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NEAR TERM COMMAND AND CONTROL OF
HOMELAND AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE
A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army
Command and General Staff College in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the
MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE
Military Space Applications
ROBERT J. PHILLIPS, MAJ, USA
B.S., United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1990
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
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DETERMINING THE BEST NEAR TERM COMMAND AND CONTROL FOR
HOMELAND AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE
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Phillips, Robert , J 5d. PROJECT NUMBER
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13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES
The events of 11 September 2001 revealed that America was no longer impervious to aggression. When terrorists attacked, no defensive forces
were immediately available to defend the homeland. One of the comprehensive changes was an update of the Unified Command Plan creating
a new command, NORTHCOM, to oversee defense of North America and splitting the Unified Command of NORAD and USSPACECOM.
NORAD aligned under NORTHCOM while USSPACECOM was subsumed by STRATCOM. This created the paradox of what to do with the
mission of homeland air and missile defense. The geographic combatant command of NORTHCOM retained NORAD?s mission of aerospace
defense of the homeland, while STRATCOM?s functional command gained the integrated missile defense mission. Missiles can traverse
multiple AORs, yet the defense remains the geographic commander?s responsibility. It is not viable to split the roles and missions of the
limited assets performing the dual role of air and missile defense. Applying the FAS test to different COA determined that it is best to maintain
the AMD mission but divide the assets between the two commands based upon system capabilities and threat launch locations.
15. SUBJECT TERMS
Air Defense; NORTHCOM; Homeland Defense; NORAD; STRATCOM; Missile defense; Roles and missions; Command and Control
16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION
Same as Report
19. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON
Unclassified b. ABSTRACT
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5853138 Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98)
Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39.18
MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE
THESIS APPROVAL PAGE
Name of Candidate: MAJ Robert J. Phillips
Thesis Title: Near Term Command and Control of Homeland Air and Missile Defense
_//original signed//__________________________, Thesis Committee Chair
MAJ Keith Phillips, M.A.
_//original signed//__________________________, Member
LTC Daniel White, Masters of Public Administration
_//original signed//__________________________, Member, Consulting Faculty
COL Robert M. Smith, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Accepted on this 31st day of May 2003 by:
_//original signed//__________________________, Director, Graduate Degree Programs
Philip J. Brookes, Ph.D.
The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student author and do not
necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or
any other governmental agency. (References to this study should include the foregoing
DETERMINING THE BEST NEAR TERM COMMAND AND CONTROL FOR
HOMELAND AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE, by MAJ Robert J. Phillips, 59 pages.
The events of 11 September 2001 revealed that America was no longer impervious to
aggression. When terrorists attacked, no defensive forces were immediately available to
defend the homeland. One of the comprehensive changes was an update of the Unified
Command Plan creating a new command, NORTHCOM, to oversee defense of North
America and splitting the Unified Command of NORAD and USSPACECOM. NORAD
aligned under NORTHCOM while USSPACECOM was subsumed by STRATCOM.
This created the paradox of what to do with the mission of homeland air and missile
defense. The geographic combatant command of NORTHCOM retained NORAD’s
mission of aerospace defense of the homeland, while STRATCOM’s functional
command gained the integrated missile defense mission. Missiles can traverse multiple
AORs, yet the defense remains the geographic commander’s responsibility. It is not
viable to split the roles and missions of the limited assets performing the dual role of air
and missile defense. Applying the FAS test to different COA determined that it is best to
maintain the AMD mission but divide the assets between the two commands based upon
system capabilities and threat launch locations.
The glory for this dissertation goes to the Lord above, without whom I would
never have had the ability to complete it. My wife is also due praise for her willingness
to raise three children under two while I was in absentia completing this work. I was
blessed with a committee which allowed full spectrum engagement. LTC Dan White
from Battle Command Training Program ensured I kept true to the doctrinal foundations
of air defense, MAJ Keith Phillips, my Air Force representative from the Department of
Joint and Multinational Operations, made sure I maintained a joint outlook and COL
Robert Smith, who works homeland security, provided a clear perspective without any
preconceived notions on air and missile defense. Finally, I would like to thank the chain
of command at Space and Missile Defense Command for giving me a background from
which to base my work. The insights gained from the post 9/11 crisis planning and the
opportunity to serve as liaison to JtAMDO and work on MDA’s Operational Concept
Team were invaluable. I truly appreciate their confidence in me and the opportunities I
was afforded while serving there.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
APPROVAL PAGE ……………………………………….………………………… ii
ABSTRACT …………………………………………………………………………. iii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS …………………………………………………………. iv
TABLE OF CONTENTS ……………………………………………………………. v
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS AND TABLES….......................................................... vii
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ……………………………………………………….. viii
1. AN OVERVIEW …………………………………………………………… 1
SECOND / TERIRARY QUESTIONS ………………………………… 5
SUMMARY …………………………………………………………….. 11
2. FOUNDATIONS OF AMD . ………………………………………………. 12
HISTORY ……………………………………………………………… 12
DOCTRINE ……………………………………………………………. 14
CURRENT POSITIONS ……………………………………………….. 16
MISSIONS ……………………………………………………………… 18
DOCTRINAL REVIEW OF ROLES AND DEFINITIONS …………… 22
3. METHODOLOGY ……………..…………………………………………… 26
4. APPLYING THE ASSETS ………………………………………………….. 29
ATTACK OPERATIONS ………………………………………………. 31
ACTIVE DEFENSE ……………………………………………………. 32
LAND-BASED ACTIVE DEFENSE …………………………………… 33
DEFENSIVE COUNTER AIR ………………………………………….. 37
SEA-BASED ACTIVE DEFENSE ……………………………………... 41
PASSIVE DEFENSE …………………………………………………….. 42
COMMAND, CONTROL, COMMUNICATIONS, COMPUTERS
AND INTELLIGENCE ………………………………………………….. 44
5. CONCLUSION …………………………………………………………....... 48
WORKS CITED ……………………………………………………………………… 60
INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST ……………………………….……………………. 64
CERTIFICATION FOR MMAS DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT ………………… 65
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Page
Figure 1 Aerospace Defense Mission Areas ……………………………………. 10
Figure 2 Historical Mission Flow ……………………………………………… 12
Figure 3 NORAD/USSPACE Command Relationships ………………………… 17
Figure 4 Draft Homeland Defense Operational Format …………………………. 23
Figure 5 Air and Missile Defense Construct …………………………………….. 30
LIST OF TABLES Page
Table 1. Projected System Capabilities Against Threats ………………………... 46
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
AAC Army Anti aircraft Command
AADC Army Air Defense Command; Area Air Defense
ABL Airborne Laser
ABM Anti Ballistic Missile
ACC Air Component Command
AD Air Defense
ADA Air Defense Artillery
ADC Aerospace Defense Command (Air Force)
ADCOM Air Defense Command (Air Force)
ADUS Air Defense of the United States
AFDD Air Force Doctrine Directive
AFRES Air Force Reserve
ALSA Air Land Sea Applications
AMD Air and Missile Defense
ANG Air National Guard
AOR Area of Responsibility
ARADCOM Army Air Defense Command
BMC2 Battle Management Command and Control
BMD Ballistic Missile Defense
BMDS Ballistic Missile Defense System
BOS Battlefield Operating System
BRAC Base Realignment and Closure
BSFV Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle
C2 Command and Control
C3 Command, Control and Communications
C4 Command, Control, Communications and Computers
C4I Command, Control, Communications, Computers and
C4ISR Command, Control, Communications, Computers,
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
CAPS Combat Air Patrols
CDRUSELEMNORAD Commander, U.S. Element NORAD
CINCNORAD Commander in Chief, NORAD
CINCSPACE Commander in Chief, USSPACECOM
CMOC Cheyenne Mountain Operations Complex
CONAD Continental Air Defense Command
CONUS Continental United States
CONOPS Concept of Operations
COP Common Operational Picture
CRC Control and Reporting Center
CRE Control and Reporting Element
CVRT Criticality Vulnerability Recoupability Threat
DCA Defensive Counter Air
DII Defense Information Infrastructure
DII COE Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating
DoD Department of Defense
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FAAD Forward Area Air Defense
FAS Feasibility Applicability Sustainability
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
FLIR Forward Looking Infra Red
GIG Global Information Grid
GCN GMD Communications Network
GMD Ground-based Midcourse Defense
HIMAD High to Medium range Air Defense
HMMWV High Mobility Multi purpose Wheeled Vehicle
IAMD Integrated Air and Missile Defense
ICBM Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
IFF Identification Friend or Foe
IMD Integrated Missile Defense
ITW/AA Integrated Threat Warning / Attack Assessment
JCIET Joint Combat Identification Evaluation Team
JCTN Joint Composite Tracking Network
JP Joint Publication
JtAMDO Joint Air and Missile Defense Organization
JTIDS Joint Tactical Information Distribution System
LEAP Lightweight Exo Atmospheric Projectile
LAV AD Light Armored Vehicle Air Defense
MACOM Major Command
MANPADS Man Portable Air Defense System
MEADS Medium-range Air Defense System
MDA Missile Defense Agency
MTN Multi Tactical data link Network
NAF Numbered Air Force
NEADS North East Air Defense Sector / Squadron
NBC Nuclear Biological and Chemical
NMD National Missile Defense
NORAD North American Aerospace Defense Command
NORAD/USSPACECOM North American Aerospace Defense Command / United
States Space Command (Unified Command)
NORTHCOM Northern Command
NSS National Security Strategy
NUMD NORAD/USSPACECOM Mission Directive
OCA Offensive Counter Air
ODI Offensive Defense Integration
PATRIOT Phased Array Tracking Radar Intercept On Target
QDR Quadrennial Defense Review
RAOC Regional Air Defense Centers
SALT Strategic Arms Limitations Talks
SAM Surface to Air Missile
SEADS South East Air Defense Sector / Squadron
SHORAD Short range Air Defense
SIAP Single Integrated Air Picture
SIOP Single Integrated Operational Plan
SLAMRAAM Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air to Air
SPACECOM Space Command
STRATCOM Strategic Command
TAA Total Army Analysis
TADIL Tactical Digital Information Link
TAMD Theater Air and Missile Defense
TBM Tactical Ballistic Missile
THAAD Theater High Altitude Air Defense
TMD Theater Missile Defense
UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
UCP Unified Command Plan
UNAAF Unified Action Armed Forces
U.S. United States
USAF United States Air Force
USC United States Code
USJFCOM United States Joint Forces Command
USNORTHCOM United States Northern Command
USSOCOM United States Special Operations Command
USPACOM United States Pacific Command
USSPACECOM United States Space Command
USSTRATCOM United States Strategic Command
USTRANSCOM United States Transportation Command
WADS Western Air Defense Sector / Squadron
WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction
WWSVCS World Wide Secure Voice Communications System
In the wake of 11 September the Army and the nation have been deeply
introspective. How could this happen? The giant was caught sleeping. When awoken,
he could not react quickly enough to defend himself from a second and third attack.
