The relatively simple aircraft of previous wars relied solely on the gun to kill an adversary; these
aircraft have given way to more sophisticated fighters that employ both guns and extremely
formidable all-aspect firing missiles. This technological advance in weaponry has caused the tactical
community to reexamine and redefine their basic offensive and defensive air combat tactics. As a
result of this reevaluation, a simple and effective tactical formation evolved: combat spread. This
formation combines optimum offensive capability with maximum defensive flexibility. Combat spread
is the basic Naval air-to-air fighter formation from which loose deuce tactics are executed.
A properly understood and effectively employed loose deuce doctrine will enable you to work as a
team to engage the enemy and force him into a predictable flight path. It will allow you to effectively
use your aircraft as a weapons platform. Loose deuce maneuvering will increase your survivability
and offensive capability in combat.
The tactical combat arena is the most demanding and potentially deadly environment you will fly in
as a Naval aviator. During Tactical Formation, you will be introduced to and practice the fundamen-
tals of tactical maneuvering.
This flight training instruction (FTI) provides information and procedures on: 1) maneuvering as a
section in combat spread, 2) loose deuce tactics and exercise, 3) air-to-air use of the HUD, and
4) gunsight tracking maneuvers and exercise.