The strategic pause accompanying the end of the Cold War creates a window of opportunity in which to apply emerging technology, advance new warfighting capabilities, and test new doctrinal concepts without placing US combat forces and interests at risk. Weapons systems and enabling technologies are proliferating among our known and potential enemies, increasing the danger to US forces and interests from hostile theater air and missile systems. This Naval Theater Air and Missile Defense (TAMD) Concept describes the naval contributions to the joint TAMD system and its operations circa 2010. Navy and Marine capabilities and operations are joint, by design and necessity, whether they serve as the foundation for a developing joint force, reinforce an established joint force, or are the only forces in an operation. The concept describes dynamic defense in depth, unifying joint operations through developing network-based capabilities to achieve cohesive, force-wide leverage of knowledge and understanding.


TAMD operations integrate employment of forces to destroy, neutralize, or prevent attacks by enemy aircraft and theater missiles in order to prevent enemy air and missile forces from interfering with operations by US forces. TAMD forces and operations are organized around the joint task forceís operations area and its associated areas of interest (AOI), and emphasize the interdependence between TAMD and other operations by the force. TAMD is joint by nature, combining the strengths of available forces in four mutually supportive "operational elements" of TAMD: active defense; attack operations; passive defense; and command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I). These operational elements are briefly defined below:

The four "operational elements" are conceptual and planning constructs only, they are not functional or tactical organizations of forces. Every Service contributes to all four operational elements of TAMD, but their equipment, doctrine, and training reflect the unique requirements of the environments in which they operate. Naval forces and their contributions to TAMD are pivotal in a wide range of operations, from peacetime forward presence through sustained, large-scale combat operations by a joint force.

Aircraft and theater missiles can attack across hundreds of miles in minutes, engaging targets anywhere in the theater of war.

The TAMD battlespace for any operation is the space within which the force must operate to protect the force from aircraft and missile threats. It is shaped by technology, politics, geography, and military operations, and extends to areas previously of little direct concern to naval air defense forces, including areas far inland, and into exoatmospheric space. Although actual combat operations will occur in a joint task forceís operations area, the term "theater" captures the extremely long distances which may be involved when our enemies deploy medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, long-range strike aircraft, and advanced cruise missiles. It also captures the rapid, fluid nature of air and missile operations, often involving all elements of the joint task force. Aircraft and missiles can attack across hundreds of miles in a matter of minutes, engaging targets which may be almost anywhere in the theater of war.


The historical theater air threat to US forces and interests was massed attacks by piloted aircraft. Despite the end of the Cold War, this threat remains widespread due to the continuing export of advanced combat aircraft, and now is complicated by the rising threat from theater missiles. "Theater missiles" include cruise missiles and theater ballistic missiles (TBM), both presenting very difficult technical and tactical problems to US forces. Televised coverage of Iraqi SCUDs exploding in Israel and Saudi Arabia focused US attention on the TBM threat and emphasized the political implications of their proliferation. The overall TBM threat is predicted to increase in quantity, range, and lethality in the next decade. Cruise missiles share some characteristics of piloted, tactical aircraft but display others that are unique. A significant cruise missile threat is emerging from the export of current weapons, the proliferation of indigenous production capabilities, and the likelihood that large inventories of antiship cruise missiles will be converted to land attack cruise missiles using commercially available technology. All three of these threat systems (piloted aircraft, TBMs, and cruise missiles) can be used to deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Sophisticated technology is proliferating among known and potential enemies of the US, but threat systems are no longer defined principally by Russian weapons exports. Potential adversaries often combine weapons and enabling technologies exported by US, western European, Chinese, and Russian producers, much as Iraq constructed an integrated air defense system from French, Chinese, and Russian systems. New producers are exporting weapons and enabling technologies as well, often based on indigenously-developed systems, not just on modifications of US or Russian weapons. Examples of commercially-available enabling technologies include GPS and GPS-like navigation systems, computer workstations, advanced software applications, digital communications, and satellite imagery. As WMD capabilities proliferate, piloted aircraft and theater missiles can be used to conduct devastating strikes with chemical agents, biological agents, or nuclear warheads, raising the stakes for TAMD operations. Physical destruction is no longer the only means available to potential enemies, for the threat now includes the possibility of electronic attack using directed energy weapons or generation of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to disable or destroy defenses and command and control (C2) systems.

