(1) Defensive operations.
During defensive operations, friendly forces are vulnerable to the full spectrum of
threat aerial platforms. The enemy will attempt to use aerial platforms to monitor friendly forces
for targeting. We can expect the enemy to use UAVs, RW, and possibly FW aircraft, to determine
locations of friendly artillery, command and control, ADA assets, logistical sites and troop
concentration areas. Once these sites are located, threat forces will likely disrupt or destroy these
sites with the use of artillery and rocket fire, air attacks, and air insertion.
Artillery and rocket attacks will be the enemy's preferred weapons against US
forces and air defense assets. These systems are usually numerous, inexpensive, survivable and
highly effective. UAVs will be employed to provide targeting data during this phase of operations.
UAVs are extremely effective in this role due to their small size, small radar cross section and
standoff capability. RW and FW attacks are less likely during this phase due to the poor
survivability of these systems. In most cases, they are limited to daylight operations. These
attacks will be supported with pre-attack and post-attack reconnaissance.
Threat air insertion operations will be conducted with either FW or RW assets and
probably during the hours of limited visibility. The threat will likely conduct daytime
reconnaissance of landing sites and target areas within 24 hours prior to attack. These operations
will fly at low levels attempting to infiltrate into friendly rear areas.
(2) Offensive operations
During friendly offensive operations, enemy forces will attempt to use maneuver
and fire support assets to regain the initiative. Threat air activity will most likely be categorized by
RISTA operations in support of artillery and maneuver. UAVs are best suited for these types of
operations, especially if threat forces have developed effective C3I. Secondary weapon systems the
enemy will use are helicopters, either as dedicated attack assets or as armed utility helicopters.
Helicopter assets can be used in attack, air insertion, or reconnaissance. Helicopters in the
reconnaissance role will operate in the same manner as UAVs to support artillery targeting and
maneuver. In the attack, the unit can expect spoiling attacks that usually consist of at least two
helicopters or more (taking full advantage of cover and concealment) with the mission of disrupting
In some cases, helicopters will be used in conjunction with threat armored forces
to deter friendly penetrations. However, it is unlikely the friendly commander will see large
numbers of helicopters in this role. The enemy will use ground forces first to neutralize friendly air
defense assets. Helicopters will be used as the primary CAS aerial platform against maneuver
Threat FW assets will be limited and their use will be hampered by friendly FW
aircraft. Use of enemy FW aerial platforms cannot be entirely ruled out. If used by the enemy, the
ground commander can expect to see no more than one or two aircraft in a spoiling attack,
normally not coordinated with enemy ground operations.