Terrorists attacked the U.S. by air within its own boundaries. There were no forces
immediately available to defend the homeland. Where was the North American
Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)? Aerospace defenses had been looking
outward to defend from an external attack and this attack came from within. No Combat
Air Patrols (CAPS) were flying and American aircraft could not respond quickly enough.
There was neither a homeland defense commander nor plans against such attacks. The
Bush administration has already begun steps to address these shortfalls in defense
To prevent such attacks from recurring, the primary question that must be
answered is “What is the best near term command and control structure for homeland air
and missile defense?” There must be national defense plans and an appropriate command
and control (C2) structure to overarch them. This paper will focus on the near term C2
relationships as defined above. This decision should be reviewed as technologies change
and communications and computer technologies grow.
America can no longer be considered impervious to aggression. The attack of the
nation’s military and financial epicenters by an aerial attack and the inability to provide a
rapid response has driven a reassessment of defense plans. The Unified Command Plan
(UCP) has shown this through the establishment of a new United States Northern
Command (USNORTHCOM) charged with the defense of the homeland.
USNORTHCOM will have NORAD, charged with the aerospace defense of North
America, aligned beneath them. (Bush, 2002) Assigning NORAD to USNORTHCOM
has split the once unified command of NORAD and the United States Space Command
(USSPACECOM). This has resulted in USSPACECOM merging with United States
Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) (Garamone, 2002).
As part of the homeland defense strategy, the President has placed National
Missile Defense (NMD) as a top priority within the National Security Strategy. (Bush,
2002) There is significant mention of it in the National Security Strategy. So much
emphasis has been placed on this arena that the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization
has been reorganized as the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) with all the rights and
privileges afforded a Department of Defense (DoD) agency. They have been given the
lead in the nation’s research and development of missile defense technologies.
Due to the similar functions and economy of force, all currently fielded and
proposed air defense systems perform both air and missile defense roles on the
battlefield. The Phased-Array Tracking RADAR Intercept On Target (PATRIOT)
missile system is designed to defeat both air threats and tactical ballistic missiles. Future
systems such as Medium-range Air Defense System (MEADS) and surface launched
variant of the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (SLAMRAAM) are being
designed in the same way. Shooting down an airliner would incur great civilian casualties
and loss of human life. It is a safe assumption that this would require at least a four star
general in the approval chain. The question is which one?
In the arena of defense of the homeland from aerospace threats there is historical
precedence. In the 1950’s, America’s defense against large scale soviet air attack was the
Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD). The Army component was a ring of
defense around its borders in the form of the Army Air Defense Command
(ARADCOM), the Air Force Air Defense Command (ADC) manned interceptors and
warning radars while the Navy was responsible for defending the sea approaches.
Although the mission has changed and the US must also look inward, the command and
control relationships merit consideration. A review of how these relationships worked in
the past may provide insight from their success. Another topic worthy of review is the
SAFEGUARD system that was designed to protect America from Intercontinental
Ballistic Missiles. The nation’s first missile shield may give us further insights on
command and control relationships.
There is much doctrine written on aerospace defense. JP 3-01 and JP 3-01.5 focus
specifically on aerospace defense. More doctrine is being written as the Joint Staff writes
JP 3-26 on homeland defense and The Air Land Sea Application (ALSA) Center begins
its work on an MTTP for Air Defense of The United States (ADUS). As doctrine is the
cornerstone to building a solid construct, it merits serious consideration. The Joint Air
and Missile Defense Organization (JtAMDO) has been given the responsibility to
develop a CONOPS for near-term Integrated Missile Defense, to include all joint
systems. In this arena, it is appropriate to address the current thinking of appropriate
agencies. MDA is working towards integrated missile defense (IMD) based upon their
charter. This term has also been used by JtAMDO to facilitate MDA’s efforts and scope
their work. A Concept of Operations for Integrated Missile Defense Baseline: Block
2004-2006 (IMD CONOPS) was written to this effect with the end goal being to add the
air component, integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), in subsequent revisions. One
cannot ignore the air component for the present. A gap in doctrine has oft proven fatal.
As was seen on 11 September and countless times before that, the enemy does not attack
on any nation’s time schedule. If no doctrine is in place when fighting begins, it is
created as people die.
The thesis question posed is central to solving the doctrinal dilemma. The near-
term C2 structure must be addressed so as to avoid a gap in doctrine. Future systems
cannot solve current problems. Only current capabilities can be used to deal with current
problems. An architecture must be developed that defines the interdependencies of C2
and systems that can grow to meet future requirements and capabilities. For the purpose
of this paper, an architecture defines these interrelationships, while the C2 structure
associates the appropriate commands. Command and Control relationships cannot be
decided in a vacuum without looking at second and third order effects. The proposed
architecture must be based upon the missions to be performed with the potential to
include future capabilities painlessly. There are implications to delinking the theater
missile defense or ballistic missile defense missions from the air defense mission. This
paper posits the need to command and control integrated air and missile defense and will
address that as a secondary question.
A thorough review of historical precedent and current aerospace defense doctrine
will give us a structured form to assess differing possibilities. The primary branches are
to make Commander, USNORTHCOM or Commander, United States Strategic
Command (USSTRATCOM) the supported commander. Additional sequels will be
explored. The final check comes from the review of law and treaty. Any proposed
construct cannot violate treaties or cause insurmountable diplomatic hurdles.
Secondary / Tertiary Questions
The thesis question drives us to additional questions. When addressing the issue
of command, the two aforementioned major commands are the primary candidates. Yet
when addressing control the appropriate level of execution must also be considered.
Should this be centralized or decentralized execution? While it may be argued that the
weighty decision of shooting down a commercial aircraft should reside at the highest
levels, time constraints for execution may mandate decentralized execution under strict
rules of engagement.
All currently fielded missile defense systems perform the both air and missile
defense functions. But, can the missions be separated? Current Army and Joint doctrine
confirm the unity of air and missile defense functions. Previously the unified command
of NORAD/USSPACE would have overseen this role. The responsibility for aerospace
defense for North America has been clearly delineated to NORAD. Commander,
USNORTHCOM has been designated responsible for homeland security and NORAD
has aligned with them bringing the responsibility for aerospace defense of North
America. USSPACECOM has merged with USSTRATCOM and now has the mission to
deter and defend against weapons of mass destruction (WMD), missiles and long range
conventional attacks as well as the edict to employ forces under the Single Integrated
Operational Plan (SIOP).
To complicate matters further, MDA has been given research and development
responsibility for all missile (and de-facto air) defense systems with a single focus toward
missile defense (Rumsfield, 2002). There are many states of concern that currently have,
or will soon acquire, the capability to strike the United Stated or her allies with WMD
carried via long range missiles. Some posit that a nation could place a shorter range
missile on a barge off of the coastline. With a weapon of mass destruction, accuracy is
The events of 11 September have shown that aircraft on the ground cannot
respond quickly enough to all possible attacks. Combat Air Patrol are an excellent
defense and deterrent when properly positioned. The flying of continuous CAPS is cost
prohibitive in the long run. Post 9/11 studies, and historical precedent, have shown that
effectual point air defense can be accomplished by employing Army air defenses in
strategic locations. This has already been seen at locations such as the nation’s capitol
and events such as the Olympics. Navy Aegis platforms also provide effective air
defense, but their powerful radar causes other problems when deployed near population
centers. Should the U.S. deploy its air defense systems in support of homeland defense,
maintain the internal CAPS missions or some combination thereof? If so, what systems
should be deployed? The question must be answered as to whether homeland AMD will
be a dedicated or on order mission.
Although National Missile Defense is a key element of national security under the
Bush administration, Canada has shown a disinterest in becoming involved. The
responsibility of Missile Defense has therefore been given to USSTRATCOM and not the
bilateral command of NORAD (STRATCOM mission). The merger of SPACECOM and
STRATCOM gives the nation an edge on offensive-defensive integration (ODI). While
this ODI may lend itself to a command and control structure for homeland AMD, it is not
imperative. What is essential is whether or not the proposed command can perform all of
the pillars of joint air and missile defense. These pillars include active defense, passive
defense, attack operations and C4I.
The final question becomes whether or not these systems should function as part
of a decentralized, tiered system of homeland air and missile defense. The Army is the
only service to have a currently fielded, capable missile defense system. The current
system and proposed systems all perform a dual mission of air and missile defense. The
exception falls within portions of the proposed Ballistic Missile Defense System
(BMDS), which has a pure missile defense mission. Even within BMDS, the proposed
sea-based platforms also perform an air defense function and are a part of the carrier
group’s indigenous defense. Should the air defense mission be split from the missile
defense mission and assigned under the appropriate commands? Is this even possible?
Before beginning analysis of these questions there must be some underlying
assumptions. For the purpose of this thesis it is assumed that there exists a credible air
threat to the homeland. The events of 11 September have shown the ramifications for
assuming otherwise. Although General Eberhart stated in NORAD’s brief to Congress
(Eberhart, 2002) that they will begin looking inward for aerospace defense, there are
innumerable obstacles to overcome which are beyond the scope of the DoD. It is also
assumed that a credible missile threat exists to the United States. This is part of the
present administration’s national security platform. In efforts to combat this threat the
U.S. withdrew from the 1972 ABM treaty, despite urging from the Soviets. This treaty
limited missile defenses to protect either both countries missile fields or capitol. It also
precluded the sharing the data across the missile defense systems.
The terms used in this paper are jointly agreed upon definitions found in the
Department of Defense dictionary (JP1-02) and other joint doctrine. A few key terms
from Joint Publications are listed below. Please note the conflicting definitions of air
defense. The definition from JP1-02 is used unless otherwise noted.
Aerospace. Of, or pertaining to, Earth’s envelope of atmosphere and the space
above it; two separate entities considered as a single realm for activity in
launching, guidance, and control of vehicles that will travel in both entities.
Air Defense. Air defense consists of all defensive measures designed to destroy,
nullify or reduce the effectiveness of attacking enemy aircraft or missiles.
Missiles may include ground-, air-, or sea-launched cruise missiles; and ballistic
missiles with range capability less than 3500 kilometers. These operations may
also include destruction of airborne missile launch platforms. Air defense includes
both active and passive measures. (JP 3-01.1)
Air Defense. All defensive measures designed to destroy attacking enemy aircraft
or missiles in the Earth’s envelope of atmosphere, or to nullify or reduce the
effectiveness of such attack. Also called AD. (JP1-02)
Air and Missile Defense. The integration of joint force capabilities to deter
preempt, defend against and destroy adversary aircraft and missiles, both before
and after launch. Air and missile defense is accomplished through an appropriate
mix of mutually supportive passive missile defense; active missile defense; attack
operations; and supporting command, control, communications, computers, and
intelligence measures. Also called AMD. (JP3-26, writers draft. Upon approval
of this publication, this term and its definition will be included in JP 1-02)
Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD). BMD exists to defeat long-range ground and
sea-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles attacking North America. These
missiles are those with a range capability greater than 3500 kilometers. BMD
operations include all active and passive measures designed to detect, classify,
track, intercept, and destroy attacking ballistic missiles, or nullify or reduce the
effectiveness of such attacks. (JP 3-01.1)
Integrated Missile Defense (IMD). A layered missile defense that effectively
integrates ballistic missile active defense systems in order to defend the U.S.,
deployed forces, friends, and Allies. Included within IMD is the integration of
Theater Missile Defense (TMD), Ground Based Mid-course Defense (GMD),
other missile defense forces, and the requisite Battle Management, Command and
Control (BMC2). (CONOPS for IMD. Baseline Block 2004-2006)
This 3500 KM demarcation is based in the words of the Strategic Arms
Limitations Talks (SALT) treaty and provides a clear separation for defenses. Current
systems have been designed with this restriction in mind. Near-term is defined as
attainable between now and 2010.
