The Defense Department on Wednesday announced the creation of an office to push the integration of air and naval combat capabilities under the fledgling Air Force-Navy AirSea Battle concept. The new office will facilitate coordination among the services, influence wargames, foster development and integration of air and naval capabilities, and collaborate with joint forces, said Pentagon officials during a briefing. The Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy each will dedicate a minimum of two field grade officers or civil service equivalents to the office, they said. Currently, the office has a core of some 15 members and its personnel collaborate widely with other offices across those services. Under AirSea Battle, the Pentagon aims to leverage air and at-sea capabilities to guarantee US forces the freedom to operate in contested areas such as potentially the Western Pacific, said the officials. (Includes DOD release) (For more on the concept, read AirSea Battle’s Turbulent Year from Air Force Magazine’s October issue.)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.