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CHAPTER 4

AIR TRAFFIC SERVICES IN OPERATIONS OTHER THAN WAR

Operations other than war are not new to Army Aviation or ATS. The mission may be peacekeeping, nation assistance, support for insurgency and counterinsurgency, noncombatant evacuation, or humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Whatever the mission, complex situations are likely to occur. Operations other than war center on national assistance. Interagency or host-nation airspace control authorities should become self-supporting once these operations are successful.

4-1. SCOPE

a. Missions. The missions of ATS units in operations other than war are the same as in wartime but may not be on as large a scale. The environment, the supported agency or unit, and interface requirements may change. However, ATS units are fully capable of performing their mission during operations other than war.

b. Host-Nation Airspace Systems. ATS units, along with NAS resources of other countries, will be used frequently during operations other than war. In this role, ATS units coordinate and integrate Army airspace user requirements into the host nation's airspace system. Coordination of all airspace activities is essential.

c. Categories. Operations other than war primarily center on supporting US allies. FM 100-20 classifies these operations in four overlapping categories. They include supporting insurgency and counterinsurgency operations, combating terrorism, and performing peacekeeping and contingency operations. Contingency operations include, but are not limited to--

  • Disaster relief.

  • Strikes and raids.

  • Nation assistance.

  • Rescue and recovery.

  • Counterdrug operations.

  • Shows of force and demonstrations.

  • Noncombatant evacuation operations.

d. Future Roles. Many ATS and aviation operations throughout the next decade will involve employment in operations other than war. Commanders must be sure that ATS personnel receive the proper training to perform their mission not only during wartime operations but also during operations other than war.

e. Training. The training of ATS personnel must tie into ATS missions for tactical operations in concert with the FAA and host-nation airspace systems. Personnel assigned to A2C2 positions must be school-trained in airspace management in all military operations. They also must practice A2C2 during major exercises. The need for trained soldiers in control towers, instrument approach facilities, temporary VFR terminal facilities, and flight-following facilities will be ever-increasing. Therefore, commanders must plan for and use ATS assets to perform training missions during peacetime if they expect to be successful during wartime.

4-2. HOST-NATION INTERNAL DEFENSE

During internal defense operations, civilian and military agencies of the United States participate in actions taken by another government. The intent is to free and protect the society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency. These agencies support the host nation so it becomes the primary agent in most actions.

a. Initially, the US directs its effort toward assessing the threat to the host-nation government and US interests. Under the direction of the US, the diplomatic mission leader of the "country team," normally an ambassador, assesses the situation. He then recommends the level of aid, if any, that the US should provide. If the host nation requests support and US interests are involved, US national command authorities may direct the military to participate.

b. Airspace control in this environment focuses mainly on providing ATS and coordinating military airspace requirements with host-nation civil air operations. It also focuses on integrating and coordinating air operations with fire support and ground activities. Expanded ATS can provide greater positive control of airspace. Air traffic regulations and control of civil and military airspace users is the basis for airspace control. In the host-nation internal defense, the ATC system often provides the framework for most of the airspace control functions. The airspace control system may require some changes depending on the situation.

c. Bilateral and international agreements often establish regulatory guidance affecting the use of airspace and the conduct of air traffic activities. Any required changes or waivers to national regulations should be sent to the JFC. Problems that result from restrictions to military operations also should be sent to the JFC. Changes may then be referred to diplomatic channels for resolution.

d. Procedural airspace control plans and measures, such as WFZs, BDZs, LLTRs, and ID requirements, may or may not be required. Threat and friendly ADA system minimum-risk passage requirements and the density of friendly air operations are significant airspace control factors.

e. National sovereignty and host-nation laws and procedures receive first consideration. The airspace control system must be coordinated and integrated with these national procedures. Where these procedures do not support military operations, training must be conducted or host-nation capabilities must be augmented with equipment, personnel, or both. Augmentation is the least desirable course of action. When possible, the host nation must solve its problems within its own resources, which will reinforce its sovereignty and legitimacy.

f. As a rule, threat air defense capabilities do not force friendly air assets into the terrain flight environment. Aircraft normally will operate at altitudes above the effective range of small arms and crew-served direct-fire weapons. The situation will dictate the need for a coordinating altitude.

