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FM 6-20-10: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for The Targeting Process



The Army component commander establishes a BCE to act as the coordinating agency between his headquarters and the JFACC staff. The BCE is collocated with the JFACC's senior air operations control agency, normally the AOC. The mission of the BCE is to facilitate synchronization of air operations with ground operations through coordination of air support and the exchange of operations and intelligence data. The BCE is responsible to the Army component commander and coordinates with and receives objectives, guidance, and priorities from his operations officer (G3). On the basis of this information, the BCE represents the needs of subordinate land units for air support.


The following tasks make up the mission-essential task list for the BCE.

  • Provide the friendly and enemy ground situation to the JFACC and AOC.
  • Interpret and relay to the ASOC Army component requests for air support.
  • Help the AOC develop the MAP and ATO to support the Army component scheme of maneuver and plan for FS, EW, and reconnaissance.
  • Serve as the final point for intelligence exchange and coordination between the Army component and the JFACC collection and dissemination systems.
  • Facilitate deconfliction of the Army component and JFACC requirements for airspace.
  • Integrate and coordinate the Army component ADA activities with the JFACC's defensive air campaign.
  • Coordinate airlift support for Army component operations.
  • Provide feedback on the air war to the Army component.


The BCE sections interface with the AOC as depicted in the figure below. BCE sections do not operate independent of one another. They all inform each other of current or future actions requiring immediate or planned coordination. They also must keep the ARFOR staff informed of the same and respond appropriately to ARFOR requests for assistance. The following paragraphs describe functions performed by individuals and sections when working with the AOC and ARFOR. The functions make the BCE critical to planning, coordinating, and executing air and ground operations.

The figure above shows the organization of a JAOC provided by the Air Force as the JFACC. If appropriate, a MARLO, NALE, Navy surface operations liaison element, and SOLE will also join the AOC structure. The Air Force director of combat operations (DCO) reports to the AFFOR deputy of operations (DO) and is the director of the Air Force AOC. Subordinate to the DCO are the chiefs of combat plans and combat operations. The Air Force director of combat intelligence (DCI) reports to the AFFOR deputy for intelligence. Subordinate to the DCI is the chief of the CID who oversees combat plans intelligence and combat operations intelligence.

BCE Chief

The BCE chief is responsible to the ARFOR commander and coordinates with and receives guidance directly from the ARFOR G3. The ARFOR commander informs the BCE of his priorities, guidance, and intentions. The BCE relays the Army requirements for air support to the JFACC and his staff for integration into the air campaign. All preplanned fixed-wing air missions are coordinated through the BCE. Immediate missions are passed to the BCE for coordination only after the ASOC decides they cannot be supported with available ASOC resources.


The primary mission of the BCE plans section is the integration and synchronization of tactical air support planning with the Army forces commander's intent and scheme of maneuver. The BCE plans section is collocated with the AOC plans section and performs the following tasks:

  • Relays, interprets, and coordinates Army requests for air support (for example, interdiction target nominations and preplanned CAS and JFACC requests for support by ground units).
  • Provides the Army commander's intent, guidance, objectives, and priorities for air support.
  • Provides the Army FSCMs, planned concept of operations, OPLANS, OPORDS, overlays, and friendly and enemy order of battle to the AOC.
  • Helps plan, coordinate, and synchronize J-SEAD and EW operations.
  • Serves as the BCE focal point for all ARFOR preplanned targeting operations.
  • Integrates and synchronizes all ARFOR requests for preplanned air support.
  • Ensures an efficient and effective deep operations targeting process
  • Helps develop the ATO.


The BCE intelligence section coordinates with the ARFOR G2 (intelligence) sections to obtain Army intelligence reports and collection needs. It provides the JAOC combat plans intelligence section with information on enemy ground order of battle and assists in developing targets. The responsibilities include the exchange of information to answer CA and BDA questions. In addition, the section performs the following tasks:

  • Provides information on enemy ground order of battle. Helps interpret the information and target development. Validates Army component nominated targets.
  • Processes, justifies, and coordinates Army requests for tactical reconnaissance and EW support.
  • Obtains Army intelligence reports and facilitates the exchange of intelligence data. Coordinates intelligence data for unique targeting requirements.
  • Reviews BDA of current AI targets; makes recommendations on target selection to Army or corps targeting personnel on the basis of CID and/or the intelligence section review of BDA.
  • Review mission reports for Army PIRs.
  • Coordinates ES measures with Army and Air Force EW and EC mission personnel to ensure frequency deconfliction before joint EW operations.
  • Provides information on dislocated civilian interference on the battlefield and other such information to preclude fratricide and unnecessary collateral damage.


The BCE operations section monitors execution of the current joint ATO and coordinates changes to ARFOR targets and priorities that occur during the battle. It is collocated with the AOC combat operations division. Operations stays updated on land operations to include the following:

  • Provide updated information on AI missions and targets.
  • Provide updated information on the current air situation by monitoring sorties of interest to the ARFOR.
  • Ensures that current ATO AI sorties are not canceled or diverted without consultation with the ARFOR.