Commercially available technologies are increasing the precision and accuracy with which potential enemies can attack high value targets or systems with a high probability of success

The strategy, doctrine, and tactics for using air and missile capabilities increasingly are a home-grown mix, as well. Our adversaries no longer slavishly follow Soviet or US doctrine, and they vary widely in their capability to project an air and missile threat. Exploiting the proliferation of sophisticated weapons and enabling technologies, potential adversaries will use them with varying levels of operational and tactical sophistication. Although some potential adversaries are relatively unsophisticated and can easily be neutralized, it is reasonable and prudent to expect future enemies to employ piloted aircraft, TBMs, and land attack cruise missiles in coordinated strike operations. Population centers may remain primary targets, particularly for WMD, but commercially available technologies are increasing the ease with which potential enemies can attack specific high-value targets or systems with a high probability of success. Critical assets for TAMD protection include U.S. and allied command and control systems, airfields, assembly areas, seaports, logistics facilities, and transportation chokepoints.


Above all, naval TAMD operations are driven by human understanding, decision, and action. Automation, networking, and systems integration improve the ability of operators and decision-makers to perform their duties and work together. Naval forces increasingly fight as combined arms teams in network-based operations, whether as the on-scene vanguard of a US joint task force or as part of a synchronized, fully-developed joint force. Naval forces bring forward presence, mobility, a minimal logistics footprint, relative security, and flexibility to a joint task force. Additionally, they are fully combat capable as soon as they arrive. Developing naval doctrine fully exploits the "plug and fight" concept, enhancing advanced, network-based capabilities for situational awareness, decision support, and combat action.

Figure 1. The Enemy Theater Air and Missile Threat is a System

Joint, integrated TAMD operations are one element of US network-based warfighting capabilities. Cohesive, force-wide leverage of network-based knowledge and understanding supports dynamic defense in depth against air and missile attack. TAMD forces neutralize or destroy the threat before launch where possible, engage and defeat attacks which are launched, and minimize the effectiveness of attacks which canít be prevented or stopped enroute. Dynamic defense in depth integrates mutually supportive, network-based operations to prevent hostile air and missile forces from interfering with US operations. Network-based forces wage dynamic defense in depth across time and distance, engaging enemy forces in every phase of their operations, and throughout the battlespace. Joint forces integrate their actions against enemy aircraft, theater missiles, and the logistics, command, and control infrastructure, engaging it as an operational system. Planning is centralized, enabling operational commanders to synchronize decisive, high-tempo tactical operations, issuing broad guidance and clear requirements to tactical commanders and their units for decentralized execution. Tactical commanders integrate combat actions and adapt decisions to exploit the changing situation, reporting their status and the progress of the battle to the network.

Figure 2. TAMD Engages the Enemy Throughout the Battlespace.

The Foundation

The foundation of joint, integrated TAMD is:
Integrated C4I
Integrated information
Common doctrine
Common tools

Joint TAMD combines the benefits of each Serviceís programs to implement and employ automation, networking, and systems integration. It can be described in four broad ideas. First, the Services are integrating their C4I architectures into a joint architecture. Second, the Services and the DoD also are integrating their information resources, focusing them on the end-users vice the producers. Third, common decision support tools are in development to help users rapidly and accurately use information via access to distributed resources. Finally, the Services are developing and implementing common doctrine for TAMD, promulgating shared principles and ideas in joint publications, with Service doctrine applying these joint principles to tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for Service-specific forces, organizations, and equipment. These four initiatives build the foundation on which the Services will test and experiment with new technologies and systems, such as the Navy Theater-Wide TBMD capability, Army Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), the Joint Aerostat, the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC), the JTIDS (Link-16), the Airborne Laser (ABL), and Combat Identification (CID).


Integrated C4I

 Each Serviceís C4I is a functionally complete subset of the joint C4I architecture. The initial command and control established by the first units is the cornerstone of the developing force.