The focus of this thesis is limited to C2. The communications (C3) aspect is
assumed away as all current missile defense systems can communicate via the Joint
Tactical Digital Information Link, known as TADIL-J or link-16. The forthcoming GMD
Communications Network (GCN), augmented with additional communications assets,
will provide a secure communications backbone which may be utilized to overcome long
haul communications problems. This role is currently filled by the World Wide Secure
Voice Communications System (WWSVCS).
Command and control (C2) will be addressed, but C3 (adding communications)
will not be specifically addressed outside of the definition of C4I. This thesis is limited
to the near term because this issue must be addressed now. It is not viable or expedient to
design a communications structure to support a doctrinal solution. These topics must be
reviewed to verify the potential C2 relationships, but a materiel solution will not be
addressed. Forthcoming systems such as Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD),
Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), Ground-based Midcourse Defense
(GMD) and airborne laser (ABL), as well as existing systems such as PATRIOT fall
under consideration for homeland air and missile defense. Interceptor aircraft must also
be considered for the air defense role.
Computers (C4) will not be addressed in this thesis either except in the context of
C4I. It will be the responsibility of the supported commander assigned the homeland air
and missile defense mission to establish the appropriate C4 system. Assuming Defense
Information Infrastructure-Common Operating Environment (DII-COE) compliance and
implementation of the Global Information Grid (GIG), the appropriate commander shall
be able to draw the data together to form a Common Operational Picture (COP).
Whether current and forthcoming technologies lend to a centralized or decentralized
command structure for the aforementioned C2 will be addressed. The JtAMDO
CONOPS also stresses the use of supported and supporting commanders; therefore this
option must be considered as viable.
Although aerospace defense rests on three mission areas (See figure 1), this paper
is scoped to only address air defense and missile defense, not space defense. For the
purposes of this paper it is assumed that this responsibility transferred to USSTRATCOM
when they merged with USSPACECOM.
Figure 1. Aerospace Defense Mission Areas
There is no unity of command against air and missile threats. Who, therefore,
should command and control dual-mission assets for homeland air and missile defense in
the near term? This paper will address whether the air and missile defense missions can
be split and propose the best command and control structure. The beginnings of
homeland AMD will serve as a starting point.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF AMD
Upon initial examination it was determined that the most likely commands to be
responsible for homeland air and missile defense were NORAD which has merged with
USNORTHCOM, and USSPACECOM, which has merged with USSTRATCOM. This
is appropriate since they all had a lineage in homeland air defense. Both of these
commands can be traced back to the United States Air Force Air Defense Command
(USAF ADC). (See Figure 2).
Missile Warning &
Missile Warning &
Space Launch systems
& Warning Radars
Area AD, manned interceptors
Missiles > 100 miles
Point AD, Safeguard,
Missiles < 100 miles
Aerospace defense of
MISSION FLOW NORTHCOM
A i r & M i s s I l e D e f e n s e ?
Figure 2. Historical Mission Flow. Source: Multiple Sources.
The most poignant example of homeland air and missile defense was developed
during the Cold War under the Continental Air Defense (CONAD). This US component
to NORAD maintained a joint aerospace defense of the homeland. The command began
its mission in fear of Soviet sorties coming across the ocean to drop nuclear bombs on
American soil. The nation was defended through interceptor aircraft and coastal artillery
batteries encircling the coastline that grew into missile detachments at strategic locations.
Eventually, the Army fielded the SAFEGUARD system in North Dakota to defend
against intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) strikes. The Air Force maintained
manned interceptors and stood ready with BOMARC missiles while watching the skies
with land and sea-based radars. The navy also watched the sea approaches, with carrier
based interceptors ready to defend the nation. As units grew in capabilities, the
commands changed their names. Army Anti-aircraft Command grew into Army Air
Defense Command. Air Defense Command became Aerospace Defense Command.
North American Air Defense Command became North American Aerospace Defense
Command. There was definitely an integrated, homeland air and missile defense.
Although the robust communications of today did not exist in the 1950s,
procedural controls linked with designated areas of responsibility (see figure 2) gave
CONAD positive control over their defenses. For example, a Nike Hercules battery
would receive early warning from CONAD through their Army Air Defense Command
Post. They would then acquire the threat with their own radars and ready the missiles.
When the battery control officer manually correlated the track with the information from
higher, they procedurally went to a higher alert state and interrogated the target. The
battery control officer could then best determine when and upon whom to fire based upon
“the plotting board information, his knowledge of the defense area, the geographic
limitation of his field of fire, and the method of engagement directed by the Army Air
Defense Command Post.” (The last line of Defense, Nike sites in Illinois, Ryder) These
copious defenses went unchallenged and were, by default, 100 percent effective.
So what happened? The safeguard system was shut down five months after it was
fielded in the name of détente. Post Korea draw downs and financial cuts took the life of
the ARADCOM as Mutually Assured Destruction promised to provide the best defense
against a Soviet strike. America no longer defended against the missile threat. NORAD
remained vigilant with eyes looking outward for an enemy air attack with aircraft at the
ready. America’s missile defenses slowly disappeared. The ADC allowed the BOMARC
missile to drop from their inventory in 1968. By the end of the 1970s the ADCOM had
also stood down and distributed its missions to other commands. The last Army Nike site
shut their doors in 1974. By the eighties the U.S. was hoping on Hawk and a new system
called SAM-D (which eventually evolved into Patriot) to protect us from aerial threats. It
wasn’t until just before the Gulf War that the U.S. considered tactical ballistic missile
defenses. To ensure economy of force and align with the mission areas, the missile
defense mission came back under air defense.
The research review continues with the authoritative guidance from the joint
publications. Joint Pub 3-01 is the doctrine for countering air and missile threats. Within
this publication the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, delineated the responsibilities for air
and missile defenses of the Continental United States as follows:
The Commander in Chief, NORAD (CINCNORAD) is tasked to provide
aerospace warning for North America. Aerospace warning consists of the
detection, validation, and warning of an attack against North America
whether by aircraft, missiles or space vehicles. The Commander in Chief,
US Space Command (USCINCSPACE) supports NORAD by providing
the missile warning and space surveillance necessary to fulfill the US
commitment to the NORAD agreement, and provides integrated tactical
warning and/or attack assessment of space, missile, and aircraft attacks on
the continental United States and Alaska should NORAD be unable to
accomplish the assessment mission. If offensive operations are necessary,
USCINCSPACE will provide surveillance and warning to the appropriate
combatant commanders, CINCNORAD, or the Commander, US Element
NORAD, whose forces will conduct offensive operations. (JP3-01)
These relationships are further defined in Joint Publication 3-01.1, Aerospace Defense of
Available surface-to-air defense assets are incorporated in the overall
defense plan and subjected to the integrated procedures and weapons
control measures of CINCNORAD. (JP3-01.1)
This has been an appropriate relationship as CINCSPACE was designated as
CINCNORAD under the Unified Command of NORAD/USSPACE. NORAD, however,
is a bi-national command and thereby precluded from unilateral action by the United
States. This is a key consideration, given the short timelines for missile defense. The
current Canadian policy precludes their participation in Ballistic Missile Defense.
The Joint Air and Missile Defense Organization have proposed another solution.
Their CONOPS for Near-Term (04-05) Integrated Missile Defense revolves on the
concept of supported and supporting commanders. USSPACECOM will always be a
supporting commander with their sensor assets. The appropriate combatant commanders
will be the supported commander based upon the threat (JtAMDO CONOPS, 2002). In
the context of homeland defense, NORTHCOM would be the supported command and
would get the assets, i.e. sensors, assigned to STRATCOM at their disposal to address the
threat. This type of relationship already existed between NORAD and SPACECOM.
Although NORAD was responsible for aerospace warning, SPACECOM was responsible
to manage the sensor assets and provide them with notification. As the DoD moves
towards the Joint Vision 2020 concept of netted and distributed fires, this remains
Since Joint Publication 3-01 was published a new Unified Command Plan (UCP)
has also been released. The UCP split the unified command of NORAD/
USSPACECOM, effective 1 Oct 02. The UCP States that Commander, USNORTHCOM
is designated Commander, US Element NORAD (CDRUSELEMNORAD) and will
normally be designated Commander in Chief, North American Aerospace Defense
Subsequent to this release, Secretary of Defense Rumsfield and Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff Myers announced the merger of SPACECOM and STRATCOM
giving them responsibility for “both early warning and defense against missile attack as
well as long range conventional attacks. (DOD News release 331-02). This poses
numerous hurdles to current doctrine.
In January 2001, before these splits occurred, General Eberhart issued
NORAD/USSPACECOM Mission Directive 38-1, Missions and Command Relationships
with the following text:
To execute the NORAD missions of ballistic missile warning and, if
assigned, the Ballistic Missile Defense of North America, and the
USSPACECOM missions of Theater Ballistic Missile and Shared Early
Warning, the Missile Warning and Defense Center (figure 7) will provide
the means by which the CINC exercises fire direction and/or fire control.
The referenced figure from this directive is depicted as figure 3 below.
SPACECOMS missile warning center and CDRUSELEMNORAD’s missile
Defense center were merged within the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center
(CMOC) as the missile warning and defense center to respond to the unified
Figure 3. NORAD/USSPACE Command Relationships Source: NUMD 38-1
The logical conclusion to this new UCP construct is the division of the
responsibility for National Missile Defenses from the command responsible for aerospace
defense of the homeland. Whilst this does allow for an integrated response to a strategic
attack against the United States, how does this deal with other missile threats? The
Missile Defense Agency and others are considering the possibility of an enemy firing a
tactical ballistic missile from a container ship off of the coast. Enemies of the U.S. have
had over a decade to analyze the effectiveness of Tomahawk missiles during the gulf war
and subsequent strategic strikes. Current off-the-shelf technology is allowing potential
enemies greater access to this capability at a much decreased cost. An adversary could
procure an arsenal of cruise missiles for the cost of just one or two fighter jets. This
technology is available to terrorist threats as well.
Maintaining a demarcation similar to those separating Air Defense and Ballistic
Missile Defense from Joint Publication 3-01.1 may provide the answer. By maintaining
the 3500 KM demarcation ballistic missile defense remains separated from air defense.
