Included in the Senate’s version of the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill (S.1867) is language that directs the Defense Department to provide a report on the fledgling AirSea Battle concept. The senators want both an unclassified report and a classified version within six months of the defense bill becoming law. They want DOD to discuss the plan, which calls for greater integration of air and naval capabilities, and how the Air Force and Navy plan to implement it. Among the topics, the senators want information on the gaps between ASB requirements and DOD’s current force structure and capabilities. They also want to know the five most critical force structure areas or capabilities requiring increased or sustained investment to implement the concept. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) sponsored the provision, which senators adopted on Nov. 30, the day before they passed the bill.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.