Each Serviceís C4I is a functionally complete subset of the joint C4I architecture. The joint C4I architecture is an increasingly integrated architecture of systems, processes, communications, and nodes with common standards and protocols. Integrated C4I enables a smooth transition from forward presence forces to a fully developed joint force as reinforcements flow to the theater. The command and control architecture established by the first units is the cornerstone of the developing force. The on-scene C4I architecture must be consistent with the joint doctrine guiding the fully developed joint force as it grows. Integrated C4I must enable the smooth transition of forces and command structure as the theater develops without compromising flexibility to accommodate different scenarios unique to the operational environment.


Joint force systems will be integrated in each of the three subsystems of the joint C4I architecture. The subsystems are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Figure 3. Service C4I Integrates into the Joint Architecture.

By delivering timely access to tactical and non-tactical information and to key transmission mechanisms, these three interdependent subsystems serve different, mutually supportive purposes within the force, as shown in Figure 3. Each network supports a different audience of interdependent users, dynamically channeling torrents of data, information, and intelligence. These three networks accommodate and exploit differences in certainty, detail, and scope among non-real time, near-real time, and real time products. The role of the Joint Interface Control Officer (JICO) is increasingly important to the effective design, construction, and operation of the integrated C4I system. (The JICO is discussed more fully later, in "Joint TAMD Operations" under "Organization".)

Improved sensor capabilities increase the effectiveness of force reconnaissance, surveillance, identification, tracking, and cueing. More importantly, netting these sensors helps associate and synthesize information from systems with different time and location references, and different kinds of data and information. Fusion and integration of information from radar, passive sensors, combat identification systems, cryptological sources, lasers, multispectral imagery, and acoustic systems supports a qualitatively better picture than one which simply increases the frequency or intensity of coverage for specific sensors. Combining multispectral data from distributed sensors, advanced data processing, and sensor cooperation can help overcome jamming, interference, and deception, and harvest geometric increases in information without corresponding increases in the number of sensors. Polling and broadcast architectures are complemented by time-division multiple access (TDMA) systems, such as Link 16, the CEC, and Link-22, yielding tremendous increases in jam-resistant, high volume, high data rate capacity.

Integrated Information Resources

Integrated C4I helps commanders adapt their information systems for timely access to both tactical and non-tactical repositories of data, information, and intelligence. The data from informed, sequential tasking of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) resources are indexed to common, geodetically registered grids. Information and data are stored in systematic, indexed databases following standardized, compatible formats as part of the production or collection process. Users are supported by fusion capabilities which find and call attention to associations and patterns in data and information. As integration proceeds, users at all levels of the force will use a common operating environment to search, comprehend, and act on multimedia information, assisted by automated "mediators" able to deal with the differences between tactical and non-tactical databases within the distributed, open architecture. "User-pull" will collaborate with "intelligent-push" to dynamically manage information resources and prevent the overloading of end users. These end users are the best authorities for deciding what they need, and in what form they need it. "Intelligent push" sends applicable information targeted to the userís needs, point casting and netcasting to a dynamically managed collection of recipients. The JICO manages the networkís broad parameters for "push" and "pull" in order to maintain efficient network operations combining force-level decisions and end-user preferences.

Figure 4. The System Supporting Integrated Information Resources

Common Tools

Research into developing and improving tools for understanding, decision, and action is beginning to pay off, and follow-on efforts now are ensuring that results are compatible. "Common tools" will combine expert systems, intelligent agents, modeling and simulation capabilities, visualization systems, and interactive displays and presentations to support a broad range of functions. Information distribution tools will implement user preferences and guidance for control of push and pull information access. Processing tools will present the evaluated meaning of information, going beyond mere categorization and display of data, facts, and details. This will allow people to concentrate on, create, understand, and use information. Routine administration is handled by automated protocols set up within the force. Common tools enable collaboration between geographically separated users via the integrated C4I system. Their tools will permit easy tailoring of information, customizing presentations to missions and tasks while reliably sustaining consistency of understanding between users. Common tools presently under development include modeling and simulation systems for comparing courses of action, visualization systems portraying the effects of combat system operating algorithms in three dimensions, intelligent agents for database query and retrieval, and analytical tools for Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace (IPB).

