Space, Millile, Command, and Control
AIR SUPPORT OPERATIONS AND TACTICAL AIR CONTROL PARTIES
This instruction implements AFPD 13-1, Theater Air Control Systems. It provides principles, concepts, and guidance for tactical air support coordination and control and the fundamental procedures for operation of Air Support Operations Centers and Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP). It does not apply to United States Air Force Reserve members or units. Do not supplement this AFI. Send recommended changes through command channels via AF Form 847, Recommendation for Change of Publication, to HQ ACC/DOYC. For a list of abbreviations and acronyms, see attachment 1.
SUMMARY OF CHANGES
This revision aligns the instruction with AFPD 13-1; deletes reconnaissance duty positions and their descriptions; updates AFSC and regulation changes; and provides diagrams to depict TACS/AAGS and Fire Support Channels.
Chapter 1--Air Support Operations Centers (ASOC)
Organization .................................................................................. 1.1
Mission - Functions ........................................................................ 1.2
Functional Positions ....................................................................... 1.3
Communications Procedures .......................................................... 1.4
Site Layout .................................................................................... 1.5
ASOC Leap Concept ...................................................................... 1.6
Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center (ABCCC) ......... 1.7
Chapter 2--Tactical Air Control Parties (TACP)
Organization .................................................................................. 2.1
Mission - Functions ........................................................................ 2.2
Functional Positions ....................................................................... 2.3
Chapter 3--Air Support Functions and Procedures
General .......................................................................................... 3.1
Air Support Requirements .............................................................. 3.2
Close Air Support .......................................................................... 3.3
Supersedes AFR 55-33, June 1992. Certified by: SAF/XOF (Col Norton A. Schwartz)
OPR: SAF/XOFI (Maj Gordon A. Olvera) Pages: 19/Distribution: F
1. Standard TACP Staffing ........................................................................ 1.1
2. Standard ASOC (7FVQB) Staffing ........................................................ 1.1
3. Fire Support Channels Diagram ............................................................. 1.2
A2.1. Theater Air Control System/Army Air Ground System ...................... A2.1
1. Glossary of Abbreviations and Acronyms 15
2. The Air Support Concept 17
AIR SUPPORT OPERATIONS CENTERS (ASOC)
1.2. Mission - Functions. The ASOC receives, coordinates, and processes requests for immediate CAS. TACPs normally transmit requests directly to the ASOC over the Air Force Air Request Net (AFARN). Intermediate level TACPs monitor transmissions and coordinate approval or disapproval with their collocated Army unit. A TACP will transmit disapproval when the Army G/S-3 at any intermediate echelon denies that request. An absence of disapproval ("silence is consent") within a specified time (theater specific) as coordinated between the ASOC director and the G-3 indicates approval of a mission. Upon receipt of the request at the ASOC, begin concurrent coordination and planning. For a diagram of fire support channels, see figure 3.
AFS Grade AFSC Corps Div Avn Bde ACR* Hvy Sep Bde Hvy Bde Hvy Bn* Lt Sep Bde Lt Bde Lt Bn* Rgr Rgt Rgr Bn Bn ALO
UTC 7FVUM 7FVUK 7FVUW 7FVUZ 7FVVN 7FVVF 7FVVE 7FVVM 7FVUH 7FVUF 7FVUR 7FVUS 7FVVS
ALO O6 11F3Y/12F3Y 1
