FM44-100 Chapter 3 Joint Counterair/ Theater Missile Defense Doct





This chapter addresses joint doctrine for theater counterair and theater missile defense. It is based on joint publications. Unless stated otherwise, multinational procedures for alliances, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), are the same as provided in joint doctrine. Multinational procedures for coalitions and interagency operations are developed on an ad hoc basis, but should be based upon joint doctrine.

ADA contributes unique capabilities for sustained operations as part of a joint, multinational, or interagency team. ADA will not operate alone. As part of the team, ADA protects the force by performing both theater counterair and theater missile defense operations.

Joint operations are the integrated military activities of two or more service components of the US military. Joint operations pose a dilemma to the enemy. As the enemy attempts to avoid the efforts of one service component, it becomes vulnerable to attack by another.

Multinational operations involve the military forces of two or more cooperating nations. If the relationship is long-standing and formalized, it is referred to as an alliance. If the relationship is short-term, ad hoc, and less formal, it is referred to as a coalition. The US will often pursue its objectives through coalitions and alliances. Regional conflicts may involve coalitions that could be different from long-standing, familiar alliance structures. This implies the need for flexible interoperability, accommodation of allied or coalition objectives and capabilities, and policy constraints. Maintaining cohesion and unity of effort requires understanding and adjustment to the capabilities, perceptions, and objectives of coalition members.

In an environment of joint and multinational operations, ADA units may also operate with other agencies of the US government. This is true not only during war when the military is the primary instrument of national power, but also when the military is in a supporting role.


This section outlines the doctrine to be used in joint counterair operations. A more detailed discussion is provided by Joint Pub 3-01.2. Counterair includes all measures and means designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of surveillance and attacks against the joint force by hostile fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and UAVs. Air defense operations represent the Army's contribution to counterair operations.

Counterair operations are those operations conducted to attain and maintain a desired degree of air superiority by the destruction or neutralization of enemy air forces. Counterair operations include such measures as the use of interceptors, bombers, antiaircraft guns, surface-to-air missiles, and electronic countermeasures to destroy the air threat both before and after it is launched. Both offensive and defensive actions are involved. Offensive operations range throughout enemy territory and are generally conducted at the initiative of friendly forces. Defensive operations are normally conducted near or over friendly forces and are generally in reaction to enemy air activity.


The objectives of counterair operations are to gain control of the air environment and to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets. At the start of force-projection operations, control of the air environment may range from complete domination by hostile forces to air supremacy by the joint force. It may also range from temporary, local air superiority in a specific part of the area of operations to control over the entire area of operations or theater. Control may also vary over time. The degree of control required depends on the situation. The joint force commander (JFC) must ensure that his forces are capable of achieving sufficient air superiority to ensure protection of key assets and forces and freedom of action for critical operations. When enemy air power threatens friendly operations, the requirement for friendly counterair must be a major consideration in the joint planning for those operations.

Counterair operations are conducted to protect the force and achieve air superiority. Air superiority, at the critical time and place, provides friendly forces a more favorable environment in which to perform air, land, and sea operations. Limiting the enemy's use of its air power increases our potential for success. Protection conserves the fighting force so that commanders can apply it at the decisive time and place. Because offensive and defensive operations must often rely on the same airspace and resources, they cannot be considered in isolation from each other. The emphasis on either offensive or defensive counterair operations will depend on the overall situation and the joint force commander's concept of operations. Counterair operations affect air, land, and maritime battles, and often cross the boundaries between them. Thus, counterair operations are joint, and forces of all components may be used.


Counterair operations should consider, as a minimum, the following five fundamental principles. These principles are similar to the principles of war but are adapted to the aerial dimension.


The effective application of combat power requires that sufficient force or effects be concentrated at the critical time and place. This will ensure achievement of the joint force commander's aim.


Economy of effort is achieved through the correct selection and use of weapon systems, sound distribution of forces, and careful balance in the allocation of tasks. Economy of effort allows commanders to achieve effective concentration at the critical time and place and to conserve weapons for countering all enemy attacks.


Unity of effort in counterair operations is accomplished through the exercise of command by a single joint force commander over all assigned forces. The various types of operations conducted in support of the concept of operations should be complementary and aimed at fulfilling the overall mission. See the following illustration.


The unique capabilities of forces from all service components of the joint force should be considered in developing the joint force concept of operations. Army ADA forces provide capabilities which other service components do not possess such as the ability to protect the force from UAVs and rotary-wing aircraft.


Potential aggressors will try to use surprise to their advantage. The readiness posture of forces must permit the joint force commander to counter an attack quickly and take full advantage of friendly force flexibility.

Figure 3-1. Counterair Team Effort


The ultimate goal of counterair operations is to control the airspace to allow commanders to execute their plans. The three types of complementary and mutually supportive operations that establish and maintain air superiority are offensive counterair, defensive counterair, and suppression of enemy air defenses. Offensive counterair (OCA) operations are mounted to destroy, disrupt, or limit enemy air power as close to its source as possible. They are conducted at a time and place of friendly force choosing rather than in reaction to enemy initiatives. Defensive counterair (DCA) operations are conducted primarily in reaction to enemy air offensive initiatives and include all measures and means designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air attacks against the joint force. Suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) is that activity that neutralizes, destroys, or temporarily degrades enemy air defense systems in a specific area by physical attack and or electronic warfare


Whenever hostile air power has the potential to threaten friendly operations, OCA operations must be considered for integration into tactical operations at all echelons. Allocation of forces to theater-level OCA operations will be based on the joint force commander's assessment of the threat, the mission, and the forces available. Component commanders and their subordinates consider the same factors as they integrate OCA targets into their fire support priorities. Though detailed planning and execution of theater-level OCA operations may be delegated to the joint force air component commander (JFACC), the overall direction will be established by the joint force commander.


