The services have marching orders not to poach on each other’s programs or missions in the current drill to rapidly downsize, said Lt. Gen. Herbert Carlisle, Thursday during an AFA-sponsored address in Arlington, Va. Carlisle, who oversees operations, plans, and requirements issues on the Air Staff, related that outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen called the service Chiefs together “and said, it’s going to be hard. . . . But we’re in this together.” Carlisle said the quote used was: “‘We’re not going to pull knives on each other.'” Carlisle added, “And we’re not. The Joint Chiefs are very much working this together.” That said, Carlisle noted that “on the periphery” of the AirSea Battle discussions, Navy operatives made the argument that “‘sea-based air is survivable, land-based air is not. Bombs can take out the runway at Kadena [AB, Japan], but ships can move around.'” Carlisle said: “We all know neither one of those is absolute.” Both are vulnerable to some degree, but he insisted “there will be cases where we’ll rely on sea-based air, and . . . there will be millions of cases where the Navy relies on land-based air.”
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.