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A characteristic of the US Army's warfighting doctrine is its offensive spirit. To conduct successful battles and engagements, US forces must gain the initiative and thus set the terms of battle. This requires an increased emphasis on the principle of maneuver.

The ability to maneuver allows the Army to place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power. Airspace provides an added dimension to maneuver by supporting firepower, protection, intelligence, and air operations. The use of airspace to enhance maneuver requires its unconstrained use by all elements of the combined arms and supporting services.

Airspace control promotes the effective, unconstrained, safe, and flexible use of airspace. The Army airspace command and control (A²C²) system is responsible for accomplishing the airspace control function.

FM 100-103 embodies the Army's doctrinal tenets for airspace control. It establishes the requirements, principles, and methodology governing the conduct of the airspace control function. It also describes the A²C² system in terms of its organization, staff functions, and techniques and procedures, as well as its information and interface requirements. This manual is consistent with, and expands on, joint service doctrine.

This FM focuses on the Army's requirements, procedures, and command and control tasks involved in the planning, coordination, and execution of the airspace control function. It covers each echelon of command from maneuver battalion through the theater land component. This manual applies to US Army forces in varying levels of conflict and geographical environments. Within selected theaters and commands, specific factors such as command and control, and host nation arrangements with allies, may require local modification to the A²C² system and its procedures.

Army airspace command and control replaces the term "airspace management." The use of the term "Army airspace" does not denote that any airspace contiguous to the battlefield, or any other geographical dimension of airspace, is designated Army airspace. Airspace is considered a joint medium for all friendly combatants. Accordingly, each component of the joint force may operate aerial vehicles and weapons systems within the airspace with maximum freedom consistent with the priorities, degree of risk that is operationally acceptable, and intentions and warfighting perspective of the joint force commander.

This publication implements the following standardization agreements:

STANAG 3805 (TA) Doctrine and Procedures for Airspace Control in the 
Combat Zone, Edition 2.

ASCC AIR STD 45/6A Airspace Control in the Combat Zone.

The proponent of this publication is HQ TRADOC. Submit changes for improving this publication on DA Form 2028 (Recommended Changes to Publications and Blank Forms) and forward to Commander, Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, ATTN: ATZL-SWA-DL, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-6900.

Unless otherwise stated, whenever the masculine gender is used, both men and women are included.

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