Naval Aviation Vision: A Preeminent Warfighting Force, Today And In The Future

(NAVY LIVE BLOG 16 APR 14) … Vice Adm. David H. Buss

Last February, I shared my vision as the Navy’s Air Boss with you for our aviation future based on ensuring a whole, capable and affordable force. Today, I am excited to announce the publication of Naval Aviation Vision, 2014-2025– a document that builds upon the pillars of capability superiority, wholeness and maintaining capacity to describe how an even more relevant Naval Aviation force will contribute to our national defense needs now and in the future.

The new vision document presents a unified U.S. Navy and Marine Corps view of how we in Naval Aviation intend to fulfill our portion of the commitment made by the Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps to “be where it matters, when it matters, by maintaining a robust forward presence and appropriate readiness.”

This is a collaborative vision shared by Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, Jr., Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation; Vice Adm. David Dunaway, Commander, Naval Air Systems Command; Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, Director, Air Warfare Division; and Rear Adm. William Leigher, former Director of Warfare Integration for Information Dominance – all of whom are co-signatories with me of the vision document.

Naval Aviation is committed to sustaining our capability advantages today and in the future, and the first section ofNaval Aviation Vision, 2014-2025 describes how we plan to do so. We highlight some of the key technologies that sustain and advance Naval Aviation’s capabilities, such as the F-35B/C Lightning II and the Ford-class aircraft carrier. We have adopted a strategy to deliver integrated warfighting capabilities. The concept of integrated warfighting capabilities is based on identifying, prioritizing and resolving high-priority gaps in “kill chains” and “effects chains” – the sequence of events that must occur to complete a particular kinetic or non-kinetic mission thread.

Our missions are moving toward greater integration, both from an operational perspective as well as from the earliest stages of the acquisition process. We can look at air warfare as an example. In the future, air warfare will involve greater integration with other naval aircraft – such as the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, EA-18G Growler, and maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms such as the MQ-4C Triton – and with Navy surface assets through the Cooperative Engagement Capability and eventually the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air operational view. Integrated warfare will be similarly imperative to achieving other Naval Aviation missions, including anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare, strike warfare, expeditionary warfare and information dominance.

While we face budgetary pressures and a constant demand for ready Naval Aviation forces, we are committed to ensuring Naval Aviation remains a whole force. The second section of Naval Aviation Vision, 2014-2025describes efforts to ensure Naval Aviation achieves wholeness and affordability. We are implementing “should cost” strategies that drive productivity improvements and reduce overall costs. Using the Integrated Logistics Support Management System, we will continue to identify components that perform outside established parameters to recognize potential readiness degraders before they affect readiness and costs. We acknowledge the budgetary pressures impacting the Navy’s flying hours, and a Proficiency Optimization Working Group is developing analysis and tools to help maintain sufficient readiness despite budget decreases.

Naval Aviation Vision, 2014-2025 concludes with an outline of Naval Aviation’s current and projected operational capacity, along with transformation roadmaps that show how we will build the capacity of the future. Today, nearly every aircraft community is in transition to a new, more capable platform. We expect that by 2025 many of these transitions will be complete, with aircraft such as the F-35B/C Lightning II, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, and the MQ-C Fire Scout fully operational in the fleet.

I encourage you to read Naval Aviation Vision, 2014-2025 and share it with your fellow Sailors and Marines. Naval Aviation is a team sport, and each of us plays a uniquely critical role in ensuring our warfighting readiness – now and in the future. This vision can help you and our Naval Aviation supporters shape and guide your actions to ensure our continued success as a powerful, combat-ready Naval Aviation force.

Fly, Fight, Win! Vice Adm. Buss sends.

Vice Adm. David H. Buss is Commander, Naval Air Forces.

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