Intelligence Espionage

COMBAT PAIR: The Evolution of Air Force-navy Integration in by Benjamin S. Lambeth

By Benjamin S. Lambeth

This file files the outstanding cross-service concord that the U.S. Air strength and U.S. military have gradually constructed of their behavior of built-in strike operations because the first Persian Gulf warfare in 1991. That shut concord contrasts sharply with the location that prevailed all through many of the chilly conflict, while the 2 providers maintained separate and distinctive working mindsets and lacked any major interoperability gains.

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S. : Naval Institute Press, 2005, pp. 119–243. , August 1, 2006. CHAPTER SIX Continued Sources of Navy–Air Force Friction Despite these nascent but salutary trends toward more harmonious cooperation in joint strike warfare, a number of cultural disconnects between the Air Force and the Navy persisted throughout the 1990s. One recurring manifestation of the cultural divide that still separated the two services in the air warfare arena came in the form of continued expressions of Navy discomfiture over the Air Force–inspired ATO and the way in which, at least in the view of many naval aviators, it sometimes made less than the best possible use of the nation’s increasingly capable carrier-based strike forces.

12 Combat Pair: The Evolution of Air Force–Navy Integration in Strike Warfare that noble goal in some important respects. Third, and most tellingly, it offered dramatic proof that the operational costs of moving toward closer jointness could, at times, be remarkably high, even in peacetime. Nevertheless, the incident constituted a notable, if now long-forgotten, milestone in Air Force and Navy air warfare integration, the need for which was finally driven home most forcefully by the experience of both services in Operation Desert Storm just a little more than three years later.

This failure denied the strike forces of the two services any opportunity to combine their capabilities 3 Lieutenant Colonel Stephen J. S. : Air University Press, 1994, pp. 105–106. 4 McNamara, Air Power’s Gordian Knot, p. 45. 8 Combat Pair: The Evolution of Air Force–Navy Integration in Strike Warfare to greatest operational effect. To all intents and purposes, the Air Force and Navy fought separate air wars over North Vietnam. 5 Throughout those final Cold War years, the Navy’s carrier battle groups figured most prominently in a sea-control strategy that was directed against Soviet naval forces, including long-range and highly capable shore-based naval air forces, in open-ocean engagements around the world.

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