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The Army of the future must deploy on short notice and operate successfully on many battlefields and in many environments. Therefore, we must tailor our forces for contingencies as they occur during war or during operations other than war.

Section I. Operations


a. AirLand Battle Doctrine. AirLand Battle doctrine produced the best trained Army in our nation's history. Applying the tenets of agility, initiative, depth, and synchronization, AirLand Battle doctrine focused primarily on operations in central Europe, the Middle East, and Korea.

b. Army Operational Doctrine. FM 100-5 is the natural evolution of AirLand Battle. Army operational doctrine is designed for an Army that can function well during peacetime and war. Upholding the tenets of AirLand Battle, Army operational doctrine adds versatility. Based on these tenets, the Army must train to proficiency in joint, combined, and interagency operations to perform its mission of providing land forces to deter or win conflicts and wars.


a. Previous doctrine concentrated on the Soviet threat. Today, the US and its NATO allies would have significant warning before the outbreak of a European-based war. European nations would require extensive, visible preparation for such a war.

b. Army operations now focus on regional threats. These threats may pursue their interests through economic, political, religious, or technological factors. Regional powers may decide to conduct insurgencies instead of open aggression. Regional threats try to exploit weak, third-world countries. Other threats, such as narcoterrorists, continue to conduct insurgencies that may threaten US interests. They may try to overthrow friendly governments or deny access to resources and emplace a hostile government to destabilize a region.

c. Major technological advancements are becoming available to more nations. Therefore, we must expect to encounter technologically advanced forces in the future. The developers of new systems must consider threat technology and provide a means to counter and exploit enemy systems.


In the changing world environment, fewer assets will be deployed forward. In the 1990s and beyond, ATS units must be ready to deploy anywhere in the world. As they deploy to contingency theaters, the tenet of versatility requires continued planning for other global missions including operations other than war.

a. Roles. Deployed air traffic service units will function as an integral part of joint, combined, and interagency forces. These units must conduct both opposed and unopposed early entry operations. In some cases, ATS units, in cooperation with joint, combined, and interagency forces, should help develop the airspace structure used for regional stabilization. Chapters 3 and 4 expand the discussion of the roles for Army ATS.

b. Characteristics.

    (1) Tailored force. Commanders must tailor ATS forces to meet global contingencies, and ATS organizations must train to perform mobile, short-notice missions. As a tailored force, ATS supports Army Aviation during all phases of the operational cycle. Commanders must consider ATS capabilities in all deployment scenarios.

    (2) Army airspace command and control. By providing airspace management expertise, ATS units augment the G3 and J3 of the field army and land component commander. These units also augment the battlefield coordination element and the control reporting center at echelons above corps. In addition, they augment the corps, division, and brigade A2C2 element. Augmentation at EAC, corps, division, and brigade A2C2 provides the joint, combined, or interagency interface for ATS systems throughout the theater of operations. This interface must focus on all military operations from warfighting to operations other than war.

    (3) Training. The professional development of air traffic controllers must include training for joint, combined, and interagency operations. ATC personnel must train for operations in the NAS and TAGS. ATC facilities at Army fixed-base airfields, as well as tactical ATS units, must help provide this training base. Commanders at every level must support the training requirement and ensure that ATC personnel maintain their skills.

    (4) Expansibility. ATS forces must be capable of being expanded. Force structure must be based on a modular concept for developing organizations to perform the functions of ATS. The tactical aviation control team is the smallest element that can conduct independent operations for a specified time. ATS forces must be able to perform their functions as part of a small force or a larger, tailored force. Reserve Component ATS assets allow for the expansion of ATS capabilities.

c. Employment. ATS units must be versatile and prepared to meet different contingencies of varying intensity. They also must be able to function as part of joint, combined, and interagency forces. As part of the A2C2 element, the ATS unit is the Army's primary coordination link to the joint integrated airspace C2 system.

d. Limitations. Air traffic services is a limited resource. Therefore, its deployment must provide the ground commander with a decisive advantage. The ground commander deploys these resources after he considers the JFC's concept of operation for the third dimension of the battlefield.

