CWPC Contingency Wartime Planning CourseCWPC Contingency Wartime Planning Course


IP - 2200

INSTRUCTOR: Lt Col David Albert

DESCRIPTION: This lesson looks at the Air Force strategy of Global Engagement and its six core competencies and how it supports our NSS. It then looks at how this strategy is translated into AF Doctrine in AFDD 1, focusing on the 17 Air and Space power functions discussed in Chapter 3.

OBJECTIVE: The object of this instructional period is for each student to know how air and space doctrine support national military strategy in relation to contingency wartime planning.


    1. Describe how the Air Force strategy of Global Engagement supports national strategy.
    2. List the core competencies of Global Engagement
    3. Identify the 17 functions of air and space power employment


Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force

Air Force Doctrine Document 1










Introduction: This lesson focuses on the Air Force. It first looks at its current strategy as laid out in Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force, and how that strategy supports our national and military strategy. It looks in detail at the six core competencies of Global Engagement, and then how those core competencies are translated into air and space doctrine in AFDD 1. Finally, it discusses the 17 functions of air and space power employment as laid out in AFDD 1. By the time you’re through, you should have a pretty clear picture of what we, the Air Force, can do using our unique characteristics and capabilities to support our country’s overall strategy.

If you recall IP-2000, you remember that the whole planning process begins with our National Security Strategy and the national security objectives the NCA identifies in it. You also will recall that the CJCS develops a strategy for accomplishing those objectives using the military element of national power, and that’s published as our National Military Strategy. At that point, each of the services looks at how they can use their capabilities to help the CJCS accomplish the NMS and, in turn, the NSS.

BODY: That brings us to Global Engagement: A Vision for the 21st Century Air Force. This is the Air Force document that spells out how the Air Force plans to use its unique capabilities, things like speed, lethality, flexibility, and global range, to support the CJCS’s vision of how the military can be used to attain our national security objectives. Air and space power contributes to the level of engagement and presence necessary to protect and promote US national interests by augmenting those forces that are permanently based overseas with temporary or rotational deployments and power projection missions.

As the use of space becomes an increasingly larger aspect of national policy, the Air Force must be prepared to take on an even larger role in our country’s security strategy. The Air Force of the 21st century plans to present to the joint force commander a set of relevant and complimentary capabilities that will allow the JFC to consider all options available and to tailor campaign plans to best meet the military objectives of the mission.

We plan to do through the application of our core competencies.

Our core competencies represent the combination of professional knowledge, airpower expertise, and technological know-how that, when applied, produce superior military capabilities. A particular core competency is not necessarily unique to the Air Force. However, speed, flexibility, and the global nature of its reach and perspective distinguish the Air Force’s execution of its core competencies. Let’s look at them now.

a. Air and Space Superiority. Defined as control over what moves through air and space, air and space superiority prevents adversaries from interfering with operations of air, space or surface forces, and assures freedom of action and movement. It allows all US forces freedom from attack and freedom to attack. Using this Air Force competency, the Joint Force can dominate enemy operations in all dimensions.

b. Global Attack. The ability of the Air Force to attack rapidly anywhere on the globe at any time is unique. Air Force long-range bombers and ICBMs have played a vital role in deterring nuclear war. The Air Force will maintain the bomber and land-based ballistic missile legs of the Triad while preparing to undertake further reductions as circumstances require. The AF will also sustain its commitment to support the nuclear requirements of the theater CINCs.

Additionally, Air Force short and long-range attack capabilities continue to support deterrence of conventional warfare by providing versatile, responsive combat power able to intervene decisively when necessary. The ability of the AF to engage globally, using both lethal and non-lethal means, is vital to our current NSS. With the drawdown in permanently forward-based assets, the AF is increasing the role of expeditionary forces to maintain its global engagement capability. In the future, capabilities based in the CONUS will likely become the primary means for crisis response and power projection as long-range air and space-based assets increasingly fill the requirements of the Global Attack competency.

c. Rapid Global Mobility. This competency provides the nation its global reach and underpins its role as a global power. When an operation must be carried out quickly, airlift and aerial refueling will be the key players. These forces will be in great demand by future Joint Force Commanders for tasks such as building an air bridge for joint forces, enabling multi-national peace efforts, or speeding tailored support to forces already on the scene. Rapid deployment will remain the future Joint Team’s most reliable combat force multiplier.

d. Precision Engagement. The essence of the Air Force’s core competency of Precision Engagement lies in the ability to apply selective force against specific targets and achieve discreet and discriminant effects. The nation needs the precise application of military capability to meet policy objectives. The AF’s Precision Engagement competency provides the nation with reliable precision, an ability to deliver what is needed for the desired effect, but with minimal risk and collateral damage.