4-3. PEACEKEEPING FORCES

Peacekeeping forces provide stability and establish conditions that permit the resolution of international or internal political conflicts. Peacekeeping forces are interposed between two or more belligerents. International contingents may compose this force.

a. The terms of reference between the belligerents will govern participation in the peacekeeping mission. These terms dictate how the airspace control function is accomplished and establish the policies and procedures governing the use of airspace. The airspace belongs to the belligerent entities involved. The terms of reference established between the belligerents govern the peacekeeping force's use of airspace.

b. Airspace control activities in this environment are mostly air traffic regulation and control. Special identification procedures and air traffic regulations may require that all flight operations be planned and coordinated with the appropriate ATC systems of the nations involved. All airspace control activities must adhere to ICAO regulatory procedures.

4-4. TERRORISM COUNTERACTION

a. The primary purpose of terrorism counteraction operations is to prevent terrorist acts by protecting personnel, units, and facilities. The measures adopted and carried out by command directives dictate how to use airspace and perform airspace control functions.

b. Terrorism counteraction operations will somewhat overlap all aspects of military operations. The measures taken to counter terrorism can impact ATS. They also impact operations at air terminals, aerial ports, and Army airfields and heliports. The use of restricted areas around sensitive facilities is commonplace.

4-5. COUNTERDRUG OPERATIONS

a. One of the newest threats to US national interest is the drug threat. The illegal drug trade associated with some South American countries has received much attention. The Caribbean Basin is the major transportation network to the US for sea vessels and aircraft.

b. The influence and actions of international drug cartels and their terrorist support structures are clearly threats to the security of producers, suppliers, and users. Their influence and actions corrupt every level of government and society and cross every ethnic, social, and financial boundary.

c. Drug trafficking is linked to terrorist or insurgent organizations such as governments, military police, and societies. As such, drug trafficking is a true form of LIC. Likewise, counterdrug operations and LIC operations are closely associated. Counterdrug operations involve military operations other than war such as a show of force or armed intervention. Therefore, the Army plays a bigger role in counterdrug operations than just supporting law enforcement agencies.

d. Factors that affect counterdrug operations include direction, leadership, and support bases for drug trafficking. The lack of governmental control and a vulnerable population, such as the host nation, are other factors. Commanders should consider all of these factors when they plan and conduct counterdrug operations. Commanders should also focus primarily on the leadership and support bases. Doing so allows the host nation to regain control of the situation and recapture the support of its people.

e. As in the past, ATS units will continue to play an important supporting role in counterdrug operations. The two phases of counterdrug operations are interdiction and eradication.

    (1) Interdiction disrupts or intercepts drug trafficking operations during transport from outside CONUS into the United States. ATS units employ as an independent force to conduct surveillance operations along US borders. They can be integrated into other systems to locate and track suspected drug traffic along identified air avenues of approach. Along with other federal and military agencies, ATS units can provide information on suspected drug trafficking flights. They also can give radar intercept guidance for friendly counterdrug agency air assets.

    (2) Eradication implies that the operations are in OCONUS. During eradication operations, ATS units deploy in much the same way as in other levels of conflict and tactical operations. During these operations, ATS units may employ as part of a joint task force. This task force will provide airspace planning, terminal services, airspace information services, and TACTs at forward areas.

4-6. FORCE PROJECTION OPERATIONAL CYCLE

The force projection operational cycle for operations other than war remains the same as for war. However, the focus of ATS is the airspace environment.

a. During war, airspace control is mostly procedural with some positive control at airfields and austere landing areas primarily in the rear area. Future technological developments may allow greater positive control of battle space.

b. In operations other than war, ATS units use more positive control. Often, ATS contributes directly to the identification of aircraft for the host-nation airspace system. Strict host-nation rules and laws may require that ATS units maintain continuous communications with every aviation mission. Commanders must ensure that ATS personnel are trained and proficient in ICAO rules and procedures.