Powerful workstations combine formerly discrete pieces of equipment in multifunction consoles through which planners and staffs can receive, store, request, manipulate, and view integrated information drawn from the C4I network. Multi-modal interfaces enhance userís interaction with their consoles, overcoming limitations of video terminals, keyboards, and trackballs. Multimedia presentations adapt representations of objects, situations, threats, and processes to the perspective and mission of individual users without compromising cohesive meaning within the overall network. The same capabilities will be embedded as tactical decision aids (TDA) in unit level combat systems aboard ships and in workstations accompanying tactical MAGTF commanders in the field. Common planning tools and TDAs, connected to a common pool of data, information, and intelligence, will thus be available throughout the force.

Common Doctrine

Common principles captured in joint doctrine unify the individual Service doctrines which implement them. The system supports unity of effort and integration while preserving differences which capitalize on each Serviceís strengths and contributions. Doctrine for integrated TAMD operations supports the main effort, as designated by the Joint Force Commander (JFC), and the JFCís course of action determines the structure of the joint force, the operational plan, and the phasing of operations. Doctrine uses jointly understood terms to define required capabilities, assignments, measures of effectiveness, and procedures for TAMD operations. It matches capabilities to the JFCís prioritization of interests and the forces to be protected. Joint and Service TAMD doctrine captures the best uses of individual systems and Service capabilities. Several core principles unite TAMD planning and operations:

Figure 5. Joint Doctrine Implemented Through Service Doctrine is "Common Doctrine."

Catalysts for "Plug and Fight" Capability

The plug and fight foundation is catalyzed by three enablers:
Flexible command structure
Battlespace awareness
Integrated airspace

Integrated C4I, integrated information resources, common tools, and common doctrine create the foundation for plug and fight TAMD capability. Plug and fight architecture smoothly adapts operations to changes in force structure as reinforcements join the operation. Naval forces channel the strength of the TAMD foundation through three enabling catalysts for network-based warfighting. First, "flexible command structure" ensures all of the functions necessary for joint TAMD are fulfilled, irrespective of the forces on-scene. Second, battlespace awareness accurately links knowledge and understanding between all the elements of the force despite differences in time, space, responsibilities, and information. "Integrated airspace" supports concurrent, mutually supportive action in the joint task force operations area by all elements of the force, including aircraft, air defense artillery, and fires.

Flexible Command Structure

In the flexible command structure each Serviceís air and missile defense organization can perform all the duties of the joint air and missile defense command structure, including operational and tactical functions. Each Serviceís C4I complements this organization and constitutes a functionally complete subset of the joint architecture. The flexible command structure enables a smooth transition of forces and command responsibilities between Service commanders and organizations in a developing joint force, while preserving the flexibility to accommodate the operational requirements specific to individual theaters. Command focuses and prioritizes TAMD actions in support of the main effort, including operational and tactical planning, execution, and assessment of TAMD operations. The nature of command makes forward location desirable and the plug and fight foundation makes it possible.

The JFC may delegate authority and responsibility for air and missile defense operations to an Area Air Defense Commander (AADC) as a functional component commander. The AADC normally is the component commander with the preponderance of air and missile defense forces, and the capability to plan, task, and control TAMD operations in coordination with other operations by the force. The duties of the AADC are interdependent with those of the Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) and the Airspace Control Authority (ACA). The JFCís Concept of Operations and force organization may combine one or more of these discrete, interdependent functions, recognizing their overlapping nature, but these functions are always closely coordinated no matter how command is assigned. In a crisis response, the functions of the JFACC, AADC, and the ACA may all be performed by the first commander to arrive on the scene. The AADC normally exercises tactical authority through the tactical command centers organic to the Service components of the force, such as the Marineís Tactical Air Operations Center (TAOC) or the Navyís Combat Information Center (CIC). The AADC may choose to delegate tactical authority over some or all air defense operations to one or more Regional Air Defense Commanders (RADC). If necessary, RADCs may further delegate tactical authority to Sector Air Defense Commanders (SADC). The RADCs and SADCs are sited at the appropriate nodes within each Serviceís organization as shown in Figure 6, using existing Service combat organizations to plan and conduct TAMD operations.

