Index FM 100-12 Army Theater Missile Defense Operations

Chapter 5

Attack Operations

This chapter provides a detailed description of Army TMD attack operations at the Army service component and corps level. This includes a description of resources and processes that are basic to attack operations. It also includes tactics and techniques required for effective attack operations.

The purpose of Army TMD attack operations is to destroy the enemyís capability to launch TMs by eliminating his ability to build, distribute, support, and command his TM systems within the ARFOR Commanderís AO. Enemy TM systems and infrastructure must be denied sanctuary anywhere within the theater jeopardizing U.S. forces or objectives. TM infrastructure includes launch platforms, support facilities and equipment, C2 nodes, RSTA, and missile stockpiles. Attack operations are accomplished proactively, before TM launch, or reactively, after TM launch.


5-1. Currently, joint doctrine establishes the boundary of the surface component AO as the delineation of responsibility for conducting attack operations between the JFLCC and the JFACC. Therefore, Army TMD attack operations generally can be conducted out to the maximum range of weapon systems assigned to the ARFOR. Either the ARFOR Commander or the JFACC may request assistance from other services in the conduct of TMD attack operations. The JFC will normally designate surface component commanders as the supported commanders for TMD attack operations conducted within their respective AOs and the JFACC as the supported commander for attack operations conducted beyond surface Aos. However, the JFC will establish supported and supporting relationships as the situation and mission warrant. This arrangement allows any of the component commanders to obtain assistance from one another if organic and supporting assets are insufficient to attack a TM target. For example, if a target within ARFOR AO is beyond the range of Army attack assets, the ARFOR Commander may request assistance from the JFACC to attack it.

5-2. Army TMD attack operations are a subset of deep attack and precision strike operations and use the same processes for the planning and destruction of targets. The major difference between deep attack and TMD attack operations is TMD attack operations may require a faster tempo to engage time sensitive mobile targets. It is only one of many operations that assists the commander in achieving and maintaining agility and initiative, while depriving the enemy freedom to conduct operations. Destroying TMs provides immense leverage against the enemyís plan and disrupts his tempo and synchronization of operations by forcing changes within the enemyís decision cycle. The relentless pursuit and destruction of enemy TM systems and capabilities must be maintained. Integrated Army TMD attack operations requires the integration of intelligence, fire support, Army aviation, EW, air and missile defense, and joint operations. Commanders and staffs must coordinate and synchronize TMD attack operations within the framework of both offensive and defensive operations.

5-3. C4I activities provide for centralized management of planning tasks and functions necessary for attack operations. Intelligence units dispense information for operational missions through the most expeditious communications channels. Decentralized execution improves attack operations responsiveness by allowing rapid dissemination of target information received from acquisition sources and alerts C2 nodes and attack platforms for attack of HPTs. If the commander selects decentralized execution for certain targets, such as TELs, he will designate a subordinate commander as the engagement authority. Decentralized execution will require appropriate sensor processing facilities to be positioned with a subordinate commander having execution authority.


5-4. The D3A methodology is an integral part of the military decision-making process from the receipt of the mission through execution. This methodology organizes the efforts of the commander and his staff to accomplish key targeting objectives (see Figure 5-1). It enables commanders to respond rapidly with synchronized operations to events vital to establishing favorable conditions for mission accomplishment. The D3A methodology is a process that helps the commanders structure attacks of HPTs (e.g., TM targets) and creates a favorable battle tempo for friendly forces, particularly at decisive points and times during attack operations.

Figure 5-1. Decide, Detect, Deliver, Assess Process

5-5. This methodology requires extensive lateral and horizontal coordination, which the staff does, based on the commanderís intent. In planning operational fires, both ground and air component commanders consider the effects that all fires have on decisive combat operations. Targeting for TMD attack operations uses the same process as all deep attacks. The D3A process fully supports TMD attack operations.