It provides the ARFOR commander and staff with the following information:

  • Concept of operations and weight of effort for CAS and AI.
  • Target priorities.
  • Tactical air reconnaissance.
  • EW.
  • Battle status.
  • Nuclear weapons employment information of the AOC.

Other tasks performed by the operations section of the BCE are as follows:

  • Monitors execution of the current ATO as it pertains to missions planned against Army component nominated targets.
  • Coordinates all changes that affect the current ATO including diverts, reroles, and cancellations of missions.
  • Coordinates all changes in the Army component current operations, objectives, priorities, nominated targets, and FSCMs.
  • Coordinates surface-to-surface missile strikes as required with the AOC combat operations division.
  • Coordinates with ARFOR, AFFOR, NAVFOR, and MARFOR on all restrictive and permissive FSCMs and NBC operations.
  • Coordinates with GLOs and air reconnaissance liaison officers (ARLOs) to ensure they have the most current information on friendly and enemy ground order of battle.


The BCE fusion section is collocated with the enemy situation and correlation division (ENSCD) of the AOC combat operations intelligence section. It is responsible for maintaining and posting significant ground threat information from all available sources on the BCE situation map. The fusion section also advises and maintains coordination with the JFLCC and/or ARFOR G2 operations section. In this way, a continuous exchange of enough information and timely dissemination of intelligence data are accomplished. The fusion section also performs the following tasks:

  • Ensures the JFACC understands the criticality of nominated targets for the ARFOR commander.
  • Interprets intelligence from a ground battle perspective for the ENSCD and air component commander.
  • Provides GLOs, ARLOs, and the BCE airlift section with periodic updates of enemy ground situation.
  • Ensures timely processing of BDA to the land force headquarters and identifies new targets for attack.
  • Processes land force requests for immediate tactical air reconnaissance and EW support.
  • Provides current land force intelligence picture to the AOC operations division.

Air Defense Artillery

The BCE ADA section coordinates Army air defense matters with the AOC combat plans and combat operations divisions and ARFOR ADA headquarter. The section also performs the following tasks:

  • Represents the Army component in the development of the airspace control order, the air defense plan, and ROE.
  • Informs and advises the land force ASM element and the AOC of the impact of any additions or conflicts on airspace activities and control measures.
  • Schedules Army fixed-wing aircraft into the ATO.

BCE Airspace Management

BCE airspace management section coordinates Army A2C2 retirements with the AOC combat plans and combat operations divisions. The airspace management section also performs the following tasks:

  • Coordinates air defense and airspace requirements with the AOC, Army liaison at CRCs, and the land force air defense headquarters.
  • Coordinates with the AOC, Army component headquarters, and Army air defense headquarters on changes in ROE, identification procedures, air defense warning, ADA employment and deployment, and reporting requirements.


The BCE airlift section is collocated with the Air Force component AME and performs the following tasks:

  • Coordinates and monitors airlift missions, with the JMCC, the theater army movements control agency (MCA), and the ARFOR G3 air and G4 transportation in support of Army component operations.
  • Advises the commander of the airlift forces and his staff on all matters pertaining to kind force operations and intelligence.
  • Provides the location of DZs, LZs, and pickup zones (PZs) including planned activities and control procedures used, to the AME.
  • Monitors publication, distribution, and execution of the airlift ATO.
  • Informs the BCE chief of airlift operations to include the following:
    • Airlift priorities.
    • Number and type of aircraft available.
    • Planned airlift operations information.
    • Number of airlift requests received (preplanned and immediate and/or emergency) and the current status.


When engaged in multicorps operations, each corps provides LO(s) to the BCE to represent the corps interests at the AOC. The LOs help rapidly expedite coordination of air-ground missions and transfer of operational and intelligence data.


GLOs are Army officers who support Air Force numbered air force, fighter wing, theater air control, and airlift units. They primarily advise Air Force commanders on Army organization, operations, tactics, and equipment. They also help the Air Force commander and his staff by coordinating with Army units during joint operations.

The US Army assigns GLOs to designated numbered air force, wing, and squadron headquarters. GLOs are aligned with both ACC and AMC organizations. They are provided by US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). They are permanently stationed with the Air Force unit and function as a special staff element in the unit headquarters. The numbered air force GLO functions as the senior Army officer in the numbered air force structure.

A memorandum of agreement exists between the Army and the Air Force which includes the GLO on mobility requirements for his host Air Force unit. The Air Force unit provides appropriate items of organizational equipment, to include individual weapons. GLOs deploy with their Air Force unit during combat contingencies and will be listed on unit time-phased force deployment lists.

