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Chapter 6

Active Defense

This chapter addresses Army TMD active defense at the ARFOR and corps level. Active defense operations defend the force and selected geopolitical assets from TM attack; including attacks from TBMs, ASMs, and CMs as well as aircraft capable of carrying ASMs and CMs. Army active defense normally consists of multitiered ADA weapon systems.
To create a coherent Army TMD, active defense operations must complement passive defense, attack operations, and C4I. Effective active defense requires close coordination between all Army, joint, and multinational organizations and the integration of weapon systems conducting joint TMD.


6-1. Effective active defense requires the contributions of air, land, sea, space, and SOF of all service components and supporting CINCs. Army active defense must be synchronized throughout all dimensions of the battle space and support overall force objectives. Active defense helps ensure that combined arms elements retain freedom to maneuver. It ensures combat support (CS) and CSS units can continue to conduct support and sustainment operations throughout the theater without interruption by TM attacks.

6-2. Continuous surveillance to detect missile launch is required. A confirmed launch triggers reaction by a preplanned composition of appropriate defensive systems, according to established ROE. Potentially short duration missile flight times require that all applicable air, land, sea and space-based sensor and surveillance assets be linked together to provide a complete and current air picture for total situational awareness. Effective destruction of enemy TMs in flight reduces enemy confidence in TM employment against friendly forces and provides force protection.

6-3. Army active defense includes contributions from theater, corps, and divisional ADA units. These units are employed in a multitiered defense consisting of all ADA systems. The actual composition will vary based on METT-TC. In a littoral environment, naval and marine forces will contribute as part of the multitiered defense during joint force projection operations. Active defense operations are decentrally executed according to Army and joint doctrine, procedures, and applicable ROE. Active defense systems engage enemy TMs at maximum range and altitude to reduce damage to defended critical assets and areas.

6-4. Army active defense units under JFC are under OPCON of the ARFOR Commander who employs these units within his AO under JFC-approved weapons control procedures and measures established by the AADC. The ARFOR Commander allocates units to theater and corps organizations to optimize protection of the active defense priorities and to support the attainment of operational ground objectives (see JP 3-01.5).

6-5. Active defense, as part of Army TMD operations, integrates all the contributions of other combined arms elements. Combined arms elements may participate in active defense through engagements of short-range TM carriers and CMs operating at low altitude.


6-6. Operational protection conserves the fighting potential of a force so that it can be applied at the decisive time and place. Operational protection includes actions taken to counter enemy firepower and maneuver by making soldiers, systems, and friendly formations difficult to detect, strike, and destroy. Operational protection pertains to forces throughout the theater and includes, but is not limited to, providing operational air and missile defense (theater and maneuver force protection).

6-7. All members of the joint and multinational force perform air defense operations; however, ground-based air and missile defense units (joint and multinational) currently conduct the bulk of the active defense mission. Army ADA provides protection to forces and selected geopolitical assets from aerial attack, missile attack, and surveillance. Significant considerations for employment of ADA in theater operations include its role in joint and multinational active air and missile defense operations, the threat, number of assets to be defended, and available forces. Commanders must establish priorities for active defense. Risk must be accepted for lower priority assets, which may not be directly defended or are allocated less protection.


6-8. The organizations that execute Army active defense span all three levels of war. These levels are strategic, operational, and tactical.

6-9. The AMDCOORD coordinates with the ADA elements at higher and lower echelons, as well as with adjacent ADA units. Coordination ensures vertical and horizontal integration of air defense and active defense protection throughout the battlefield. For example, the corps AMDCOORD integrates corps ADA with theater, division, and adjacent corps ADA forces. In force projection operations, this may include integration with joint and multinational active air defense and TMD participants in coordination with the TAAMDCOORD.


6-10. The AAMDC Commander commands the Army's EAC air and missile defense forces, writes the air and missile defense annex for the ARFOR OPLAN/OPORD, and ensures all Army active defense requirements are coordinated and integrated not only within the ARFOR, but also within joint and multinational operations. The AAMDC provides a single point of contact to the ARFOR and for joint and multinational staffs for Army TMD operations across the full spectrum of the TMD operational elements (active defense, passive defense, attack operations, and C4I). The AAMDC Commander executes TMD operations for the ARFOR Commander. The AAMDC Commander may also be designated the DAADC, which formalizes the relationship between ground-based air defense assets dedicated to theater-level missions and the AADC. This designation also ensures fully integrated and synchronized air defense and joint TMD operations.

6-11. The AAMDC Commander has total responsibility for executing Army active defense operations within the ARFOR AO. These responsibilities include recommending active defense missions for other members of the multinational and combined arms team and integration with the AADC and other components. The commander ensures that organic, assigned, and supporting ADA units accomplish active defense objectives in support of the ARFOR Commander's concept of operations and the CINC's DAL.