e. Information Superiority. While Information Superiority is not the Air Force’s sole domain, it is, and will remain, an AF core competency. The ability of the future Joint Team to achieve dominant battlefield awareness will depend heavily on the ability of the Air Force’s air and space-based assets to provide global awareness, intelligence, communications, weather and navigation support. The AF plans to exploit the technological promise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for a variety of missions.

f. Agile Combat Support. Agile Combat Support is recognized as a core competency for its central role in enabling air and space power to contribute to the objectives of a Joint Force Commander. Effective combat support operations allow combat commanders to improve the responsiveness, deployability, and sustainability of their forces. The efficiency and flexibility of Agile Combat Support will substitute responsiveness for massive deployed inventories. The AF has adopted the concept of time-definite resupply, which is a fundamental shift in the way we support deployed forces and one which will reduce total lift requirements. But in order to provide this capability, command and control must be improved. Agile Combat Support’s essential contribution to air and space combat capability complements the Joint designation of Focused Logistics as an operational concept.

The next thing we want to look at is how these 6 core competencies are achieved or provided. To do that we need to examine the Air Force functions. These 17 functions are laid out in the newest AF doctrinal publication, AF Doctrine Document 1, or AFDD 1. But before we go any farther, let’s define exactly what air and space doctrine is.

" A statement of officially sanctioned beliefs and warfighting principles which describe and guide the proper use of air and space forces in military operations."

Now that we know what doctrine is, let’s see how it envisions us carrying out our core competencies through the application of our air and space power functions. The Air Force’s basic functions are the broad, fundamental, and continuing activities of air and space power.

These basic functions have evolved steadily since airpower’s inception.














1. Counterair: Counterair consists of operations to attain and maintain a desired degree of air superiority by the destruction or neutralization of enemy forces.

a. Offensive Counterair (OCA).

    1. OCA is often the most effective and efficient method for
    2. achieving the appropriate degree of air superiority.

    3. This function consists of operations to destroy, neutralize,

disrupt, or limit enemy air and missile power as close to its source as possible and at a time and place of our choosing, before they bring their effects to bear against us.

b. Defensive Counterair (DCA).

    1. DCA concentrates on defeating the enemy's offensive plan and
    2. on inflicting unacceptable losses on attacking enemy forces.

    3. It entails detection, identification, interception, and destruction

of attacking enemy air and missiles, and normally takes place over or close to friendly territory.

2. Counterspace: Counterspace involves those operations conducted to attain and maintain a desired degree of space superiority by the destruction or neutralization of enemy forces.

    1. Offensive Counterspace (OCS) operations destroy or neutralize an
    2. adversary’s space systems or the information they provide at a time and place of our choosing through attacks on the space, terrestrial, or link elements of space systems.

    3. Defensive Counterspace (DCS). These are operations that consist of

active and passive actions to protect our space-related capabilities from enemy attack or interference.


3. Counterland: Counterland involves those operations conducted to attain and maintain a desired degree of superiority over surface operations by the destruction or neutralization of enemy surface forces.

a. Interdiction. Interdiction consists of operations to divert, disrupt, delay,

or destroy the enemy's surface military potential before it can be used effectively against friendly forces.

    1. Air interdiction’s ability to delay and disrupt may have a
    2. devastating impact on the enemy’s plans and ability to respond to the actions of friendly forces, even before friendly surface forces appear in the battlespace.

    3. Although non-traditional in the classic sense, information

warfare may also be used to conduct interdiction by intercepting or disrupting information flow or damaging/destroying controlling software and hardware

b. Close Air Support (CAS). Close air support consists of air operations

against hostile targets in close proximity to friendly forces

    1. These operations require detailed integration of each air
    2. mission with the fire and movement of those forces.

    3. Close air support produces the most focused but briefest effects

of any counterland mission.


4. Countersea: Countersea is a collateral function. Countersea functions are an extension of Air Force functions into a maritime environment.


5. Strategic Attack: Strategic attack is defined as those operations intended to directly achieve strategic effects by striking at the enemy’s center(s) of gravity (COG).

    1. Strategic attack should affect the enemy's entire effort rather than just a
    2. single action, battle, or campaign.

    3. Strategic attack should produce effects well beyond the proportion of
    4. effort expended in their execution.

    5. If properly applied, strategic attack is the most efficient means of

employing air and space power.

6. Counterinformation: Counterinformation seeks to establish information superiority through control of the information realm.

    1. Offensive Counterinformation (OCI) includes actions taken to control
    2. the information environment.

    3. Defensive Counterinformation (DCI) includes those actions that

protect our information, information systems, and information operations from the adversary.

7. Command and Control (C2): C2 includes both the process by which the commander decides what action is to be taken and the system, which monitors the implementation of the decision.