ALO O5 11F3U/12F3U 2 1
ALO O4 11F3U/12F3U 2 3 1 3 2 1 3 1 2
ALO O3 11F3U/12F3U 1 1 1 1 1 1 2
ALO O3 11S3U 1
ALO O2 11F3N 1
TALO O4 11A3U 1 1 1 1
TALO O3 11A3U 1 2 1 1
Officer O3 14N3B 2
TACCS E9 1C400 1
TACCS E8 1C491 1
TACCS E7 1C471 1 1 1 1 1 1
TACCS E6 1C471 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
TACCS E5 1C471 1 2 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1
TACCS E4 1C451 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 1 2 2 2
TACCS E3 1C431 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 2
Radio Mt E7 2E173 1
Radio Mt E6 2E173 1
Radio Mt E5 2E153 2 1 1 1
Radio Mt E4 2E153 2 1 1 1
Supply E5 2S051 1 1 1 1
Supply E4 2S051 1
Pwr Pro E5 3E052 1 1 1
Veh Mt E5 2T451 1 1 1
Info Mgt E7 3A071 1
Info Mgt E5 3A051 1 1 1 1
Intel E5 1N051 1
Person E5 3S051 1 1
Person E4 3S051 1 1 1 1
Total 18 26 6 24 15 6 2 15 6 5 10 6 1
AFSC LTCOL MAJ CAPT TOTAL
Commander (ALO) C11F3U 1 1
Ftr Plt ( ALO) 11F3U 1 1
Ftr Plt/Nav (ALO) 11F3U/12F3U 2 3 5
Air Ops Off Plt (F16) 11F3H 1 1
Air Ops Off Plt (A10) 11F3B 1 1
Intel Applications Off 14N3B 3 3
Comm/Elec Officer 33S3 1 1
AFSC SMS MSG TSG SSG SRA A1C
First Sergeant 8F090 1 1
Personnel 3S0X1 1 1
Information Mgr 3A0X1 1 1 2 4
Tac Air Cmd/Ctl 1C4X1 1 1 5 4 5 16
Intel Ops 1N0X1 1 1 1 3
Power Production 3E0X2 1 1 3 4 3 12
SAT/Wideband CE 2E1X1 1 3 6 7 2 19
Radio Maintenance 2E1X3 1 1 5 5 12
Comm Sys Supt 2E190 1 1
Elec Comp & Swg 2E2X1 1 2 2 5
Secure Comm Sys 2E3X1 1 1 1 3
Fuels 2F0X1 1 1
Logistics/Plans 2G0X1 1 1
Inventory Mgt 2S0X1 1 2 1 4
Veh Ops Dispatch 2T1X1 1 1 2
Veh Maint Ctl/Analy 2T3X3 1 1
GP Veh/Body Maint 2T4X0 1 1
GP Veh Maint 2T4X1 1 4 5
Com Comp Sys Prog 3C0X1 1 1 2 1 5
Com Comp Sys Ctl 3C2X1 1 2 3
HVAC & Refrigr 3E1X1 1 1
Total ASOC Pers 114
Figure 2. Standard ASOC (7FVQB) Staffing.
Figure 3. Fire Support Channels Diagram.
1.2.1. The ASOC fills Army requirements for immediate air support from allocated sorties or by authorized diversion of preplanned sorties. The AOC normally passes scramble and control authority to the ASOC for allocated sorties and establishes coordination procedures to facilitate authorized diversion of preplanned missions. The ASOC keeps the AOC advised of the air effort needed to satisfy Army air support requirements and will request additional air resources when requirements exceed the sortie allocation. The AOC, however, does not usually allocate reconnaissance sorties to the ASOC. The AOC combines ASOC and all other requirements and distributes the planned sorties to satisfy multiple requests. The AOC and ASOC coordinate and control in-theater airlift according to AFM 2-50, USA/USAF Doctrine for Joint Airborne and Tactical Airlift Operations.
1.2.2. As a USAF tasking agency for the Army commander, the ASOC provides advice on requests for CAS and reconnaissance with the assistance of ALOs at corps, division, brigade or regiment, and battalion TACPs.
1.2.3. The ASOC assists the corps staff to plan for executing localized J-SEAD (Joint Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses). It participates in J-SEAD target nominations and weapons selections, and coordinates J-SEAD operations with the AOC and subordinate TACPs.
1.2.4. The ASOC coordinates air support with organic Army air defense organizations through the Corps Army Airspace Command and Control Element (A2C2). Through the BCE, the ACE at Corps is responsible for coordinating all Corps airspace requests with the Airspace Control Authority. The Airspace Management Section in the AOC executes airspace authority. The corps will recommend minimum risk routes and coordinate special use airspace requests for all LCC aircraft that will transit airspace above the Coordinating Altitude (CA). Additionally, the ACE will process all air defense airspace measures (Weapon Free Zones, High Density Airspace Control Zones, etc.) with the Area Air Defense Commander (AADC).
