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The current BCD configuration supports the battlefield functions of the ARFOR commander. The definition of the BCD in Joint Pub 1-02 recognizes that the ARFOR BCD may establish liaison with the AOC of any service component.

(The BCD is) an Army liaison provided by the Army component commander to the air operations center (AOC) and/or to the component designated by the joint force commander to plan, coordinate, and deconflict air operations. The (BCD) processes Army requests for tactical air support, monitors and interprets the land battle situation for the JAOC*, and provides the necessary interface for exchange of current intelligence and operational data. (JP 1-02)


BCD Mission

Close coordination between the Army force commander (COMARFOR) and the JFACC is required to achieve the Army functional responsibility of synchronizing maneuver, fires, and interdiction in the ARFOR area of operations (AO). The BCD mission is to establish the ARFOR liaison and interface with the JFACC. The BCD eases the coordination and synchronization of JFACC air and ARFOR ground operations. The BCD mission is performed by accomplishing the following:

  • Exchanging operational and intelligence data between the JFACC and COMARFOR.
  • BCD interpretation of the land battle situation for the JFACC and the air operations situation for the COMARFOR.

The BCD operates on a 24-hour a day basis.

BCD Basis of Allocation

The BCD basis of allocation is one per Army service component commander (ASCC) based on requirements approved by DA. The BCD may support the ASCC or be tailored to support a corps or division commander's operations. Normally, the BCD is assigned to the ASCC and further attached to the senior operational ARFOR headquarters.

The controlling headquarters instructs the BCD to collocate with the JFACC'S operations center, called the joint air operations center (JAOC). The JAOC will be hosted by one of the following:

  • AOC when the JFACC is provided by the USAF.
  • Tactical air control center (United States Navy [USN] TACC) when the JFACC is provided by the USN
  • Tactical air command center (Marine TACC) when the JFACC is provided by the Marine Corps.

BCD Role In Support of Corps Operations

A single ASCC or ARFOR may be composed of several corps. It is possible for the controlling ARFOR to be designated as the joint force land component commander (JFLCC), or as the joint force commander (JFC). In either case, the BCD singly represents the ARFOR interests of the JFLCC. Other services or functional components normally provide their own liaisons to the JFACC and to the JFLCC as appropriate. For example, all of the following might provide liaison:

  • Special operations liaison element (SOLE).
  • Marine liaison officer (MARLO).
  • USN air and/or Naval liaison element (NALE).

In a multicorps environment, each corps normally provides liaison to the echelon above corps (EAC) headquarters. This liaison speeds the flow of information received from the BCD and is of interest to the corps staff. In a single corps operation in which the corps commander is the COMARFOR, the BCD supports the corps headquarters and collocates with the JAOC. In the event a corps or subordinate organization conducts concurrent contingency operations, the ASCC tailors the BCD to support the requirements of the deployed headquarters.



As the ARFOR commander's representative in the JAOC, the BCD ensures the JFACC is aware of the following:

  • The COMARFOR's intent.
  • Scheme of maneuver.
  • Concept for application of ground, naval, and air assets in the ARFOR AO.

The BCD monitors and interprets the land battle for the JFACC staff. It passes ARFOR operational data and operational support requirements from the COMARFOR to the JFACC and participating multinational forces to include the following:

  • CAS.
  • AI.
  • Manned and unmanned reconnaissance and surveillance.
  • Joint suppression of enemy air defense (JSEAD).

The BCD also communicates the COMARFOR's decisions and interests to the JFACC.

The BCD does not participate directly in the ARFOR command estimate or decision-making process. The BCD does supply information regarding all the battlefield operating systems and functions to ARFOR staff elements during the process. The COMARFOR may delegate decision-making authority for specific events or situations to the BCD commander. This authority speeds action on various functions supporting the commander's plan and must be clearly defined by the COMARFOR. The BCD eases planning, coordination, and execution of the following functions:

  • Battle command.
  • Intelligence.
  • Firepower means.
  • Airspace management.
  • Air defense.
  • Theater missile defense (TMD).
  • Command and control warfare (C2W).
  • Airlift support.

Battle Command

Battle command is the art of decision making, leadership, and of motivating soldiers and their organizations to accomplish the mission. It includes visualizing and formulating concepts of operations to get from the current to the desired situation at the least cost. Battle command also includes the following:

  • Assigning missions.
  • Prioritizing and allocating resources.
  • Selecting the critical time and place to act.
  • Knowing how and when to make adjustments during the fight.

