Air Combat Maneuvering
gain angles as a consequence of your hesitation. Your reversal can be either nose-high or nose-low, but
should never be level.
The slower speeds, vertical separation, and radial-g resulting from the nose-high reversal reduce your
horizontal turn radius, allowing you to gain angles on the bogey.
To maintain sight of the bogey, immediately look aft in the direction of turn. The bogey should first appear a
quarter turn across the circle and become progressively easier to see as the turn continues. If the bogey is
in a nose-low, energy-sustaining turn, roll over the top of the bogey while maintaining vertical separation and
then perform a nose-low slicing turn into the bogey. If the bogey doesnt counter your nose, he may be in a
lost-sight situation, which should result in an immediate kill. However, if he does counter, be aware that a
vertical overshoot could result, which would more than likely develop into a roller. On the other hand, if the
bogey turns nose-high after the pass, he is also attempting a position fight, which may develop into a slow-
During a vertical fight you will be trading airspeed for altitude to minimize the turn radius and to use radial g
to your advantage. If you were fighting a dissimilar aircraft with a lower thrust-to-weight ratio, you may also
want to choose a vertical fight to exploit this advantage. Because you would choose a vertical fight to gain
an immediate positional advantage, it shares most of the same characteristics of a one-circle fight.
Prior to the pass, position your aircraft to arrive below the bogeys aircraft. If your separation allows, attempt
to gain extra airspeed prior to the pass. Take out lateral/vertical separation by pulling up into the bogey,
arriving with the nose committed into the vertical at the pass (early turn). Continue a wings-level, 17-unit
pull into the vertical. Pull back toward the bogey in the shortest direction. As in a one-circle fight, if the
bogey remains nose-low, pull over the top of the bogey while maintaining vertical separation for an early turn
using radial g to your advantage.
If at the pass the bogey pulls up into the vertical with you, strive to gain an altitude advantage. Regardless,
attempt to pass the bogey with minimal separation at the next pass, while early turning, if possible.
Normally following the second pass after a vertical move, both fighters will find themselves in a nose-low,
descending fight. Therefore, it is essential during your early turn attempt not to bury your nose prematurely
which may allow the bogey to delay and gain the advantage. This is only one of many possible scenarios
that could result from both aircraft executing vertical moves at the pass. So many possibilities exist that you
must evaluate all the variables in the ACM environment before making the most appropriate and effective
2 V 1 MISSION PROCEDURES/MANEUVERS
THE LOOSE DEUCE DOCTRINE
Do not confuse the loose deuce tactical doctrine with the loose deuce exercise you performed in TacForm.
Far more encompassing in scope, the doctrine is a system by which two aircraft can safely separate from
combat spread, allowing for coordinated, sequential attacks as either a free or an engaged fighter,
optimizing mutual support in both offensive and defensive situations. Its major advantages come from the
fact that the tactical capability of two aircraft more than doubles when a section works effectively together.
Employing mutual support throughout an engagement enables a section to maneuver to engage the bogey,
achieve a quick-kill, and then regain section integrity.
You gain a psychological security factor knowing another section member is available to employ
coordinated tactics, which is commonly referred to as mutual support by presence. The section can take
advantage of aircraft positioning by maneuvering out-of-phase/out-of-plane while they are forcing the bogey
into a predictable flight path.
Combat spread is a major component of the loose deuce doctrine. As you learned in TacForm, combat
spread increases the visual limits, maneuverability, and weapons employment of a tactical section. To
make combat spread effective, the section must employ good lookout doctrine through a coordinated
T-45C Revision 1