Section II. Operational Concept


The operational concept refocuses doctrine for a strategic Army and a changing environment. This concept considers employment of Army forces in joint, combined, and interagency operations during periods of war and during operations other than war. War and operations other than war are the major components in the range of military operations (Figure 1-1).

a. Peacetime. Peacetime is largely a nonhostile state where military capabilities other than combat power are used. National assistance is the primary objective during operations other than war.

b. Conflict and War.Conflict and war are hostile states where the combat power of military forces is predominant. ATS units conduct their missions throughout the range of military operations.

c. The Army's Mission. The mission of the Army is to achieve deterrence by showing a credible capability to project overwhelming combat power. Global responsibilities and reduced forward deployments require that ATS units organize, train, and equip for rapid deployment of exceptionally capable elements. Units may deploy from both CONUS and forward-stationed OCONUS locations. When the Army deploys as an element of national power, ATS units will provide Army Aviation with a decisive advantage.


a. Conditions. Army operations shape the battlefield by considering technology, force levels, and the importance of operating in regions without continuing US presence. Military operations under these conditions will always be joint and are usually combined.

Figure 1-1. Range of military operations.

    (1) Technology. New technology is becoming increasingly available to more nations. Therefore, Army Aviation must maintain the technological edge to operate in new environments with less visibility. Army Aviation shares airspace with a multitude of weapon systems. ATS units enable Army Aviation to maximize technology by helping coordinate airspace and providing precision recovery capabilities from division to EAC.

    (2) Force levels. Three factors affect force levels around the world. These factors are the changing threat, arms control negotiations, and the cost of maintaining modern armed forces. As battlefields become less dense, technology and mobility dominate a strategy that is more nonlinear.

    (3) Planning focus. Deterring aggression in Europe is no longer the Army's primary warfighting focus. In the 1990s and beyond, overwhelming land power must deter and defeat potential regional threats. These threats could range from narcotics trafficking to insurgencies to a major war involving weapons of mass destruction. Military action must be kept to a minimum while national security goals are met. When called upon, the combat power of the US Army must overwhelm the enemy decisively.

    (4) Total force integration. Future ATS deployments may require significant commitment of forces from the Reserve Component. Commanders must carefully consider the aspects of total force integration. This includes involvement before mobilization to ensure that capstone units are training for the proper missions and tasks. As part of the planning process, commanders must carefully measure the strengths and limitations of Reserve Component elements.

    (5) Combined and joint operations. As shown in Figure 1-2, future ATS deployments will require extensive integration and coordination with joint, combined, and interagency forces. Differences in equipment, procedures, doctrine, and capabilities characterize these deployments. ATS personnel must train to support Army Aviation in this environment.

Figure 1-2. Joint, combined, and interagency operations.

    (a) Theater planning. Army forces participate in joint and combined operations to secure theater-strategic objectives. From a land perspective, the primary focus of joint coordination is on operations affecting the joint battle area. Using guidance in the theater plan, air, naval, and land component commanders develop their plans to support joint and combined operations.

    (b) Air operations. Air operations forces focus on gaining and maintaining early local air superiority over the battlefield and staging operations. They also provide interdiction and close air support. As they approach the joint battle area, air operations forces become increasingly focused on interdiction in support of land forces. Most integrated air and land operations are in the joint battle area.

    (c) ATS operations. The primary focus of ATS units is to support Army Aviation in the joint battle area. The area of military operations dictates specific battlefield geometry. Policies of regional nations may frequently constrain this geometry, but certain battlefield characteristics remain consistent. Future battlefields probably will have more breadth and depth than linear battlefields and concentrate more on the enemy than on terrain.

    (6) Nonlinear warfighting.

    (a) Linear versus nonlinear. The operational commander avoids the attritional nature of linear operations. When linear operations are required, they are limited to areas that create nonlinear conditions, positional advantage, and opportunities to conduct operational maneuver.

