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Chapter 2

Command and Control

JTAGS command and control (C2) is founded on joint doctrine and the unified action of armed forces. Specifically, USSPACECOM's Concept of Operations for Command and Control of Space Forces, (CONOPS for C2 of Space Forces), dated September 23, 1998, furnishes the structure of command relationships and facilitates the full integration of JTAGS into joint and combined operations to maximize its support to warfighting forces. The command and control structure is designed to provide the flexibility and responsiveness needed to meet the dynamic environment in which JTAGS operates.



2-1. USCINCSPACE, as supporting CINC to combatant (theater) CINCs, has COCOM of JTAGS. The USARSPACE commander has OPCON of JTAGS. A JTAGS element will normally remain COCOM to CINCSPACE and OPCON to ARSPACE while serving in a general support role to the theater CINC. Normal peacetime command and control relationships are depicted in Figure 2-1. This figure also reflects the routine general support relationship between the theater CINC and the deployed JTAGS element.

Figure 2-1. Peacetime C2 and General Support


2-2. JTAGS is positioned and operated to meet the specific taskings of USSPACECOM and its support agreements with combatant CINCs. One JTAGS detachment headquarters with one JTAGS section is deployed in the Far East and the other is in Europe. These forward-deployed JTAGS elements provide general support to their respective CINCs by conducting continuous 24-hour operations.

2-3. Two sections, located in the continental United States (CONUS), train to maintain combat readiness for immediate contingency deployment. These sections also support both CONUS and outside continental United States (OCONUS) exercises. A third CONUS-based section, whose primary role is to support contingency operations, also performs a supporting role in JTAGS individual qualification training.



2-4. During periods of increased tension or active conflict with a chance of tactical missile activity, one or more of the CONUS-based JTAGS sections may deploy forward. The JTAGS system currently in theater may remain in place or deploy to another location within theater . Because JTAGS receives data directly from space-based sensors and can use long-haul communications, equipment limitations do not require JTAGS to be geographically located within a theater of conflict in order to provide support. For example, a JTAGS section could support a conflict in Korea from positions off the peninsula and still provide support throughout the PACOM AOR. Because of improved timeliness and assuredness of warning receipt, however, JTAGS is normally and best utilized by positioning it in theater where it can link directly into the combatant CINC's tactical operations center (TOC).

2-5. Major tasking, such as redeployment of a JTAGS element, must be coordinated through the USSPACECOM J3. Continuous mission support during alert and deployment will be provided to meet the combatant CINC's requirements under the direction of USSPACECOM through its component command until such time that a JTAGS section is operational in theater. Upon implementation of a combatant CINC's OPLAN, designated JTAGS assets will deploy in accordance with it. A JTAGS section may be forward deployed on a temporary or rotational, basis to satisfy anticipated mission requirements and to preclude airflow competition with combat forces. COCOM will be retained by USCINCSPACE, and OPCON retained by ARSPACE. Command relationships are summarized in Figure 2-2.

2-6. Military doctrine prescribes that a commander directly responsible for accomplishing a mission should have operational control of forces supporting that mission whenever practical. Because of the global nature of space forces, one of which is JTAGS, CONOPS for C2 of Space Forces states that two conditions must normally be met in order for the transfer of OPCON from USSPACECOM to a CINC to be practical:

  • The employment of the space force would have a regional effect only, with JTAGS primarily supporting a specific joint operating area.
  • JTAGS must be located or deployed inside the joint operating area.

2-7. These two conditions will normally be met in the specific and special circumstance of transferring OPCON from USSPACECOM to a combatant CINC. This scenario is the exception rather than the rule. As previously stated, the routine JTAGS relationship with the combatant CINC is one of general support. In exceptional circumstances, OPCON may be granted to the combatant CINC.

Figure 2-2. JTAGS Command and Control


2-8. CONOPS for C2 of Space Forces states that the actual transfer of space forces (OPCON) can only be done by the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). When JTAGS is transferred to a supported combatant CINC, the SECDEF will specify the appropriate command relationship and limits of authority. Upon SECDEF approval, OPCON is assigned to the combatant CINC, or joint task force commander, and JTAGS becomes a support asset for the commander. The Director of Operations (J3), Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC), or Area Air Defense Commander (AADC) may exercise OPCON on behalf of the combatant CINC. Special wartime command and control relationships are depicted in Figure 2-3.

2-9. A combatant CINC will request allocation and deployment of JTAGS resources based on consideration of the assessed capabilities and intentions of the threat along with the probability of tactical missile employment. JTAGS systems are forward deployed in order to facilitate airlift into theater. JTAGS system deployment will be preplanned and prioritized in the time-phased force deployment list (TPFDL). The in-theater deployment location of a JTAGS unit will be allocated in accordance with the theater CINC's needs.

Figure 2-3. Special Wartime Command and Control


2-10. JTAGS deployments are depicted in Figure 2-4.

Figure 2-4. JTAGS CINC Support


2-11. In-theater site selection will be based on sensor access, communications system access, base support and security services, and environmental and survivability criteria. Generally, JTAGS will be deployed to a secure rear area that provides requisite communications access. See paragraphs 3-60 and 3-62 and Appendix B for details.



2-12. USSPACECOM and NORAD jointly operate the Missile Warning Center (Tactical) (MWC-T) as part of the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, which provides day-to-day coordination of TES operations. In coordination with the theater CINC, USSPACECOM and NORAD:

  • Establish areas of interest (AOIs) for each JTAGS detachment.
  • Provide intelligence on theater-specific missiles.
  • Designate intelligence periods of interest.

2-13. Theaters should coordinate TES issues through the USSPACECOM J3. In their general support roles to theater CINCs, JTAGS units coordinate deployment/positioning within the theater, requests for support of specific voice reporting networks, and other operational functions with the theater command.










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