Figure 6. Integrated C4I Hosts TAMD Command Within Service C2 Centers

Battlespace Awareness

As difficult as it is for any one decision maker to understand the current situation, it is even harder for the force to establish and maintain shared understanding of the situation. Differences in understanding arise from different perspectives and purposes, from access to different information, and from time and friction. The challenge is to bring coherence to how users throughout the force perceive the situation as well as to their decisions and actions. Integrated C4I and integrated information resources create and sustain the "common operational picture" and the "coherent tactical picture." These interrelated representations of the current situation arise from different purposes, users, types of data, and network access, yet they must be mutually supportive.


1  From the "Coherent Tactical Picture Integrated Product Team Charter" of 27August, 1996. Cited in "Engineering the Coherent Tactical Picture" by CDR Jeffrey W. Wilson, USN. Program Executive Office for Theater Air Defense.

 The term "single integrated air picture" is less fully developed than "coherent tactical picture". This concept uses "coherent tactical picture" because it is focused on the users vice the data, because it accounts for technical limits on the JDN/JCTN, because it has been in use longer, and because it is not restricted to the air picture.

Battlespace awareness is coherent understanding and action throughout the force overcoming differences due to distance time functions or level of responsibility.

Establishing and maintaining coherent mutual support through the common operational picture and the coherent tactical picture supports battlespace awareness. "Battlespace awareness" describes coherence in the understanding and actions of decision makers throughout the force, overcoming differences arising from distance, time, functions, or levels of responsibility. Coherent presentations of the current situation enable users to tailor the common operational picture and the coherent tactical picture to their circumstances and needs without compromising battlespace awareness. Battlespace awareness helps units, tactical commanders, and operational commanders implement the commanderís intent, enabling rapid, effective, and mutually supportive action to achieve combat objectives. It supports initiative and decisive action, enabling integrated operations at the tactical level and synchronization of forces at the operational level.

Mutually supportive, tailored presentations of the common operational picture and the coherent tactical picture build and maintain battlespace awareness, creating the effect of a virtual "coherent force picture." Coherence results from force-wide standards for system doctrine, threat evaluation criteria, intelligence interpretation methodology, engagement, and tactics, techniques, and procedures. It also results from use of common tools operated with consistent settings and access to integrated information. Each node in the network has a customized yet coherent presentation of the current situation, strengthened by links to supporting data, information, and intelligence. Operational, tactical, and unit-level representations of the current situation focus userís attention on patterns, associations, and assessed meaning rather than detail. Operator-defined parameters for inferences and estimates will guide integration of new information into the display. Information will be presented in the context of engagements, battles, and the campaign, rather than as collections of separate events and "threats." Information will be presented probabilistically, identifying the level of confidence supporting its assessment. Integrated, netted systems create a more accurate, comprehensive, and immediate representation of the battlespace with higher levels of confidence, overcoming differences in time, space, responsibilities, and information among users linked to the three networks of the C4I system.

Integrated Airspace

Combat identification and track correlation capabilities are the key to integrating airspace.

The foundation of TAMD qualitatively improves US ability to effectively create and use integrated airspace for concurrent, interdependent operations. The common operational picture qualitatively enhances planning and situational awareness, enabling the force to execute synchronized, mutually supportive operations by naval fires, air operations, and air defense operations. Tactical integration of airspace depends on the JCTN-enhanced JDN and dependable, high confidence combat identification capabilities to develop the coherent tactical picture. Enhanced combat identification and track correlation capabilities are the key to integrating airspace. Robust, high confidence combat identification enables positive identification and tracking of friendly, hostile, and neutral forces and non-combatants. Friendly forces are the simplest of these groups to identify and track. All other groups need non-cooperative target recognition, automatic target recognition, and automatic target extraction technology and methods. Today, the integration of the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) and tactical data links (notably Link-16) provides joint forces with an integrated, JCTN-enhanced JDN. Future incorporation of combat identification information in the CEC, as well as integration of non-radar sensor data, promises further improvement for the forceís detection, combat identification, tracking, and engagement capabilities.

