Air Combat Maneuvering
an engaged fighter, your most important call identifies the bogeys position. As a free fighter, your most
important calls identify your position, intentions, and any recommendations to the engaged fighter.
Clear, concise transmissions using verbal shorthand communicates everything that is necessary without
wasting words. For instance, Eagles engaged translates into Eagle (the engaged fighter) is forcing the
enemy aircraft to maneuver against him while Ghost (Eagles free fighter) will be free to maneuver to a
cover or an attacking position. Ghosts free means Ghost is repositioning based on the tactical situation.
Before entering an ACM arena, you must evaluate all of the tactical considerations. One is force mixthe
number and type of friendly vs opponent aircraft. For training purposes, a 2 v 1 environment is the easiest
force mix to learn and use as a building block for future, more difficult, force mixes in the fleet.
You must also consider the bogeys disposition. Constantly consider those tactical questions a bogey
might be asking himselfthose things that might affect his follow-on moves: What would be an effective
initial move by an attacking section? How much fuel do I have remaining? How far am I from my
base? What is my tactical situation if I lose ground control intercept (GCI) coverage or my radar fails?
If I have no tally, what will I do if I end up on an intercept and fly through? You should be asking these
same questions for the same reason the bogey is.
What kind of strategies can you use to make a 2 v 1 situation successful? Consider these: 1) Use a
common set of guidelines and tactics to conduct the engagement. 2) Force the bogey to commit early.
3) Above all, attempt to achieve a quick-kill. A quick-kill seizes the initial offensive posture before the
enemy implements his game plan. It also allows less time for the enemy to gain an offensive position. To
achieve a quick-kill, simply press for the most immediate shot in your first maneuver.
Maneuvering so that your section is out-of-plane and out-of-phase with the enemy will improve your
tactical posture. When you were maneuvering from high cover vs low cover in TacForm, you were
maneuvering out-of-plane. A cross turn is an example of out-of-phase maneuvering. Regardless of the
plane of maneuvering, however, the guidelines as well as your roles and responsibilities remain
unchanged. Flying out-of-phase/out-of-plane forces an early commitment by the bogey and makes it
difficult for the bogey to track both fighters at the same time. With the free fighter in the area, whether or
not he is able to achieve a firing solution on the bogey, his presence will limit the time the bogey can spend
with the engaged fighter. However, when the bogey positions himself for a quick-kill, the free fighter must
immediately attempt to achieve a firing solution of his own. Being out-of-phase increases the free fighters
flexibility to maneuver for the shot and allows him both to maintain a high-energy state and to perform belly
checks during a straight path extension. To employ missiles, the free fighter must obtain proper separation
and ensure that the engaged fighter is out of his HUD for obvious reasons.
T-45C Revision 1