5-6. In the Decide phase, targets are identified for engagement. Fire support, intelligence, and operations personnel decide what targets to look for, where the targets can be found on the battlefield, who can locate targets, and how the targets should be attacked. Together, they determine the available assets to be allocated and additional assets required, and they identify channels needed to provide acquisition information on a near real-time basis.

5-7. The Decide phase requires close interaction among commanders and the intelligence, plans, operations, and fire support cells. The goal of the Decide phase is to provide a clear picture for the tasking of sensor systems, information processing, selection of attack means, and the requirement for BDA. A commander may designate specific firing units or other attack assets to support organizations conducting TMD operations. Commanders and fire support coordinators (FSCOORDs) determine the method of control (centralized versus decentralized). Once specific targets are determined and units are assigned to engage the targets, munitions must be allocated accordingly. This is to ensure that firing units have the right munitions on hand to execute the mission at the right times.


5-8. The Detect phase is designed to acquire the targets selected in the Decide phase. In this phase, target acquisition assets are focused on specific areas of interest. Targets must be monitored after detection, especially mobile targets.

5-9. During the Detect phase, sensors search designated areas (NAIs, TAIs and engagement areas) for HPTs. As information is collected, it is processed in the ACE and fused targetable intelligence is produced. Some detected TM targets may not be engaged immediately. Such targets must be continuously tracked by sensor systems until such time as they are attacked.

5-10. Because of target location errors (TLEs) associated with identification of initial launch point and the short dwell time of some TM ground launch systems, engagement at the launch point may not be a viable option. With the fielding of enhanced sensors, the attack of launch sites is more effective. Additional sensor systems will be used to locate the targets accurately. If the TM target is ground based, the preferred scenario is for a sensor system to track a vehicle or convoy from the launch point back to its hide point or rearm/logistics support node and engage the target at this location. This makes for a more lucrative target to attack.


5-11.The Deliver phase is the attack of specific threat targets, in accordance with the established commanderís attack guidance.


5-12. Assess is timely and accurate estimate of damage resulting from the use of military force, either lethal or nonlethal, against a target. Although primarily an intelligence function, it requires extensive coordination with operational elements to be effective.

5-13. The Assess phase provides feedback regarding whether or not the commanderís guidance has been met. Attack operations elements that attack with "eyes on target" (i.e., Army aviation, SOF, other services fixed-wing aircraft) can perform BDA during the attack mission and provides the commander with the quickest feedback. When there is no surveillance on targets or no confirmation that a target was destroyed, a BDA mission may be required. The request for the mission will be made and can be accomplished by intelligence sources ranging from strategic to tactical sources such as UAVs. The results of the BDA mission may determine whether or not a restrike is required.


5-14. Army TMD attack operations must interface with joint organizations at both the service component and the JFC level. The JFC has, or may designate, a representative to plan and coordinate TMD attack operations.

5-15. The ARFOR Commander ensures unity of effort and purpose by organizing fires in his AO. The ARFOR staff is a major planner of operational fires and allocator of fire support resources. The ARFOR allocates or controls resources, designates missions to subordinates, attaches forces, establishes support relationships or controls usage, specifies the degree of risk, and retains systems control. A primary consideration is the allocation of scarce operational fires resources.

5-16. The ARFOR Commander and his staff play a major part in coordinating joint and multinational assets. Under the guidance of the JFC, land, air, and maritime components execute major operations designed to attain strategic objectives. This process entails component coordination and cooperation in the employment of all fires.

Army Air and Missile Defense Command

5-17. The AAMDC provides the ARFOR with the ability to exercise control of assigned air and missile defense assets if required during force projection entry operations. During this phase, deploying forces build up and expand their lodgments and move to tactical assembly areas. The AAMDC ensures enemy TM assets are targeted and "on-order" fires are planned against these targets.

5-18. As the theater matures, the AAMDC fuses and synchronizes battlefield situation information for the ARFOR. This adds value to the contributions of other battlefield operating systems. The AAMDC displays status, locations, and engagement capabilities of the designated assets responsible for conducting TMD operations. The AAMDC interacts with the fire support system to ensure TM marshaling areas, assembly points, and launch locations are part of the overall fire support plan.

