View Full Version : Evolution of AF-Navy Integration in Strike Warfare

01-02-2008, 02:36 PM
RAND, 27 Dec 07: Combat Pair: The Evolution of Air Force - Navy Integration in Strike Warfare (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2007/RAND_MG655.pdf)

This report was prepared as a contribution to a larger RAND-initiated study for the U.S. Air Force aimed at exploring new concepts for bringing land-based air power together with both naval aviation and surface and subsurface naval forces to enhance the nation’s ability to negate or, if need be, defeat evolving threats in both major combat operations and irregular warfare. The report describes the evolution of Air Force and Navy integration in aerial strike warfare from the time of the Vietnam War, when any such integration was virtually nonexistent, to the contemporary era when Air Force and Navy air combat operations have moved ever closer to a point where they can be said to provide both a mature capability for near-seamless joint-force employment and a role model for other possible types of closer Air Force and Navy force integration in areas where the air and maritime operating domains intersect....
Chapter 7 discusses Afghanistan (page 69 of the pdf) and Chapter 8 talks about OIF (page 79 of the pdf). If you want to skip right to what the authors see as emergent trends and potential future developments, begin on page 89 of the pdf.

01-03-2008, 12:54 AM
Hi Jed, thanks for the link. I agree just skip to page 89. I think they are correct in their assessment of future Air-Navy co operation.

01-03-2008, 06:21 PM
I've been on the front lines of this process for several years now working at and with the Naval Warfare Development Command and there has been a lot of give and take between the two services that has seen both learn from the cultures and capabilities of the others.

I'm not sure "seamless" is quite there yet, but the most recent excercises ( I was a naval assessor at the Global AOC at Barksdale during the recent JEFX 08-1) have demonstrated that the O4/O5 leadership "in the trenches" for both services are making great strides. They "Get it" even if not all the FOGOs do yet...

The biggest obsticles still seem to be cultural - where the AF O6/GOs are understanding why loosing the grip on central control is required, and the Navy counterparts are coming to understand the need to have a foundation of doctrinal consistancy between Maritime Headquarters (even if we can't seem to get the words "The following is a guide that should NOT limit the Naval Commanders whim to do whatever he feels like" out of the draft pubs ;)

And we still need to get the Marines more involved! Sometimes it seems we have developed closer interoperability lately with the AF than with our Sister service :o

We have come a long way in the last 4 or 5 years from immediate recoil from anything that remotely looked like "Operational Naval Planning" or resembed an "ATO" to productive cooperation beating down the reamining technical and cultural barriers to "seamless" joint air ops.

There is still a ways to go though...