1.3. Functional Positions. The Director commands the ASOC. Functional positions within ASOC operations normally include the Assistant Director, the Fighter Duty Officer (FDO, AFSC 11F4/12F4), Fighter Duty Technician (AFSC 1C4X1) or Command and Control Specialists (AFSC 1C3X1 for ANG only), Intelligence Applications Officers (AFSC 14N3B), Intelligence
Operations Technicians (AFSC 1N0X1), Communications-Computer Systems Officers (AFSC 33S3), and Radio Communication Systems Technicians (AFSC 3C1X1).
1.3.1. Director. The Corps ALO normally becomes the ASOC Director, reporting to the AOC when the ASOC deploys, and locates within the senior Army element CP, normally the Corps. The ASOC Director reports to the AOC Director or Commander. Functions of the ASOC Director include:
Supervises the operation of the AFARN.
Supervises subordinate Fighter Duty Technicians.
1.4.1. Army Tactical Nets. Hardwire telephone facilities may be provided to the ASOC for communications links to the CP and Army tactical communication nets. The ASOC has organic VHF-FM voice communications
equipment for entry into Army Command Nets as required.
1.4.2. Command and Control Net. Accomplish interfaces with other TACS units (AOC, CRC, and WOC) via HF-SSB, tropo-microwave links, and satellite communication systems (SATCOM) of which all systems should normally be encoded. Use these communications nets for command communications traffic including operations and scramble orders, coordination, intelligence, and air defense warning. Whenever possible, use multiple systems and redundant switches to enhance reliability and survivability.
1.4.3. Air Force Air Request Net (AFARN). The AFARN is the link between the ASOC and subordinate TACPs for request and coordination of immediate air support. The ASOC is the Net Control Station (NCS). Each division normally has an AFARN. The ASOC will activate and operate as many nets as necessary, contingent with needs, equipment available, and frequencies allocated. The normal mode for the AFARN is secure HF-SSB; however, the ASOC must be capable of operating the AFARN (secure) on other radios when the tactical situation requires.
1.4.4. Tactical Air Control Net. The purpose of this UHF-AM Air-Ground-Air (AGA) net is to coordinate mission direction of airborne aircraft under control of the CRC or FACP. The ASOC interfaces with the Tactical Air Control Net through the Command and Control Net.
1.4.5. Tactical Air Direction Net. The TACPs/FACs use this UHF/VHF-AM AGA net for the direction and control of aircraft engaged in air support. The TACP is the prime user of this net; it receives allocated specific frequencies to conduct tactical operations. The ASOC may also enter the net to pass time sensitive information.
1.4.6. Inflight Report Net. This UHF/VHF-AM AGA net is for the airborne transmission of inflight reports to the elements of the TACS. CRCs or FACPs normally receive inflight reports and relay the information to the AOC or ASOC, or both. The ASOC and AOC monitor this net when in range.
1.4.7. TACP Command Net. This net is used to pass urgent administrative, logistic, and command information between the ASOC and subordinate TACP elements.
1.5. Site Layout. The ASOC is normally located within the CP, as close as possible to the Fire Support Element
(FSE), to permit rapid exchange of information and direct coordination. Specific site configuration depends upon Corps and ASOC agreements, terrain features, and the tactical situations.
1.6. ASOC Leap Concept. The ASOC normally moves with the Army main CP with which it operates. The leap package is a resource used to permit continuous operations during mobile combat situations by providing an interim ASOC capability. The package allows rapid main ASOC resumption of operations following a displacement or loss of the Army main CP. The manning and equipment requirements of the leap ASOC are determined by the Director. Deploy the leap package at a time agreed upon with Army planners. Depending on the specific Army operating procedures, the original main ASOC will continue to function while the leap ASOC is being set up. The leap ASOC assumes control coincident with Army transfer of G-2 and G-3 approval authority to the leap Army site. Portions of the original main ASOC may join the leap ASOC to reconstitute a new main or move in total to a new main CP location. The orchestration of an ASOC leap will vary with the tactical situation, Army movement tactics, and equipment limitations. Each ASOC must adapt its capability and resources to meet the requirements of its associated Army CP.
