dated May 12, 2013 and the Air-Sea Battle Master Implementation Plan (FY13), dated Sep 12, 2013.
FOREWORD: The Air-Sea Battle Concept
From its inception, the U.S. military has continuously adapted itself to meet evolving threats. At its core, the Air-Sea Battle (ASB) Concept is about reducing risk and maintaining U.S. freedom of action and reflects the Services’ most recent efforts to improve U.S. capabilities. Similar to previous efforts, the Concept seeks to better integrate the Services in new and creative ways. It is a natural and deliberate evolution of U.S. power projection and a key support component of U.S. national security strategy for the 21st century.
AirLand Battle was developed in the 1970s and 1980s to counter a Soviet backed combined arms attack in Europe. A key component of AirLand Battle was the degradation of rear echelon forces before they could engage allied forces. This mission was largely assigned to the Air Force and led to unprecedented coordination between the Army and Air Force.
The ASB Concept is similarly designed to attack-in-depth, but instead of focusing on the land domain from the air, the Concept describes integrated operations across all five domains (air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace) to create advantage. The ASB Concept further differentiates itself from its predecessor in that the ASB Concept also strives to protect our rear echelon across the same domains. This defensive aspect of ASB helps the Joint Force reduce risk in the face of increasingly longer range and more precise weapons which could affect our space-based platforms, land forces, airbases, capital ships, and network infrastructure.
While ASB is not a strategy, it is an important component of DoD’s strategic mission to project power and sustain operations in the global commons during peacetime or crisis. Implementation of the ASB Concept, coordinated through the ASB office, is designed to develop the force over the long-term, and will continue to inform institutional, conceptual, and programmatic changes for the Services for years to come. The ASB Concept seeks to provide decision makers with a wide range of options to counter aggression from hostile actors. At the low end of the conflict spectrum, the Concept enables decision makers to maintain freedom of action, conduct a show of force, or conduct limited strikes. At the low end of the conflict spectrum, the Concept enables decision makers to engage with partners to assure access, maintain freedom of action, conduct a show of force, or conduct limited strikes.
At the high end of the conflict spectrum, the Concept preserves the ability to defeat aggression and maintain escalation advantage despite the challenges posed by advanced weapons systems.
The ASB Concept is a limited but critical component in a spectrum of initiatives aimed at shaping the security environment. Similar to other concepts, ASB makes important contributions in both peace and war. The improved combat capabilities advocated by the concept may help shape the decision calculus of potential aggressors.
Additionally, continued U.S. investments in the capabilities identified in the concept reassure our allies and partners, and demonstrate the U.S. will not retreat from, or submit to, potential aggressors who would otherwise try and deny the international community the right to international waters and airspace.
When combined with security assistance programs and other whole-of-government efforts, the ASB Concept reflects the U.S. commitment to maintaining escalation advantage during conflict and sustaining security and prosperity in the global commons.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 ANTI-ACCESS/AREA DENIAL
4 THE AIR-SEA BATTLE CONCEPT
7 ROLE IN JOINT FORCE DEVELOPMENT