Joint TAMD Capabilities in Network-Based Warfighting

The combination of the plug and fight foundation and the catalysts for joint TAMD enables US forces to operate as a network-based force. Network-based TAMD enhances human control and use of integrated systems, automation, and networking to protect US forces and vital interests. It leverages knowledge and understanding to increase the effectiveness and speed of TAMD combat operations. Joint forces make the most of three capabilities: tailored situational awareness, user-customized decision support, and unified combat action.

Figure 7. The Structure of Network-Based TAMD Capabilities

Tailored Situational Awareness

Tailored situational awareness is the user-customized representation of the current situation which builds understanding and informs decision. It is an accurate representation of the situation focused on the userís purposes and drawn from battlespace awareness. Tailored situational awareness underpins effective, integrated TAMD operations, providing users with the information they need to fulfill their responsibilities. Intelligent push and user pull from networked information resources update and customize the coherent tactical picture and the common operational picture. Battlespace awareness is the unifying "big picture" making tailored situational awareness possible across the operational, tactical, and unit levels. Human decision makers use automated intelligent agents to tailor sensor cooperation and management, information integration, information dissemination, presentation, and exploitation of information to maintain situational awareness within the network. Force operators collaborate to decrease data latency, enhance accuracy and precision, and fuse all-source information. Users display evaluated information in the context which is most effective for them, making full use of multi-modal presentation.

User-customized Decision Support

User-customized decision support applies focused tactical and operational decision aids to the issues relevant to each userís responsibilities. User-customized decision support software focuses usersí attention and their tools on timely and relevant information. User-customized decision support brings coherence to force decision-making through common tools, doctrine, and integrated information resources networked within the integrated C4I architecture. Each of the decision support systems concentrates information and the userís attention on the userís own purpose and responsibilities. Commanders will be able to conduct distributed planning at both theater and force levels, knowing that products will be consistent and mutually supportive. Networked force resources, coupled with responsive access to remote resources, can enable collaborative work with "virtual staffs" via the JPN, connecting forward commanders to specialized information and capabilities residing with geographically dispersed functional experts, "anchor desks," and stay-behind augmentation cells.

Unified Combat Action

Unified combat action is synchronized, mutually supporting operations undertaken concurrently by the forces in each of the operational elements. Unified combat action is tactical integration and operational synchronization of action by the force. Unified combat action results from cohesive decisions and consistent understanding of the situation. Joint TAMD forces link the four operational elements by synchronizing a layered, in-depth defense, engaging the threat before launch, after launch, and in the impact area of leakers. Unified combat action supports defense in depth within each of the operational elements, as well:

Joint TAMD Operations

U.S. forces deliver decisive combat power, rapidly maneuvering in synchronized operations towards the commanderís objective. For TAMD, naval forces take offensive action to neutralize or destroy the threat before launch where possible, engaging and defeating attacks which are launched, and minimizing the effectiveness of attacks which cannot be prevented or stopped enroute. The key to joint, integrated TAMD is leveraging knowledge and understanding to maintain unity of effort and spur decisive actions. Network-based tactical integration makes it easier to synchronize activity among the four operational elements of TAMD, combining tailored situational awareness, user-customized decision support, and unified combat action to protect US forces and critical interests through dynamic defense in depth.


Unified commanders designate joint force commanders (JFC) and form joint task forces for specific warfighting tasks to execute the unified commanderís strategy. The unified commander assigns missions and resources to the joint force commander (JFC) who develops a concept of operations (CONOPS) to achieve the assigned mission. The CONOPS shapes and guides the operational plan built by the joint force staff, as well as planning by the component commanders of the force. The JFC structures the force around the main effort, using only as many command levels and nodes as are needed to accomplish the mission, organizing the force around Service components, functional components, or a combination of the two 3. The JFCís command structure reflects the mission, the course of action, and the relationship of these functions to the main effort. When the JFC designates an AADC separate from the JFACC, the ACA responsibilities normally remain with the JFACC. Operational planning is based on theater-level guidance, objectives, and methodology as integrated into theater-level operations plans and annexes accessible via the JPN.