6-12. The ARFOR TAMD Cell/ADE is a staff element that works for the ARFOR G3. The TAMD Cell/ADE performs TAMD staff work on a daily basis. During contingency operations the TAMD Cell/ADE plans and coordinates TAMD operations for the ARFOR and prepares for the reception of the AAMDC into theater. Once deployed, the AAMDC assumes the functions of the ARFOR TAMD Cell, and the TAMD Cell serves as the AAMDC's liaison to the ARFOR Commander.


6-13. The AMDCOORD is an integral member of ARFOR staff planning teams. The senior ADA commander at each level in the ARFOR organization normally performs AMDCOORD functions. The AMDCOORD recommends active defense priorities consistent with the factors of METT-TC. The AMDCOORD develops these priorities based on CVRT factors of each asset. The AMDCOORD recommends ADA and other combined arms active defense measures in the active defense estimates. After staff coordination and approval of active defense estimates, the AMDCOORD develops the active defense portion of the air and missile defense annex to the ARFOR OPLAN. The AMDCOORD also assists in integrating TMD priorities into the force's targeting process.

6-14. The AAMDC Commander is the TAAMDCOORD and the AMDCOORD to the ARFOR Commander. The TAAMDCOORD integrates with active defense operations and planning at the Army service component level. The TAAMDCOORD is the ARFOR Commander representative for active defense planning and coordination with the JFACC, ACA, and AADC. The TAAMDCOORD prepares the active defense appendix to the air and missile defense annex for the ARFOR OPLAN. In addition, the TAAMDCOORD ensures the corps active defense requirements are integrated into active air defense and TMD planning.


6-15. EAC ADA brigades will deploy early into theater to protect APODs, SPODs, early arriving forces, and critical supplies. As the lodgment is expanded, critical political, communications, transportation, and military forces will be protected. As deployment operations conclude, EAC ADA brigades and multinational forces will form a cohesive integrated defense from which to conduct military operations.

6-16. Units conducting active defense at theater level normally consist of one or more EAC ADA brigades that provide C2 over assigned forces. The brigade commander task organizes active defense resources to protect selected priority assets designated by the AAMDC Commander from the DAL.


6-17. Units conducting active defense at corps level normally consist of an ADA brigade that provides C2 over assigned forces and focuses on force operations. The corps ADA brigade task organizes ADA resources to protect the corps commander's priorities. The corps ADA brigade closely coordinates with the AAMDC, Sector Air Defense Commander (SADC) or Regional Air Defense Commander (RADC), corps and division TOCs, and adjacent ADA brigades as well as with subordinate ADA battalions.

6-18. Corps ADA brigades will deploy into theater and likely assist in protecting theater assets during entry operations. Once the lodgment is expanded, corps active defense assets will shift as the corps commander's priorities shift. Priorities could include C4I, corps reserves, logistic sites, and maneuver forces.


6-19. The first Army active defense forces to enter an unsecured lodgment may be the short-range air defense (SHORAD) batteries and battalions assigned to the divisions conducting the entry. Early deployment of AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar and the Forward Area Air Defense Command and Control (FAADC2) may be required for early warning and linkage with SHORAD weapons and joint active defense forces. The SHORAD battalions contribute to TMD active defense by protecting the force from surveillance by UAVs and attack by CMs or fixed-wing aircraft carrying ASMs.


6-20. Early planning for active defense occurs prior to mobilization. Joint CONPLANs are evaluated to ensure understanding, to assess the need for additional force tailoring requirements, to develop a more complete mission breakdown for subordinate units, and to provide a more detailed mission support analysis. Information provided to active defense-capable units includes a general mission statement, priorities, and probable force package.

6-21. The TAAMDCOORD/AMDCOORD evaluates threat capabilities, recommends general force and critical asset protection priorities, and recommends TPFDD priorities for assigned units that will conduct active defense. Specific attention must be given to the need to provide an adequate number of missiles to match the threat. Missile firing rates may dictate the need to increase the TPFDL priority of selected missiles.

6-22. The AAMDC plans and coordinates for active defense operations and evaluates sustainment needs to support those operations. The AAMDC assists subordinate units in the planning for active defense operations.


6-23. Once force projection operations move into the mobilization and predeployment stages, active defense-capable units focus planning and coordinating efforts on preparing OPLANs and OPORDs for the given theater and operation. They must also make every effort to integrate the capabilities of the deploying forces with those of joint, multinational, and forward-deployed forces.