    (b) Operational maneuver. Operational maneuver allows the commander to attack selected enemy elements to prevent them from interfering with his plan. It also lets the commander avoid the attrition of mass-on-mass warfare inherent in linear operations. Operational maneuver requires superior intelligence and the ability to shape or condition the battlefield in depth and exploit conditions quickly. When Army Aviation conducts operational maneuver, ATS units play a vital role by integrating aviation airspace requirements through the operational level. Efficient integration of joint, combined, and allied forces in the third dimension of the battlefield is critical to successful operational maneuver.

b. Concept. As previously stated, Army operational doctrine is the evolution of AirLand Battle. Therefore, in a changing environment, the tenets and imperatives of operational doctrine are still fundamental. These operations focus on seeking and taking advantage of nonlinear situations.

    (1) Application. Operational doctrine is a universal concept with implications for offensive and defensive operations on both linear and nonlinear battlefields. It applies to all levels of command and to joint, combined, and interagency operations.

    (2) Joint operations. Army Aviation units will routinely perform missions with joint, combined, and interagency forces. ATS elements support aviation operations in each of these missions. ATS personnel at division, corps, and EAC perform airspace integration with joint and combined forces. They help other members of the A2C2 cell at brigade, division, corps, and EAC to integrate the airspace requirements for joint and combined forces. ATS terminal facilities provide division, corps, and EAC with an instrument recovery capability. Airspace information centers provide airspace guidance and an airspace-management interface. When requested, TACTs provide Army Aviation units with on-the-spot control and advisory capabilities in any environment.

    (3) Initiative. Operational doctrine demands that the initiative be seized and maintained. If Army Aviation is to support ground commanders in achieving this goal, operational doctrine must be integrated into the total airspace environment. ATS personnel in A2C2 elements will help to accomplish this task. Airspace integration of Army Aviation assets span the cycle of planning, execution, and recovery. ATS units must plan to coordinate airspace requirements, provide an interface for airspace coordination during execution, and provide an instrument recovery capability. By performing these services, ATS units help the ground commander seize and maintain the initiative. A2C2 elements enhance initiative through their force protection role by relaying real-time situational awareness. This information is critical to the survival of airspace users.

    (4) Operational focus. Nonlinear operations center on seeking and taking advantage of nonlinear situations. These operations will occur on one extended battlefield and may occur separately in space and time. Linear operations will remain necessary, especially at the tactical level, and will support the goal of nonlinear operations. Critical activities still may occur in a spatial or sequential relationship characteristic of deep, close, and rear operations. To prevent enemy reinforcement, rear area bases must be protected. Critical enemy forces must be attacked in depth and destroyed or neutralized in close battle. Linear and nonlinear operations must be synchronized to accomplish the operational commander's goal of defeating the enemy force.

    (5) Nonlinear battlefield. For ATS, nonlinear operations require well-planned support for aviation missions. In coordination with aviation liaisons, missions are examined to ensure that they are deconflicted with other airspace users. ATS personnel generate airspace requests for missions outside predetermined airspace structures. En route facilities coordinate real-time airspace actions and pertinent in-flight information. The forward-area support service that TACTs provide is well suited for nonlinear operations. These teams provide control and advisory information for sustained aviation operations in the linear or nonlinear environment.

c. Force Projection Operations. Although the stages of force projection operations often overlap in space and time, they follow a general sequence (Figure 1-3). Therefore, commanders should assume no set arrangement of events. Commanders and units must remain sensitive to changing situations and adjust activities as necessary. Nonetheless, conceptualizing a logical flow from phase to phase helps as long as commanders and units remain physically and mentally prepared for changes. The stages of force projection usually include--

  • Mobilization.

  • Predeployment.

  • Deployment.

  • Entry operations.

  • Combat operations.

  • Postconflict or postcrisis operations.

  • Redeployment and reconstitution.

  • Demobilization.

Figure 1-3. Force projection in action.

    (1) Mobilization. Mobilization is the process by which the armed forces augment active components in preparing for war or other national emergencies.

