“The Navy spends a lot of time deployed around the globe preserving peace, not conducting high-end warfare, so it is critical we maintain flexibility in future air wings.” —Vice Admiral DeWolfe “Bullet” Miller, Commander, Naval Air Forces
As China and Russia dramatically expand their military capabilities, the United States finds itself with a capable force, but one not optimized for competition with these two powers. The asymmetric wars in the Middle East and southwest Asia mainly have been fought with existing ground forces, aircraft, and weapons. Sustained combat operations in the Pacific or North Atlantic, however, would require completely different capabilities—some of which are absent from the Navy’s arsenal. In addition, a new concept—distributed maritime operations—de-emphasizes the concentrated power of the carrier strike group in great power conflicts.