we are bringing the Army on board.  The Army is going to be part of this too.  They were not originally tasked by the secretary of defense to develop this concept.  He was concerned about areas of anti-access/area denial in the global commons.  Things that are land are typically -- on land, are typically not the global commons so -- but we recognize willingly and are actively seeking now to fold the Army in and on board so that we will be a four-service program on this.  But initially, as -- through where we began and to where we are today, it was a tasking for the secretary of the Navy and the secretary of the Air Force.

            Q:  Let me ask about a -- since everyone is asking about hypotheticals, I’m going to ask about an existing requirement, existing requirement that’s on the books on how your concept would address that forward since you’re talking about training and equipping. 

            Secretary Gates, before he left, left the requirement for a next generation long-range strike platform.  Anyone I’ve talked to who talks about this concept concedes that this platform is the core element of this overall concept.  How is your office involved in turning that joint requirement into an operational requirement?

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  So there’s sort of a natural seam that happens here.  Remember we used the word “integration.”  We’re about systems, technologies and capabilities that integrate.  The services retain the requirement to articulate through description of requirements the creation of the rationale for the need of a capability.  We don’t supply that.  Those processes are what they are.  They are robust and they are extensive. 

            MODERATOR:  Okay.  I’m going to need to wrap this.

            Q:  Yes.  (Inaudible).  Just thinking about like what you all’s office does and it seems that there’s going to be a lot of integration with potentially amphibious operations and looking at that concept.  Secretary Gates blessed a two-man lift capability for contested amphibious assault and that sort of got margined between 12 nautical miles, 25 nautical miles -- it kept changing.  Is any of the work that you all going to be doing going to change those kind of requirements or kind of change this kind of magic distance for a standoff, for this kind of coastal operations and looking at like amphibious operations?

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  Since you said something near and dear to my heart, thank you.  Let me try to recollect those thoughts.  Those discussions are happening.  If you remember back to our slide, what this office does because we don’t have direct control of resources or directive authority, what we do is we help facilitate those things.  If you will, we help put the spotlight on certain issues, whether those be command and control issues and other ones.  So in the context of when those discussions happen, whether they be in the operating forces or here where we develop concepts and things of those nature, we will help to ensure that those conversations happen and that they’re robust and across the force and include all the people that are relevant.  Specific to that, that’s probably best within the Navy and Marine Corps service lines for any specific answer. 

            Q:  But, I mean, just a follow-on to that real quick.  You know, I had a conversation with Secretary Work and they were talking specifically, it was like, okay, you’re going to do a two-man lift.  You’re going to get 33 gators out there and you’re going to go into somewhere and it’s going to mean a joint campaign.  It’s going to mean integration of Air Force, maybe airborne drops.  I mean, it all depends on kind of what you want to do there.  That seems kind of right up you all’s alley.  I don’t understand how that would be specifically a Navy, Marine only kind of idea.

            DOD OFFICIAL THREE:  I like what you just said.  That’s essentially our concept.  What more can I say?  Well described, well laid out.

            DOD OFFICIAL ONE:  The concept describes how you shape the environment so that you can continue with whatever your follow-on objective is, whatever the follow-on objective of the combatant command is. 

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  Yes.  My misunderstanding was I thought you might be going specifically about 12 or 25 miles (inaudible). 

            Q:  No, sir.

            DOD OFFICIAL TWO:  Arcane for most people in the audience, but near and dear to me to say it was the Marines.

            MODERATOR:  We really need to wrap this up because we’re actually having to driving into the other event.  So I realize that there may still be some additional questions.  I need to break the gentlemen free from this event.  We will continue to work.  If you have additional specific questions, we’ll work it out of my shop to get you any additional information that you need.  But thank you for being here this afternoon.  Thank you.

Additional Links

Stay Connected