    (2) Predeployment. Successful force projection operations rely on fully trained, well-led, properly equipped, and sustained units and soldiers. All Army units (Active or Reserve Components, CONUS or OCONUS) are an integral part of the force projection strategy. Therefore, ATS commanders must ensure that training is based on the unit METL, which reflects the appropriate mobilization and predeployment tasks. Also, unit training must emphasize and integrate critical aspects of force projection.

    (3) Deployment. The joint operations planning and execution system provides an umbrella for the deployment of Army units. Although sealift and airlift assets are limited, they are critical to the successful projection of the force. The Army makes every effort to integrate the capabilities of the deploying force with host-nation support and forward-presence capabilities to maximize available sealift and airlift resources. Therefore, assets at theater level must be ready to deploy early to perform host-nation interface with existing air traffic systems and subsystems. To support the ground force commander, theater-level ATS units must ensure that joint, combined, and interagency planning includes ATS interest. The ATS force structure will be designed to include the principle of tailoring forces and provide a modular, team-building concept. The smallest element capable of short-term independent operations will be the TACT. In addition to organizational and force structure issues pertinent to deployment, ATSequipment must be sized to meet rapid deployability parameters.

    (4) Entry operations. After deployment, the requirements of entry operations will vary. Entry may be in direct support of host-nation or forward-presence forces and either be opposed or unopposed. Commanders sequence combat and support units into the contingency area to gain and sustain the initiative and protect the force. When they are a part of initial entry forces, ATS units will establish terminal operations at landing areas if needed. These landing areas may be existing host-nation landing areas or captured enemy landing areas (airheads).

    (a) Unopposed entry. Whenever possible, the Army seeks unopposed entry. With host-nation assistance, the Army enters the theater peacefully. Units that deploy early may flow through airports or seaports into a lodgment area from which they will prepare to assist forward-presence or host-nation forces. From there, they can protect the force, reconfigure, build combat capability, train, and acclimate before conducting combat operations. During operations other than war, entry operations normally will be unopposed. However, even in an apparently benign entry operation, the force must be protected.

    (b) Opposed entry. During an opposed entry, deploying forces must land in the theater. An early entry force may have to move immediately to combat operations. They may move to combat operations to take advantage of an opportunity, protect the force, or conduct retrograde operations to gain time for additional force buildup. These situations are likely to arise with little or no warning. Opposed entry operations will require the full synchronization of joint capabilities to place large ground forces in the theater.

    (5) Combat operations. Combat operations often involve the commitment of the ground commander's air assets. Synchronized with other supporting fires, these assets engage the enemy well forward to delay, disrupt, and destroy forces moving toward the battle area. The commander also uses these air assets to counter the insertion of large enemy forces to the rear of friendly combat forces. ATS units must plan to provide--

  • Terminal services in corps and the theater of operations.

  • En route systems throughout the theater area of operations.

  • TACT support throughout the battle area as the ground commander considers appropriate.

  • Terminal systems to deploy within the division area of operations when landing areas are required.

    (6) Postconflict operations. This stage of operations centers on those activities that occur after open conflict ends. Emphasis is on restoring order and reducing confusion following the operation. The postconflict stage also reestablishes the host-nation infrastructure and prepares the forces for redeployment. During this stage, commanders stress activities such as national assistance and civil affairs. Other programs also are stressed that reduce postconflict or postcrisis turmoil and stabilize the situation until the department of state or a host-nation agency assumes control. ATS units will provide airspace information and terminal services to aid in the safe and orderly flow of air traffic until the host-nation can assume ATC responsibilities.

    (7) Redeployment and reconstitution. During this stage, commanders are faced with the same challenge as they were with deployment. The factors of METT-T must be balanced against the available lift assets. Forces and materiel not required for subsequent operations will be redeployed to CONUS or the home theater to prepare for future missions. ATS units will provide terminal services in large assembly areas before air assets are redeployed. Normal theater en route services will remain in place until they are no longer required to support the host nation, joint/combined, or interagency airspace management system.