1.7. Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center (ABCCC). The ABCCC is an airborne command and control element of the TACS that provides management of forces operating beyond the normal communication coverage of ground TACS elements. The mobility and communications advantages inherent in this platform enable it to stay abreast of the current ground and air situation within its assigned area of responsibility. This ensures continuity of operations in the event elements of the TACS are disabled or not yet deployed. The ABCCC system, with its trained battle staff, is able to perform limited roles for Crisis Management, Special Contingency Operations, ACC Combat Operations, and ASOC Operations (see MCR 55-130).
TACTICAL AIR CONTROL PARTIES (TACP)
2.1.1. The USAF aligns TACPs with Army combat maneuver units from corps through battalion and squadron. TACPs aligned with corps, division, regiment, brigade, combat aviation brigades and ranger battalion headquarters are permanently stationed with the Army unit and function as a special liaison staff element within that unit headquarters. (Battalion TACP equipment and
Tactical Air Command and Control Specialists are normally organized at brigade level in garrison and dispatched to aligned Army battalions when deployed).
2.1.2. The NAF organizes TACPs by location into squadrons. The Air Liaison Officer (ALO) supporting the highest Army headquarters on the installation is the Squadron Commander (ANG TACPs are located in their respective states).
2.1.3. Air Liaison Officers and Tactical Air Command and Control Specialists (AFSC 1C4X1) man TACPs at corps, division, regiment, brigade, and battalion. Communications Equipment Maintenance personnel, Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) Repairmen, Supply Technicians, and Administrative personnel also are assigned to division and regimental TACPs. (See applicable UTC for specific manning.) All personnel maintain mission status in accordance with AFI 13-102, Air Support Operations Center (ASOC) and Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Training and Evaluation Procedures.
2.1.4. TACPs normally deploy with aligned Army units during contingencies, exercises, tests, and evaluations. Man them according to Attachment 5 with standard TACP staffing.
2.1.5. The NAF assigns and maintains FAC aircraft at a Main Operating Base (MOB). The AFFOR Commander may designate support equipment and personnel to deploy to a Forward Operating Location (FOL) to operate with Army units commensurate with the availability of USAF resources. Airborne FACs may perform terminal attack control of CAS missions if the tactical situation permits or may serve as the Tactical Air Coordinator-Airborne (TAC-A) when terminal attack control is not feasible (see MCM 3-1, Volume VIII).
2.2. Mission - Functions:
2.2.1. TACP operations fall into two general categories: liaison and control. Senior echelon TACPs (corps through brigade) function primarily in the liaison role. Battalion TACPs have the added responsibility of the terminal attack control role (see paragraph 2.3).
2.2.2. The general functions of a TACP are to:
2.3.1. Air Liaison Officer (ALO). The Corps, Division, Regiment Brigade, or Battalion ALO is the senior Air Force officer at each TACP and is responsible for subordinate echelon TACPs. ALOs have the following functions and responsibilities that vary in scope and degree with the level of command supported:
2.3.2. Fighter Liaison Section (Corps, Division, Regiment, Brigade, and Independent Brigade):
2.3.4. Battalion Air Liaison Officer:
AIR SUPPORT FUNCTIONS AND PROCEDURES
3.2. Air Support Requirements:
3.2.1. Preplanned Requests. Target requirements that can be foreseen in time to be included in the ATO/ITO are forwarded as preplanned air requests. The TACP provides technical expertise to the Army S-2/3 or G-2/3 staff for planning this support. The preplanned requests are then forwarded through Army channels to the appropriate Army level for approval. The approved requests are then sent through Army channels to the Battlefield Coordination Element (BCE) at the AOC for incorporation into the ATO/ITO. Preplanned requests for air support normally do not include detailed target information and may not include detailed timing information because of the lead time involved. Preplanned requests involve any information, even general information about planned schemes of maneuver, that can be used in the apportionment, allocation, and tasking cycle. Estimates of percent weapons effects needed (60 anti-armor, 40 anti-personnel), sortie time flows, peak need times, and anticipated distribution patterns are vital to preplanning the ATO/ITO. ALOs should request that such information is forwarded through the BCE as soon as it is foreseen by the echelon's planners. The ALO must ensure that the Army does not wait to plan all details of individual air support missions at battalion level before forwarding data with which to preplan air support. Higher Army echelons must request air support as soon as the need is anticipated and update and refine requests regularly.