OCA operations will attack enemy targets, in the air and on the surface, both offensive and defensive, and as close to their sources as possible. The following potential OCA targets should be considered in the conduct of OCA operations:


The manner in which the OCA battle is prosecuted will depend on the forces and systems available and on their general capabilities, as discussed below. OCA in the joint area of operations may require contributions by all forces.


Aircraft conduct attack-strike operations against OCA targets on the ground or at sea. They also conduct fighter sweeps and air escort missions to destroy enemy aircraft in flight. Aircraft equipped for electronic warfare; aerial refueling; and surveillance, warning, and control also support OCA operations.

Missiles and Rockets

Surface-to-surface guided missiles, cruise missiles, and unguided rockets, such as ATACMS and MLRS, may be used in OCA operations.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

UAVs may be used for attack, surveillance, deception, jamming, decoy, or harassment operations against OCA targets or in support of other forces conducting OCA operations.

Surface Firepower

Artillery and naval gunfire may be employed against OCA targets. In addition, land-attack cruise missiles may be effective against stationary, soft targets such as unsheltered aircraft, or command and control facilities.

Special Operations Forces

Special operations forces (SOF) can conduct direct action strikes, collect intelligence, and provide terminal guidance for air attacks against enemy airfields, operating bases, and other facilities which support enemy air operations.


Though the majority of OCA tasks require the use of air and fire support assets, maneuver forces may also contribute to OCA operations. Mechanized or armored units, airborne and air-assault infantry, US Marine amphibious forces, and attack aviation may all be used to attack airfields, forward operating bases, and other OCA targets.


DCA operations provide a secure area from which all elements of the joint force can operate effectively. To accomplish this, DCA operations protect friendly land and naval forces, bases, lines of communications, and other assets while denying the enemy the freedom to carry out offensive air operations. DCA operations consist of both passive and active measures.


Passive air defense is a subset of defensive counterair operations. It improves survivability by reducing the likelihood of being detected and targeted from the air and by mitigating the potential effects of air surveillance and attack. It does not involve the employment of lethal weapons. Passive air defense measures by all elements of the joint force are essential to force protection. Depending on the situation and time available in the area of operations, a variety of actions can be taken to improve the joint force's passive air defense posture. These actions include--

Hardening of assets, including protection against electromagnetic pulse and transient radiation early effects.


Active air defense protects friendly forces and geopolitical assets by destroying attacking aircraft. Active air defense operations use aircraft, ADA, maritime AD, space-based systems and sensors, and electronic warfare support measures, along with signals intelligence. Active air defense operations are supported by dedicated secure and highly responsive communications to detect, identify, track, intercept, engage, and destroy hostile or potentially hostile airborne targets. Integrated employment of air-to-air and surface-to-air systems through coordinated detection, identification, assessment, and engagement is necessary to prevent enemy surveillance and attack. Airspace control in an active air defense environment is difficult but is crucial to successful friendly air operations and effective air defense. Positive control and procedural measures may be implemented to ensure that friendly aircraft can safely transit the airspace without inhibiting air defense or other friendly operations. Regardless of other controls and measures imposed within defended airspace, all air defense forces must readily identify all aircraft in the area by electronic, visual, or procedural means. Rapid, reliable, and secure means of identification are critical to the effectiveness of air defense as well as to the survival of friendly aircraft.


Dedicated air defense assets may be provided by all components and may include support by space-based assets. Resources of the active air defense system may include weapon systems, and command and control systems, as well as additional contributing systems.

Weapon Systems

All systems have limitations such as reaction time, range, identification capability, and flexibility of operation. However, vulnerability or disadvantages of one type system are often offset or mitigated by the capabilities of another type system. Therefore, an effective active air defense requires a mix of weapon types and systems. This balance is required not only between aircraft and surface-to-air weapons, but also among the specific types of aircraft, missiles, and guns.

Command and Control Systems

All air defense operations are integrated through weapon control procedures, coordination with adjacent AD units, coordination between service components, and through shared knowledge of the enemy and friendly situation. Components exercise both positive and procedural control of their assigned AD forces. An integrated air defense requires the provision and exchange of essential real-time information. This information must include air defense warnings that allow commanders to implement the appropriate active and passive air defense measures. The exchange of real-time information requires the provision of adequate track capacity within systems and the cross-telling of tracks using data processing systems, and both space-based and ground-based secure communications assets. When secure communications are not operational, enemy track information from airborne and ground-based sensors may be passed by nonsecure data or voice broadcast. In addition, the command and control system should be survivable and have redundancy.

Air defense sensors are normally optimized to perform specific surveillance or control functions. To provide the spectrum of coverage required for air defense operations, a number of complementary systems are necessary. These range from a mix of static and mobile equipment to strategic warning systems. Systems are netted to enable the gathering and dissemination of information to all AD forces under all operational conditions. The command and control system may include--

Additional Contributing Systems

Contributing systems may include military and civilian assets. Depending on the situation, all may be integrated with the air defense system.

Airborne early warning. Airborne sensors serve to overcome range and low-level detection limitations inherent in a surface-based sensor system and are integrated with surface systems. The use of airborne early warning systems will extend detection ranges and consequently increase the time available for reaction. At the same time, friendly positions will not be compromised, and the threats from low-level surprise attacks will be significantly reduced.

