The relatively simple aircraft of previous wars relied solely upon 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 fundamentals of
This 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 Head Up Display (HUD), and 4) gunsight
tracking maneuvers and exercise.