3.2.2. Immediate Requests. Target requirements for CAS are often generated by the dynamic tactical situation with insufficient time to be included in the ATO/ITO. Immediate requests may enter the TACS through the ASOC or TACPs at any Army level. Upon receipt at the ASOC, concurrent coordination and planning begin. Use of this air support must, however, still be in accordance with the concept of operations of the LCC.
3.3. Close Air Support (CAS). The JFACC allocates sorties for Army requirements from resources apportioned by the JFC. Allocated sorties are distributed among various land maneuver units following guidance provided by the LCC. CAS is accomplished by tactical aircraft capable of delivering a wide range of ordnance with terminal attack control provided by a FAC/TACP. CAS sorties can be flown in response to land forces other than the Army; i.e., US Marine Corps or Allied Forces.
3.3.1. All air support sorties must be preplanned by the Air Force to some degree. Ideally, full mission information such as target, location and type, controller call sign and frequency, defenses, and ground situation would be available for generating the Air Tasking Order. However, ATO/ITO generation typically begins 36 hours ahead of the execution period, and therefore, it is normally difficult for the ground forces to provide detailed mission information for air support far in advance. Instead, each echelon uses its planned scheme of maneuver to generate priorities of fires (including priorities for CAS), expected categories of targets (by percentage), time flows and peak need times, expected user units, and other factors as early as possible. These preplanned factors are passed to higher echelons as soon as possible and refined as soon as further information becomes available (for a description of how this process affects apportionment, allocation, and tasking of CAS sorties see TACP 50-29, General Operating Procedures for Joint Attack of the Second Echelon and J-SAK. Requests for CAS in future ATO/ITO cycles are passed through Army channels for consolidation, validation, and prioritization. Requests or refinement of requests for air support in the cycle of the ATO/ITO being executed are passed through AF channels to the ASOC as immediate requests.
3.3.2. Either type of mission (immediate or preplanned) request may originate at any echelon of the Army forces to which a TACP is aligned.
184.108.40.206. In order to be published in the ATO/ITO, preplanned requests must reach the AOC by a time dictated by the ATO/ITO planning cycle of the supporting AOC. Those preplanned requests not reaching the AOC in time to be published in the ATO/ITO could be filled by immediate requests.
220.127.116.11. The ASOC will specify the format for CAS requests. Sensitive data such as coordinates and time on target (TOT) should be encrypted or passed on a secure frequency as dictated by the tactical situation and the enemy's estimated capability to react. The ASOC may develop standard assumptions for their TACPs to reduce transmission time. Subordinate TACPs will be advised when such assumptions are developed.
3.3.3. The method of mission control depends upon the communications and control agencies available. The Tactical Air Control Net will normally be used to control flights into the target area where they are handed off to the FAC or TACP. When scrambling immediate CAS missions, the ASOC FDO may provide full target information to the WOC or may launch the aircraft and pass target information to the CRC or other appropriate control agency for relay to the attack flight. Terminal attack control is accomplished on the assigned TAD Net.
3.3.4. Inflight reports are submitted to any TACS agency but are normally transmitted to the ASOC or relayed by the TACP. Inflight reports will be submitted on significant enemy activity.