Space-based warning systems. Space platforms provide warning of ballistic missile attack and other intelligence information to either national or theater warning systems. Spaced-based systems can provide longer-range warning than airborne or surface-based sensors.

Intelligence sources. These may provide indications of imminent hostile activity, potential early warning, and positive hostile identification before detection by the air defense system. The maximum possible use of this information is essential. Host nation intelligence sources may significantly augment US intelligence efforts.

Logistics and support agencies. These provide the continuity and sustainability required to enable the air defense force to accomplish its mission. Adequate and timely support must be planned, coordinated, and executed.

Civilian and military air control facilities. Air traffic control facilities in the area of operations may contribute vital information to air defense forces. These capabilities are exploited and, where possible, netted into the command and control system.


Execution of defensive counterair operations requires a surveillance and reporting system capable of near-real-time production and dissemination of tracking data necessary for the effective engagement of targets. As a track is detected, it must be identified. This information then must be disseminated as rapidly as possible. The detailed and timely track data permit the command and control system and integrated weapon systems to evaluate the track, determine the significance of the threat, and either designate air defense forces for interception or engagement or advise units of the passage of friendly aircraft.

Hostile Criteria and Rules of Engagement

To avoid fratricide and to ensure the force is protected by a seamless air defense, engagement operations must be tightly controlled. This requires the delegation of engagement authority to the appropriate AD commanders, and the establishment of weapon control procedures and rules of engagement (ROE) by the area air defense commander (AADC). Rules of engagement must include hostile criteria. The optimum employment of air defense weapon systems requires early identification of friend and foe to maximize beyond visual range engagement while avoiding fratricide.

Employment of Air Defense

Early warning of enemy air attack is vital if early engagement and defense in depth are to be achieved. Active air defense is developed to permit the interception of intruding enemy aircraft as early as possible and as far forward as feasible. Engagement should continue through weapons release, departure from the target area, and return to base. Firing doctrine should address the allocation of available weapons to inbound threats before any allocation to outbound aircraft. The following paragraphs address how weapon systems may be employed.

Fighter-interceptor. Fighters may fly three basic missions. These missions, are explained in the following paragraphs:

Armed Helicopters. Air combat is an integral part of the ground commander's scheme of maneuver and may be controlled by either the aviation or ground maneuver force commander. Although it is a self-defense mission, air combat can occur during both offensive and defensive operations. Air combat is inherent in aviation's maneuver role in the reconnaissance and security, attack, and air assault missions and must be linked to the aviation command and control system.

Surface-to-Air Weapons. Surface-to-air weapons are employed to protect the force as point defense weapons. These weapons potentially offer large amounts of firepower and instant responsiveness. For maximum effect, a mix of types of surface-to-air weapons should be employed in an integrated air defense. The optimal capabilities of each weapon system occur at different ranges and altitudes. Surface-to-air systems provide the best overall coverage when their operations are both integrated and coordinated. Integration or coordination ensures both the minimum-risk passage for friendly aircraft and the means to deconflict employment of surface-to-air weapons and fighters.


General requirements for command, control, and communications are contained in joint publications. More specific, Army-oriented information is contained in Chapters 4, 5 , and 6 of this field manual.


Command relationships for all operations shall be per Joint Pub 0-2. The joint force commander (JFC) normally assigns responsibility for theater DCA operations to a single area air defense commander (AADC). Although detailed planning and execution of OCA operations may be delegated to the joint force air component commander (JFACC), the overall direction will be established by the joint force commander. With respect to the conduct of counterair operations, the following principles normally apply.

Exercise of Operational Control

The joint force commander exercises operational control of all assigned forces to ensure unity of effort. Normally, this authority is exercised through his component commanders. The counterair operation is conducted under the guidance of, and to achieve the objectives of, the joint force commander.


Special operations forces; elements of service aviation, surface air defense, fire support; and electronic warfare forces that may be committed to counterair operations remain under the command of their respective components. Air defense forces are normally assigned either to the component headquarters or are organic to Army corps, US Marine amphibious forces, divisions, armored cavalry regiments, and separate Army brigades. Forces are integrated into the air defense system according to the established joint operational procedures and the overall air defense priorities of the joint force commander and his component and intermediate commanders. When conducting counterair operations (and or active missile defense operations) all air defense forces operate under the rules of engagement and weapon control procedures approved by the JFC and promulgated by the AADC.


Land-based and maritime air defense resources are integrated into the joint force commander's defensive counterair concept of operations. Maritime air defense resources are coordinated with the appropriate land-based or airborne air defense command and control network. Similarly, land-based air defense resources employed in littoral operational areas are coordinated with the appropriate maritime air defense command and control network.


Effective control of diverse systems requires the capability to collect, process, display, and communicate vast amounts of information while denying the enemy access to the information. Communications systems, including space-based resources, must be capable of providing secure near-real-time exchange of essential information between the joint force commander and subordinate commanders and forces. The systems must be sufficiently flexible and responsive to allow timely redirection of forces. Communications systems must have sufficient capacity, electronic countermeasures resistance, and flexibility to accommodate information exchange among levels of command, even when an intermediate level has been disabled.

To speed the exchange of essential information, it may be necessary to delineate the extent and type of information to be passed to specific command and control levels. Data transferred between command and control levels to exercise counterair tasks calls for automated data processing. The systems should have redundancy and must have a backup capability and procedures to maintain continuity of operations should the primary system fail.


