Secretary Wynne tells cadets interdependence is future of U.S. military

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Air Force secretary Michael W. Wynne told West Point cadets Sept. 14 they will witness the U.S. military's evolution from maneuver to interdependent warfare.

The secretary was at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., for his 40th class reunion. He addressed about 4,000 cadets at the cadet corps mess.

The move to interdependency will mean less ground warfare and more "rapid massing of resources of awareness, of detection and of instant communications to deliver concentrated precision strikes," the secretary said.

He told cadets during their careers they will draw from five battle domains as they "close, fight and kill" future enemies.

"You will watch and strike from ground, sea, air, space and cyberspace," the secretary said.

However, to achieve success on the battlefield will require "exquisite situational awareness," he said. In the past, that was having a 360-degree view of the fight. That will no longer work.

"The American warrior has evolved to what I call spherical situational awareness," the secretary said. The new term calls for "taking a comprehensive, spherical view -- at once vertical, horizontal, real time and predictive, penetrating and defended in the cyber realm."

This, he said, will eliminate "as much as possible obstacles of terrain, weather, foliage, darkness, jamming and cyber defenses -- all the means of surprise that provide cover and resources to the enemy, even buried objects and targets."

Secretary Wynne told cadets that as future warriors, their innovations will help bring the interdependent fight from text to battlefield.

For a full text of the secretary's speech, click on related links above.