5-19. The AAMDC will deploy LNOs to appropriate TMD elements during deployment and entry operations to enhance the coordination and communication between these elements and the AAMDC throughout the conduct of TMD operations.

Battlefield Coordination Detachment

5-20. The ARFOR Commander effects coordination with other services through joint service liaison elements. The ARFOR Commander provides the BCD to the service component commander designated as the JFACC, and co-locates it with the JAOC. The BCD expedites the exchange of information through face-to-face coordination with elements of the JAOC. The JAOC is the operational facility in which the JFACC centralizes the planning, direction, and controlling functions over all combat air resources. In order to integrate the TAMD battle, the BCD supports the ARFOR TAMD Cell/ADE responsible for TAMD in theater. The ARFOR Commander specifies the role of the BCD to help in coordination of TMD attack operations with the JAOC. Once the AAMDC deploys to theater, it will assume the functions of the ARFOR TAMD Cell, and the BCD will support the AAMDC in TAMD

5-21. The BCDís basic mission is to facilitate the synchronization of air and ground operations. The BCD represents the ARFOR Commander; coordinates with the ARFOR staff; and receives ARFOR Commander objectives, guidance, and priorities through the ARFOR operations center (G3). Specific missions include:

5-22. Historically, the BCD has worked with the Air Force Forces (AFFOR) in this coordination role, but with the changes in world environment and joint doctrine, the Army BCD can expect to work in contingency operations with the Marine Forces (MARFOR) and Navy Forces (NAVFOR). (See FM 100-13 for detailed information on BCD operations.)

Deep Operations Coordination Cell

5-23. The DOCC plans, coordinates, and synchronizes Army deep operations. The purpose of the DOCC is to provide a focused, centralized planning and coordination element for all deep operations, which includes attack operations. The DOCC is involved with all deep operations involving field artillery, aviation, air and missile defense, intelligence, SOF (if tasked for specific missions), and ground maneuver units. The DOCC ensures effective and efficient employment of critical assets and synchronizes Army efforts with joint operations. This includes recommending the pairing of attack assets with targets and the coordination of assets to interact with and support each other. The DOCC orchestrates the efforts of the ARFOR staff normally associated with deep operations and must also coordinate with other staff elements. This includes the AAMDC, BCD, G2, G3, Army airspace command and control (A2C2) element, special operations coordinator (SOCOORD), FSE, engineers, and representatives from joint forces. The DOCC maintains situational awareness through use of a common database and fully automated decision aid tools that contribute to rapid planning and coordination. The goal of the DOCC is to provide effective, timely coordination, synchronization, and employment of assets dedicated to the prosecution of the deep attack battle within the ARFOR AO.

Attack Operations Elements

5-24. Army attack operations units do not normally exist at the EAC level. Attack operations at EAC level consist of planning and coordinating within Army and joint organizations. This includes planning and coordinating air interdiction operations within the ARFOR AO. To provide the JFC with a capability to conduct TMD attack operations early in a campaign, consideration must be given to packaging and deploying a TMD task force with TMD capable fire support and combat aviation units with their appropriate control and support requirements for early entry into a theater. They provide options for conducting attack operations early in force protection. This package includes field artillery assets, attack helicopters, intelligence and electronic warfare (IEW), SOF, and active defense assets. The presence of Army tactical missile systems (ATACMS) or attack helicopters early in the introduction of forces provides the capability to conduct attack operations. Interdiction operations are employed to keep friendly forces outside the range of enemy attack systems. This attack operations strike force could conduct operations under the operational control of a DOCC.


5-25. For TMD attack operations, as well as other missions, early planning occurs prior to force projection. Subordinate units receive a general mission statement and probable force package. Units plan for wartime missions based on the force package. This planning begins with initiation of the IPB process. IPB may include analyzing enemy TM capabilities, identifying likely TM launch areas, determination of area limitations, etc.