Airspace control increases operational effectiveness by promoting the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace. Detailed guidance for airspace control is provided in Joint Pub 3-52. The joint force commander normally designates an airspace control authority (ACA) who coordinates and integrates use of the airspace. Airspace control is vital to all air operations and must include procedures to facilitate routing and recognition of friendly aircraft. Establishment of identification and weapon engagement zones and routing of noncombat air traffic are planned to permit maximum use of air defense resources while minimizing restrictions on other operations. Airspace control measures can decrease the possibility of fratricide and enable the rapid identification of approaching air and missile threats.


The effective use of counterair forces requires the establishment and understanding of common ROE. Unless already established by higher authority or an existing plan, the joint force commander shall establish the rules of engagement. The component and supporting commanders are responsible for ensuring compliance with the established rules of engagement. More information on types of ROE is in Chapter 5.


The successful conduct of the counterair battle requires the integrated operation of all available air and missile defense weapon systems within a theater. Authority to integrate or coordinate air defense operations in a theater is delegated to the area air defense commander.

Authority to integrate does not imply command or control authority. Air defense operations must also be coordinated with other operations: air, land, sea, and space.


There will never be enough specialized air defense assets to provide force protection for all units and vital assets. Therefore, all units must be capable of using their organic weapons for self-defense against air attack. Self-defense is never denied.


This section outlines doctrine for joint theater missile defense (JTMD) as contained in Joint Pub 3-01.5. JTMD includes all measures and means to counter the theater missile (TM) threat posed by air-to-surface, subsurface-to-surface, and surface-to-surface missiles. TMs include short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, tactical air-to-surface missiles, and cruise missiles. Army air defense and other forces conduct theater missile defense (TMD) operations in support of JTMD.

Theater missile defense operations are conducted to detect and destroy enemy theater missiles and enemy aircraft armed with air-to-surface cruise missiles. TMD also includes actions to destroy enemy theater missile launchers, command and control and logistics assets, and to disrupt hostile TM operations. TMD employs an appropriate mix of mutually supportive offensive and defensive measures. TMD operations include the contributions of surface-to-air missiles, bombers, SOF, attack helicopters, surface-to-surface missiles, and interceptors to destroy the TM threat both before and after it is launched.


The primary objective of JTMD is to ensure that the JFC has the freedom to conduct joint operations without undue interference from TM operations conducted by the enemy. Supporting objectives are to deter enemy use of TMs, and to protect the force and areas of vital interest from TM attack. In addition, JTMD must detect and target TM systems; detect, warn, and report a TM launch; and coordinate a multifaceted response to a TM attack, integrating that response with other combat operations. Finally, JTMD operations reduce the probability of, and or minimize the effects of, damage caused by a TM attack.


JTMD is composed of four operational elements: passive defense; active defense; attack operations; and command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I). Because of the continual advancement and proliferation of TMs, the threat cannot currently be countered by any single technical solution, nor will it likely be in the future. The threat can only be countered by the synergistic performance achieved by coordinating and integrating all four operational elements into cohesive and coherent combat operations. See the TMD Operational Elements illustration 3-2.


Passive defense applies to measures initiated to reduce vulnerability and to minimize the effect of damage caused by TM attack. Passive defense includes TM early warning and NBC protection, countersurveillance, deception, camouflage and concealment, hardening, electronic warfare (EW), mobility, dispersal, redundancy, recovery, and reconstitution.


Active defense applies to operations initiated to protect against a TM attack by destroying TM airborne launch platforms and or destroying TMs in flight. Active defense includes multitiered defense in depth via multiple engagements using air, land, and sea assets. It also includes active EW to disrupt remote or onboard guidance systems.


Attack operations apply to operations initiated to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize TM launch platforms and their supporting command, control, and communications (C3); logistic structures; and reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition (RISTA) platforms. Attack operations include offensive action by air, land, sea, space, and special operations forces.


TMD C4I is an integrated system of doctrine, procedures, organizational structures, facilities, communications, computers, and supporting intelligence. It includes missile warning and cueing of defense systems by missile warning sensors and ground stations. C4I provides command authorities at all levels with timely and accurate data and systems to plan, monitor, direct, control, and report TMD operations.

Figure 3-2. JTMD Operational Elements


A single measure cannot provide complete protection against a determined TM attack. A combination of passive defense, active defense, and attack operations, all fully integrated and coordinated by a robust and efficient C4I architecture, is required to meet the stringent performance requirements demanded of JTMD. Such a mix must provide for the survivability of combat forces, minimize the impact on friendly combat operations, create uncertainty in enemy planning, and deter or deny enemy effective use of TMs. The following paragraphs discuss the planning and preparation for JTMD, transitioning to JTMD operations, and the four operational elements of JTMD. Though discussed sequentially, the four elements are normally executed simultaneously.


Successful JTMD operations are highly dependent on the simultaneous and sequential execution of a wide spectrum of tasks and activities, some of which occur or begin prior to the initiation of the use of force. Significant among these are intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB); JTMD preparation and training; and operations planning. During operations planning, forces are organized, known and suspected enemy TMs and TM-related targets are prioritized and assigned, and ROE are established to protect assets and provide freedom of maneuver for friendly forces. The plan should include passive defense measures, along with a concept of operations for active defense and attack operations. A detailed discussion of IPB and air defense planning is provided in Appendices A and B. As discussed in the following paragraphs, requirements and planning considerations for a contingency theater are different than those for a mature theater.

