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Chapter 1

Air Defense Artillery Mission

This chapter addresses the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) mission and the relationship to the Army tenets and battlefield operating systems. ADA contributes unique capabilities to theater counterair and theater missile defense operations as part of a joint, multinational, or interagency team. The theater objectives of ADA are to preserve combat power, gain the initiative, and support offensive operations.


1-1. The mission of US Army Air Defense Artillery is to protect the force and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack and surveillance.


1-2. ADA commanders allocate active and reserve component ADA assets based on the supported commander's priorities. In addition, the mission is broadly written to include protection of critical assets, installations, and facilities along with joint and multinational forces when required.


1-3. Geopolitical assets are nonmilitary assets that US, allied, or host nation civil authorities nominate for air and missile defense protection. These assets could be political, religious, ethnic, historical, or territorial in nature. Since protection of geopolitical assets may not directly support military operations, integration of geopolitical assets into the air and missile defense priorities list must be done at the highest levels. Geopolitical assets may include US territories.


1-4. The threat includes all aircraft, aerial surveillance platforms, and theater missiles. Chapter 2 provides more detail and information on the threat.


1-5. Successful air and missile defense is key to generating and sustaining combat power in force projection operations. The AD contribution to friendly efforts to counter threat reconnaissance, intelligence surveillance, and target acquisition efforts has gained greater emphasis. Current and future Army ADA capabilities, both active and reserve component, must synergistically combine with the AD assets of other services to defeat the multifaceted threat. Army ADA forces participate in operations at all levels of war.


1-6. Air and missile defense operations are inherently joint operations, multi-component, and embody Army doctrine. ADA forces are versatile, agile, and fight throughout the depth of the battlefield. Through aggressive planning and fully orchestrated execution, ADA allows the commander at any level to seize and maintain the initiative. Commanders integrate air and missile defense operations into campaigns fought at the operational level, and battles and engagements fought at the tactical level.


1-7. Air Defense Artillery units participate in planning for offensive and defensive counterair and theater missile defense operations. Air and missile defense commanders recommend enemy airfields, missile launch sites, command and control nodes, and logistics for deep attack. They contribute to winning the information war by destroying threat aerial reconnaissance platforms. ADA units engage air threats from directions and in ways that the enemy does not expect.


1-8. ADA units anticipate and counter enemy actions and react rapidly to changes in the situation. Agility is as much a mental quality as a physical one. ADA must quickly change from offense to defense, entry to decisive operations, and counterair to theater missile defense. Concentrating coverage and fires, or screening the flanks from attack and surveillance, are tasks routinely accomplished by ADA units.


1-9. ADA units are among the first units to deploy during force-projection operations and the last units to depart during redeployment operations. They conduct operations throughout the width and depth of the theater. ADA units achieve defense in depth using a system of systems approach, which gives multiple opportunities to defeat the aerial threat. ADA systems see deep into threat airspace to contribute to the commander's situational awareness and defeat air, missile, and surveillance threats at maximum range. Depth also includes staying power, which is the access to adequate resources to continue the fight. Army air and missile defense includes contributions from all battlefield operating systems and units.


1-10. The Synchronization tenet requires controlling the tempo of operations as well as weighting and shifting air and missile defense efforts. ADA units counter the entire aerial threat spectrum by integrating a system of systems. Commanders integrate their operations horizontally with all battlefield operating systems and vertically with both higher and lower ADA units.


1-11. ADA units meet diverse mission requirements. They require discipline, high standards, and thorough preparation. Commanders need to shift focus, task-organize, and move from one role or mission to another quickly and efficiently. ADA units are multifunctional, able to defeat several different air threats while operating at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels.


1-12. Commanders seek to apply overwhelming combat power to achieve victory with minimum casualties to their forces and assets. Combat power combines the elements of maneuver, firepower, protection, and leadership. Overwhelming combat power is the ability to focus sufficient force to ensure success and deny the threat any chance of escape or effective retaliation. Commanders apply overwhelming combat power by bringing all combat elements to bear at the optimum time and place, giving the threat no opportunity to respond effectively. Commanders integrate and coordinate a variety of functions with the elements of combat power. As a result, they convert the potential of forces, resources, and opportunities into actual capability through violent, coordinated action at the decisive time and place. They attempt to defeat the threat's combat power by interfering with its ability to conduct reconnaissance, maneuver, and apply firepower.

1-13. Air and missile defense makes its greatest contribution to force protection, while contributing to all four elements of combat power. Protection conserves the fighting potential of a force so commanders can apply it at the decisive time and place. Protection includes the active and passive actions units take to preserve combat power and deny the enemy the ability to successfully attack the force.

1-14. Air and missile defense operations are important active force protection measures. Offensive counterair and TMD attack operations attempt to defeat or suppress threat capabilities to launch air and missile attacks. Defensive counterair and TMD active defense destroy enemy aircraft and missiles that threaten the force.


1-15. Air defense is one of the seven battlefield operating systems that provide a structure for integrating and synchronizing critical combat activities in time, space, and purpose. At every echelon, commanders use the available battle command system to visualize, plan, direct, coordinate, adjust, and control the battlefield operating systems. The seven battlefield operating systems are:

  • Intelligence
  • Maneuver
  • Fire support
  • Air defense
  • Mobility/Countermobility/Survivability
  • Combat Service Support
  • Command and Control

1-16. Battlefield operating systems exist at all echelons of command. Successful operations occur when the battlefield operating systems interact horizontally and vertically. Horizontal interaction occurs when all battlefield operating systems interact at the same echelon to maximize combat power. Vertical integration occurs when higher and lower echelons within each battlefield operating system interact to synchronize operations. Air and missile defense commanders synchronize their operations by integrating them horizontally with other battlefield operating systems and vertically within the Air Defense battlefield operating system.

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