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Laird and Timperlake Briefing to AFA Pacific Forum November 22, 2013


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In late November 2013, Robbin Laird and Ed Timperlake discussed their new book (with Richard Weitz) on Rebuilding American Power in the Pacific: A 21st Century Strategy.

The F-35 strike fighter will be a lynchpin of security in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years for the United States and its allies, said Robbin Laird, military and security analyst. "This is not your mother's jet," he told AFA's Pacific Air & Space Symposium in Los Angeles last month in emphasizing how "radically different" the F-35 will be. In addition to the F-35's sophisticated technology, it's also significant that regional allies are acquiring the jet at the same time as the United States and will be establishing operations hubs and training ranges, said Laird. "You will end up with more F-35s in the Pacific being allied than American," he said during his Nov. 22 presentation.

The airplane's capabilities will help to usher in new concepts of operation built around robust, distributed assets, he said. "We usually think of technology as the driver . . . but in fact we are entering a decade where the CONOPs changes are as important as the technologies," he said.

Appearing with Laird, Ed Timperlake, senior fellow with Technology Assessment and Security, said the F-35's sensors and ability to share data would give each pilot access to unprecedented levels of real-time information in the cockpit.

By Michael C. Sirak

For the audio of the presentation as delivered to the Pacific Forum see the following:

An interview with AFPAC commander Hawk Carlisle was generated during the time at the Pacific Forum of the American Air Force Association as well as an interview Col. James on the role of the USAF in the initial response to the Philippine’s relief effort.

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Laird and Timperlake Briefing to AFA Pacific Forum November 22, 2013

  1. 1. Rebuilding Military Power in the Pacific: Crafting a 21st Century Strategy Shaping a Way Ahead Updated December 2, 2013
  2. 2. Shaping an Approach • Build Upon the Central Impact of the “ReNorming of Air Power” and re-shaping the conops or use of legacy systems; • Understand the Impact of a “Few Great Captains”; • Focus on the Operational Geography of the Pacific; • Deep Dive on the Impact of New Technologies on Concepts of Operations; • Always Remember the Reactive Enemy.
  3. 3. Interactive Drivers of Change Technology, Con-Ops and Coalition Airpower Weapons Revolution F-35 Fleet Air Combat Cloud 21st Cty Bomber Robotic Dynamics Distributed Ops Shaping an Attack and Defense Enterprise C5ISR D Dynamics Key Role for Partnership Engagement and Execution
  4. 4. Shaping an Approach (2) • With Regard to the Past Decade of War, Harvest the Best, and Leave the Rest; • Shape an Understanding of the Crises and Challenges Ahead which are Likely to Reshape Military Operations; • Focus on the Shifting Relationship among the US, Allies and Adversaries; • Understand the Impact of the F-35 fleet, global manufacturing and sustainment system on global coalition operations; • If you do not have a Military Strategy to Deal with the PRC, You Simply do not have a Grand Strategy to deal with the PRC.
  5. 5. The Strategic Setting Shaping a 21st Century Pacific Strategy Key Forces Managing the Dynamics of the Chinese Colossus Deterrence in a Second Nuclear Age The Arctic Opening and Russia as a Maritime Power and Canada on the Front Line of Defense Synergy Between Security and Defense: Securing the Conveyer Belt of Goods and Services by Sea with SLOC Defense Tokyo Shanghai
  6. 6. Strategic Geogrpahy SOUTH KOREA JAPAN 639 mi 4,099 mi 1,630 mi 2,809 mi 3,895 mi 3,686 mi SINGAPORE 2,353 mi AUSTRALIA GUAM Hawaiian Islands (USA)
  7. 7. Pacific Dynamics: The PRC ADIZ SOUTH KOREA JAPAN Japan Air Defence Identification Zone 639 mi China’s Territorial Waters 4,099 mi 1,630 mi 2,809 mi East China Sea Air Defence Identification Zone 3,895 mi GUAM 3,686 mi SINGAPORE 2,353 mi AUSTRALIA Hawaiian Islands (USA)
  8. 8. Shaping a 21st Century Force • • • • Distributed; Presence; Reachback; Honeycomb Enabled; Allies are Always Forward Deployed; Shaping a 21st Century Version of the Big Blue Blanket for the U.S. Joint Force; – Allied and Joint Fleet of F-35s as a key piece of the transition; – F-35s understood as stealth-enabled distributed fleet of combat systems honeycombing the battlespace; • Leveraging Coalition Investments to Craft More Effective Pacific Defense Capabilities; • Rethink Basing Strategies.
  9. 9. F-35 as Allied Pacific Lynchpin Hubs and Training Ranges Australia Canada Hubs Japan Singapore South Korea Pacific Dynamic Distances Covered Hawaii Guam Alaska Approximately 25 Thousand Miles of Perimeter Coverage
  10. 10. Some Key Elements of the Way Ahead • The F-35 School Houses as Drivers for Change (Eglin, Luke, Yuma, Beaufort etc.); • The Salience of the S Cubed Dynamic to Con-Ops Innovations: – Sensors, Combined with Stealth Combined with Speed can provide a new Paradigm for Shaping the Pacific Force Necessary for the U.S. in 21st Century Ops. • Meeting the Challenge of the Second Nuclear Age
  11. 11. The Way Ahead • This decade of technological development, conops evolution and partnership engagements and re-set of airpower lays the foundation for the next – And the determination of the role and impacts of new platforms. • Three Key Cases in Point: – The USS Ford and the Airwing After Next; – The Impact of the USS America and the Littoral Engagement Fleet; – The Bomber and the Role of Long Range Strike.