The primary role of the BCD is to support the COMARFOR's ability to conduct battle command. The personnel in the BCD must understand what information the commander deems important in making decisions and get it to him in a timely fashion. The BCD supports battle command by providing timely and accurate input to the COMARFOR decision-making process and by assisting the COMARFOR staff during execution. Commanders must understand the battle from the perspective of both the supported and supporting commanders. This thorough understanding of intent promotes unity of effort.

Communication is the bridge that links information to decisions and decisions to actions. The BCD is in a unique position to support the COMARFOR's communication needs by locating in close proximity to liaison teams of all the separate component commanders.


The exchange of intelligence among components is key to both current and future operations. The fusion center for component-level intelligence is the joint intelligence center (JIC). Most intelligence is available to the JFACC through the JIC. The joint and component collection management staffs give routine intelligence reports directly to the JAOC.

The BCD articulates the COMARFOR's commander's critical information requirements (CCIR) and priority intelligence requirements (PIR) to the JFACC. The BCD identifies and speeds current CCIR and PIR intelligence from JFACC intelligence sources to the COMARFOR intelligence staff. The BCD communicates intelligence and information derived from the CCIR and PIR to the COMARFOR analysis and control element (ACE). The BCD provides to the JFACC intelligence staff the following:

  • Information on the enemy order of battle.
  • Time sensitive Army intelligence reports.
  • Requirements for manned and unmanned reconnaissance, surveillance, and collection.

The BCD assists the JFACC staff in target development and integration of COMARFOR target nominations into the ATO. The BCD gets the most current information from ARFOR intelligence to help refine and validate targets for attack during execution of the ATO.

The BCD also exchanges information to support combat assessment. The BCD intelligence function supports ARFOR needs to do the following:

  • Assess the effectiveness of current operations.
  • Modify current plans.
  • Plan future operations.

Firepower Means

The BCD presents the ARFOR commander's targeting requirements for preplanned CAS and AI to the JFACC. The BCD also passes JFACC requests for all ARFOR supporting fires to the ARFOR tactical operations center (TOC) or firing unit as directed in the ARFOR fire support plan. The BCD ensures that the JFACC staff is aware of current and planned ARFOR fire support operations, including confirmation of associated coordination and control measures.

The BCD eases synchronization of the JFACC's AI operation with ARFOR deep operations plans. The JFACC and COMARFOR discuss requirements for AI support to ARFOR operations typically during the joint targeting coordination board (JTCB) meeting. After the discussion, the BCD helps the JFACC staff identify targets when the COMARFOR gives "mission type" objectives for AI.

The BCD monitors execution of the ATO and passes information about the current air situation to the COMARFOR. The BCD passes information through the COMARFOR staff to commanders affected by JFACC attack of targets beyond the fire support coordination line (FSCL). This lets air and ground forces take positive actions to avoid fratricide and duplication of effort.

The BCD works closely with the JAOC to synchronize AI missions with Army deep strike assets on the most lucrative targets. The BCD performs supporting tasks assigned by the COMARFOR to plan, coordinate, and execute lethal and nonlethal joint firepower.

The JFC may direct the integration of planned ARFOR airspace operations into the ATO. The BCD eases the integration of the systems into the ATO and helps track execution of their missions.

Airspace Management

The BCD coordinates ARFOR airspace management needs with the JAOC. These needs reflect requirements for use of airspace throughout the ARFOR AO by the following:

  • ARFOR fixed- and rotary- winged aircraft.
  • Reconnaissance and surveillance platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
  • Indirect fire trajectories.

The BCD coordinates ARFOR requests for airspace control measures (ACM) with the airspace control authority (ACA). When the JFC designates the JFACC as ACA, the coordination occurs at the JAOC. When the JFACC is not the ACA, the ARFOR commander must provide other liaison and communications means to the designated ACA.

The BCD passes information to the ARFOR regarding JFACC air operations within the ARFOR AO. On the basis of information from the SOLE, the BCD monitors the location of special operations forces (SOF). The monitoring includes long-range surveillance units (LRSUs), operating in the ARFOR AO to help reduce fratricide and/or interference with their special operations missions.