CONAD split responsibility for threats between the Army and Air Force at 100 Miles
from the American coastline. Should the U.S. continue to separate all missile defenses
from air defense to accommodate the integrated missile defense paradigm, maintain the
demarcation between air defense and ballistic missile defense or unify them all under one
The literature review has provided a historical overview; let us now turn to
doctrine, roles and missions. Based upon the assumption that a four star general directly
responsible to the President / Secretary of Defense would need to be in the decision chain
for decisions similar to the circumstances of 11 September, the initial review is limited to
Although all combatant commanders are responsible for “[d]eterring attacks
against the United States, its territories, possessions and bases, and employing
appropriate force should deterrence fail” (UCP, 2002), one can not expect a commander
to operate outside of his assigned area of responsibility; therefore geographic combatant
commanders whose area of responsibility (AOR) lies outside of the United States are
automatically excluded. Their role should remain as the protection of American interests
within their AOR. This leaves USSOCOM, USTRANSCOM, USJFCOM,
USSTRATCOM, USPACOM and USNORTHCOM. Review of functional
responsibilities further culls the potential commanders.
Commander, USSOCOM has specific responsibilities delineated under Title 10
USC (Title 10 U.S. Code, Subtitle A, Part I, Chapter 6, Section 167) for special
operational forces. Homeland air and missile defense forces do not qualify as special
operations activities under section 167 unless their mission was deemed so by the
Secretary of Defense. This would be inappropriate. Based upon these specific
requirements, Commander USSOCOM should not be considered for the role of C2 for
homeland AMD forces.
The responsibilities of Commander, USTRANSCOM are limited to transport, lift,
refueling and terminal services “as needed for the deployment, employment, and
sustainment of US forces on a global basis” (UCP, 2002). His functional area of
responsibility would preclude his role in this mission.
Commander, USJFCOM holds a unique position. USJFCOM no longer holds the
functions of command associated with area responsibility. His primary responsibilities
“reflect his role in transforming US military forces to meet the security challenges of the
21st century” (UCP, 2002). He is the joint force provider, responsible for joint
integration and training. This in and of itself is an ambitious task for any commander.
The responsibility for “Planning for the land defense of CONUS, domestic support
operations to assist government agencies and the bi-national Canada-US land and
maritime defense of the Canada-US region” was passed to USNORTHCOM effective 1
October 2002” (UCP, 2002). He may play a supporting role in homeland air and missile
defense, but should not be considered as the supported commander.
The 2002 UCP delineates a command not mentioned above, USSPACECOM.
Subsequent to its release, the Secretary of Defense and Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
announced that USSPACECOM would merge with USSTRATCOM. As such, continued
analyses will role the responsibilities of USSPCECOM under USSTRATCOM.
Commander, USSTRATCOM is a functional area combatant commander with the
specific responsibility “for strategic nuclear forces to support the national objective of
strategic deterrence.” He is also responsible for C4ISR capabilities in support of strategic
force employment (UCP, 2002).
It is the roles previously assigned to Commander, USSPACECOM that lend
specifically to homeland air and missile defense. These include the roles of missile
warning, support for missile defense and the responsibility of “planning for and
developing requirements for missile defense, space based support for missile defense, and
space operations.” (UCP, 2002) Joint Publication 0-2, Unified Actions Armed Forces
states “The Commander in Chief, US Space Command (USCINCSPACE) conducts space
operations, including support of strategic ballistic missile defense for the United States
and missile warning and space surveillance in support of US agreements with North
American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).” (UNAAF, 2001)
The combination of these roles and responsibilities is best expressed in the words
of the new USSTRATCOM mission statement: “Establish and provide full-spectrum
global strike, coordinated space and information operations capabilities to meet both
deterrent and decisive national security objectives. Provide operational space support,
integrated missile defense, global C4ISR and specialized planning expertise to the joint
warfighter” (http://www.stratcom.af.mil/). The term “integrated missile defense” clearly
points to a role for homeland missile defense.
Geographic combatant commanders are responsible to defend against all attacks
in their AOR, to include missiles. Based upon UCP divisions, Commander, USPACOM
is responsible for the defense of Hawaii and has is responsible for troops stationed in
Alaska. The UCP has created the unusual situation of dividing the homeland between
two MACOMs. For this reason, Commander, USPACOM must be considered to have a
role in homeland air and missile defense.
The remaining command to consider is USNORTHCOM. Commander,
USNORTHCOM is the geographic combatant commander responsible for the homeland.
This places homeland defense squarely within his AOR. Under the 2002 UCP he also
assumes the responsibilities of Commander USELEMNORAD. By definition, that gives
him responsibility for North American Aerospace Defense. NORTHCOM defines their
mission as homeland defense and civilian support, including “Conduct[ing] operations to
deter, prevent, and defeat threats and aggression aimed at the United States, its territories,
and interests within the assigned area of responsibility” (http://www.northcom.mil/).
This places him squarely responsible for homeland air defense. It is important to note,
however, that Canada has made no commitment to ballistic missile defense under the
NORAD agreement. Without a change to the treaty, which looks improbable due to the
current Canadian political climate, Commander, USELEMNORAD would be forced to
act unilaterally against ballistic missile threats.
As the BMDS is being fielded to offer homeland protection from long-range
ballistic missiles, America is finding conflict on the international front. Besides some
foreign protests, to achieve sufficient early warning some sensors may need to be placed
overseas. As the President attempts to garner support for national missile defenses, there
have been talks of basing missile fields outside the United States to offer protection to its
allies. Some BMDS systems may be carrier based and deployed in multiple AORs.
Airborne Laser would provide the same conundrum. Overall command and control for a
system with global potential may extend beyond the scope of one geographic
Doctrinal Review of Roles and Definitions
Can or should we separate the roles of air and missile defense for the homeland?
We must first clarify definitions. As noted at the beginning of this paper, there are
differing definitions for air and missile defense, air defense and ballistic missile defense.
In the November 1996 version of JP3-01.1, titled Aerospace defense of North America,
we can see the aerospace defense mission areas broken down as air defense, ballistic
missile defense and space defense. The demarcation between air defense and ballistic
missile defense is based upon threat systems with a capability greater than 3500 KM.
The 19 Oct 1999 version of JP 3-01, Joint Doctrine for Countering Air and Missile
Threats, breaks down the counter air missions of offensive counter air (i.e attack
operations), and defensive counter air, which consists of active air defense and passive air
defense. The U.S. Army Theater Air and Missile Defense Master Plan captured this
concept describing the three pillars of theater air and missile defense (TAMD); active
defense, passive defense, and attack operations, built upon the foundation of C4I. The
construct passed to the Army Master Plan, Army TAMD Master Plan and the Joint
Theater Air and Missile Defense Master Plan. The latest evolution of this doctrine is
Figure 4. Draft Homeland
Defense Operational Format
Source: JP 3-26 Writers Draft
shown in figure 3 from the draft of JP 3-26 where these concepts form the elements for
homeland defense operations, and air and missile defense becomes the first pillar or
mission set. Per this proposal, air and missile defense combines the mission areas of air
defense and ballistic missile defense from JP 3-01.1.
We must be careful to consider threat launch location and impact location when
traversing the TAMD pillars or homeland defense operational elements. A Taepo Dong-
2 type system fired from Korea may reach Alaska or Hawaii. If it is launched to Hawaii,
it is still within the geographic AOR of Commander, USPACOM. If it is fired to Alaska,
it crosses into Commander NORTHCOMs AOR. This has significant impact on who can
conduct active defense and attack operations.
Based upon these definitions, a missile threat with a range below 3500 KM,
which remains endoatmospheric, falls under the definition of air defense. This includes
short-range ballistic missiles, such as the Scud, and cruise missiles. A geographic
combatant commander has sufficient assets to apply all four operational elements (active
defense, passive defense, attack operations and C4I) against these threats. Ballistic
Sovereignty protectionSovereignty protection
Air & Missile Defense
Prepare Deter Preempt Defend Respond
Attack Operations Active Defense Passive defense C4I
Homeland Defense Operational Framework.
missile defense, which is comprised of long-range ground and sea based missiles,
inherently requires cross boundary engagements due to the range of the threat systems.
Attack operations become especially difficult. This mission may be more appropriate for
a functional combatant commander.
As stated above, USSTRATCOMs has assumed responsibility for the Integrated
Missile Defense mission. This term is derived from JtAMDO’s Concept of Operations
for Integrated Missile Defense Baseline: Block 2004-2006. This CONOPS uses the
IMD definition. A layered missile defense that effectively integrates
ballistic missile active defense systems in order to defend the U.S.,
deployed forces, friends, and Allies. Included within IMD is the
integration of Theater Missile Defense (TMD), Ground Based Mid-course
Defense (GMD), other missile defense forces, and the requisite Battle
Management, Command and Control (BMC2). (CONOPS for IMD.
Baseline Block 2004-2006)
Based upon this definition and STRATCOM’s assumed role we have a continued
quandary as to where the responsibility for Theater Missile Defenses (TMD) belongs in
Air and Missile Defense. Is the responsibility for short range ballistic defense inherent in
the air defense function or as a component of IMD?
It is important to note that the CONOPS for IMD was written as a precursor to an
Integrated Air and Missile Defense operational concept and operational architecture. The
paper focuses only on the active defense pillar of ballistic missile defense. The specified
scope for this paper was;
1) to establish a baseline of integrated missile defense for the emergency
capability in 2004-2006; 2) gain consensus among the CJCS, CINCs,
Services, and Agencies on a framework for conducting integrated missile
defense; 3) influence policy for near-term homeland missile defense
issues; and 4) support long and short-term efforts to develop missile
defense plans, programs and budgets (MDA, CINCs & Services).
(CONOPS for IMD. Baseline Block 2004-2006)
It is to be expanded by the combatant commander assigned the mission. The CONOPS
has been turned over to USSTRATCOM for planning.
One of the reasons for the push towards IMD is that effective June 2002 the
United States withdrew from the ABM treaty of 1972 and created new opportunities in
the realms of missile defense. The 1972 treaty limited defenses against intercontinental
ballistic missiles to one site; either protecting the nuclear weapons site or the Capitol.
Because of this limitation, ICBM defenses were designed so as not to be interoperable
with theater missile defenses. Now that the rules have changed, an opportunity exists to
net all sensors to provide all missile defense systems with greater early warning
capability and multiple shot opportunities through a multi-tiered defense. The original
3500 kilometer demarcation in joint doctrine is based in the SALT talks and linked to the
1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, so this cold war based demarcation may also
To determine the proper command and control relationships doctrinal terms must
be deconflicted to determine the best place for theater missile defenses within air and
missile defense. Should the air defense and ballistic missile defense missions be
separated? Is air and missile defense is the correct construct or should it be forfeited to
pursue integrated missile defense. All of these questions will be addressed in the next
To determine the best near term command and control structure for homeland air
and missile defense there are two lines of thought which must be explored. First, it must
be determined if the air and missile defense missions be separated, or remain joined.
Secondly, if a unified structure is appropriate, it must be determined what systems should
be included in that structure and their proper method of control.
It has been posited that the air and missile defense missions should be separated.
Can and should this be done? To determine this, an assessment of what currently exists
and how it is utilized must be made. A review of the roles and missions must be done
and it must be determined if another system can perform the mission if a role is changed.
Unless sufficient assets exist to perform the separate missions it may not be feasible
unless one of the missions is neglected or ignored. Finally, this must be weighed against
current positions and joint doctrine.