    1. C2 includes the battlespace- management process of planning,

directing, coordinating, and controlling of forces and operations.

b. C2 involves the integration of the systems of procedures, organizational

structures, personnel, equipment, facilities, information, and communications designed to enable a commander to exercise command and control across the range of military operations.


    1. Airlift: Airlift is the transportation of personnel and materiel through the air

and can be applied across the entire range of military operations in support of national objectives.

    1. Airlift provides rapid and flexible force-mobility options that allow
    2. military forces to respond to and operate in a wider variety of circumstances and time frames.

    3. A key function of the Air Force, airlift provides global reach for US
    4. military forces and the capability to quickly apply strategic global power to various crisis situations worldwide by delivering necessary forces.

    5. Air Force airlift can be classified as strategic, theater, and operational

support. These classifications depend on the mission the airlift asset is performing and not on the type of airframe itself.

    1. Intertheater airlift provides the airbridge that links theaters to
    2. the CONUS and to other theaters, as well as airlift within the CONUS.

    3. Intratheater airlift provides the air movement of personnel and

materiel within a CINC’s area of responsibility.

(3) Operational support airlift is airlift that supports the requirements of the organization to which they are assigned.


    1. Air Refueling: Air refueling, along with airlift, fulfills the Air Force

contribution to the joint mobility role.

    1. It significantly expands the employment options available to a
    2. commander by increasing the range, payload, and flexibility of air forces.

    3. Air Force air-refueling assets are employed in five basic modes of


    1. support of the nuclear Single Integrated Operation Plan (SIOP),
    2. support of long-range conventional strategic attack missions,
    3. deployment of air assets to a theater,
    4. support of an airlift line of communication or airbridge, and
    5. support of combat and combat-support aircraft operating in-theater.


10. Spacelift: Spacelift projects power by delivering satellites, payloads, and materiel into or through space.


11. Special Operations Employment: Air Force special operations forces (AFSOF) are normally organized and employed in small formations capable of both independent and supporting operations. Special operations employment is the use of special airpower operations to conduct:

    1. unconventional warfare,
    2. direct action,
    3. special reconnaissance,
    4. counterterrorism,
    5. foreign internal defense,
    6. psychological operations, and
    7. counterproliferation.

12. Intelligence: Intelligence provides clear, brief, relevant, and timely analysis on foreign capabilities and intentions for planning and conducting military operations.

    1. The overall objective of intelligence is to enable commanders and
    2. combat forces to "know the enemy" and operate smarter.

    3. Intelligence provides indications of enemy intentions and guides

decisions on how, when, and where to engage enemy forces to achieve the commander's objectives.

13. Surveillance: Surveillance is the function of systematically observing air, space, surface, or subsurface areas, places, persons, or things, by visual, aural, electronic, photographic, or other means.

a. Surveillance is a continuing process, not oriented to a specific "target."

b. Surveillance assets are now essential to national and theater defense and to

the security of air, space, subsurface, and surface forces.


    1. Reconnaissance: Reconnaissance complements surveillance in obtaining, by

visual observation or other detection methods:

    1. Specific information about the activities and resources of an enemy or
    2. potential enemy; or in securing data concerning the meteorological, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.

    3. Collection capabilities including airborne and space-based systems that

are manned and unmanned.


15. Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR): CSAR is an integral part of US combat operations and must be considered across the range of military operations.

    1. CSAR consists of those air operations conducted to recover distressed
    2. personnel during wartime or contingency.

    3. The USAF maintains certain forces specifically dedicated for search,

rescue, and recovery operations.


16. Navigation and Positioning: The function of navigation and positioning is to provide accurate location and time of reference in support of strategic, operational, and tactical operations. Space-based systems provide the Global Positioning System, airborne-based systems provide air-to-surface radar, and ground-based systems provide various navigation aids.


17. Weather Operations: The weather operations provided by the Air Force supply timely and accurate environmental information, including both space environment and atmospheric weather. Environmental information is integral to the decision process and timing for employing forces and planning and conducting air, ground, and space launch operations. Weather operations also influences the selection of targets, routes, weapon systems, and delivery tactics, and is a key element of information superiority.


SUMMARY: Once again we’ve covered a lot of material in this past hour and a half. This was a little closer to home because it was Air Force specific. We began with a look at how the Air Force supports our national strategy and objectives through its strategy of Global Engagement. We looked at the 6 core competencies and how we plan to apply them to help the JFC acieve superior military results. Then we looked at how these core competencies were translated into aerospace doctrine in AFDD 1 via our 17 aerospace functions. As planners, a basic understanding of the Air Force’s role in achieving our national and military strategy and objectives, and how we plan to fulfill that role through the application of our core competencies and functions is essential to doing a better job.