    (8) Demobilization. Demobilization is the process by which units, individuals, and materiel are transferred from active to reserve status. The overall focus of demobilization normally is on units and individuals. However, the demobilization of logistics also requires supplies, materiel, and support activities.


The threat to our national interests through the next decade most likely will see US armed forces engaged in operations other than war. For Army Aviation and ATS units, this means increased emphasis on operations that support our friends and allies. Peacetime engagement demands new, proactive planning that promotes regional stability to deter conflict. The principles of unity of effort, adaptability, legitimacy, perseverance, restraint, and security guide operations other than war. Chapter 4 discusses ATS units that engage in operations other than war.


Air traffic services must evolve from AirLand Battle doctrine to the force projection doctrine contained in FM 100-5. The principles discussed in the paragraphs that follow support this evolution.

a. Force Projection.

    (1) Deployment. ATS units must deploy early. These units must be included in the initial planning for the area of operations airspace control plan. ATC personnel must be manifested on the same sorties as other joint airspace planners. This allows Army Aviation operational requirements to be included in joint force operations airspace requirements. It also allows joint force operations to be proactive rather than reactive.

    (2) Employment. ATS personnel must be trained to act immediately upon arrival in the theater. Close coordination with liaison officers, division and corps staffs, joint and combined airspace planners, and interagency airspace authorities is essential. Early employment of ATS personnel provides the framework for the arrival and deployment of other airlift assets.

    (3) Timeliness. A2C2, ATS terminal, airspace information, and forward-area support assets should arrive early. This will provide the units that are arriving in theater with effective, coordinated A2C2 planning and execution and air traffic services.

b. Command and Control.

    (1) Airspace control. As a subset of command and control, A2C2 is a command responsibility. ATS units enable Army Aviation to operate in an integrated airspace C2 structure. They conduct careful airspace planning for proposed aviation missions and provide support for mission execution. ATS elements are at all echelons to support airspace C2 requirements.

    (2) Airspace control authority. Appointed by the joint force commander, the ACA is normally the commander with most of the aircraft and the ability to perform C2. The ACA establishes the air operations center, the airspace control system, and policies and procedures contained in the airspace control plan. The ACA authorizes the use of ATS control functions. Therefore, liaison between the ACA and the ATS command and control structure in theater is necessary to ensure that airspace control procedures include ATS procedures. Combat zone airspace control includes coordinating, integrating, and regulating airspace. This increases operational effectiveness by promoting the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace. It also places the fewest restraints on friendly airspace users. Combat zone airspace control gives the commander the operational flexibility to employ his forces effectively in a joint or combined campaign.

    (3) Airspace control plan. The ACA is responsible for the ACP, which details the broad policies and specific procedures to which airspace planners must adhere. The ACP may be published as an annex to the OPLAN/OPORD or as a separate document. ATS involvement in developing the ACP can be accomplished through the airspace management liaison section of the battlefield coordination element. ATS involvement during the development of the ACP also helps ensure that policies and procedures support the needs of the ground commander and reflect the guidance of the JFC.

    (4) Airspace control order. ATS units perform airspace control functions based on the ACO. The ACO outlines approved airspace control measures and other active airspace control procedures. Air traffic services A2C2 personnel coordinate control measures, control functions, and special procedures at all echelons to provide commanders maximum flexibility in employing Army operational assets.

c. Joint Operations. Based on Army operational doctrine, Army forces will be jointly employed in the 1990s and beyond. ATS units and personnel must be trained to integrate with joint forces for all future operations. They also must be capable of providing services for joint aviation assets. In addition, they must participate in joint training exercises to remain proficient in joint airspace control functions. ATS training must support the capability to provide services to joint aircraft that operate in ATS-controlled airspace. However, for ATS elements to retain their ability to operate independently, they must operate in special environments during operations other than war.

d. Combined Operations. Future conflicts will require that ATS function with multinational forces. ATS units at EAC must be able to integrate the airspace requirements of Army Aviation with those of the multinational forces and interagency or host-nation airspace agencies. ATS systems employed in multinational operations must support the full spectrum of equipment capability consistent with the nature of ATS required. For example, if an FM radio is the only radio that a multinational aircraft has, then ATS also must have an FM radio.

