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Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence

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TRADOC DCSINT. Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. FM 7-100.1. Opposing Force Operations. OPFOR. FM 7-100.1 Opposing Force: Operations Chapter 8 Aviation. Organization Air Force. National-level

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Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff

for Intelligence

U.S. Army

Training and Doctrine



FM 7-100.1

Opposing Force



FM 7-100.1 Opposing

Force: Operations

Chapter 8


organization air force
OrganizationAir Force
  • National-level
    • Air armies subordinate to SHC
    • Includes bombers, interceptors, fighters, EW, transport, & tankers
    • Air-launched cruise missiles range 3000 km +
    • Supports strategic campaign
organization air force continued
OrganizationAir Force (Continued)
  • Theater-level
    • Air armies subordinate to theater HQ
    • Supports theater-level campaigns to ground tactical support
    • Includes fighters, interceptors, and light bombers, fixed & rotary EW, and medium/heavy-lift helicopters
    • Composition varies based on theater’s needs
    • Theater-level aviation fire support assets are part of the IFC
organization air force continued1
OrganizationAir Force (Continued)
  • Operational-level
    • SHC may include Air Force units in the OSC
    • Organized to specific mission
    • Assets for fire support are part of the IFC
organization army aviation
OrganizationArmy Aviation
  • Theater-level
    • Provides reconnaissance, lift, and DAS for ground forces
    • Composition includes aviation brigades and battalions
    • Assets include helicopters, drones, and light/medium transport planes
  • Operational-level
    • Aviation brigade or battalion task organized under OSC
    • Organized to specific mission
    • May provide assets to DTG & BTG
command and control
Command and Control
  • Aviation commanders normally subordinate to theater/OSC commanders and IFC commanders
  • Centralized control due to limited assets
  • Airspace operations subsection at theater, OSC, and tactical group levels has primary staff responsibility for aviation
  • Integrated C2 between air and ground forces enhances planning and preparation
mission requests
Mission Requests
  • Preplanned
    • Planned 24 hours prior to launch
    • Used for static targets
  • On-call
    • Predesignated target
    • Supports maneuver forces not in contact
    • Establishes 4-5 hour window of availability
    • Planned with secondary targets
  • Immediate
    • Limited number of aircraft for unplanned immediate air support
levels of combat readiness


Crew and Aircraft

Duration of Readiness

Time Before Takeoff


Aircraft are fully serviced and armed. Combat crews are briefed on their mission and are in the aircraft ready to start engines. Ground personnel are assisting the combat crews.

1-2 hours




Aircraft are fully serviced and armed. Combat crews are briefed and are on standby in the vicinity of the aircraft, ready to take off within a specified short period of time after receiving a mission order.

2-4 hours




Aircraft are refueled and serviced. Cannons are loaded. External systems (bombs, rockets, missiles, fuel tanks, etc.) are not loaded. Combat crews are designated, but not on standby; they have not been briefed on the air and ground situation, but will be before takeoff.

2-4 days

1-2 hours

Levels of Combat Readiness
  • Aircraft modernization
  • Direct air support
  • Counterair
  • Reconnaissance
  • Electronic warfare
  • Unmanned aerial vehicle
  • Counterair
  • Reconnaissance
  • Counterreconnaissance
  • Direct air support
  • Interdiction
  • Helicopters as maneuver force
  • Combat support & combat service support
principles of employment
Principles of Employment
  • Purpose – focus on task
  • Coordination – with artillery, air defense, & maneuver
  • Concentration of effects – identified goals
  • Economy – use other means if possible
  • Reconnaissance – timely & accurate info
  • Surprise – maximizes effects on targets
  • Responsiveness – agile & flexible assets
degree of airspace dominance
Degree of Airspace Dominance
  • Air supremacy
    • Enemy air force incapable of any interference
    • Ultimate goal of air operations
  • Air superiority
    • OPFOR can operate at given time & place without enemy interference
  • Local air superiority
    • Geographically based
    • Coincides with enemy aircraft downtime, returning sorties, etc.
  • Air parity
    • Equal capability of OPFOR & enemy
    • OPFOR can be negatively impacted
strategic context
Strategic Context
  • Regional operations
    • Air superiority prior to ground combat
    • Apportionment shifted to ground support
  • Transition operations
    • Extraregional enemy cancels OPFOR airspace dominance
    • Air operations shift to access control
    • Support shifts to adaptive operations
  • Adaptive operations
    • Aviation operations severely limited
    • Helicopters dominate
    • Higher level control of aviation assets
aviation summary
  • Air Force
  • Army aviation
  • Command and control
  • Mission requests
  • Levels of combat readiness
  • Capabilities
  • Missions
  • Principles of employment
  • Degrees of airspace dominance
  • Strategic context