Area Defense

A DCA mission where fighters defend a large area, such as a geographic area or carrier strike group.


Barrier CAP. A defensive A/A mission designed to protect an asset, such as an aircraft carrier, from enemy aircraft.


A formation of four aircraft where two aircraft abeam each other are followed by two other aircraft abeam each other. When viewed from above or below the four aircraft appear to be in the corners of a quadrilateral.


Combat Air Patrol. A general name for A/A missions.


(See Close Escort.)


Command Element. The headquarters element of a MAGTF that directs the other elements.

Close Escort

An OCA mission where fighters operate as part of a strike package in close proximity to the A/S strike aircraft.

Combat Spread

An aerial formation where two aircraft fly 1 to 1.5 miles abeam each other, headed in the same direction, and from level up to several thousand feet off each other’s altitude.


Combat search and rescue.


Dissimilar Air Combat Training. A/A training between differing aircraft, such as F-15s and F/A-18s.


Defensive Counter Air. An A/A mission where fighters reactively engage an adversary, typically over neutral or friendly territory, in the defense of some protected asset(s).


aka Four-ship. A coordinated flight of four aircraft operating in close proximity to one another.


A formation of two or more aircraft all lined out to one side and slightly behind the preceding aircraft.


Forward Air Controller (Airborne). Aircrew who perform FAC duties while aloft in an aircraft, typically while also at the aircraft controls.


Field Carrier Landing Practice. A flight where the purpose is to perform repeated aircraft carrier-style landings ashore in preparation for later carrier qualifying afloat.


Fighter Even, Bogey Odd. An obsolete deconfliction strategy intended to prevent mid-air collisions. Requires fighters to arrive at the merge on even, whole thousand altitudes (e.g. 22,000 ft, 30,000 ft, etc.) and the adversaries at odd (e.g. 25,000 ft).

Fence Checks

The act of preparing an aircraft for possible combat prior to entering into a designated area (fence in) and then ensuring the aircraft is safely ready to RTB when egressing combat areas (fence out).


High Value Airborne Asset Protection. An A/A mission where fighters actively defend an aircraft that is unable to defend itself. Could be a standalone mission or in conjunction with OCA or DCA missions.


Live, Virtual, Constructive. A cost- and asset-conserving strategy that includes manned aircraft, manned aircraft simulators, and computer-generated aircraft for the training and testing of various missions.


Medical Evacuation. The immediate removal of wounded service members from the battlefield.


An offensive A/A mission flown in an effort to stir up and shoot down enemy aircraft.


Noncombatant Evacuation Operation. The ordered (mandatory) or authorized (voluntary) departure of civilian noncombatants and nonessential military personnel from danger in an overseas country to a designated safe haven.


Offensive Counter Air. An A/A mission where fighters preemptively seek aerial engagements with an adversary, typically over their territory.

Point Defense

A DCA mission where fighters defend a very small asset, such as a downed aircrew.


SAM Ambush. A tactic where aircraft attempt to draw opposing aircraft into a particular geographic area so that they can be engaged by SAMs.


Search and Rescue. The process of locating and recovering distressed personnel.


An OCA mission where fighters operate in conjunction with a strike package some coordinated time / distance behind.


Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses


aka Two-ship. A coordinated flight of two aircraft operating in close proximity to one another.

Self-Escort Strike

A combination OCA/strike mission where aircraft fight their way into a target, strike it with A/S ordnance, then fight their way out again.


(See Self-Escort Strike.)


An OCA mission where fighters act autonomously without being tied to any other fighter elements or strike package.


A formation of four aircraft abeam each other in a relatively-straight line, albeit possibly at different altitudes.