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The Army Mission and the Role of Air Defense Artillery

This chapter discusses the changing nature of current political and military balances. This increases the likelihood that we will face the prospects of war throughout the world. The Army may fight in an austere theater having few initial US forces and an extremely immature sustainment base. In this environment, we will have to deploy, fight, and win against forces potentially superior to our own.


The first mission of the Army is to deter war through readiness. If deterrence fails, the Army achieves a quick, decisive victory--on and off the battlefield--anywhere in the world and under virtually any conditions as part of a joint team. The Army requires a high degree of combat readiness to project force whenever and wherever it is needed. Imperative to accomplishing this mission are well-articulated, war-fighting doctrine; appropriate mix of forces; realistic training; force modernization; competent and confident leaders; and the highest quality fighting force.


The mission of air defense artillery is to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance. Air defense (AD) operations are key when generating combat power. They provide the force with protection from enemy air attack, preventing the enemy from separating friendly forces while freeing the commander to fully synchronize maneuver and firepower.

AD operations are performed by all members of the combined arms team; however, ground-based ADA units execute the bulk of the force-protection mission. These units protect deployed forces and critical assets within a theater area of responsibility (AOR) by preventing enemy aircraft, missiles, remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs), and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from locating, striking, and destroying them.

The threat to friendly forces and combat functions is significantly greater than in the past due to weapons of mass destruction and the proliferation of missile technology. The potential for catastrophic loss of soldiers, time, or initiative, forcing a change to operational objectives, requires a greater role for theater missile defense when generating combat power.


The mission of Patriot battalions and batteries is to provide ADA protection from all types of airborne threats from very low to high altitudes to critical assets and maneuver forces belonging to the corps and to echelons above corps (EAC). The objectives of Patriot operations at all levels are to disrupt and destroy the enemy's ability to mount effective air operations, and in doing so, to retain command and control (C2) capabilities, the freedom to maneuver, and the ability to support operations for our own forces.


This FM addresses doctrine and tactics for Patriot units and provides an overview of the environment in which Patriot units operate within the Army as well as with the other services. This FM should be used with FM 44-85-1 (TBP), which provides the technical detail necessary to understand and effectively wield Patriot's considerable combat capability.