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American Forces Press Service

Navy, Air Force Team Up in Asia-Pacific Region

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2014 – The Navy and the Air Force are collaborating as part of the Defense Department's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert said here yesterday.

The Naval Integrated Fire Control–Counter Air Capability-Based System, which employs the teaming of services' situational awareness and strike capabilities to detect and attack targets at long range, is prominent in organizing concepts that the Navy and Air Force are using to conduct counter-air operations now and into the future, Greenert said in remarks at the Defense Working Group breakfast.

"We are taking elements of Navy Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air and integrating them into exercises we run with the Air Force [such as] Northern Edge … in Alaska and Valiant Shield [in Guam]," Greenert said. "The whole idea is getting the tactical data links and those networks compatible -- the air-sea battle brought this together."

The admiral explained that the challenge at hand is how to integrate submarines, other vessels and aircraft to bring a common effect.

NIFC-CA, Greenert said, involves assessing the inventory and area denial systems such as platforms, payloads and sensors, as well as analyzing what elements of NIFC-CA to which the Air Force could contribute.

"You lay [the elements] out there and say, 'That's nice. Now how do they operate together?'" Greenert said. "You're using Aegis cruisers and destroyer ships, everybody sees the same thing and therefore they can shoot the weapon based on what you see."

The key, Greenert explained, is to sort through the tactical nets -- such as the Air Force's F-35A aircraft, the Navy's F-35C and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft, and the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System -- so the two services can share information.

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