Assuming the missions cannot be separated and a threat exists, when and how
should homeland AMD assets be deployed. The first obstacle is assessing current
missions and deployments to determine what assets are available. It must be determined
if sufficient assets exist to perform a dedicated homeland AMD mission or if units will be
deployed on order. There are three possibilities; a dedicated homeland AMD force,
forces deployed on order as the threat dictates, or some assets may be dedicated and
augmented by additional units. A Criticality-Vulnerability-Recoupability-Threat (CVRT)
assessment must be made to determine what can be defended with available assets, then
shortfalls noted. Finally, a Feasibility-Applicability-Sustainability (FAS) test should be
placed against the proposed command and control structure.
Regarding the question as to what is the proper method of control, what has
worked in the past must be considered. There are cases where centralized C2 is the most
effective or the only acceptable method. There are other instances where a centralized
structure has led to disaster leaving subordinates incapable to execute their mission. A
review of historical precedent and the systems utilized by other nations will be reviewed.
It is understood that when looking at the command structures of other nations many other
factors must be considered. For example, a centralized C2 structure is much easier to
attain in a small nation with fewer assets, less infrastructure and shorter communications
lines, than in a larger nation. Other immeasurable factors must also be considered such
as the initiative and audacity of the soldiers and what environment they are used to
The realities of what is possible must also be considered. If a centralized solution
set appears the best solution, yet no structure exists to execute the functions necessary, it
is not viable. A suitable communications structure must be attainable to support
whatever architecture is chosen. A look at current and planned communications
infrastructure for secure voice and data must be conducted. Finally, the solution must be
in harmony with joint doctrine or joint doctrine must be changed. A review of current
doctrine will address this.
If the best architecture utilizes decentralized execution, the C2 structure must
consider the execution and ramifications of a tiered defense. A proper point of
demarcation must be established to maximize effectiveness. Cross boundary
engagements take on new meaning when the threat aircraft and missiles can cross
multiple combat commanders’ areas of responsibility.
Once these questions have been answered, the primary question can be addressed
to determine the best near-term command and control structure for homeland air and
missile defense. If the air and missile defense missions can be separated, the proper
command structure for each must be tackled. If not, a unified commander should be
To decide who should command and control these elements we should look at
roles and missions, joint doctrine, historical precedent and current thought from key
leadership. Any command considered must be able to apply all four pillars of joint air
and missile defense. Finally, the FAS test should be again applied to confirm the
appropriateness of the intended command and control architecture.
APPLYING THE ASSETS
Before addressing the best structure for homeland air and missile defense, it is
important to decide whether these are the right roles and missions. Each service has a
slightly different view, but there is a general consensus. While the Air Force addresses
air defense under counterair operations, the Army addresses it as a separate Battlefield
Operating System (BOS).
The joint theater missile defense structure, as outlined in Joint Pub 3-01.5 and FM
100-12, provides an excellent framework to address the apparent incongruities. The
National Security Strategy (NSS) outlines “We must ensure that key capabilities --
detection, active and passive defenses, and counterforce capabilities -- are integrated into
our defense transformation and our homeland security systems.” (Bush, 2002) The joint
construct outlines four operational elements of air and missile defense; passive defense,
active defense, attack operations and command, control, communications, computers and
intelligence (C4I). Although all elements are equally important, it is depicted in Joint
Publication 3-01.5 and other joint doctrine with the C4I providing the base for the other
three pillars as seen in the following figure.
Figure 5. Air and Missile Defense Construct
Source: Derived from JP3-01.5, JP3-01 and IMD CONOPS
The Air Force breaks counterair operations into two categories, offensive
counterair (OCA) and defense counterair (DCA). The attack operations pillar best
correlates to the Air Force’s definition of offensive counterair (OCA). JP 3-01.5 defines
attack operations as offensive actions by land, sea, air, space and special operations
forces to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize theater missile launch platforms, supporting C3,
logistics and RISTA platforms. Air Force Doctrine Directive (AFDD) 2-1.1 states that
offensive counterair consists of offensive operations aimed at destroying, disrupting or
limiting enemy air and missile threats. While OCA may be a means to conduct attack
operations, it is not exclusive. An artillery battery or naval gunfire firing on a position,
special operational forces attacking a logistics node, or an electronic warfare attack
against a C2 node are all considered attack operations. The commander that has all of
these assets available to prosecute attack operations is best suited for this mission. It is
essential that he has some attack capability against the threat.
Command, Control, Communications, Computers & Intelligence
Air &Missile Defense
AFDD 2-1.1 states that “The objective of defensive counterair is to protect
friendly forces and vital interests from enemy air and missile attacks and is synonymous
with air defense.” It further divides DCA into two categories; active air defense and
passive air defense. These are the two remaining pillars of our model. Active defense
deals with the defensive action taken to destroy or reduce the effectiveness of aircraft or
missiles in flight. Passive defense consists of all other actions taken to reduce the
vulnerability of the assets and the effectiveness of hostile air and missile attacks.
While it may be argued that any commander assigned the mission of homeland air
and missile defense can only reduce vulnerability to assets under his control, there are
other means to conduct passive defense. Both the Army and Joint publications outline
eight: Deception, NBC protection, theater missile early warning, electronic warfare,
counter surveillance, recovery and reconstitution, and mobility, dispersal and hardening.
While a military commander will be able to provide limited nuclear biological and
chemical (NBC) protection for a civilian populace, he should be able to conduct counter
surveillance and early warning. Each of these will be looked at in detail later.
Attack operations pose an unusual situation when operating on home soil. The
commander responsible for directing an attack within the United States must have
communications with civil and local authorities. Coordination must also be made with
the geographic combatant commander if he is not assigned the mission. Had we
sufficient notice prior to the 9/11 attacks, communications with the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) could have grounded the aircraft prior to take off. Special
Operations forces might be best suited to eliminate a terrorist cell with minimal collateral
damage. We began traversing into a gray area of violations of Posse Comitatus under
Title 10 U.S. Code (USC). Federal military forces may not be used to conduct police
actions against Americans. A concept meriting further review would be to use state
National Guard forces under Title 32 USC who are not bound by this restriction.
Attack operations beyond the borders of the United States become less entangling.
They are more limited by the range of the weapons systems used. Although our
neighbors to the north and south are not considered great threats, there is growing
concern of a missile attack from a container ship off of the American coastline. If the
United States were attacked by Canada, Mexico, or from a sea-based platform the
Offensive Counter Air (OCA) assets would be available under the same provisions as
listed above for DCA. As the global community gets smaller due to technology, our
greatest threats come from other nations that will soon be able to reach us with their
weapons of mass destruction. Most attack operations would most likely be conducted by
forward deployed forces or long-range strategic assets. This may require coordination for
the use of assets assigned to another combatant commander. If no forward deployed
assets are available, strategic assets can be deployed from the homeland. STRATCOM
controls the space surveillance satellites as well as other assets such as the RC-135V/W
Rivet Joint used for the reconnaissance in support of attack operations.
When most people contemplate air and missile defense, the center pillar of active
defense is all they consider. When addressing active defense the threat plays a vital role.
An F-18 Hornet is effective against aircraft, but cannot address a missile threat. A
PATRIOT battery can defeat an aircraft or short to medium range missile, but not an
ICBM. Elements of the BMDS will be able to destroy ICBMs, but be ineffectual against
aircraft and short to mid-range missiles. Each system has its own capabilities and
limitations which must be considered. For this reason, a multi-tiered defense in depth is
the preferred option.
The foundational element of C4I ties all these elements together. Any
commander assigned the air and missile defense mission must have “timely and accurate
data and systems to plan, monitor, direct, control and report” (JP 3-01.5, 1996). The
underlying infrastructure to support these operations will also dictate the level of control
a commander is able to exercise. Integration of these pillars through C4I provides the
commander with unity of effort and a cohesive air and missile defense force.
Given this framework, a review of the doctrinal interrelationship between air
defense and missile defense is necessary. All current doctrine maintains these missions
as one. The primary reason for this is that the systems that can execute these functions
often perform the same roles on the battlefield. For the near term, those systems
currently in the inventory or being procured can be considered. The roles those systems
perform may also be addressed. Active defense systems will be addressed first. For ease
of discussion, they will be divided into land, air and sea-based platforms in that order.
Land-Based Active Defense
The Army divides its active air defense systems into two categories; High to
Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) and Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD). The
PATRIOT and THAAD systems fall under the HIMAD umbrella, while the Stinger based
systems fall under SHORAD and are used for Forward Area Air Defense (FAAD). The
current ratio of active to reserve forces is 60 percent active and 40 percent reserves.
There are seven Avenger battalions, two PATRIOT battalions and one THAAD Battalion
currently listed as COMPO 4, which means that the Army has identified the need, but
does not have the assets available to fill them (TAA09, 2002).
There are multiple stinger based platforms in the Army and Marine Corps
inventories. The stinger missile has a proven capability against aircraft, but no capability
against TBM’s. There are 10 Active duty and 17 reserve component SHORAD units,
however, two of the reserve units have dual missions (QDR, 2002). The Man Portable
Air Defense System (MANPADS) variant is utilized by all four services. The stinger
based platforms offer an active defense at shorter ranges against aircraft. When enhanced
with slew-to-cue technology, which refers to the ability of the turret to rotate (slew) to the
azimuth of an enemy target, as yet unseen, due to advanced warning (cue) from a remote
sensor (radar), these systems also provide a cruise missile defense capability. The
sentinel radar generally serves as the remote sensor, but slew-to-cue systems may receive
cues from other systems as well. (Green, 2002) The stinger missile has no capability
against ballistic missiles.
The M6 Linebacker is the improved version of the Bradley Stinger Fighting
Vehicle (BSFV) designed to protect the heavy force in the forward area. With the
Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicle, the Stinger team must dismount to engage targets. The
M6 Linebacker consists of the M2A2 Bradley with an integrated, externally mounted
launcher that is armed with four ready-to-fire Stinger missiles while stationary or on the
move. An additional 6 missiles can be stowed. The Linebacker corrects the Bradley
Stinger Fighting Vehicle limitations with respect to Stinger team survivability, fire
control, target acquisition, and identification. Linebacker provides the heavy maneuver
force with dedicated low-altitude Air and Missile Defense against cruise missiles,
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft. Linebacker can
maintain pace with the armored force while the Stinger team remains under armor
protection during engagements. Linebacker gunners can also dismount and perform as
MANPADS Teams or individual Stinger gunners. Ninety nine linebackers are fielded to
the 3d Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division, 4th Infantry Division, and the 3d Armored
Cavalry Regiment (OCADA, 2002).
The Avenger provides mobile SHORAD protection to divisions, armored cavalry
regiments, corps air defense brigades and the Marine Corps. The Army numbers are 1004
with a requirement of 275 systems for the Marine Corps (Cullen, 2001). The Avenger is
a low cost answer to the cruise missile and UAV threats. The Avenger consists of two
turret-mounted Stinger missile pods containing up to eight Stinger missiles, a .50-caliber
machine gun, a forward-looking Infra-red system (FLIR), a laser range finder, and an
identification friend or foe (IFF) system mounted on a High-Mobility Multipurpose
Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). The Avenger is a light-weight, high mobility, day and
night capable system. (OCADA, 2002) The night vision capability coupled with the
machine gun adds additional homeland defense capabilities.