    (1) ATS terminal operations may be required to support Army Aviation in a variety of missions. Joint, combined, or interagency personnel may share ATS facilities. When Army Aviation performs sustained, high density operations from any airfield or landing area, commanders must consider providing ATS terminal personnel. ATS commanders will coordinate with joint, combined, and interagency personnel to determine employment requirements and conditions for individuals in these facilities.

    (2) Operations other than war require ATS support in interagency airspace infrastructures. Careful attention to detail will help preserve the sovereignty of the host nation.

    (3) In operations other than war, ATS continues operations to support interagency actions. While the type of services provided remain the same, the ACA and the location of ATS assets may differ. The decisive operation may be flight following for aircraft supporting drug interdiction operations.

    (4) The focus remains on the continued security and sovereignty of the supported country during operations other than war. ATS activities may shift to the support of aviation retrograde operations at disembarkation points. The JFC determines whether host-nation assistance with airspace activities is to continue.

4-7. UNIT FUNCTIONS

To integrate Army Aviation with joint, combined, and interagency forces during operations other than war, ATS units augment A2C2 staffs with ATS personnel. These units also perform terminal operations and provide en route assistance and forward-area support. ATS units often perform these functions in host-nation airspace. Therefore, commanders must ensure that ATS personnel are trained to host-nation standards as well as US Army standards.

a. Function 1 (A2C2 Services). ATS planners and airspace users will coordinate and integrate airspace requirements as necessary. Throughout the stages of force projection, Army Aviation must have freedom of movement to accomplish its mission.

b. Function 2 (Airspace Information Services). To provide airspace information services, ATS airspace information centers deploy as required by the situation and the desires of the commander. The following paragraphs discuss airspace information services.

    (1) The primary role of the AIC is to maintain communications with Army Aviation units during their missions. This helps link aviation units with the airspace control system in place. The AIC can flight-follow aviation missions and pass on airspace and weather information and other data useful to the aviator.

    (2) Instead of using host-nation facilities, interagency airspace authorities often make agreements to provide internal flight following for aviation assets. The regional situation and the nature of the strategic and operational intent normally will determine the specific role of the AIC.

    (3) The AIC coordinates airspace information with A2C2 personnel and other airspace authorities as required. In coordination with ATS battalion or company commanders, A2C2 personnel normally determine specific areas of responsibility for the AIC.

    (4) The AIC will continue to support flight following, national assistance, airspace coordination, and A2C2 interface throughout the force projection stages.

    (5) Personnel in the AIC may work together with allied and interagency personnel to train them to use the en route infrastructure.

c. Function 3 (Terminal Services).

    (1) Terminal personnel and equipment must be considered in tailored force packages when Army Aviation performs sustained operations. Terminal facilities deconflict airspace in the terminal area, sequence arriving and departing aircraft, and provide instrument approach capabilities. Therefore, these facilities provide commanders with valuable assistance during any stage of force projection operations. In some cases, national law may require these facilities. ATS units must support aviation assets throughout all stages of force projection. Additionally, coordination with the host-nation and joint airspace authorities must be continuous.

    (2) In some cases, ATS terminal services personnel may need to develop training for allied and interagency personnel. This training helps host-nation personnel become self-sufficient in terminal area operations.

d. Function 4 (Forward Area Support Services).

    (1) The mobility of the TACT allows the commander flexibility during all stages of force projection. The TACT can perform short-term independent operations. With its secure, long-range communications, the TACT is ideal for providing terminal area services at remote, austere landing areas. Most tailored force packages using aviation assets should include TACTs. The TACT provides terminal control and advisory services at any location where Army Aviation requires coordinated movement of aircraft.

    (2) The TACT is task-organized to support aviation operations. Missions may vary from intratheater airlift support to training host-nation military personnel in TACT operations. The focus is always on providing support to aviation; the goal is to ensure coordinated aviation operations at austere landing areas.



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