When a naval force is the initial element of a developing joint task force, the AADC most likely will develop from the Air Warfare Commander (AWC). The AWC will execute the functions of the AADC in a manner consistent with joint processes and doctrine, enabling a smooth transition to the AADC for the fully developed force. The Navy unit which supported the AADC capability may remain as an RADC after the handover.


The ADP prioritizes the forces and critical assets to be defended in a Defended Assets List and details which tactical commanders are responsible for each of the assets. Operations are normally executed through Service tactical command and control agencies to best integrate the unique training equipment and combat forces of each component in the force.

The AADC is responsible for planning, coordination, and execution of TAMD operations within the theater of operations. The AADC constructs an Air Defense Plan (ADP) to protect the force and vital US interests from enemy air and theater missile operations. Once approved by the JFC, the ADP details the AADCís strategy for defeating the threat from enemy air and theater missile forces. The ADP assigns responsibilities and authority for TAMD within the force and designates the chain of command and supporting relationships within the force. The ADP conveys the rules of engagement, operating procedures, guidance for systems doctrine and network setup, integration of information, C4I requirements, and requirements for TAMD standards and measures of effectiveness (MOE). The ADP prioritizes the forces and critical assets to be defended in a Defended Assets List (DAL) and details which tactical commanders are responsible for each of the assets. TAMD operations normally are executed through the Service tactical commanders and control agencies to integrate each component in a manner making best use of its unique training, equipment, and combat forces to accomplish their part of the ADP. These commanders and their command and control centers implement centralized planning and decentralized execution, command by negation, minimized communications, and planned responses to minimize the complexity of real-time decision-making and increase the effectiveness of dynamic defense in depth. If the AADC delegates authority to RADC(s) and SADCs, these commanders assume the roles outlined above.

The Joint Interface Control Officer (JICO), presently under the AADC, is functionally responsible for the JDN (and by extension the JCTN). The JICO organization must work closely with the information systems manager of the JPN for the force to build and maintain battlespace awareness, particularly where more than one JCTN-enhanced JDN is operating within the joint operations area. The JICO ensures the integrated C4I network effectively supports TAMD operations, including battlespace awareness and battle management, from the JFC to the unit-level. At the very least, the JICO plans, executes, and maintains the interfaces between the various tactical data links used in the force, ensuring smooth transfer of information. Joint C4I is increasingly emerging as a complex, adaptive system, however. The JICO will also need a trained cadre of experts to design and manage the complex interactions between the algorithms ("system doctrine") controlling the automated combat systems4 and those for the JCTN systems (notably the CEC).

4  Representative systems include Aegis Command & Decision, the Advanced combat Direction System (ACDS).

How Joint Forces Conduct TAMD Operations

Dynamic defense in depth is fought across time and distance, engaging the enemy in every phase of his operations throughout the battlespace. Joint forces engage the enemy as a functioning system, overcoming defensive tendencies to react to the enemy as a collection of independent "threats." Dynamic defense in depth keys on the windows of opportunity to disrupt or destroy the enemyís processes. Dynamic defense in depth synchronizes TAMDís operational elements in decisive, high-tempo tactical operations. Tactical commanders and their units integrate their tactical actions, implementing the guidance and requirements from centralized planning. Decentralized execution frees subordinates to adapt combat actions and decisions to exploit the changing situation and report their status and the progress of the battle to the network.

Attack operations and denial of targeting information are the first line in plans for dynamic defense. U.S. attack aircraft and missiles press deliberate strikes against the enemyís air and theater missile forces and their supporting infrastructure. In some circumstances, special operations-capable forces may be considered as a means to destroy exceptionally important targets which cannot be otherwise neutralized. Deliberate strikes complement interdiction missions by strike aircraft and fires to find and engage relocatable and mobile elements of the enemy air and theater missile system. Attack operations may occur anywhere in the joint operations area. They include strikes against hangared aircraft and theater missile reload facilities, deep strikes against production, assembly, and C2 nodes, and battlefield interdiction against short-range theater missile launchers and forward airbases. First-line passive defense measures deny effective targeting information to hostile intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance efforts through camouflage, concealment, and deception.