Additional Marine Corps active air defense rests in the Light Armored Vehicle
Air Defense (LAV-AD) system. The main role of the LAV-AD system is to engage fixed
wing aircraft and helicopters, with a secondary role to engage ground targets using its
twenty five millimeter cannon. (Cullen, 2001) There are a total of 17 LAV-AD in the
inventory assigned to the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp
Pendleton. The system maintains a shoot on the move capability and carries eight ready
to launch stinger missiles and eight more in reserve in addition to the cannon. This LAV-
AD has day or night capability through the use of the daylight TV and FLIR. Overall,
this system has comparable capabilities to the M6 Linebacker, except the slew-to-cue
capability that enables cruise missile defense.
There are currently 10 PATRIOT battalions in the active duty Army and two
battalions in the reserve component (OCADA, 2002) These battalions are assigned to
corps commanders and are normally located in the rear area to protect strategic assets.
Patriot is a theater and corps Air and Missile Defense (AMD) system that can
simultaneously engage and destroy multiple targets at varying ranges and altitudes in
defense of critical assets and maneuver forces. It is also lethal against aircraft, UAV and
cruise missiles. The new PAC-3 missile can engage multiple, simultaneous targets. A
single PAC-3 Patriot launcher carries 16 missiles and can launch four missiles
simultaneously. The PAC-3 missile is a hit-to-kill, surface-to-air-missile capable of
intercepting and destroying tactical missiles and air-breathing threats. This platform has
much to offer homeland air and missile defense through its capabilities against multiple
platforms. The PAC-3 missile provides the range, accuracy, and lethality necessary to
effectively defend against tactical missiles with conventional or biological warheads,
cruise missiles and UAVs as well as a long range capability against aircraft. (OCADA,
2002) The PATRIOT system can only engage short and medium range ballistic missiles
and has only limited capability against longer range missiles. It also has a smaller
defensive footprint against missiles than the THAAD or BMDS systems. PATRIOT
normally fights as a battalion due to communications concerns and the lack of 360 degree
coverage. Engagements can only be made within the 120 degree radar coverage fan.
The THAAD system is currently projected to be fielded in 2013 (QDR, 2002).
There are currently assets available with limited capabilities that have been used in the
field, so it will be considered for the purposes of this paper. It is not considered part of
the BMDS for national missile defense. The THAAD system is envisaged as an easily
transportable battery of weapons capable of hit to kill collisions with incoming tactical
and theater ballistic missiles at heights as much as 20-150 times greater than those
defended by PATRIOT and ranges up to 195 kilometers (Cullen, 2001). The system will
be capable of endo- and exo-atmospheric engagements of ballistic missiles with a shoot-
look-shoot capability. Combined use with the PATRIOT platform should provide a near
leak proof defense. The fielding of a tiered air defense will free additional PATRIOT
assets for engagement of air breathing threats.
A Ground-Based Mid-Course Defense (GMD) platform is being fielded for
National Missile Defense (NMD). With the initial missile field in Alaska and radar
platforms supporting it from around the globe, this system will be able to protect all fifty
states from a limited ballistic missile strike. It is projected to have a limited capability
against intercontinental ballistic missiles in the 2004/2005 timeframe as part of the
Pacific Rim test bed. This system will have the full time mission of homeland missile
defense, but will have no capabilities against aircraft.
Comparatively, the other land-based active defenses do have a limited defensive
footprint. It is possible to employ a battery of equipment and maintain operations for
extended periods; however, multiple assets may be required to protect population centers
or key facilities. All land-based active defense assets, save GMD, are mobile. Mobility
must be weighed against early warning and threat speeds to assess effectiveness. This is
the primary advantage of DCA assets.
Defensive Counter Air (DCA)
There are countless platforms for defensive counter air. Generally in DCA, rotary
wing assets (helicopters) are best suited to defend against rotary wing threats and fixed
wing (fighter/interceptor) assets are used to defend against the fixed and rotary wing
threat. The fixed wing threat will be addressed first as it has greater precedent. The Air
Force apportions assets in accordance with needs and missions. Historically, the Air
National Guard (ANG) and reserve component have maintained the role for defense of
the homeland under title 10 and 32 demarcations. The primary fixed wing assets and C2
assets for the homeland are affiliated with the 1st Air Force. The 1st Air Force is also the
geographic component of NORAD. The 1st Air Force is primarily composed of National
Guardsmen, while the Major Commands (MACOM) are part of the active force.
To appreciate the significance of the active and Guard mix, one must understand
the three capacities which a Guardsman may serve. The first of which is State duty. It is
funded by the state for states’ purposes in accordance with states’ laws. The second
capacity is under Title 10 U.S. Code. Here, federalized National Guard forces are fully
incorporated into the active duty Air Force or Army forces "of the United States." They
receive federal funding and are under federal control. Finally, they may serve under Title
32 U.S Code. Here the governor makes National Guard forces available to the federal
government "in the service of the United States." In this capacity, the federal government
provides funding while still under control of the Governor (Gardner Testimony).
The command and control mechanisms for providing the air defense and air
sovereignty of the continental United States have transitioned from the active component
to the ANG over the past decade. By the early 1990s all the fighter interceptor squadrons
defending the CONUS were ANG units. This is due in part to the downsizing of the Air
Force and the appropriate fit for the ANG to perform and defend the homeland defense
mission from a political perspective. In 1992 the General Accounting Office
recommended an end to dedicated continental air defense forces and the Chairman, Joint
Chiefs of Staff concurred the following year. In September 1993, as a result of Base
Realignment and Closures (BRAC), Secretary of Defense Les Aspin approved the
transfer of the Northeastern Air Defense Sector (NEADS) from the Active Component to
the ANG. On 28 January 1994, General Killey, the previous Air Guard Director,
assumed command of 1st Air Force at the direction of the Air Force Chief of Staff. In
October 1995, the Southeast Air Defense Squadron (SEADS) and the Western Air
Defense Squadron (WADS) were also constituted and allotted to the NGB. By the end of
FY 1997, the ANG had assumed total responsibility for all of 1st Air Force including its
three Regional Operational Control Centers, Sector Operations Control Center and
headquarters (Air National Guard Heritage).
Command and control relationships under the 1st Air Force are particularly
complex. Despite its ANG composition, the 1st Air Force falls under the Air Component
Command (ACC); the force provider to NORAD. The ANG ensures resourcing while
the ACC is responsible for the organization, training and equipping functions to include
major systems acquisition. Performing federal operational missions under NORAD
posits a true dilemma because air defense and air sovereignty are federal, not National
Guard, missions and the majority of 1st AF personnel are Guardsmen who are under Title
32 U.S. code. These Guardsmen are on Title 32 status for training, but automatically
convert to Title 10 status when conducting federal missions, such as performing DCA of
an unidentified aircraft in support of NORAD. Key Commanders in the chain of
command, such as the Regional Operational Center and Sector Operational Center
Commanders, remain in Title 10 status to ensure an unbroken federal chain of command
while others remain Title 32 to perform administrative actions.
Air combat platforms utilized by the ANG include F-16, F-15C, A-10, F-4G, and
RF 4C aircraft. ANG units, which provide personnel and cargo transportation
capabilities, are equipped with KC-135 C-5A, C-141, and C-130 aircraft. Some B-1s are
in the Kansas Air National Guard. Air Force Reserve (AFRES) units are equipped with
cargo C-141, C-130, C-5 and KC-135. Combat aircraft in the AFRES include F-16, A-10
and HH/MH-60 (helicopter). As a Federal Reserve the AFRES has an Associate Aircraft
Program which provides trained crews and maintenance personnel for approximately 300
active component aircraft. This program pairs a Reserve unit with an AC unit who then
share a single aircraft. Aircraft types in the program include C-5, C-17, C-141, C-9, KC-
10 and B-52 (Heller, 1994).
The remaining Numbered Air Forces (NAF) are active duty units with traces to
STRATCOM. The 8th Air Force provides the Bomber assets for STRATCOM while the
12th maintains their Battle Management responsibilities and refueling assets. The 1st,
8th and 12th NAFs under the ACC are the primary CONUS based assets available to the
NORTHCOM Commander as a geographic Combatant Commander or the STRATCOM
Commander as a functional Combatant Commander. There are numerous forward
deployed assets which the STRATCOM Commander may more rapidly utilize. This
relationship will show further relevance as attack operations are assessed.
The Air Force is also developing an airborne laser (ABL) platform. The concept
of the ABL is to destroy ballistic missiles by placing a laser beam from the airborne
platform on the missile in the boost phase of flight, thereby causing the fuel supply to
explode. There is no anticipated fielding date for this system, but it is being considered
as part of the BMDS for NMD.
The Army and Marine Corps also maintain aviation assets which can perform
active defense through defensive counter air. They are also effective against slow
moving aircraft such as private aircraft or crop dusters. Numbers are hard to quantify as
weapons platforms can be mounted on numerous utility platforms, as well as the attack
aviation assets in the inventory. These assets can perform a dual role purpose for DCA or
attack operations, if the target is sufficiently close.
A primary consideration for the use of defensive counter air as a sole means of
active defense is early warning. An effective defense would require aircraft flying
Combat Air Patrols (CAPS) and/or being on strip alert. Analysis has shown we had
insufficient time and assets to intercept the aircraft involved in the 11 September attacks.
Subsequent to that, CAPS were flown continuously to protect key assets. Cost,
manpower and maintenance concerns drove this down to a random CAPS schedule
thereafter. Once a threat is identified, the time required to intercept is based upon the
location and readiness status of the interceptor force. The aforementioned factors and
basic physics preclude the coverage of all assets from the limited airbases located within
the United States.
Sea-Based Active Defense
Many Navy vessels carry a variety of air defense systems. Systems range from
the RIM-116A RAM, a lightweight, quick reaction anti-ship missile system for close in
defense, down to various caliber anti-aircraft guns, such as the Phalynx. These are
primarily for point defense designed to protect the ship from air attack and have limited
range and applicability for homeland defense. The Navy’s AEGIS systems are the best
suited sea-based active defense platform. There are twenty-seven Ticonderoga Class
Guided Missile Cruisers (AEGIS) numbered as CG 47-73. There are forty-one Arleigh
Burke Class Guided Missile Destroyers (AEGIS) commissioned as of May 2003, with an
additional ten to be fielded by September of 2006 (Saunders, 2001). These ships carry
the SM variant missiles. The SM family of missiles was designed to provide air defense
protection for the fleet. The latest variant, the SM2 Block IVA, will have a theater
missile defense capability. Although initial plans for an SM3 or Lightweight Exo-
Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP) variant to protect the homeland against longer range
missiles, current plans are to pursue other options for the BMDS. It must be addressed
that the AEGIS and it’s powerful SPY-1 radar was designed to operate in the open sea
and there are some implications with employing the AEGIS and it’s powerful radars in
ports. The SPS-49V and SPY-1 radars used for air defenses operate in the C/D and E/F
bands respectively and the additional surface, fire control and navigation radars operate
in the G, I and J bands. A restaurant near the Bath, Maine Aegis radar testing facility
identified that the radars interfered with their television reception (NTIA website). There
is also a concern that placing an operational AEGIS in port will impact cellular phone
Passive defense is the hardest element to transpose to homeland air and missile
defense because the commander has limited control over the assets being defended. The
eight elements mentioned above are: deception, NBC protection, theater missile early
warning, electronic warfare, counter surveillance, recovery and reconstitution, and
mobility, dispersal and hardening. It is difficult to disperse assets under civilian control.