BUSTER C. GLOSSON, Lieutenant General, USAF
Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations
A2C2 Army Airspace Command and Control
AAGS Army Air Ground System
ABCCC Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center
ACE Airspace Coordination Element
ACPF Air Control Party Flight
ADA Air Defense Artillery
AFAC Airborne Forward Air Controller
AFARN Air Force Air Request Net
AGA Air Ground Air
AGE Aerospace Ground Equipment
AI Air Interdiction
ALO Air Liaison Officer
AME Air Mobility Element
ANG Air National Guard
AOC Air Operations Center
ASOC Air Support Operations Center
ASOCS Air Support Operations Center Squadron
ATO Air Tasking Order
AWACS Airborne Warning and Control System
BCE Battlefield Coordination Element
BDE Brigade (Army)
BN Battalion (Army)
and Acronyms Definitions
CA Counter Air, also Coordinating Altitude
CAS Close Air Support
CCT Combat Control Team
CM Collection Manager
CO Company (Army)
CP Command Post
CRC Control and Reporting Center
DCA Defensive Counter Air
DIV Division (Army)
ETAC Enlisted Terminal Attack Controller
FA Field Artillery
FAC Forward Air Controller
FACP Forward Air Control Post
FDC Fire Direction Center
FDO Fighter Duty Officer
FDT Fighter Duty Technician
FIST Fire Support Team
FM Frequency Modulation (Normally VHF FM)
FOL Forward Operating Location
FSCOORD Fire Support Coordinator
FSE Fire Support Element
FSO Fire Support Officer
G-2 General Staff Intelligence Officer (Corps/Div)
G-3 General Staff Operations Officer (Corps/Div)
and Acronyms Definitions
GLO Ground Liaison Officer
HF-SSB High Frequency Single Sideband
ITO Integrated Tasking Order
JAAT Joint Air Attack Team
JFACC Joint Force Air Component Commander
JFC Joint Forces Commander
JFLCC Joint Force Land Component Commander
JOC Joint Operations Center
J-SAK Joint Attack of the Second Echelon
J-SEAD Joint Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
LCC Land Component Commander
MOB Main Operating Base
MPC Message Processing Center
NCS Net Control Station
OCA Offensive Counter Air
RFI Request for Information
ROE Rules of Engagement
S-2 Staff Intelligence Officer (Brigade/Battalion)
S-3 Staff Operations Officer (Brigade/Battalion)
SEAD Suppression of Enemy Defenses
SPINS Special Instructions
TAC-A Tactical Air Coordinator - Airborne
TACP Tactical Air Control Party
TACS Theater Air Control System
and Acronyms Definitions
TAD Tactical Air Direction (Net)
TAL Theater Airlift
TALCE Tanker/Airlift Control Element
TALO Theater Airlift Liaison Officer
TOC Tactical Operations Center
TOT Time on Target
TSO Tactical Surveillance Officer
UHF Ultra High Frequency (UHF-AM)
VHF Very High Frequency (VHF-AM)
WOC Wing Operations Center
1C3X1 Command and Control Specialist
1C4X1 Tactical Air Command and Control Specialist
A2.2. Mission. The TACS provides the AFFOR with the organization, personnel, and equipment necessary to control theater air operations, execute area air defense and airspace management, and coordinate operations with components of other military services. The mission of the air support elements is to plan, coordinate and control counter-air, interdiction, close air support, reconnaissance, and in-theater airlift operations conducted in concert with operations of land forces and operate dedicated communications nets to ensure timely and adequate response to land forces requirements.
A2.2.1. Close Air Support (CAS). CAS is air action against hostile ground targets in close proximity to friendly forces. Each air mission requires detailed integration with the fire and movement of friendly supported ground forces.
A18.104.22.168. CAS missions are of two types: Preplanned and Immediate as defined in the DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Both types of missions may be initiated by the Air Liaison Officer (ALO) at any Army echelon of planning.
A22.214.171.124. Immediate CAS missions may be accomplished using either Push CAS or Pull CAS.
A126.96.36.199.1. Push CAS - Directed CAS support to a high priority unit on the battlefield to stabilize a situation. This concept may be used in fast moving, modern warfare to slow the advance of enemy ground forces.
A188.8.131.52.2. Pull CAS - CAS support provided on request. This concept may be used in a slower paced, sporadic warfare, similar to Southeast Asia.
A184.108.40.206. During combat operations, an Air Liaison Officer (ALO), Forward Air Controller (FAC) or Enlisted Terminal Attack Controller (ETAC) is normally available for control of close air support missions. These individuals are the only authorized Air Force personnel permitted to routinely control CAS missions in support of US Army units or other ground maneuver units, allied or joint, when attached. During emergency combat operations however, when these individuals are not available, a designated individual may direct attacking aircraft for close air support. The ground commander must designate this emergency terminal control agent and assumes responsibility for troop safety. There is no peacetime requirement for emergency CAS.
A220.127.116.11. The Joint Air Attack Team (JAAT) is a combination of attack and scout helicopters and fixed-wing attack aircraft which may be supported by field artillery, operating together to simultaneously attack a single target or target array. The JAAT may operate either as an integrated combined arms team or it may operate independently away from ground units. When integrated with ground forces, the JAAT may be strengthened by the firepower capabilities of maneuver forces.