GLOs perform the following duties:

  • Advise air commanders on Army operations tactics, and equipment. organization, operations tactics, and equipment.
  • Help prepare base defense plans and take an active part in defense of the installation in combat situations.
  • Help the air commander in unit training on matters pertaining to support of ground forces.
  • Arrange for liaison visits of Air Force personnel to Army posts and units and coordinate visits of Army personnel to Air Force bases.
  • Help in planning joint training exercises and unit evaluations.
  • Perform the GLO duties specified in AR 611-201, in military occupational specialty (MOS) code 54A5U, during joint exercises.
  • If assigned to numbered air force headquarters, may function as a member of the land component commander's (LCC) BCE located at the JAOC.
  • Continuously examine air-ground procedures of particular interest to aircrews, and recommend improvements, where appropriate, such as the following:
    • Briefings and debriefings.
    • Target designation and identification of friendly troops.
    • Employment attack and/or recon options.
  • Perform duties specified in FM 100-26 as applicable.
  • Coordinate requests for waivers for dangerous and hazardous aircraft cargo (AMC GLO).
  • Administer the Army portion of the AMC affiliation program (AMC GLO).
  • May help the Air Force unit commander by performing additional duties as a member of the operations group staff. (Assuming the tasks assigned are within the capabilities of the GLO, and their execution does not affect his primary mission.)
  • Fly in and become familiar with the primary mission aircraft of the host unit, where possible.

Further information on requirements for ACC and AMC GLOs and their duties is found in the Memorandum of Agreement between the Headquarter of Air Combat Command (ACC), Air Mobility Command (AMC), Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), and Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), for the Assignment Duties, and Support Guidance for Ground Liaison Officers, Theater Airlift Liaison Officers, Tactical Air Control Parties, and Air Support Operations Center Squadrons.


The Army provides air defense LOs to the CRC to aid rapid engagement of airborne targets, Air defense LOS may also be provided to the AWACS to aid the ground-to-air battle.


During contingency operations, passing early warning from AWACS and/or ABCCC to Army ADA units can be done by an Army representative aboard the AWACS or ABCCC. Although not a normal mission for the BCE, personnel trained in AWACS operations can deploy with the AWACS or ABCCC to the objective area. Regardless of who provides the GLO, the GLO should be qualified and empowered to make immediate decisions supporting his commander's intent and guidance. The GLO must maintain a record for follow-up actions, feedback, and reporting on target acquisition, attack, and BDA.

The BCE is not self-sufficient and has no organic transportation. The BCE depends on appropriate elements of the JFACC for all of the following:

  • Quarters and rations.
  • Security.
  • Medical support.
  • Common items of supply.
  • Maintenance and logistics support.
  • Internal communications support in the JAOC.
  • Communications interface with the host JFACC organization.

The BCE must be capable of communicating (voice and data) with Army GLOs stationed with ACC and AMC units. It depends on the appropriate elements of the ARFOR to which it is assigned for the following:

  • Religious and health service support.
  • Legal, finance, and personnel administrative services.

The BCE depends on the signal command designated to support the ARFOR commander for communication support. Under a single corps scenario, the BCE is supported by the signal brigade or battalion that supports the corps. The BCE requires automation systems support which is interoperable with JFACC systems for exchange of the following:

  • Information and requests.
  • Intelligence reports.
  • Air tasking data.
  • Airspace control data.
  • Airlift support information.
  • Logistics data.
  • Air defense data.
  • Fire support information.
  • Operational graphics.

BCE communications and automation systems must be capable of linking with supported ARFOR units.

The supported ARFOR headquarters must provide transportation support for BCE personnel and equipment to the JAOC location. Arrangements may be made with the host JFACC for transportation. Transportation for the BCE must be included in all deployment planning and in the time-phased force deployment data (TPFDD).

The BCE is not robust and may require additional personnel for efficient 24-hour a day operation. Depending on the mission and organization of the ARFOR, augmentation may be needed in the BCE sections whose functions represent the focal point of air-ground operations.

For more detailed information on the BCE, see FM 100-13.


In several scenarios, it is possible, and even probable, that the Navy and/or Marine Corps component could be assigned the JFACC role. In this role, they would be the primary provider of air support to the Army component. Integrating the BCE into the Navy TACS and/or the MACCS is done by task-organizing the BCE on the basis of mission and available space. The Navy uses an afloat Navy TACC to manage naval air assets. The Navy TACC is normally collocated with the SACC aboard the ATF command ship. The Marine Corps uses a Marine TACC to manage Marine air assets. The Marine TACC operates as a tactical air direction center ashore until control of air operations is passed to it by the Navy TACC. The NTACCS and MACC agencies manage air operations inside the AOA on behalf of the CATF and the CLF respectively. The BCE is prepared to deploy with Navy and/or Marine Corps TACC support teams and provide the same interface as with the Air Force AOC. The illustration below shows the relationship of the BCE with Navy, Marine, and Air Force elements.

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