The American public would not be very conducive to having the location of the
Superbowl changed at the last minute in the name of mobility or deception. Issuing
chemical protective suits at the World Series would receive a comparable response.
Many actions short of these, such as hardening of targets, are already being conducted by
civilian authorities to prevent terrorist attacks. The bulk of responsibility for passive
defense rests with civilian authorities. Recovery and reconstitution, for example, may be
the responsibility of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The
preponderance of assets for electronic warfare are owned by the Department of Defense.
Frequency management within the United States during peacetime is scrutinized much
more severely than in a combat zone. This is another instance where coordination with
civilian authorities, such as the FCC, is tantamount. The combatant commander
responsible for homeland air and missile defense would require continuous
communications with governmental and civilian authorities when responsible for passive
There is one aspect that is directly under the control of a combatant commander.
Theater missile early warning is a clearly defined responsibility of STRATCOM. The
Integrated Threat Warning/Attack Assessment (ITW/AA) functions provide early
warning for both air and missile attack. The STRATCOM Commander is responsible for
the dissemination of this early warning to all concerned parties. This will again require
interagency coordination with civilian authorities. This mission, previously conducted by
SPACECOM, transferred to STRATCOM under the new UCP. As such, the C2 assets
for this mission still reside in the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Complex, where the
NORTHCOM Commander will have rapid visibility.
STRATCOM also has the preponderance of assets available for surveillance and
counter-surveillance, especially outside of the borders of the United States. There are
major restrictions on gathering intelligence within the borders of the United States, due to
American’s rights to privacy, which would severely hamper the efforts of NORTHCOM
to conduct these actions within their geographic area of responsibility, but he does have
the best linkage with civilian agencies to provide intelligence. The STRATCOM
Commander controls the satellites used to conduct much of this surveillance.
Command Control, Communications, Computers & Intelligence (C4I)
The foundation for these pillars rests in the ability of the assigned commander to
command and control his assets. The Combatant Commanders each have established
communications nets to do so. Both NORTHCOM and STRATCOM have current real
world missions requiring them to talk with airborne platforms. As such the
communications suites exist for both OCA and DCA. Target identification is done via
radio and visual recognition. Communications to sea-based platforms will most likely be
passed through the fleet headquarters. This is a consideration for timeliness. Most of the
land based active defense assets have the ability to communicate via the Joint Tactical
Data Information Link (TADIL-J) also known as link 16. The HIMAD platforms can
link to higher through the Joint Tactical Information Distribution system (JTIDS)
network. Army SHORAD units can integrate into this network through Forward Area
Air Defense Command and Control (FAAD C2).
The GMD system utilizes a VMF format which is not compatible with TADIL-J.
It was designed that way to be in compliance with the 1972 ABM treaty to which we are
no longer a party. The GMD Communications network (GCN) is a secure
communications network of hardened fiber optics and satellites which will not only
provide communications for the system, but will serve as the secure communications
backbone for the nation. NORTHCOM and STRATCOM will both be linked to this
system. Secure voice communications for GMD will be conducted via WWSVCS and
Emergency Action Procedures, Volume 6 protocols, to which both commands are also a
party. Originally intended to be commanded by the Commander of the US Element
NORAD, this system will integrate directly into the assigned command upon fielding.
Terminals are currently contracted to be installed in the Cheyenne Mountain Operations
Table 1. Projected System Capabilities Against Threats
Source: Multiple Sources
Fixed wing Rotary Wing Cruise Missile UAV TBM ICBM
DCA Fixed Wing Yes Yes No Yes No No
DCA Rotary Wing Limited Yes No Yes No No
MANPADS / LAV-AD Yes Yes No Yes No No
Stinger Slew-to-Cue Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
PATRIOT Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
THAAD No No No No Yes No
GMD No No No No No Yes
AEGIS SM2 Block IV Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
ABL No No No No Limited Yes
The overall capabilities for active defense are tabulated in Table 1 by platform.
The capabilities of fielded systems are listed with the last three systems showing their
projected capability for the timeline in question. No one system meets the needs for total
air and missile defense of the homeland. In order to defend against all threats a tiered
defense is required. Unfortunately, there are insufficient assets in the arsenal to defend
the homeland and perform other wartime missions; only members of the BMDS system
will be dedicated to the mission of homeland defense.
Based upon the numbers and missions allocated it appears unlikely that the roles
or missions are able to be changed. The Quadrennial Defense Review states the
requirement that “U.S. forces will remain capable of swiftly defeating attacks against
U.S. allies and friends in any two theaters of operation in overlapping timeframes”
(QDR, 2002) while still being able to handle small scale contingencies. Service
document such as the Total Army Analysis (TAA) confirm the further statement that
“Excessive operational demands on the force have taken a toll on military personnel.
Since the end of the Cold War, the Armed Forces experienced a reduction of total
personnel but an increase in the demands placed on those smaller forces” (QDR, 8).
QDR positions on priorities were reconfirmed by President Bush in the National Security
Strategy (NSS) where he stated “our most important priority is to protect the homeland
for the American people” (NSS, 31). No change or reduction in roles or missions is
possible as available assets are at their limitations.
When referring the to new force sizing construct, the QDR states “…it places new
emphasis on the unique operational demands associated with the defense of the United
States and restores the defense of the United States as the Department's primary mission.”
(QDR, 17), yet the TAA places the need for additional air and missile defense forces for
homeland defense as compo 4 or unresourced. This apparent incongruity leads us to
conclude the necessity for these available assets to be used in a dual mission capacity for
all but the BMDS elements dedicated to national missile defense. This chapter explored
how the available assets can be utilized; chapter 5 will explore how they can best be
commanded and controlled.
There are limited assets available to attain President Bush’s number one priority
of defense of the homeland. Analysis of available assets has shown strengths and
weaknesses of all of the available assets to perform these missions of homeland air and
missile defense. Land-based active air defense has the ability to maintain long term,
around the clock operations, yet it has a limited footprint and one cannot quickly change
what is being defended. DCA on the other hand has the advantages of covering a larger
area as an aircraft can be revectored in flight to defend another asset. The need to fly
CAPS or put aircraft on strip alert to be responsive places high costs on manpower and
equipment. To cover all national assets would prove cost prohibitive over the long haul
as a sole source.
Sea-based active defenses were designed for protection of the fleet, yet the have
utility for homeland defense. The adverse impacts of their powerful radars on the civilian
populace provide a planning concern. Attack operations within the homeland require
good interagency coordination and consideration of the Posse Comitatus Act concerns
under title 10 of the US Code. Attack operations outside of the United States are less
entangling, but may require the homeland air and missile defense commander to assume a
supported commander role. The majority of Passive Defense missions within the
homeland are the responsibility of civilian authorities. Much of this coordination may
fall under the mission of NORTHCOM. The primary mission exceptions are theater
missile early warning, which is the responsibility of STRATCOM, and surveillance.
Decisions on when and where to deploy homeland air and missile defenses will
have ramifications on the command and control structure as well. A dedicated homeland
AMD force with fixed sites and relationships better lends itself to a centralized structure.
The previous chapter shows that this is only viable with the BMDS elements. A cursory
analysis will show the impossibility of protecting even the most critical infrastructures
and population centers of the United States against all classes of air and missile threats
with the available assets. The lessons learned from flying CAPS after 9/11 show the
impracticality of defending everything concurrently and advantages of randomly rotating
The military uses the Criticality, Vulnerability, Recoupability, Threat (CVRT)
analysis to prioritize assets for defense. This CVRT analysis should be made constantly
using available intelligence to assess the threat. When sufficient concern exists after
reviewing these four factors, it is viable to deploy assets against the threat. The
deployment of avenger missile systems around the Olympic Village was a specific
example of this. The Combatant Commander assigned the homeland air and missile
defense mission should be responsible for conducting this analysis. The hardening of
selected assets in this way supports the passive defense pillar.
Once the decision has been made to deploy active defense assets to a location to
provide air and missile defense, communications must be established to the appropriate
chain of command. In the event of a missile event, both combatant commands establish
top secret communications through a missile event conference on the WWSVCS. A
conference such as this could also be established to facilitate C2 and possible transfer of
authority. It is conceivable, based upon current protocols, to link the land-based elements
to the command and control elements of the 1st Air Force. Air platforms rely solely on
the existent secure voice communications channels. HIMAD units routinely establish
data communications to a control and reporting element or center (CRE/CRC) which
would have a direct linkage to one of the Air Defense Sectors when deployed within the
homeland. The three C2 nodes; NEADS, SEADS and WADS, all have and established
relationship and linkage to NORAD based upon NORAD’s mission.
Sea-based elements could establish secure voice communications, most likely
relayed through the existent fleet communications nets. A data link may be possible via
JTIDS. Establishment of these communications will not be immediate and new link
architectures will need to be established each time a unit establishes a defense in a new
location. Establishing these types of communications is practiced at Joint Combat
Identification Evaluation Team (JCIET) exercises and other similar events, but will
require a much greater degree of practice by all units tasked to perform homeland air and
missile defense. This is merely a training shortfall and can be overcome if given the
Centralized command and control is contingent upon the establishment of a real
time common operational picture. Efforts are being made to establish a Single
Integrated Air Picture (SIAP) through the Joint Composite Tracking Network (JCTN)
which might provide adequate situational awareness to conduct centralized command and
control. A white paper published in 2003 states, “In a global missile defense community
of interest, transformational communication systems will net sensors across thousands of
miles, creating a real-time world-wide composite tracking and engagement scheme” This
paper further asserts that the multi-tactical data link network (MTN) will, however,
remain the primary method of distributing track data to the force through 2020. (JCT
2020) That said; a rigorous set of positive and procedural controls must be emplaced to
manage a decentralized AMD force for the near term. Short timelines for decision
making further lend to decentralized execution. This is already the norm in some theaters
for TBM defense. There is well under thirty seconds of decision space to engage a
tactical ballistic missile. There is no such thing as a friendly inbound missile. The
engagement authority for this decision should be at the lowest levels. When engaging
aircraft, each decision must be made on a case by case basis dependent upon the available
time, communications, and information. Ultimately, the combatant commander is
responsible for the execution, whether it be through direct decision making or ensuring
the training of his subordinates.
There are therefore three possible courses of action for command and control;
make the NORTHCOM Commander responsible for homeland AMD, make the
STRATCOM Commander responsible for homeland AMD, or create a relationship
leveraging both commands. A Feasibility, Acceptability, Suitability (FAS) test should be
applied to each course to determine the best command relationship.
