Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead said recent developments in Chinese stealth aircraft and China’s anti-aircraft carrier capabilities are not the only reasons that the Navy joined forces with the Air Force to establish the new AirSea Battle concept. “It really gets into doctrine, organization, training, materiel,” Roughead told reporters Wednesday in Washington, D.C. He added, “When you talk about AirSea Battle, it’s not all China. It really is about the anti-access capabilities that tend to proliferate in many areas . . . and making sure the [US] military can operate in those areas.” The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps service chiefs are “basically done” with their work regarding AirSea Battle and expect to release more details “in a few weeks,” according to Roughead. However, he cautioned that a majority of the plan will remain classified, “as it should be.” (See also Up Close and Personal, Why Now)
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.