6-24. The AAMDC plans and coordinates with all staff elements to provide active defense recommendations to the ARFOR Commander concerning active defense plans, force, and critical asset protection priorities and TPFDD priorities. The TAAMDCOORD/DAADC coordinates and integrates those joint active defense requirements that ensure Army active defense can be conducted as effectively as possible. This includes coordinating joint ROE and overall active defense plans with each echelon, as appropriate. Commanders may use automated defense planning functions to conduct initial active defense design planning, along with IPB information, to develop possible friendly and threat COA. The COAs may serve to fine-tune the task organization. Active defense unit commanders develop TMD priorities based on the factors of CVRT. The following are considerations for deploying and employing active defense units against TMs. These considerations cover the spectrum of TM delivery methods and procedures. When active defense forces are providing asset protection, the commander must establish appropriate states of readiness (SOR) and states of emission control (SOE) in accordance with the current theater operating procedures, the current tactical situation, METT-TC, and directives from higher headquarters. This includes coordinating joint ROE and overall active defense plans with each echelon, as appropriate. In addition, the DAADC may chair periodic active defense Reprioritization Boards comprised of representatives from all joint service components. These boards serve as a means to synchronize friendly active defense efforts, update TMD planning in response to enemy actions, and ensure compliance with JFC-established priorities.

Defense Against Theater Ballistic Missiles

6-25. When creating a defense design against TBMs, detailed planning is centralized usually at battalion or brigade level. Units should plan to fight against the most stressing TBMs in the threat arsenal using mutual support and overlapping coverage in accordance with ADA guidelines. A mix of complementary active defense systems must be employed to effectively counter the TBM threat to rear areas during early entry and follow-on operations. This mix will consist of an upper tier system and one or more lower tier systems. Both upper and lower tier systems must be capable of accurately classifying TBMs so that fires can be prioritized against the incoming targets.

6-26. TBM engagement opportunities are measured in seconds due to the flight trajectories and extremely high speeds that TBMs attain. The shorter acquisition and detection time window for TBMs directly impacts early warning and reaction to defeat the TBM threat. Warning information and predicted impact points must be transmitted as quickly as possible throughout the theater of operations, especially if WMD/WME are suspected. Decentralized control for engagements is imperative to counter the TBM threat since reaction time is critically short. TBms launched against friendly forces or assets typically fly extremely steep trajectories from enemy positions, classifying them as TBms.

Defense Against Cruise Missiles

6-27. When CMs are a primary threat, a mix of high to medium altitude defense (HIMAD) and SHORAD systems provides primary protection. CMs may be misidentified as aircraft due to their similar flight characteristics and will be further identified based on compliance with the airspace control plan. As technology enables accurate target classification as manned or unmanned, future doctrine and established ROE may allow for the authority to engage on classification as an unmanned platform. Such a procedure will allow preferential engagement of CMs and UAVs, destroying them at ranges and locations that minimize lethal effects on friendly forces.

Defense Against Air-To-Surface Missiles

6-28. Active defense units may detect firing and separation of an ASM from a carrier and classify the track based on velocity profiles. Active defense-capable units should be linked to joint intelligence networks, which provide warning of ASM launches and assist in cueing for engagement by appropriate active defense units. They may also receive ASM intelligence data on real-time tracks.

Defense Against Airborne Missile Carriers

6-29. TM carriers are indistinguishable from other manned aircraft to organic sensors supporting active defense. Active defense-capable units must be provided warning via data links from joint intelligence sources to distinguish between TM carriers and other manned aircraft threats. Depending on the TM carrier's arsenal, TMD forces should conduct long-range engagements before the carrier can launch a TM. Engaging the carrier has operational advantages over delaying engagement and attempting to engage multiple TMs after they are launched.

6-30. The nature of aircraft flight parameters such as altitude, human (pilot) limitations, time of flight, distance from targets, and the increased exposure to weapon systems over time provides a greater opportunity for engagement by friendly forces. If a thorough IPB is conducted, properly positioned sensors may provide longer acquisition and detection time windows on targets as they approach friendly battlespace. This facilitates warning and updating of target information for dissemination to theater forces.


6-31. During the mobilization and predeployment stages, commanders task organize assigned units. Commanders assess the factors of METT-TC, the force commander's intent, the IPB, and the approved air and missile defense priorities to determine the composition of active defense forces necessary to protect those priorities.


6-32. Following predeployment plans, commanders execute movement of assigned units to deployment sites and continue training. Once alerted to move, units will deploy to the theater as directed.


6-33. Active defense operations during these stages are essential due to the potential vulnerability of deploying forces. TM attacks can come from almost any direction and fire units must be ready to counter threat TM attacks immediately on arrival in theater. As in-theater intelligence becomes available, estimates of TM order of battle and active defense plans are adjusted. Commanders and staffs continuously adjust their plans for anticipated forced entry operations, planned C2 structures, knowledge of participating joint and multinational organization, disposition of any in-place host nation forces and revisions to debarkation sequences as changes impact active defense operations. A key constraint in active defense planning may be the availability of TM interceptor missiles for basic loads and resupply.