Mature Theater

Well-rehearsed TM defense plans and preparations allow forces in a mature theater to transition swiftly from peace to war. TM defense systems must provide timely C4I, target acquisition, and communications before hostilities commence. Preparatory activities include IPB, detection of launch platform preparations, and transmission of timely warnings to alert responsible commanders. Passive missile defense preparation should be conducted.

During the peacetime phase, forces are organized, enemy targets prioritized and assigned, and ROE established to protect assets and provide freedom of maneuver for friendly forces. Passive and active missile defense measures and attack operations are planned.

Contingency Theater

In an immature or contingency theater, the availability of TMD active defense from the initiation of the operation will depend on whether the force must conduct opposed or unopposed force entry operations. During an opposed forced entry, land force TMD efforts may initially be limited to passive defense and attack operations until sufficient active defense assets can be deployed into the lodgment area(s). The Navy may provide limited active defense of forces and assets in the littoral. Counter-RISTA operations are essential to passive defense. Early, detailed advanced planning is fundamental to establishing a credible JTMD capability as quickly as possible. If entry is unopposed, Army TMD active defense forces must be deployed during early entry to protect the ports of debarkation and initial force and logistics concentrations. JTMD requirements are very similar to those of a mature theater. The principal differences are the time to deploy JTMD forces and available JTMD resources.

Forced entry operations may employ airborne, amphibious, or a combination of air, sea, and land insertion means, supported by space-based systems. Whatever the situation, the TM threat must be addressed and an appropriate defense provided early to counter the threat. During initial phases of amphibious operations, the Navy component may have the primary role for providing the defense. As assault forces deploy ashore, land-based systems must be employed and integrated into the TMD. Upon agreement, the primary responsibility for JTMD operations may be passed to forces ashore. During situations in which the Navy is in support of land operations, Navy and land-based JTMD operations must be coordinated to ensure unity of effort.

Since JTMD assets available to the JFC will generally be limited, especially in opposed entry operations, special emphasis should be placed on providing physical security for critical JTMD assets against terrorist and similar threats.


The first indication of an impending act of war may be detection of fixed or mobile TM launch platform preparations. Tactical warnings alert commanders and associated weapon systems, sensors, fusion centers, command and control nodes, military forces, and, in some cases, civil authorities to prepare for the expected attack. Once a launch is observed, a launch warning is passed to commands, units, and civil authorities to trigger passive and active defensive actions. Target flight data are passed by the C4I system to active missile defense units, and launch point estimates are passed to attack systems.

Army air defense commanders at all echelons plan and monitor execution of TMD activities. Air defense commanders are responsible for the active defense operational element of TMD. Additionally, they are directly involved in passive defense, by providing warning of missile attack within the land and component, and possibly the joint force. ADA commanders perform active air and missile IPB, recommend air and TMD intelligence priorities, and recommend TMD attack operations targets.


Passive missile defense measures provide protection for friendly forces and facilities. Through thorough IPB, which is timely, relevant, accurate, and predictive, methods of TM attack may be anticipated and passive measures chosen for employment before, during, and after attack. The objective of passive missile defense is to degrade the enemy's ability to target US, host nation, and allied forces and facilities. Passive defense also reduces vulnerability and increases survivability, and provides for reconstitution and recovery of forces. Passive missile defense measures protect combat forces by reducing the effects of the TM attack. The measures used to accomplish passive defense are--

Theater CINCs are responsible for establishing theater event reporting systems to acquire, process, and disseminate warning information to joint force components and host-nation civil authorities. They are also responsible for implementing tactical event system architectures that are integrated with operations and intelligence communications nets. Component commanders are responsible for providing warning to assigned forces. Tactical warning triggers passive defense actions. Warnings are both general (that missile launches are imminent or have occurred) and specific (that specific units or areas are in danger of attack). The CINC's tactical warning requirements are supported by national and theater intelligence and warning systems.

Of primary importance for tactical warning of ballistic missile attack are the tactical event system (TES) and the joint tactical ground station (JTAGS). Both are US Space Command (USSPACECOM) assets which support theater tactical warning requirements with near-real-time warning of ballistic missile launches within the CINC's area of interest. A more thorough discussion of missile warning capabilities is provided in Appendix C.


The role of active missile defense is to destroy incoming TMs in flight for the protection of selected assets and forces. This includes attack of ballistic missiles, air-to-surface missiles, antiship missiles, and cruise missiles as early as possible during the flight trajectory, and the attack of aircraft equipped with TASMs and cruise missiles. Defensive measures also include those actions which mitigate the effectiveness of targeting and delivery systems through electronic and electro-optical attack of remote or onboard guidance systems. To create a coherent TM defense, active missile defense operations must complement passive missile defense and attack operations.

Appropriate detection and attack systems include space-, air-, land-, and sea-based systems. Space-based data and components must be directly downlinked and integrated with theater assets for IPB, launch warning, launch point prediction, threat classification, impact point prediction, weapons system cueing, communications, damage assessment, et cetera.

During the latter phases of a missile's trajectory, incoming missiles are destroyed by surface-to-air missiles. Because an enemy attack may integrate aircraft and missiles, active missile defense must be coordinated with the joint counterair system.

The ability to destroy missiles in flight must be coupled with dynamic and imaginative deployment of defensive systems to prevent the enemy from knowing what is defended. This causes uncertainty and reduces the enemy's expectation of a successful attack. Active missile defense operations defend only what is most important and critical due to resource limitations. The JFC, component commanders, and intermediate commanders establish priorities for TMD and accept risk, should the enemy attack lower priority assets which are not defended. The principal contributors to active missile defense operations include surface-to-air missile systems, and aircraft which engage enemy airborne launch platforms.