A2.2.2. Air Reconnaissance and Surveillance. Air Reconnaissance and Surveillance are air actions employing visual observations or sensors to acquire intelligence information. Reconnaissance forces are designed to meet the requirements of all joint forces rather than for any single component.
A2.3. Air Support Operation Center (ASOC). The ASOC is a specialized operations center responsible for planning, direction, and control of the air effort in support of land forces maneuver objectives. It coexists with the senior Army tactical field element, normally a corps (but can be an independent division), and should be collocated with the corps Fire Support Center (FSC). In a multi-corps environment, there will normally be one ASOC with each corps, reporting individually to the AOC. The corps ALO becomes the ASOC director when the ASOC is deployed and the ASOC commander performs as the assistant ASOC director.
A2.4. Tactical Air Control Party (TACP). The TACP is the most forward operations element of the TACS that functions directly with Army maneuver units. These elements are located with corps, division, brigade, separate brigade or regiment, combat aviation brigade, and battalion ground combat maneuvering units and are operationally subordinate to the ASOC. The TACP mission is to assist ground forces in planning, requesting, coordinating, and controlling air power.
A2.5. OA-10 Fighter Squadron (FS). The FS or elements will normally deploy to Forward Operating Locations (FOL) during contingencies to meet AFFOR Commander requirements. The ASOC exercises operational control of all FAC aircraft employed within its area of responsibility.
A2.6. Coordination and Control. The responsibility for the coordination of joint airland operations is shared equally by the AFFOR Commander and Joint Force Land Component Commander (JFLCC). They have parallel capabilities for the coordination and integration of tactical air support with land force operations through the Air Force TACS and the Army Air Ground System (AAGS). The Battlefield Coordination Element (BCE) is an Army liaison element assigned to the JLCC and located in the AOC. The primary function of the BCE is liaison between the JLCC and the AOC (for more information see J-SAK, TACP 50-29/TRADOC PAM 525-45).
A2.7. Voice Communications. The TACS voice communications are those which are required to command, direct, and control air operations. These communications are aligned into the functional areas of command, control, and air support coordination. The ASOC and TACPs are provided equipment and personnel to operate tactical air support nets and to interface with air control nets and in-flight report nets. The functional relationships of the communications are:
A2.7.1. Command Communications. The ASOC is interconnected with other elements of the TACS and subordinate units by command communications nets (voice, teletype, data) used for communications traffic including operations and scramble orders, coordination, intelligence, weather, operational reporting, and air traffic and air defense warnings.
A2.7.2. Control Communications. Air Force Tactical Air Control Nets include the air/ground and interfacing communications employed by the appropriate controlling agencies for sector and subsector control of tactical air mission aircraft. Control of tactical air support aircraft is provided to the contact point where the flight receives direction for hand-off to an AFAC or TACP Tactical Air Direction (TAD) Net frequency for final control. The ASOC coordinates mission direction with the appropriate control agency, but has limited capability to monitor the control net.
A2.7.3. Air Support Communications. Air Support Communications includes the equipment to establish the Air Force Air Request Net(s) (AFARN), TAD Net(s), and Airlift Advance Notification/Coordination Net(s) employed to request, coordinate, and control air support assets.
A18.104.22.168. Air Force Air Request Net (AFARN). The ASOC is the net control station for one or more nets and maintains appropriate logs and records. All TACPs monitor the net that is used to transmit requests to the ASOC for immediate tactical air support. The number of AFARNs established by an ASOC will depend on the amount of traffic anticipated. The primary equipment provided is high frequency single-sideband radio (HF-SSB); however, other communications methods may be used when the situation dictates.
A22.214.171.124. Tactical Air Direction (TAD) Net. The TAD Net provides necessary communication for the ASOC and each subordinate TACP for directing aircraft allocated for tactical air support missions. This net consists of UHF, VHF-AM, and VHF-FM radios available in the FAC aircraft and the mobile communications centrals assigned to the TACP.
Figure A2.1. Theater Air Control System/Army Air Ground System.