5-26. As a result of this initial IPB during early planning, decisions are made concerning targets; conditions for attack; and asset assignment for surveillance, target acquisition, deconfliction, suppression of enemy air defenses, and attack. Asset assignment accounts for the varied contribution of each of the available attack means. For instance, Army field artillery rocket and missile units contribute to TMD attack operations capabilities by providing accurate firepower against TM targets of known location or those with short dwell times at known locations.

5-27. Army aviation contributes to TMD attack operations capabilities by providing attack helicopters to locate and destroy targets within generally defined search areas. Attack aviation is employed when precise target location is not known (i.e., when the targets must be hunted and destroyed). Selection of attack helicopters for attack operations may take the form of initiating a new mission or diverting a mission already under way. If a new attack mission is generated and attack aviation forces have not been launched, time will be required for mission preparation. Some aspects of mission preparation include intelligence updates and planning ingress and regress routes. Army aviation has the capability to provide immediate BDA.

5-28. SOF may contribute to TMD attack operations capabilities by deploying in theater to conduct unconventional warfare (UW), which may include special reconnaissance (SR) or direct action (DA) missions directed specifically against TM-related targets.

5-29. EW directed against enemy TM C2 infrastructures contribute to TMD attack operations by disrupting the enemyís ability to communicate necessary TM commands and/or information.

5-30. Air interdiction, provided within the ARFOR Commanderís AO by supporting air units, can contribute to TMD attack operations by locating and destroying the TM targets that cannot be engaged by organic Army assets.

5-31. One of the most important aspects of TMD attack operations is the counter-RSTA fight. If timely enemy intelligence on friendly troop concentrations and movements are denied, the threatís use of TMs on friendly tactical targets can restricted. Counter-RSTA includes destroying threat intelligence communications and analysis nodes on the ground and the actual intelligence collectors. These collectors include satellites and air breathers such as UAVs or reconnaissance aircraft. Ground collectors include reconnaissance assets from tactical levels, strategic level SOF, and insurgents.

5-32. Also during early planning, unit commanders recommend time-phased force deployment list (TPFDL) priorities for their units. These commanders and their staffs also plan Class V configuration and sustainment and develop target management and numbering procedures.

5-33. Finally, all Army TMD attack operations capabilities are exercised during staff, CP, and field exercises; integrating collected and analyzed intelligence as appropriate and emphasizing rapid reaction targeting and sensor-to-shooter links.


5-34. Mobilization is a process in which the armed forces augment the active component capability in preparation for war and other national emergencies. As the operational tempo (OPTEMPO) in a theater of operations increases, NCA will determine the necessity to mobilize forces. The predeployment phase of force projection operations relies on a foundation of fully trained, well-led, properly equipped, and sustained units and soldiers to conduct TMD operations.


5-35. During mobilization and predeployment, planning cells in units at all levels prepare OPLANs/OPORDs. Specifically, attack operations-capable units prepare OPLANs/OPORDs in accordance with prioritized target lists and JFC-approved airspace control procedures and measures. As part of this preparation effort, units conduct detailed planning in coordination with AAMDC and DOCC to integrate attack operations with joint and multinational forces as well as provide input to the AAMDC and DOCC for attack operations ROE development.


5-36. Attack operations forces task organize in support of OPLANs and OPORDs. The appropriate mix of attack systems and intelligence assets are placed high on the TPFDL, based on METT-TC. Factors influencing TPFDL placement include criticality of protecting deploying forces, critical assets, locations (e.g., APODs, SPODs, logistic centers, and staging areas), and geopolitical centers during initial force projection entry operations.