The JFC exercises control of active defense operations by integration of JTMD systems and forces into the C4I systems supporting theater counterair operations. Component commanders retain OPCON of their active defense TMD forces and conduct TMD operations within their areas of operations per AADC-developed, JFC-approved ROE and airspace control measures to protect their forces and the JFC's air and missile defense priorities. Corps commanders employ their organic active defense TMD forces similarly.

Effective control requires continuous surveillance of likely missile launch areas. A confirmed launch triggers reaction by a preplanned selection of appropriate defensive systems, according to established ROE. Short missile flight times require that all applicable air-, land-, sea-, and space-based sensor and surveillance assets be linked to provide a complete and current air picture. US Commander in Chief, Space Command (USCINCSPACE) ensures that space-based systems are responsive to the joint or multinational force commander.


Appropriate ROE should be established by the JFC for both air and missile threats. Cruise missiles, like UAVs, present ROE challenges due to the fact that they have radar characteristics similar to manned aircraft. Additionally, ROE for ballistic missiles should be as permissive as possible in order to facilitate rapid engagement of hostile missiles.


Active missile defense planning begins with IPB. Upon completing initial analyses, the joint or multinational force commander provides his concept and mission priorities. The commander finalizes decisions on apportionment of resources after the staff completes its comparison and analyses of the various courses of action. Intelligence capabilities are identified and designated for TM detection, acquisition, and identification. Threat priorities and ROE are established for engaging both enemy aircraft and missiles. Units are designated to protect critical assets or areas of the theater, fleet operating areas, and the battlefield.


Active missile defense operations are decentrally executed according to joint doctrine, multinational procedures, and applicable rules of engagement. An enemy launch observed and identified through surveillance systems triggers near-real-time active missile defense and attack operations. This initiates passive missile defensive actions by military units and civilian authorities. Army active missile defense will include contributions from division, corps, and theater ADA units.

TM trajectory data are passed in near-real-time directly to surface-to-air point defensive systems. Enemy launch locations and other targeting information are passed simultaneously to appropriate units and commands with missions to conduct attack operations.

Active defense systems attack threat missiles to destroy warheads or disrupt guidance systems. Missiles are attacked at maximum range to reduce damage to the targeted area. To protect against attack by TBMs, Army active defense systems are employed in a task force consisting of a long-range, high-altitude upper tier defended by THAAD and several lower-altitude, point defense lower tiers defended by Patriot.


Attack operations are characterized by offensive actions to destroy and disrupt enemy TM capabilities before, during, and after launch. The objective of attack operations is to prevent the launch of TMs by attacking each element of the overall system, including such actions as destroying launch platforms; RISIA platforms; C2 nodes; and missile stocks and infrastructure. The preferred method of countering enemy TM operations is to attack and destroy or disrupt TMs prior to their launch.

Attack operations can be preemptive or reactive. A sustained effort is required to reduce the enemy's TM capability and involves the execution of mutually supporting tasks. The detection, acquisition, identification, tracking, and attack tasks are highly dependent on a near-real-time C4I process and rapid targeting capability. Attack operations use all-source intelligence, missile warning systems, and air defense radars to locate and target enemy TM systems, their components, and supporting nodes.

Systems used to support attack operations may include rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft in air-to-air and air-to-surface operations, surface-to-surface missile forces, SOF, antisubmarine forces, EW systems, and maneuver forces. Attack operations are highly dependent upon predictive and developed intelligence. Because it is difficult to detect highly mobile launch systems, a C4I capability should exist to support near-real-time targeting and attack. National sensor systems will normally augment theater air- and ground-based systems to provide warning, impact prediction, and launch point determination. Additionally, intelligence products collected by national sensor systems can assist theater forces to anticipate TM operations and to determine enemy TM unit locations. SOF involvement may be through attack of TM targets by direct action operations or through conduct of special reconnaissance.


Designation of engagement areas, assignment of AOs, and coordination of JTMD attack operations are prescribed by the JFC. The JFC will normally task component commanders for conduct of attack operations against TMs within their assigned AOs. Subordinate commanders control attack resources and coordinate and conduct their operations according to joint doctrine and procedures. The JFACC is normally the supported commander to plan and conduct attack operations against TMs outside the other component commanders' AOs.

Effective attack operations require real-time coordination between all component commanders as well as continuous wide-area surveillance over the entire AOR. Coordination of attack operations involves the detection, acquisition, and identification of enemy TMs and the dissemination of the targeting information to the designated attack system for execution.


Planning for attack operations begins with the IPB process. IPB is conducted, including surveillance of likely TM launch areas, and prediction of enemy TM activities. Upon completing the initial analyses, the JFC issues guidance on the concept and priorities for TM attack operations. Based upon the JFC's staff and component commander recommendations, the JFC assigns missions to the component commanders and provides guidance for JTMD attack operations. Component commanders then plan attack operations based on the assignment of attack responsibilities, the JFC's concept, priorities, and allocation of attack resources.

Effective JTMD attack operations require the integration and coordination of all joint force plans. The JFC may task an organization within his joint staff to integrate component commanders' plans or may delegate this responsibility to a subordinate commander. Established, the joint targeting coordination board may be an integration center for this effort or serve as a JFC-level review mechanism. Because of the mobility of TM systems, the time to acquire, target, and attack TM elements may be very short. Thus, an accelerated execution cycle using the decide-detectdeliver-assess process is required. Based upon preestablished JFC approved priorities and ROE, enemy TM targets are attacked by the most appropriate attack system as soon as detected.