The second and most important layer of dynamic defense in depth is prompt, decisive action against theater missiles and aircraft in flight. Layering is particularly important to effective active defense, and increasingly extends to long distances inland and to exoatmospheric space. Ideally, forward-stationed Aegis ships and combat aircraft promptly engage theater missiles and aircraft deep in enemy airspace, primarily through network-supported "beyond visual range" (BVR) engagement by air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles. BVR engagement capabilities will be extended by air-directed air-to-air missile (ADAAM) and air-directed surface-to-air missile (ADSAM). In addition to being the first line in multiple engagement opportunities, stand-off, long-range weapons enable prompt, early engagement. Ascent phase interception by Navy Theater-Wide interceptors is the most effective active defense against long-range TBMs. Fighters may be positioned anywhere between the source of the threat and the protected forces and assets. Armed with long-range, mid-range, and short-range air-to-air missiles, they form an exceptionally flexible, strong defense when supported by long-range air surveillance and electronic warfare assets. Surface-to-air missile systems from Navy surface combatants and Marine or Army ground forces also cover a significant portion of the airspace between enemy airbases and launch positions and defended forces and assets, combining dispersed, often overlapping capabilities for point defense and area defense against all threats. Offensive air operations against enemy units detected during launch operations control the tempo of the battle and enhance defensive operations. They ensure prompt engagement of enemy systems by combat air patrol aircraft or naval fires, extending attack operations into the launch and post-launch periods. During this phase, passive defense measures focus on detecting attacks, providing timely warning, and prompt institution of protective measures by unit commanders in the targeted area(s).

Figure 8. Layers of Dynamic Defense in Depth

Reliance on integrated, network-based air and missile defenses is greatest in the terminal areas, when the opportunity for defensive action is rapidly closing. Tested, flexible automated responses programmed into networked air and missile defense systems integrate hard kill and soft kill measures for the most effective force response. They implement the commanderís guidance through carefully analyzed, planned options to simplify decision-making in urgent circumstances. Every unit commander is responsible for passive defense, instituting measures for prevention, protection, and post-attack recovery. U.S. forces use point defense weapons as a last layer of active defense against attacking theater missiles and aircraft, relying on dispersion, mobility, camouflage, concealment, deception, and hardening to minimize the effects of attacks successfully penetrating active defenses. Passive defense measures are exceptionally important if the enemy successfully penetrates active defenses with theater missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction. In addition to protection from immediate destructive effects, passive defense includes physical hardening, damage control, decontamination operations, reconstitution of forces, and recovery of operations.


Naval forces normally are the first complete, integrated, and sustainable combat force to arrive on the scene in conflicts, and are a central force for continuity during developing joint operations. Joint, integrated TAMD operations are one element of integrated U.S. capabilities in network-based warfighting operations. Emerging and developing naval capabilities for sea-based air defense complement other joint capabilities to wage offensive operations ashore. Joint, integrated TAMD is based on a solid foundation in which integrated C4I and information resources manipulated with common tools support forces operating with common doctrine. This plug and fight foundation is catalyzed by a flexible command structure operating with battlespace awareness, enabling concurrent action in integrated airspace. Dynamic defense in depth depends on network-based warfighting, exploiting tailored situational awareness, user-customized decision support, and unified combat action. Dynamic defense in depth synchronizes operations between the four operational elements of TAMD, improving integration of their tactical actions as mutually supportive, concurrent operations. Common doctrine for TAMD unleashes the full power of U.S. capabilities through centralized planning and decentralized execution. Joint forces fight with minimized communications from a foundation of planned responses, sustaining layered defenses against all avenues of approach. The full, focused power of the joint force supports the units engaging the enemy, supported by early identification, classification, and identification, and controlled through command by negation.

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