The BCD also coordinates the use of airspace by ground-based fire support systems, especially rockets and missiles, with other airspace users. The COMARFOR is responsible for establishing ACM and fire support coordination measures (FSCM) to both facilitate fires and protect other airspace users. The BCD coordinates these measures with the JFACC staff to ensure they are included in the airspace control order (ACO).

Air Defense

The area air defense commander (AADC) is normally the component commander with the best air defense capability and the command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) capability for planning and executing integrated air defense operations. The JFACC may be designated the joint force area air defense commander (AADC). The BCD eases coordination between ARFOR air and missile defense operations and the JFACC staff when the JFACC is also the AADC. The BCD helps the JFACC staff integrate JFACC defensive counterair operations with ground air defense systems. This BCD function is key to effective air defense and to precluding fratricide.

Theater Missile Defense

The term "theater missile defense" applies to the identification, integration, and employment of forces supported by other theater and national capabilities, to detect, identify, locate, track minimize the effects of, and/or destroy emeny theater missiles (TM). This includes the destruction of TM on the ground and in flight, their ground based launchers and supporting infrastructure; TM capable ships and vessels in port or at sea; and enemy aircraft armed with air to surface missiles. TMD operations are accomplished by integrating a mix of mutually supporting passive defense, active defense, and C4I measures. (JP 3-01.5)

TMD is a joint mission, integrated into and in support of the JFC's overall concept of operation and campaign objectives. The JFC establishes guidance and objectives for joint-TMD (JTMD).

The ARFOR TOC theater missile defense cell, if formed, plans and coordinates TMD operations for the ARFOR. The TMD cell gives direct early warning to ARFOR air defense units as appropriate. The COMARFOR specifies the role of the BCD to help in coordination of TMD active defense and attack operations with the JAOC.

The BCD may be the first ARFOR agency aware of the presence of a TMD target through sources at the JAOC. In this case, the BCD helps coordinate the rapid attack of TMD targets by the most efficient means available. With regard to TMD the BCD does the following:

  • Speeds target confirmation.
  • Deconflicts airspace.
  • Provides early warning to friendly air defense artillery (ADA) headquarters.
  • Directs Army tactical missile system (ATACMS) and multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) missions against TMD targets (when authorized).

Command and Control Warfare

Command and control warfare is a two pronged effort. The first is to deny information to, influence, degrade or destroy adversary command and control (C2) capabilities by the integrated use of the following:

  • Operations security (OPSEC).
  • Military deception.
  • Psychological operations (PSYOPS).
  • EW.
  • Physical destruction.
  • Intelligence.

The second element of C2W is to protect friendly C2 capabilities against such actions. C2W applies across the full range of military operations and all levels of war. C2W includes C2 attack of adversary and C2 protection of friendly force C2 capabilities.

The BCD helps the ARFOR coordinate and synchronize actions taken to accomplish established objectives that prevent the effective C2 of adversary forces. These actions include denying information to and influencing, degrading or destroying the adversary C2 system. In addition, the BCD helps the ARFOR coordinate and synchronize actions taken and support requested from the JFACC to maintain effective C2 of friendly forces.

The ARFOR TOC C2W cell identifies specific C2W supporting requirements for action by various agencies, including the JFACC. The BCD coordinates ARFOR C2W support requests with the JFACC.

Airlift Support

The BCD coordinates COMARFOR requests through the JFACC airlift coordination cell (ALCC) with the joint movements center (JMC). The JMC "works" the requirements with the J4 and approves or disapproves airlift requests on the basis of priorities and available airlift. The BCD also informs the JFACC staff of the enemy and friendly situations' impact on COMARFOR airlift requirements. The BCD helps predict future airlift requirements based on COMARFOR plans.



The BCD represents COMARFOR interests to the JFACC. Contingency operations and time-phased force deployment require the BCD to work in the structure of any component designated the JFACC. A BCD working with a JAOC established by one service may also work with liaison personnel from other services and multinational forces provided to the JAOC. For example the JAOC might have assigned the following:

  • MARLO.
  • Naval liaison element (NALE).
  • SOLE.
  • Host nation and coalition forces liaison elements.

The BCD personnel must be trained and knowledgeable of other Services' organizations, capabilities, and procedures. This BCD capability helps the COMARFOR benefit from the complementary capabilities each of the services brings to a joint operation.

