Military doctrine on maintaining air superiority against enemy aircraft and missiles is presented in a newly updated publication (pdf) from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Counterair operations include both offensive counterair (OCA) to destroy enemy aircraft, missiles or other weapons before they can be used, and defensive counterair (DCA) to detect, intercept and destroy enemy weapons in use.
Military planners “should expect MANPADS [shoulder-fired missiles] and AAA [anti-aircraft artillery] coverage wherever enemy forces are encountered,” the new doctrine states.
Seven U.S. helicopters have been shot down in Iraq in the last month, the Associated Press noted today.
See “Countering Air and Missile Threats,” Joint Publication JP 3-01, February 5, 2007.