Placing the NORTHCOM Commander responsible for homeland air and missile
defense has many advantages. He has established communications links and
relationships with the air defense sector commanders of the 1st Air Force. As such, he
has established relationships with the National Guard and reserves. His role as
Commander, USELEMNORAD also gives him control over the northern approaches and
the additional ability to make early engagements over foreign soil using Canadian assets.
To assess feasibility, it must be determined if the there is a reasonable chance of
success for the NORTHCOM commander to effectively command and control homeland
air and missile defense with the means available. Understanding the limitations on the
means available applies to both commanders; we will focus on whether the commander
can effectively execute the four pillars addressed in chapter 4.
NORAD has long performed the defensive counterair mission with aplomb. The
historical precedence and established links show his superb ability to control the active
defenses. He has established links of communication with the Regional Air Defense
Centers (RAOC) utilized by NORAD. This allows him to effectively prosecute both
offensive and defensive counterair operations. The NORTHCOM Commander is not
able to prosecute attack operations outside of his geographic area of responsibility, this is
a shortfall. This means he can conduct attack operations against short range threats, but
not long range ones. NORTHCOM has sufficient air assets to conduct attack operations,
and will be allotted appropriate forces to meet mission needs per the UCP. The
NORTHCOM Commander can conduct active defense with all systems in the terminal
phase. Systems such as the airborne laser may be required to operate in another
geographic commander’s AOR in order to engage missiles in the boost phase. This may
also apply to some midcourse systems as well. NORTHCOM is perhaps best suited to
conduct the civilian coordination aspect of passive defense due to the linkages with
civilian agencies for consequence management. NORTHCOM can adequately conduct
passive defense operations, but is dependent upon STRATCOM as the supporting
commander for early warning and reconnaissance. The NORTHCOM Commander can
act as the supported commander to accomplish all of the missions he cannot carry out
To determine acceptability in this case we must establish whether the
NORTHCOM Commander will be able accomplish this mission without detracting from
STRATCOMs ability to accomplish theirs. NORAD has the mission of aerospace
defense and has the established policies and procedures to do so. The only new task is
the addition of the BMDS missile defense mission. The contract for the GMD system
requires consoles be placed in the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center and at Peterson
Air Force Base. Having multiple links in the Defense Information Infrastructure
Common Operating Environment (DII COE) control should be manageable for other new
systems which are required to be DII COE compliant.
Suitability can best be determined if the responsibility of homeland air and missile
defense commander falls within the assigned roles and missions of NORTHCOM.
NORTHCOM’s mission is to “Conduct operations to deter, prevent, and defeat threats
and aggression aimed at the United States, its territories, and interests within the assigned
area of responsibility; and as directed by the President or Secretary of Defense, and
provide military assistance to civil authorities including consequence management
operations.” (http://www.northcom.mil) Enemy air and missile platforms pose a definite
threat. As Commander, USELMNORAD, he has the over half a century of historical
precedent for the air defense mission. By definition, air defense includes defense against
missile attacks. There is also historical precedent in controlling the Nike, BOMARC and
Minuteman missile units which lend credence to his ability to perform the missile defense
mission today. His NORAD mission statement places him responsible for the aerospace
defense of the continental United States, and Alaska. Unfortunately, as a geographic
combatant commander, he has no authority over Hawaii, which belongs to PACOM
under the current UCP (Bush, 2002). As a geographic commander he will not have
control of assets outside of his AOR which may be necessary to prosecute attack
operations against long range threats. As a geographic commander he will not be able to
command and control forward deployed assets of the BMDS, such as the ABL.
The STRATCOM commander could also conduct the mission of homeland air
and missile defense commander. Based upon his mission statement, he is inherently
responsible for integrated missile defense. He also has a strategic attack capability and
mission which allows him to strike globally. This gives him an offensive-defensive
integration capability. For passive defense, STRATCOM has the assets and
responsibility to perform early warning and reconnaissance.
Feasibility is based upon STRATCOM’s chance of success in effectively
executing the four pillars addressed in chapter four. One of STRATCOM’s strengths is
in conducting the attack pillar. Utilizing their assigned reconnaissance assets, they can
direct their strategic bombing assets with global reach. STRATCOM is not bound by the
same restrictions of a geographic commander and can quickly respond in any theater.
STRATCOM has not traditionally performed the active defense mission. They have
adequate communications to conduct this mission, but lack the command and control
experience and structure. To physically accomplish this would require a restructure of
missions within the command. Additional concerns about mission overlap will be
discussed in the following paragraph. Another strength of STRATCOM is that they are
not dependent upon any other command to conduct the military aspects of passive
defense. A large degree of civilian coordination is still required. Although not all links
are in place, this shortfall can be overcome. STRATCOM is also a hub on the DII and
has sufficient communications infrastructure to conduct the assigned missions. With the
assets previously assigned to SPACECOM still resident in the Cheyenne Mountain
Operations Center (CMOC), there is redundancy in communications. The GMD assets
planned to be placed within CMOC could still be controlled by STRATCOM crews
Determining STRATCOM’s ability to conduct the homeland AMD mission
without adversely affecting NORTHCOM defines the acceptability of this construct. The
primary concern would lie in the overlapping mission of active defense and the use of
defensive counterair. STRATCOM execution of this pillar would require the same assets
to perform the same mission required of NORTHCOM in his role as Commander,
NORAD. This may, in and of itself would prove unacceptable. Resolution may require
STRATCOM being the supported commander and NORAD/NORTHCOM serving as the
supporting commander. This would require additional agreements with Canada for the
bilateral command to take orders from an outside command. The alternative is assigning
the NORAD mission to STRATCOM. Conducting the civilian coordination aspect of
passive defense could undermine NORTHCOM efforts to serve as the single point for
coordination between military and civilian authorities for consequence management.
The mission of USSTRATCOM is to “[e]stablish and provide full-spectrum
global strike, coordinated space and information operations capabilities to meet both
deterrent and decisive national security objectives. Provide operational space support,
integrated missile defense, global C4ISR and specialized planning expertise to the joint
warfighter” (http://www.stratcom.mil). As such, the suitability of conducting the missile
defense mission seems apparent. A problem still exists with the definition of air defense,
which also includes the missile threat. The missile warning mission previously assigned
to SPACECOM remains the responsibility of STRATCOM. This allows them to conduct
the military aspects of passive defense operations internal to the command.
The conflict resident in performing the missile defense mission external to the
definition of air defense leads us to the third course of action. Defense against aircraft
threatening the homeland is clearly a responsibility of NORTHCOM as Commander,
NORAD. The conflict resides with the missile defense role now assigned to
STRATCOM. Using a demarcation similar to that used by the ADCOM years ago (see
figure 2) resolves many of the conflicts presented by the previous courses of action. JP3-
01.5 also established a 3,500 kilometer demarcation between air defense and ballistic
missile defense. Table 1 shows the differing capabilities of the available systems and
what threat sets they can address. The third construct would focus on where assets must
be deployed to conduct the AMD mission.
By assigning elements of the BMDS which operate outside of the NORTHCOM
AOR to provide national missile defense to STRATCOM and placing the remaining
active defense assets under NORTHCOM we break the mission down against different
threat sets. This would place forward deployed assets, such as the airborne laser which
destroys missiles in the boost phase, under STRATCOM control. Systems effective
against shorter range threats, such as PATRIOT which destroys missiles in the terminal
phase, would be under the command and control of NORTHCOM when assigned the
homeland defense mission. Terminal defense systems must be emplaced within the
homeland to defend it.
The GMD system is the exception in that it is emplaced within the NORTHCOM
AOR to defend the NORTHCOM AOR and cannot be forward deployed. Should
additional missile sites be forward deployed to protect our friends and allies, this would
need to be revisited. By locating the GMD command and control in CMOC as under
contract and shown in figure 3 allows either command to perform C2 as appropriate.
The feasibility of this course of action is shown through seamless execution of the
four pillars. By separating the threat sets, NORTHCOM/NORAD can perform active
defense and DCA over home soil while STRATCOM can deploy BMDS defensive
systems globally. Short-range systems would be launched from within the NORTHCOM
AOR; therefore the NORTHCOM Commander could launch attack operations against the
appropriate platform. Long-range systems would originate from outside of the
NORTHCOM AOR. With this architecture, STRATCOM would be responsible to use
forward deployed or strategic assets to conduct attack operations against these platforms.
The NORTHCOM Commander would be responsible for civilian coordination for
passive defense within the homeland while Commander STRATCOM supports him with
early warning and reconnaissance. If the BMDS failed to defeat an incoming threat in the
boost or midcourse phases, the terminal defense assets assigned to NORTHCOM would
automatically engage. In this case, STRATCOM would retain responsibility for attack
This course of action also passes the acceptability test. Under this course of
action there is no overlap of missions and neither command infringes upon the assigned
missions of the other. STRATCOM should assume the responsibility to technically
integrate the missile defenses through the Single Integrated Air Picture or the Common
Operational Picture while defending against long range threats. This clears up the
conflicts in definitions of air defense and the responsibility for integrated missile defense.
The roles and missions aligned with this course of action fits the roles and
missions assigned the commands by the UCP. NORTHCOM will continue to perform its
NORAD defined aerospace defense mission in its entirety, defending against air and
missile threats. STRATCOM would retain responsibility for integrating missile defenses
through technical means. They would be integrating the early warning aspects and
executing long-range missile defenses. These long range BMDS assets could also be
forward deployed in support of other combatant commanders as strategic assets. There
would be no overlap of missions or conflicts with the NORAD treaty.
As our command relationships are refined under future UCPs and our
communications assets become more robust, this topic will merit further study. As new
platforms arise, they must be assessed to determine whose C2 structure they should align
with. A fuller assessment should be made as to what assets merit defense. This may vary
based upon the threat and must be conducted at the classified level. Once this is
accomplished a greater evaluation can be made as to whether sufficient assets exist to
confront the threat. Another topic worthy of consideration is the forward basing of active
defense assets within the United States. For example, all of the active PATRIOT
batteries are located in El Paso, Texas. Dispersing these units would facilitate a more
rapid deployment to other parts of the U.S. in the event of heightened security. This
assessment is a snapshot and will require periodic review.
Air and missile defense of the homeland poses considerable command and control
problems, uncommon to other scenarios. Cross-boundary engagements can occur across
multiple combatant commanders AORs with these long range systems. There are
significant restrictions on the use of the military instrument of power within the
homeland that do not apply to other theaters. Reviewing the above courses of action, it
appears the third course of action is the best. By allocating forces in this manner we can
avoid conflicts in the current roles, while allowing the combatant commanders the ability
to best execute those missions assigned. There still remains significant shortage in
resources to conduct these missions with battalions of equipment remaining COMPO 4.
We must exercise the forward deployment of the available forces within our boundaries
to ensure effective execution
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CERTIFICATION FOR MMAS DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT
1. Certification Date: 6 June 2003
2. Thesis Author: Major Robert J. Phillips
3. Thesis Title: Near Term Command and Control of Homeland Air and Missile Defense
4. Thesis Committee Members:MAJ Keith Phillips //original signed//
Signatures: LTC Daniel White //original signed//
COL Robert Smith //original signed//
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