7. Recognize the Threat Application
Air threat employment against US ground forces may vary from country to country. This
employment will be driven by threat equipment, capabilities, organizational structures and military
political goals. By understanding air threat proliferation and equipment, the commander can make
assumptions on how a threat may employ air assets to interdict US operations. The following
information describes the type of threat to be countered with each stage of force protection
a. Entry Phase. Early entry forces may deploy into air inferiority or air parity environment.
We can expect the threat to use all his aerial assets (use or lose) against lucrative targets in the
areas of debarkation. Low-altitude aerial threats (RW, CM and FW) will probably be employed in
attack operations against aerial port of debarkation/sea port of debarkation (APODs/SPODs),
assembly areas and supply points.
b. Expansion And Buildup. During this phase, most potential threats will focus on conducting
RISTA operations to locate friendly unit movements, assess unit sizes and strengths, and determine
their ultimate position. UAVs will be the most challenging aerial RISTA and, therefore, a logical
choice for threat use. Information obtained by aerial RISTA will be relayed back to the enemy
who can be expected to use any attack means necessary to inflict maximum casualties, slow
momentum and destroy forces. These aerial attack systems could be RW or FW aircraft, CMs and
c. Operations. We can expect the threat to attempt to counter U.S. defensive and offensive
operations with a myriad of aerial platforms. RISTA UAVs will provide the threat commander the
necessary information to determine friendly unit locations, movements and objectives. Aerial and
artillery strikes can be generated from the intelligence gathered against the following targets:
forward arming and refueling points (FARPs).
aviation forward operating bases (FOBs).
command and control nodes.
reserve troop concentrations.
logistical support areas.
obstacles constricting unit movements as US forces advance to close with the
Lethal UAVs can be effective in disabling C3I or destroying armored vehicles.
CMs will probably be used against logistical concentration, command and control nodes or with
sub-munitions for area denial. RW aircraft will be used to attack forward elements and the flanks
of the advancing enemy maneuver forces to slow their tempo, cause confusion and, thereby, inflict
maximum casualties. They can also be expected to conduct operations across FLOT, close air
support (CAS), and air insertion operations. These armed attack helicopters constitute the most
widespread and capable air threats to friendly ground forces in the close battle.