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ACC commander speaks at Joint Warfighting Conference

by Robert Pursell
USJFCOM Public Affairs

6/20/2008 - VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AFPN) -- Gen. John Corley, Air Combat Command commander, gave the plenary address here June 20. General Corley addressed dominance, relevance and readiness during the third and final day of the Joint Warfighting Conference 2008.

On this date in 1944 the battle of the Philippines Sea, a major battle during World War II, began. General Corley told the story of the battle saying the United States won that battle because its forces were dominant, relevant and ready.

"They were well-trained, they were well-equipped, and they were well-led with that courage and they took on the task at hand," he said. "In large measure that sounds like the forces that we've got today; the world's pre-eminent land, sea, air and space, and cyber warriors."

"The major difference that's obvious to us, as you walk through the booths, between 1944 and today is the progress in terms of technology -- how far it's advanced, light years-worth, and the pace with which it changes."

General Corley also stressed the importance of working together as a joint force. "As a joint force, we must continue to work closely together, to find and to create dominance. To do so, we must exploit asymmetric opportunities."

General Corley explained the collective mission. "Our collective mission as a joint force is, in large measure, to provide options," he said. "[It's] not independent options, but options for defense of our nation and its interests. To provide these dominant options would require a balanced portfolio of capabilities between interdependent services. We have to use these capabilities in joint, co-equal and interdependent environments."

General Corley said it's not just the people and technology alone that the joint force must rely on. It's creating the right mix that will give the advantage.

"I've talked about the people, I've talked about technology and in my mind the joint force does currently enjoy a technological advantage. Dominance is more than just having that advanced technology. It's going to require the right mix of people and capabilities along with relevance and effective concepts of operations. To be a deterrent and to be an effective force, we must be able to prosecute missions across the spectrum of conflict."

General Corley said the future joint force will continue to participate in operations in other significant, relevant areas, including irregular warfare, counter-insurgency, stability, support, transition and reconstruction operations. He said the Air Force must assist to restructure theater conflict, develop a cohesive plan and help to define requirements.

"We've got to change the perception of the Air Force from a reactive support force to a pro-active force," he said. "We want to provide the very best support to the joint force by bringing pro-active, clear-minded solutions to joint commanders for their consideration in terms of joint, collaborative planning."

Speaking directly to industry, General Corley said it's going to take strategic thought to help accomplish this. "We've got to advance that with your help and systems," he said. "[The Air Force] will take both [industry's] and [the joint forces'] thinking and apply it across the spectrum of conflict. Today's warfighting solutions will require intelligent solutions and not just materials."

General Corley also discussed the near future and the collaborative work he sees ahead between ACC and USJFCOM. "We look forward to the up-coming Quadrennial Defense Review, also to the roles and missions talk, and want to continue to work those with [USJFCOM Commander Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis] and his staff down here and our sister services -- joint, collaborative, and interdependent."

General Corley stressed one last time that the Air Force along with its sister services will remain dominant, relevant and ready, but it must do that across the full spectrum of conflict.

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