e. Logistics. Future engagements will require a robust logistical capability. ATS units must support a proactive, streamlined logistics system that can be easily tailored. ATS equipment must be maintainable through standard Army logistics channels.

f. Interagency Operations. Interagency operations concentrate on support for the host nation. Depending on the supported nation's long-term objectives, the Army's role in these operations will vary. In some cases, Army forces may fall under the control of a civilian authority. Airspace and ATC activities will require close coordination with the host nation's air traffic and airspace control authority. The use of sovereign airspace for various military activities and training usually will require approval from the host nation. ATS commanders must become involved in the initial planning for airspace and air traffic control. They also must ensure that airspace requirements supporting ATS operations are coordinated with and approved by the proper agency.

g. National Assistance. National assistance describes the type of support provided to help nations promote their own sustainment. The goal of national assistance is to help provide long-term regional stability, pluralistic governments, sound democratic institutions, viable economies, and processes for orderly change. ATS units support aviation operations during the conduct of national assistance. These units may participate in the development of a host-nation airspace infrastructure. This may involve training host-nation ATS personnel or aviators in ATS operations and procedures. ATS personnel provide planning, terminal, airspace information, and forward-area support services to aviation assets conducting national assistance.

h. Echelonment. Army ATS is integrated with the theater airspace management structure. ATS units support Army operations at all echelons within a theater. The level of echelonment may vary depending on the size and maturity of the theater. The level also depends on the relative composition of allied and joint forces. ATS units are configured for divisions, corps, and EAC. These units support their respective echelons with a full range of ATS tailored to the assignment.

Section III. Implications of Army Operations


Future doctrine must reflect the continuous evolution of Army operations. All soldiers must practice current doctrine and provide feedback for future doctrine. Future doctrine must support the entire range of military operations, force projection, and decisive advantage.


a. Training prepares soldiers, leaders, and units to fight and win in combat. Individual training must produce soldiers who are disciplined, physically tough, highly motivated, and proficient in battlefield skills. Leader training is essential at every echelon; it is an investment in the Army of today and tomorrow. Unit training must prepare our forces for the rigors of the battlefield. ATS training will focus on joint and combined operations and operations conducted in the integrated airspace control system.

b. In peacetime, the Army must be trained and ready to deter war, to fight and control wars that do start, and to participate in operations other than war. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise in several well-armed developing nations have removed the time buffer that the US enjoyed in the past. That buffer allowed the US to mobilize and train jointly with a combined arms team before engaging in combat or operations other than war. As recent events have shown, the ability of the US to deter attack or act decisively to contain and deescalate a crisis demands an essentially instantaneous transition from peace to war preparedness. Therefore, all Army leaders must understand, attain, sustain, and enforce high standards of combat readiness. The Army can achieve this standard only through tough, realistic multiechelon combined arms training that challenges and develops individuals, leaders, and units.

c. Duty assignments, institutional training, and self-development must evolve with doctrine and technology. ATS training must support not only tactical requirements but all military operations. Leaders must be trained in A2C2 and support Army Aviation in strategic, operational, and tactical environments. Depending on specific operational requirements, commanders must prepare to shift the focus of training rapidly.


a. Organization. Air traffic service organizations must support force projection, versatility, and mobility and be echeloned to support Army Aviation throughout the range of military operations. ATS organizations also must support joint, combined, and interagency operations.

b. Materiel. Air traffic services equipment must be user-friendly for controllers and maintenance personnel. It also must be versatile and easily moved to support flexible activities. Automated systems must enable ATS to integrate into and support the theater air-ground system. The standard Army logistical channels must support ATS systems. Applying the building block concept, these systems must support the force structure that provides the full range of air traffic services to all airspace users.


Tables of organization and equipment for ATS units must remain robust enough to support all aviation activities on a 24-hour basis. Airspace requests and airspace procedures must be simple and practical so ATS personnel can handle them in near real-time. These requests and procedures must support all Army operations.

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