5-37. SOF teams will deploy into an AOR early. These teams deploy from JSOTF assets and require no changes to any Army unit planning headquarters. Employment of SOF teams is a JFC option when other strategic assets (e.g., national intelligence assets, Air Force, or Navy) cannot unilaterally accomplish the mission(s). Since there are a limited number of teams and long-range infiltration platforms available, SOF teams are considered only for the highest priority targets. If a corps is the major maneuver unit in theater, the corps can request SOF support. This support may be in the form of a SOCCE, established from within Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) assets, to coordinate with the DOCC. A corps may request SOF be employed for a specific mission of short duration. However, the mission must be one that only SOF is capable of conducting and the corps cannot accomplish because of organic asset limitation. SOF teams assigned SR or DA missions move into place and report, as their missions require or allow, to the SOCCE/JSOTF. The SOCCE then coordinates any intelligence data with the ARFOR.


5-38. The Army makes every effort to integrate the capabilities of deploying forces with host nations and forward-presence capabilities to maximize the available air and sealift assets. The requirements of entry operations following a deployment will vary. Entry may be in direct support of host nation or forward-presence forces conducting TMD operations.


5-39. Attack operations are planned and may be executed during deployment or entry operations stages. Units designated for attack operations missions immediately interface with sensor platforms and C2 nodes upon arrival in theater. On order, these units deploy from lodgment or assembly areas into pre-determined areas and orient on search areas and TAIs. This allows rapid deconfliction and fire support coordination prior to trigger events.

5-40. The IPB process has provided likely TM launch areas, area limitations, and prediction of enemy activities. Sensor collection tasks are modified based on the collection plan developed from the IPB. A multi-platform sensor mix is employed, providing tremendous capabilities and emphasizing acquisition of all parts of the target array (launchers, C2, logistics sites, and RSTA). They enhance target acquisition capabilities through real-time exchange of target information among the sensors (tip-off, confirmation, location refinement, and counter deception), and between sensors and shooters to meet the critical timelines. Trigger events or significant actions that might key the decision to attack, such as TM launches, should be identified.


5-41. TM attack operations can be proactive or reactive. The execution of attack operations spans the entire spectrum of Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine, and multinational capabilities. Situational awareness and diligent monitoring of enemy operations will provide the catalyst for the onset of attack operations.

Proactive Attack Process

5-42. Proactive attack operations are the preferred method for conducting attacks against the enemyís TM capability. Proactive attack operations deal with the acquisition and attack of TM threats that are within the ARFOR AO before they can be used against friendly forces or activities essential to friendly operations. Proactive acquisition and attack of relevant HPTs is most challenging for sensors and target analysts since there may be few observable events to trigger an engagement. Other factors that impact proactive acquisition and attack ROE are the enemyís use of decoys and deception. One capability to locate and identify TMD structure, targets, and TELs is provided by SOF.

5-43. The proactive engagement process begins when sensor platforms identify a TM target(s) such as TELs, support facilities and equipment, C2 nodes, RSTA assets, missile stockpiles, and manufacturing and transportation assets. Once an intelligence analyst identifies a TM target on the high payoff target list (HPTL) that meets the attack guidance matrix (AGM) requirements and targeting standards, the target is forwarded to the DOCC for prosecution. If the TLE exceeds the established standards and it is a HPTL, the ACE attempts to re-task an available sensor to refine the TLE. Once refined, the updated target is sent to the DOCC for prosecution or monitored until the TLE threshold is acquired.

Reactive Attack Process

5-44. Reactive attack operations involve the acquisition and attack of TMs and TM infrastructure after they have been fired. Reactive attack operations may be warranted any time that TM infrastructure can be identified after a missile launch. Reactive engagement of TELs may take place during post firing phase but before launcher displacement. Engagements may also take place after launcher displacement.

