Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has “reviewed and concurred with the ongoing development” of the Air Force-Navy AirSea Battle concept, an Office of the Secretary of Defense official told the Daily Report. That statement builds upon the more vague comments on the status of the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s blessing made by defense officials last week during a background briefing on the fledgling concept and its newly unveiled office. The new ASB office, staffed by USAF, Marine Corps, and Navy personnel, will play three roles, according to those officials. First, as a multi-service organization, it will facilitate the “interservice and interagency coordination during the development, maturation, and implementation of the concept,” said one of them. Second, it will supervise the implementation of manning, training, and equipping of “integrated air and naval forces,” said this same official. Third, the office will oversee the concept’s execution “over time,” according to the official. For more on AirSea Battle, continue to A Work in Progress
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.