6-34. Each entry operation will be different. Entry may be either opposed or unopposed by TMs. Host nation and forward deployed active defense forces will support entry operations. Forces are most vulnerable to TMs, and the success of the operation is at greatest risk during initial entry. This vulnerability is most acute when the threat possesses TMs with WMD/WME. Protecting geopolitical assets from TM attacks will also be vital to the resolve, will, and morale of multinational forces and nations.


6-35. Active defense provides a measure of security, without overt hostile or aggressive action. In many cases this may be more desirable than proactive attack operations during deployment and entry stages.

6-36. Upon arrival in theater, the AAMDC will immediately establish connectivity to allow coordination with all Army, joint, host nation, and multinational forces in theater conducting TMD. The AAMDC Commander will command EAC active defense forces for the ARFOR Commander as an integral part of TMD operations. The AAMDC oversees the conduct of TMD for the ARFOR. Early entry of C2 elements is essential for management of active defense operations, communications, and coordination with Army and joint surveillance systems and integration of Army active defense within the theater air defense structure.

6-37. The establishment of connectivity between deploying active defense units and joint forces already conducting in-theater active defense is a priority. If the lodgment is secure, commanders should consider deploying TMD elements early to provide greater TM protection. These units protect the APOD/SPODs and the early entry force. FAADC2 systems should be deployed early, if the ASM or CM threat is high, to provide a link with joint active defense and surveillance systems for alerting and cueing.

6-38. The active defense unit's concept of operations must provide for mission success and maximize future employment options. The defense design must grow in logical synchronization with the deployment flow of units and the expansion of the lodgment. As additional forces and the remainder of the corps and EAC active defense-capable units deploy and arrive in the lodgment, primary responsibility for protection of theater assets will likely fall to one or more EAC ADA units. The AAMDC will interface with the major subordinate elements of the service or functional component commanders, AADC, and the ACA.


6-39. Active defense procedures for the decisive operations stage are in general a continuation of those used during entry operations. EAC ADA brigades conduct active defense to protect the theater base so it can support and sustain corps and division operations. EAC active defense design may shift according to ARFOR plans to support corps operations. Forces conducting active defense at corps and below support their maneuver commander's scheme of maneuver by protecting the force and critical asset priorities. EAC and corps brigade commanders may reorganize task force configurations and active defense designs based on JFC guidance to provide as much protection as possible to ensure the force can attain its operational objectives.


6-40. The AAMDC coordinates active defense with attack operations and passive defense at both Army and joint levels. The AAMDC continues to coordinate and deconflict changes to support the ARFOR concept of operations and monitors operations.

6-41. AMDCOORDs provide the ARFOR Commander and corps commanders with active defense expertise, making recommendations for improving protection and better supporting the operational concept. AMDCOORDs should also plan and coordinate for the continuation of active defense after operations cease.

6-42. The EAC and corps active defense units continue to concentrate on force operations. Commanders, as necessary, will adjust the prioritized assets to be defended by each task force. External communications and interconnections are adjusted as defense designs and priorities change.


6-43. Execution of active defense operations will probably not change once the operations stage begins. The AAMDC monitors the air picture, active defense unit locations and status, and engagement operations.


6-44. While other forces may begin preparing for redeployment, restoring order, or reestablishing the host nation infrastructure, units conducting active defense must remain vigilant against isolated TM attacks or a full resumption of hostilities. Simultaneously continuing to conduct active defense, commanders and units should begin planning for redeployment and reconstitution of units. Effective active defense provides protection of the force and critical assets as they secure and consolidate objectives and recover from operations. Units must rapidly consolidate, reconstitute, and prepare to remain in theater as long as needed. EAC and corps active defense forces shift defense designs according to JFC guidance and ARFOR plans to support post conflict operations. The AMDCOORDs recommend priorities to the supported commanders just as in the operations stage. Active defense is planned and executed, as required, consistent with these priorities. With the exception of operating under revised (possibly more stringent) ROE, active defense redeployment operations are similar to entry and operations stages.


6-45. Active defense-capable units continue to protect the force during demobilization. This protection is as critical during demobilization as it is during any other stage of the operation. While the most significant TM capabilities should have been eliminated, units conducting active defense must be prepared to counter desperation or retaliatory attacks. Therefore, active defense units may be among the last to leave theater, or may remain indefinitely in support of JFC SASO. EAC and corps ADA units shift defense design according to JFC guidance and ARFOR plans to support this stage. Defense of APODs, SPODs, staging areas, and critical host nation facilities is usually the highest priority. Defense of geopolitical assets may also continue to be an on-going priority.

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