USAF Force

USAF forces (AFFOR) perform the following four basic roles:

  • Aerospace control.
  • Force application.
  • Force enhancement.
  • Force support.

To accomplish these roles, the USAF performs specific tasks or missions to include the following:

  • Counterair.
  • Surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • Counterspace.
  • TMD operations.
  • AI.
  • CAS.
  • Special operations.
  • Airlift.

Additional missions performed by the USAF which may enhance ARFOR operations include the following:

  • Aerial refueling.
  • EW.
  • Airborne early warning.
  • C2.
  • Communications.
  • Intelligence.
  • Weather service.

For more information regarding the organization and functions of the USAF as the JFACC, see Appendix A, BCD relation to the USAF.


USN forces (NAVFOR) roles and missions which most directly affect ARFOR operations include providing the following:

  • Naval forces (including air) to conduct amphibious operations.
  • Sea-based air and missile defense.
  • Naval surface fires, AI, and CAS, to support land operations.
  • Sea movement of personnel, supplies, and equipment.

The USN performs other tasks and possesses other capabilities which may enhance ARFOR operations including the following:

  • C2 facilities afloat.
  • Intelligence.
  • Information warfare.
  • EW.
  • Naval surface fire support.
  • Air reconnaissance.
  • Aerial photography.
  • Airborne early warning.
  • Air transport.
  • Offensive and defensive air operations other than CAS.

The JFC may apportion naval aviation capabilities and/or forces to various missions or areas to support the JFC overall mission. These sorties are normally planned, coordinated, and tasked through the JFACC. For more information on the USN as JFACC, see Appendix B, BCD Relation to the NAVFOR and MARFOR.

Marine Corps

United States Marine Corps (USMC) forces (MARFOR) contribute to ARFOR operations through the conduct of land operations and land operations key to a naval operation. USMC tactical air support in an assigned or designated AO or sector includes the following:

  • Offensive air support (CAS and deep air support).
  • Air warfare (AW).
  • TMD.
  • EW.
  • Assault support.
  • Air reconnaissance.
  • Control of aircraft and missiles (to include airspace management functions) capabilities.

Sorties in excess to Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) needs may be provided to the JFC for tasking by the JFACC. For more information on the MARFOR as JFACC, see Appendix B, BCD Relation to the NAVFOR and MARFOR.

Special Operations Forces

Coordination of SOF with the BCD and all other components is conducted by a special operations coordinator (SOCOORD) or a special operations command and control element (SOCCE) at the appropriate level. For additional information, see JP 3-05 and FM 100-25.


BCD Role with Multinational Forces

Multinational force structures bring widely varying capabilities to joint and combined operations. These capabilities fall within each of the functional areas addressed earlier.

Normally, multinational forces provide liaison to the JAOC to represent their capabilities, limitations, and requirements. The COMARFOR and BCD must understand how these multinational force capabilities or limitations affect ARFOR operations.

BCD Role In Support of Coalition Force Operations

A BCD is not immediately available in all theaters. However, joint contingency planning may provide all or part of existing BCDs to support coalition force operations in any theater. During coalition and/or combined force operations a combined BCD may be formed.

The 1st BCD, supporting Forces Command (FORSCOM), is prepared to deploy anywhere in the world to support force projection and contingency operations. During several past contingency missions, 1st BCD was tailored or augmented to support operational requirements.

The United States Army Europe (USAREUR) currently fields an augmentation BCD built around the personnel of a unit previously known as the United States Army Liaison Group-United States Air Force Europe (USAFE). This liaison group was renamed the USAREUR BCE in October 1995. This organization provides the nucleus for establishing a BCD to perform BCD functions and support joint operations in Europe.

In the US Pacific Command (USPACOM), there are two BCD prototypes. Detachment 1, Eighth U.S. Army (EUSA) BCD, is assigned to the Combined Forces Command and is located with the Air Component Command, Osan Air Base, Korea. It represents US Army interests in a combined force BCD structure composed of both US Army and Republic of Korea Army personnel. It coordinates coalition army group-level peninsula operations. 2d BCD, a US Army Reserve (USAR) unit, supports US Army Pacific (USARPAC) and USPACOM.

These BCDs and ARFOR planners must be sensitive to differences within the coalition force structure to include language barriers, organization, capabilities, sustainment, and doctrine.

*joint air operations center

C4I=command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence

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