Throughout the planning cycle, commanders continually reassess friendly and enemy dispositions. They use all available intelligence to anticipate enemy attack plans, predict TM system dispositions, and plan appropriate attack responses.


Conduct of attack operations is reliant on sensor systems, a responsive near-real-time sensor management and communications network, and highly responsive, long-range attack weapon systems. At the tactical level, responsive intelligence and operations interfaces are required for rapid targeting and engagement of mobile TM launchers and support assets. Execution of air and ground JTMD attack operations is centrally planned, decentrally executed, and governed by applicable joint policies, doctrine, and procedures.


JTMD C4I functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, data bases, and procedures. They are designed for planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces to accomplish JTMD.


The C4I system must use its resources efficiently to support management of JTMD operations without significant loss to other operational capabilities. The C4I system links passive and active missile defense and attack capabilities to provide timely assessment of the threat, rapid dissemination of tactical warning, targeting data, mission assignment, and poststrike assessments to the appropriate JTMD element. For each operational element, the C4I system must provide rapid communications among intelligence assets, fusion and decision-making nodes, warning systems, and weapon systems, to include a capability for rapid coordination with supporting commanders in chief. C4I capabilities should also support the principles of centralized control, decentralized execution, and coordinated efforts by units assigned JTMD tasks.


Inherent in effective JTMD operations is an absolute requirement for vertical and horizontal technical and procedural interoperability. This is especially true for the C4I operational elements. JTMD C4I systems, facilities, procedures, and organizations integrate applicable joint and multinational capabilities. The JFC must exercise JTMD C4I interoperability among all components during peacetime joint force and multinational exercises. C4I must fulfill the following requirements:


C4I planning begins with the JFC 's estimate of the situation, objectives, and overall concept of operations. Based on the commander's guidance and priorities, appropriate subordinate commanders task forces and resources. To ensure complementary efforts and to achieve synergism, C4I planning for passive missile defense, active missile defense, and attack operations must be coordinated among all components of the force on a continual basis.

Planning considerations for C4I of JTMD operations must consider both joint and multinational relationships when addressing the need for near-real-time response to the threat. The wide range of operations that may be appropriate, the diverse nature of the JTMD elements that must complement each other, and the possible impact of JTMD on other missions and tasks, are all considerations.


The intelligence system must provide current, integrated, accurate, and timely all-source information of enemy capabilities and activities. The intelligence system must accommodate a variety of service, national, allied, or coalition communications systems. The intelligence system is vital to the decision-making cycle and must support the status, assessment, planning, warning, and IPB functions, as well as target prioritization recommendations.


During operations, the C4I system must rapidly disseminate intelligence to the components and support air, naval, and ground attack operations requirements with a rapid targeting capability. C4I for JTMD actions must be integrated into the overall theater communications network and yet be capable of decentralized control or autonomous operations. Service organizations conducting JTMD actions must maintain an interface with and be interoperable with the other components' organizations.

Some theaters may have offensive constraints or limitations, requiring a reactive JTMD C4I process. A reactive mode demands extensive preparation and preplanning using continuous IPB to provide critical targeting data. The preparation and planning process within the C4I framework focuses sensor, surveillance, and intelligence management to allow target acquisition and tracking of the enemy TM systems and their supporting operations. Intelligence preparation must provide near-real-time data on enemy TM, operating bases, missile launch, load, and hide sites, EW systems, C4I facilities, surveillance and control systems, and logistical support and infrastructure. The C4I process must detect and disseminate prelaunch signatures that indicate enemy missile launch preparations, and pass the launch warning to friendly units.

Launch warnings provide for the alert and increased readiness of friendly defensive assets and the employment of offensive and passive countermeasures. performing the vital operating functions which prepare Increasing the readiness posture includes weapon systems, RISTA assets, and command and control nodes for the level of enemy activity anticipated.

Once a launch is observed, the preparation and planning measures provide a capability for concurrent and simultaneous defensive and offensive response.

An observed and identified enemy missile launch through sensor and surveillance systems keys the C4I process which uses communications interfaces to provide near-real-time defensive and offensive attack response. In-flight enemy missile trajectory data are passed in near-real-time directly to interceptors, point defense, and self-protection systems. Simultaneously, while enemy missiles are in flight, updated enemy launch locations, predicted impact areas, and target data base information are passed to the appropriate command and control centers and offensive systems. Concurrently, launch warnings are provided to all units and commands within the theater.

Depending on the capabilities of the sensor and surveillance systems, and the sources and quality of the intelligence, cueing of additional systems may be necessary to provide more refined enemy missile data to ensure targetable accuracy. National or theater sensor and surveillance assets may search areas which will then require more refined RISTA activities by theater and tactical assets. Friendly aerial reconnaissance, ground surveillance systems, and other intelligence assets requiring cueing are focused rapidly to achieve the necessary accuracies for IPB targeting objectives.


The conduct of JTMD operations by US forces fighting alone or as a member of an alliance or coalition is complex. It requires the contributions of ground, sea, air, and space forces of all components and allied or coalition forces, centrally controlled at the highest levels of command. Execution should be decentralized but closely coordinated by components and allies or coalition forces. This paragraph sets forth the responsibilities and command relationships of the various commanders, staff elements, and components involved in conducting JTMD operations in both joint and multinational operations environments.