5-45. The process begins when sensors detect a TM launch. Multiple systems generate warning messages, which are issued to the force based on the predicted impact area. Based on the launch point ellipse provided by sensors and terrain delimitation analysis, the ACE forwards a target nomination to the DOCC. The target is passed digitally from the ACE to the DOCC. Exactly when the launcher is attacked is based on METT-TC, acquisition assets, and attack assets. Reactive engagement of TM targets may be extremely time sensitive if the target involves individual, or a small number of vehicles or equipment, and is most stressing on the sensors, C4I system, and the attack systems employed. Whether proactive or reactive, the DOCC targeting officer confirms the target meets attack criteria. The selection of an attack operation asset is based on pre-determined criteria published in the AGM/HPTL.

Centralized Attack Operations Execution

5-46. During centralized execution, the DOCC controls and coordinates all deep fire. The distinct advantage to centralized execution is that the DOCC has the most accurate "big picture" of the status of corpsí deep strike assets, their positions, and availability. The corps DOCC is also best able to deconflict multiple attack assets attempting to engage the same target, as well as to conduct the proper Integrated Combat Airspace Command and Control (ICAC2) coordination procedures.

5-47. Detected TMD targets are sent to the DOCC from a variety of sources (e.g., the AAMDC, BCD, SOF, ACE, etc.). If all attack operation assets are unavailable, the DOCC must first consider diverting attack assets (Army and other services) already in the vicinity of the target.

5-48. Field Artillery. If ATACMS has been selected to engage a target and is equipped with the ASAS/Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS), the following actions occur. The AFATDS will deconflict the target automatically, if it duplicates another request for fire or another active mission. It will automatically check the target nomination against the HPTL, ensure that the sensorís TLE is acceptable for attacking the target, ensure that the target decay time has not been exceeded, and check for violations of fire support coordination measures (FSCMs) or unit boundaries. It is important that air corridors are properly activated and inactivated within the AFATDS to ensure proper airspace coordination, particularly with Army aviation assets.

5-49. If the fire request violates any control measure or commanderís guidance, the AFATDS will recommend that the operator either deny the mission or request clearance/coordination from the unit that established the control measure. This can be done digitally through AFATDS.

5-50. If the fire request is cleared, the AFATDS will produce recommended engagement solutions based on the AGM, the firing units availability, and range and munitions availability.

5-51. The AFATDS will also calculate target area hazard (TAH) and platoon area hazard (PAH), and automatically transmit them to the AFATDS at the BCD (if equipped with AFATDS). This serves as either a primary means of notification for airspace clearance or a redundant back-up for existing cleared areas.

5-52. If the postured launcher tactic is used, the AFATDS operator must refine the target location in the active mission of the "hot" unit and change the method of control to "when ready."

5-53. If the DOCC is equipped with Automated Deep Operations Coordination System (ADOCS), the fire request is received in ADOCS, and the target is manually checked against a map and overlay (or graphics workstation screen) for violation of boundaries or FSCMs. The target nomination is also checked against the AGM and HPTL posted above the workstation. Concurrently, the mission appears on the ADOCS screen of the A2C2 and Air Support Operations Center (ASOC) workstations for airspace clearance/coordination. Once these workstations have cleared the mission, a firing unit is selected based on availability, range, and munitions availability.

5-54. The ADOCS can also conduct "weapon-target pairing." If a launcher is oriented on a target using the "stay hot and shoot fast" tactic, ADOCS will fuse the refined target location into the active mission of the "hot" unit and automatically change the method of control to "when ready." The mission can then be sent digitally through the field artillery (FA) brigade TOC to the MLRS battalion, battery, and ultimately to the launcher. This mission thread tends to take longer to process than a quickfire channel directly from the DOCC to the firing unit. A quickfire channel provides the quickest mission time and should be considered based on METT-TC and the need to rapidly engage critical short dwell targets. If required, ACE may request a BDA mission. A re-strike decision is made by the DOCC in accordance with BDA requirements, the target importance, and BDA results.

5-55. Aviation. Although Army aviation is not an asset normally assigned a TMD mission, if attack helicopters are requested, the DOCC Army aviation officer, normally the aviation brigade commander, approves the mission. The aviation brigade staff then coordinates it as either a new mission or diverts a mission already being executed.

