ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) —
Top civilian and military air and space leaders criss-crossed Europe the week of July 10 with distinct itineraries, but a singular message – the importance of close relationships with allies and partners, and the need to forge a “seamless” “zero-day interoperability” that is “integrated by design”.
In a series of engagements that spanned Italy, Germany and several in the UK, Department of the Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, Army Chief of Staff Air Force Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond each emphasized that, to confront and deter China, Russia, and other threats, transparent collaboration and multi-domain with international allies and partners is essential.
“Our next global threat could achieve parity, technologically, economically, or militarily, but the advantage we have is each other,” Brown said July 14 in a keynote address to the World Conference of Air and Space Chiefs 2022 in London.
“And, in order to maintain that advantage, we need to take an integrated approach in how we manage our people, our policies and our processes,” he said at the conference, which is a high-level gathering of department heads and senior defense policy officials. done all over the world.
In remarks prepared for the same conference the same day, Raymond highlighted similar themes while also focusing on the importance of space and how the United States and its allies are accelerating partnerships and cooperation in this critical area.
“We recognize that the character of warfare has changed, with kinetic and non-kinetic threats growing across multiple domains, and now explicitly against assets in space,” Raymond said. “And because space underpins the Joint Force, threats to space also threaten our ability to conduct operations in the air, on land and at sea.
“Therefore, we need to be coalition-minded from the start. We are stronger together, and we see clear benefits when we plan, train and operate as a team. Luckily, we are not starting from scratch on this.” , Raymond said. .
Kendall teamed up with Brown and Raymond at the 2022 Royal International Air Tattoo, which is considered the world’s largest military air show and a long-running event in Britain. In addition to attracting around 170,000 spectators, this year’s edition also included a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the US Air Force.
“These forums are valuable and fulfill a critical need to bring together like-minded nations and their militaries that honor common values,” Kendall said. “In a short time, we have met many allies, strengthened our ties and exchanged ideas on future collaboration for security and stability.”
Kendall also attended the Farnborough Air Show, one of the premier events in the aviation and space industry.
“When we say one team, one fight, the industry and our international partners are part of that team,” Kendall said. “As we work together to accelerate change, we want to tap into the intellectual capital and creativity that industry brings to the table, and that includes our international partners.
“We need to work together to modernize our capabilities. The companies and national programs I have seen on this trip have impressed me, and it gives me confidence that we can work collaboratively across our department and with our allies and partners to prepare for the fight of tomorrow, today. “, did he declare.
Threats are well understood and tangible.
Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine brought full-scale war back to Europe. China continues to expand and modernize its military capabilities while expanding its geopolitical and economic reach.
Raymond described it thus to his colleagues at the Air and Space Chiefs Conference – the competitors, he said, seek “to overthrow the global security system and rewrite the rules in their own right.” favor and according to their authoritarian view of the world”. threatens global stability and peace efforts. »
The appropriate response and official US posture is a concept Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin calls “integrated deterrence,” an approach that fuses joint force, allies, and partners into a coordinated and formidable force. which has capabilities in the air, land and sea, as well as space and cyber.
Integrated deterrence, Raymond said, “is a framework across all areas of warfare, theaters and spectrum of conflict, working with all instruments of national power and, most importantly, with our allies and partners.”
A key feature that must be present for success, Brown said, is strong connections with allies and partners and an approach to those relationships that he called “integrated by design.”
“Integration by design is the deliberate way we work together to understand the environment, define the threat, share information and, most importantly, use air power. To become integrated by design and overcome emerging global challenges, we must review our approach in three areas: people, policies and processes,” he said.
“To me, integrated by design means we start with allies and partners in mind rather than building the United States first and then scaling to include allies and partners,” Brown said. , adding that “the US Air Force needs to take more risks to work within existing policies.” where we haven’t done it in the past.
“…We must open the doors to our allies and partners to meet future military challenges. Just because something is difficult, or that we haven’t done it normally, doesn’t mean it should to avoid.”
Brown pointed to allies and partners coming together to counter Russian aggression as an example of working together to address such challenges.
“Investments in collaboration and trust work. They have worked against ISIS and are working against Russia. Now, to maintain our lead and the current rules-based international order, one thing is clear: the United States and our allies and partners must integrate like never before,” he said.
Raymond highlighted similar points and goals earlier in the trip during a stop in Italy.
In remarks prepared for a July 11 speech to the NATO Defense College in Rome, Raymond acknowledged that the Space Force, and by extension the United States, “cannot go it alone.”
“In the face of this threat to international security, Space Force recognizes that we cannot go it alone, but rather must act as part of a coalition. Which means working across differences, setting goals, common frameworks and plans, as well as training and acting together,” he said.