The CINC of a geographic combatant command, as the JFC, establishes theater guidance and objectives for JTMD. He has combatant command (COCOM) of all assigned forces. The CINC uses joint staff elements and component commanders and their staffs to plan, monitor, advise, coordinate, and execute the overall operations, including TMD. The CINC delegates command authority to assigned or attached subordinate commanders.


The JFC has operational control (OPCON) of those forces assigned to him. The JFC has the authority to delegate operational control, assign tasks, and direct coordination among subordinate component commanders. The JFC also redirects and reorganizes forces to ensure unity of effort in the accomplishment of the mission.

The JFC establishes guidance and objectives for JTMD. He uses component commanders, component staff, and joint staff elements to plan, monitor, advise, coordinate, and execute the overall operations to include JTMD. The JFC must define and implement a methodology for joint planning, prioritization of missions and targets, friendly asset protection, and apportionment and allocation of resources. The JFC's concept of operations specifies the objectives and provides guidance for the employment of targeting, attack, and defense forces to conduct JTMD. Component commanders conduct JTMD operations under the guidance and in support of the objectives of the JFC.


The JFC is supported by the staff in the joint operations center. The JFC uses the staff to plan, monitor, advise, and coordinate overall operations. The joint staff develops and issues the JFC-approved concept of operations, which includes JTMD operations. The JFC's concept of operations, issued to component commanders, should include guidance and objectives but not be limited to the following:


The component commanders plan and execute all JTMD operations within their assigned AOs as directed by the JFC. Component commanders are responsible for planning and executing combat operations and for jointly coordinating and prioritizing their operations and needs with the JFC and with other component commanders. Inside their AOs, component commanders are normally designated as supported commanders for attack operations. Beyond surface AOs, the JFACC is normally designated supported commander for attack operations. Component commanders are responsible for providing warning to assigned forces. Component commanders will normally retain operational control of their active defense assets. The JFC may designate certain key forces or assets which the component commanders must protect with their assigned active defense forces. Close coordination among component commanders, the JFC, and the AADC (if designated) is necessary to employ the most appropriate resources and measures to execute JTMD operations and to ensure a synergistic effort. Component-to-component coordination may be required in some situations as a result of the compressed timeline and short reaction times inherent in JTMD operations.


Counterair and TMD operations are required within the context of an alliance, coalition, or other international arrangement. Within this context, the JFC is either subordinate to or may be the multinational CINC. In either event, the JFC must consider those areas peculiar to multinational operations which may influence the ability to achieve multinational unity of effort. Multinational CINCs and their subordinates identify the requirements and implications of multinational operations, organize their forces, train for success, and conduct multinational operations as necessary.


Requirements, responsibilities, and organizational considerations for conducting counterair and TMD in a multinational operations environment are similar to joint operations. However, special considerations and areas of emphasis are needed to ensure unity of effort with other nation's forces. Each theater and each country is unique. Even within formal alliances, there are varying national interests which should be identified and considered. Differences in doctrine, training, equipment, and organization must be identified and considered when determining alliance interoperability requirements for employing forces. The multinational CINC is responsible to both national and allied or coalition leaders. Leaders of the alliance or coalition must approve command relationships among the elements of the alliance or coalition.


When national forces of the multinational force are not uniformly capable of actively defending against enemy air or missile capabilities, provisions must be made to ensure that counterair and TMD assets are provided for defense within JFC-established priorities. This may entail introducing counterair and TMD assets from another theater. For this reason, counterair and TMD units and support organizations must train, orient, and exercise to operate in the total spectrum of potential operational environments. As in joint operations, multinational CINCs may choose to organize on an area or functional basis, or a combination of the two. In either case, multinational force capabilities must be considered.


Consensus on the enemy threat, a clearly defined chain of command, and a responsive, interoperable command and control structure are crucial to successful multinational counterair and TMD operations. Particular care must be taken to ensure that national forces and selected geopolitical assets are provided requisite protection from the effects of the threat. A multinational commander may also consider assisting host nation or civil authorities in establishing passive defense measures for the civilian population and host nation assets consistent with the overall mission.


The threat to the total multinational force, to include rear areas, must be considered. Consensus on the threat will facilitate the integration of national and alliance or coalition intelligence collection efforts, allocation of collection resources, and threat evaluation.


National forces are assigned counterair and TMD missions that will produce, in concert with other forces, more significant effects than if employed alone. Tasks to national forces are assigned commensurate with their equipment and capabilities.


C4I systems must be sufficiently interoperable to respond to the needs of the multinational command. Information critical to counterair and TMD needs are identified and systems are established to speed the flow of critical information throughout the multinational chain of command.


Intelligence requirements in support of counterair and TMD operations must be determined and prioritized to plan the collection and analytical effort and to allocate appropriate resources to these functions. US forces which are part of multinational commands will be supported by some number of national intelligence systems to augment their organic intelligence systems. These must be integrated to ensure responsiveness to operational needs.


ROE must be delineated, published, and disseminated to, and exercised by, alliance or coalition members for compliance and as a planning consideration for future operations. Any national ROE which differ from the multinational commander's ROE must be identified, published, and understood by all commands.


Planning for, and dissemination of, warning and attack prediction to civil authorities must be considered by multinational commanders. They must establish simple, effective systems.


The key to establishing and refining sound procedures is multinational exercises with full participation of C4I assets. Exercises provide an excellent environment for the simultaneous practice of multiechelon responsibilities to evaluate and to sustain the requisite skills and procedures for effective counterair and TMD operations. Exercises are particularly helpful in adapting a unit to a new environment, subsequent to deployment from one geographic area to another. Exercises may also provide a deterrent effect.