5-56. The aviation brigade staff plans and coordinates the mission with the corps staff and, if authorized, coordinates directly with the AAMDC. The size of the attacking force is determined in accordance with METT-TC, however a battalion-sized unit is the lowest level tasked to support a mission. Immediate employment will be execution of an OPLAN or a deviation of an OPLAN. The executing aviation battalion, which was identified previously in the Decide phase, most likely will employ elements postured at a heightened state of readiness. In the case of diverting a helicopter unit on a deep strike mission, the aviation brigade/battalion must direct the unit and coordinate to avoid enemy ground and air defense elements and friendly (joint) free fire areas or kill boxes. The aviation brigade staff coordinates search areas, routes of ingress and egress, and forward assembly areas (FAA). They also appropriately designate restricted fire area or restricted operations zone (ROZ) control measures to be activated upon execution of the OPLAN. One or more attack helicopter battalions may be placed in an OPCON command relationship to the commander of a coordinating headquarters in support of TMD attack operations, and under some circumstances (for example, in entry operations), the aviation staff(s) may interface directly with the coordinating headquarters. The aviation unit(s) is dependent on the headquarters for coordinating with joint assets for intelligence products and sensor tasking, fire support, airspace, and ground space for positioning forward arming and refueling points, if required, and FAAs. The current method of coordination is through face-to-face interactions, written documents/overlays, and voice communications. Organic ACUS or ultra high frequency (UHF)/tactical satellite (TACSAT) radios may be the medium for communications. After the aviation unit departs to attack the target, the unit should maintain the capability to communicate directly with a sensor (platform or processing station) for intelligence updates. Additionally, if direct coordination between the aviation brigade and the AAMDC has been authorized, direct communication should be maintained between the aviation brigade and the AAMDC.

5-57. Airspace deconfliction and fire support will support the aviation mission. Fire support assets will plan and execute JSEAD missions to protect the ingress and egress of the aviation elements. In all cases of aviation employment, the DOCC closely monitors attack operations missions until return of all helicopter assets to friendly territory.

5-58. As a matter of standard procedure for all deep operations, crews will video record engagements and forward the videos to higher headquarters for BDA assessments. Aviation units have the capability of providing immediate and accurate BDA on targets engaged. If required, ACE may request a BDA mission. A re-strike decision is made by the DOCC in accordance with BDA requirements, the targetís importance, and BDA results.

5-59. Special Operation Forces. If the ARFOR nominated target fits the criteria for a SOF mission profile, it is passed to the Joint Forces Special Operations Component Commander (JFSOCC)/Special Operations Center (SOC) at which time deliberate special operations targeting and mission planning procedures as outlined in JP 3-05.5 will occur. A special operations mission-planning folder (SOMPF) will be developed or updated. The SOMPF will support theater contingency plans on nominated and approved potential targets. These might include factories, warehouses, assembly plants, enemy C2, or other key nodes in support of TMD operations. The JSOTF will then allocate the SOF assets necessary to service the target. DA missions can be terminal guidance operations (TGO) with fixed or rotary-wing assets, naval gunfire, or FA. Special operations aviation (SOA) may be used or SOF teams may attack TMD infrastructure by themselves or in conjunction with indigenous resistance forces. SR missions may be conducted to pinpoint TELS or to report on LOCs used for transportation of enemy units. SOFs are CINC or JTF assets and require joint level resourcing for logistics, intelligence, and infiltration. Most likely this infiltration follows insertion by JSOTF assets. If SOF is designated to conduct a DA mission and a SOCCE is established for the corps, further actions are coordinated between the DOCC and SOCCE as required.

5-60. Electronic Warfare. If EW is the appropriate attack system selected, an intelligence analyst identifies the location of a TM target and frequency(ies) being used by analyzing signal intelligence (SIGINT) sensor data. If the intelligence analyst is at EAC, the target and location are passed to the ACE and DOCC. The DOCC targeting officer confirms the target meets attack criteria. The DOCC determines EW to be the appropriate attack systems to engage the target. The DOCC then routes the EW mission request to the ACE for coordination of the EW mission.

