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CHAPTER THREE
LOW-LEVEL AND TACTICAL FORMATION
Center Turns
Center turns are turns of 120 ­ 240 degrees of heading change that can be performed from either
the combat cruise or combat spread formation. When aircrews receive the command, Center,
both aircraft turn toward each other at 45šAOB while maintaining power. The turn is usually
maintained for 180° until the aircraft roll out in the new direction. The center turn is normally
executed when excessive separation has developed between a friendly section and a threat
approaching from the rear hemisphere that dictates that aircraft separation be decreased in order
to provide mutual support.
NOTE
Aircrews must take care to ensure that adequate separation exists
between aircraft prior to commencing a center turn. In any case,
the wingman is always responsible for clearance, and shall
maintain a covered position of + 200 feet for altitude de-
confliction.
Figure 3-5 Center Turn
In-Place Turns
In-place turns can be accomplished from either the combat spread or combat cruise formation.
They can be used for small heading changes of 60° or less or for large course changes of
120 ­ 240 degrees. For small turns, the command includes the new degree of heading change
(for example, (Call sign), In-place left, 030). When used in this way, the in-place turn allows the
section to visually clear the rear hemisphere of a flight's axis of advance. For large turns, a
change of 180° is understood on the command, (Call sign), In-place left (right). If a smaller or
larger change is desired, the leader may elect to specify the new rollout heading (for example, In-
place left, roll out 145). To initiate small turns, all aircrew simultaneously turn the appropriate
3-4
TACTICAL/AERIAL REFUELING PROCEDURES


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