Cross Domain the AirSea Battle Way

Speaking with the audience on Thursday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., Lt. Gen. Burton Field and Rear Adm. Bruce Grooms emphasized that the Air Force-Navy AirSea Battle concept is not just a pet project of “the Washington guys.” Instead, defense officials are now carrying it forward in wargaming, exercising, and other activities, said Field and Grooms, the Air Force’s and Navy’s senior plans and requirements officials, respectively, at the symposium’s ASB panel discussion. Force development and cross-service compatibility are ideas at the core of implementing the concept, said Grooms, and working old problems in new ways is at the core of this way of thinking. For example, cyber effects have great potential to enable transit through a strategic choke point—mitigating anti-access defenses in certain environments, said Grooms. There is interest in exercising “third party targeting” by using assets such as Aegis cruisers to get around jamming interference in some air-to-air scenarios, or having submarine captains utilize remotely piloted aircraft in certain instances, he noted. “We are in a different world now, and we have to be more collaborative,” said Grooms. Still, the budget sequester hangs over a great deal of the live-action exercising and could ground aircraft and moor ships to port. “Obviously that will be a problem,” said Field. “If we can’t do this live, it will become an intellectual exercise,” he added.