5-61. Air Interdiction. If fixed-wing aircraft are the weapon systems selected to conduct TMD air interdiction missions, an intelligence analyst identifies the general location of a stationary or moving TM target by analyzing sensor data. If the intelligence analyst is at EAC, the target and location are passed to the ACE and DOCC. The DOCC targeting officer confirms the target meets attack criteria. The DOCC commander determines that no Army attack operations resources are available for the mission. The DOCC commander then requests support from the JFACC through the BCD or the ASOC. The ASOC supports the corps by coordinating joint air support missions between the JFACC and the Army.

Decentralized Attack Operations Executed

5-62. Responsiveness may be improved by tailoring shorter paths from target acquisition sources through lower level attack C2 nodes to the attack platform. If the commander desires decentralized execution of high priority, time critical targets, he will designate a subordinate commander (unit) as the execution authority.

5-63. During decentralized execution, sensor systems detect and track targets from launch to hide or reload sites. The tracking operation is monitored by the CGS located at the artillery brigade or battalion. When the target stops moving, the target description and location are passed directly to the artillery battalion TOC. A fire mission is generated by the battalion and passed to the firing unit.

5-64. Decentralized control of fires can also be conducted using artillery-locating radars. These radars will compute a missile or rocket launch location that may be used to engage the target.

5-65. Decentralized execution can provide a streamlined or even a "sensor-to-shooter" mission thread. The advantage is clearly a more rapid capability to engage time-sensitive target (TST) sets. The disadvantage is the limited capability of a brigade or battalion to deconflict a target with other shooters trying to engage it. The other disadvantage is that they also lack the capability to conduct ICAC2. As a result, it is important that the corps DOCC work closely with the decentralized "executor" of fire missions to ensure ICAC2 procedures are maintained and to prevent target duplication. However, the disadvantages may be acceptable and decentralized operations appropriate when attacking TSTs that are high enough on the JFCís priority list.

5-66. Decentralized execution of fires must remain within the confines of the commanderís intent. Detailed guidance on the HPTL and AGM must answer who, what, where, when, and why of target engagement to ensure target execution supports that intent.

5-67. Selection of other attack operations means (e.g., attack helicopters) to perform a hasty attack is also plausible given the availability of that means and direct communication between the attack element and a sensor platform or intelligence processing station for intelligence updates. Other factors (e.g., compromising the location of an attack element) may also influence this selection.

5-68. Concurrent with attack operations, execution during this stage includes planning for decisive operations. A deliberate program of operations is planned to provide continuous attack of the enemyís TM systems. Aggressive target acquisition is planned and conducted so that TM systems and support organizations are systematically pursued and destroyed according to the JFCís concept and priorities.


5-69. In operations involving combat, the JFC will decide at some point to move against the enemy. This point may be predetermined and stated in the campaign plan, or it may be tied to specific enemy actions.


5-70. In order to paralyze the enemy and rapidly gain the initiative for friendly forces, commanders normally seek to engage enemy forces simultaneously throughout the depth and space of the AO. Therefore, attack operations-capable units should continue to plan for and execute TMD attack operations while simultaneously supporting the close battle.


5-71. Whereas overall TMD operations may vary depending upon enemy TM activities, TMD attack operations execution during decisive operations remains essentially as described in deployment and entry operations.


5-72. Having recovered (if required) to a previously attained high state of readiness, attack operations elements (FA, aviation, and SOF) continue their missions in accordance with original or revised ROE. SOF usually exfiltrate unilaterally upon completion of the mission. Attack operations-capable units plan redeployment. Attack operations-capable units redeploy and reconstitute to achieve readiness status.


5-73. Units submit TMD attack operations lessons learned to higher headquarters and resume training. Should hostilities resume, attack operations-capable units may be required to execute TMD attack operations.