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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Distinctive Capabilities | Air Force Distinctive Capabilities | Air Force Distinctive Capabilities | Air and Space Superiority | Air and Space Superiority | Example: Desert Storm | Example: Bosnia | Precision Engagement | Precision Engagement | Evolution of Precision Engagement | Examples of Precision Engagement | Precision Engagement-Nonlethal Ops | Information Superiority | Information Superiority | Example: Deliberate Force | Global Attack | Global Attack | Rapid Global Mobility | Rapid Global Mobility | Example: Enduring Freedom | Agile Combat Support | Air and Space Power Functions | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Air &, Space Power Functions

Action: Begin with the background collage of a B-1, a GPS satellite, C-141's flying in formation, and a F-22, these images will be located in the corners of the screen. THey will begin in the upper left-hand corner and follow around the screen clockwise as they were mentioned. Also show the following header text and bullets.

The air and space power functions represent the broad, fundamental, and continuing activities of air and space forces.

Voice: The air and space power functions represent the broad, fundamental, and continuing activities of air and space forces. The functions of air and space power reflect those the Air Force has been assigned by the Department of Defense and are not exclusive to the Air Force. It is these activities that the distinctive capabilities focus upon.

Action: Show the following text and enable each as pop-ups for rollover text, also a link is provided to AFDD-1.

Voice: Here is a list of those activities. Place your mouse cursor over a function to see a description of that function.


Pop-Up text: Counterair consists of offensive and defensive operations to attain and maintain a desired degree of air superiority. Offensive counterair consists of operations to destroy, neutralize, disrupt, or limit enemy air and missile power as close to its source as possible. Defensive counterair concentrates on defeating the enemy's offensive plan and on inflicting unacceptable losses on attacking enemy forces.


Pop-Up text: Counterspace involves offensive and defensive operations conducted to attain and maintain a desired degree of space superiority. Offensive counterspace operations destroy or neutralize an adversary’s space systems or the information they provide. Defensive counterspace operations consist of active and passive actions to protect our space-related capabilities from enemy attack or interference.


Pop-Up text: Counterland involves operations conducted to attain and maintain a desired degree of superiority over surface operations through the destruction or neutralization of enemy surface forces. Specific traditional functions associated with air and space counterland operations are interdiction and close air support.


Pop-Up text: Countersea is a collateral function that extends Air Force functions into a maritime environment. The objective of countersea operations is to gain control of the maritime environment and, to the extent possible, dominate operations either in support of naval forces or independently.


Pop-Up text: Counterinformation seeks to establish information superiority through control of the information realm. Offensive Counterinformation (OCI) includes actions taken to control the information environment. Defensive Counterinformation (DCI) includes those actions that protect our information, information systems, and information operations from the adversary.

Strategic Attack

Pop-Up text: Strategic Attack is defined as those operations intended to directly achieve strategic effects by striking at the enemy’s center(s) of gravity (COG). Objectives often include producing effects to demoralize the enemy’s leadership, military forces, and population, thus affecting an adversary's capability to continue the conflict.

Command & Control

Pop-Up text: Command and Control (C2) is the art of motivating and directing people and organizations into action to accomplish missions. C2 includes both the process by which the commander decides which action to take and the system which monitors implementation of the decision.


Pop-Up text: Airlift is the transportation of personnel and materiel through the air. Airlift is viewed as a foundation of U.S. national security at the strategic level and as a crucial capability for operational commanders within a theater. Therefore, airlift is not only a vital component of U.S. defense policy, it is also critical to the support of overall national policy and objectives.


Pop-Up text: Spacelift projects power by delivering satellites, payloads, and materiel into or through space. During a period of increased tension or conflict, the objective of spacelift is to launch or deploy new and replenishment space assets as necessary to achieve national security objectives.

Air Refueling

Pop-Up text: Air Refueling, along with airlift, fulfills the Air Force contribution to the joint mobility role. Air Refueling is an integral part of U.S. airpower across the range of military operations. It significantly expands the employment options available to a commander by increasing the range, payload, and flexibility of air forces.

Special Operations

Pop-Up text: Special Operations is the use of airpower operations to conduct the following special operations functions: unconventional warfare, direct action, special reconnaissance, counterterrorism, foreign internal defense, psychological operations, and counter-proliferation. Air Force special operations forces (AFSOF) are normally organized and employed in small formations that are capable of both independent and supporting operations.


Pop-Up text: Intelligence operations provide clear, brief, relevant, and timely analysis of foreign capabilities and intentions for planning and conducting military operations. Intelligence operations provide information that guides decisions on how, when, and where to engage enemy forces to achieve the commander's objectives.


Pop-Up text: Surveillance is the function of systematically observing air, space, surface, or subsurface areas, places, persons, or things, by visual, aural, electronic, photographic, or other means. Surveillance assets are now essential to national and theater defense and to the security of air, space, subsurface, and surface forces.


Pop-Up text: Reconnaissance complements surveillance in obtaining, by visual observation or other detection methods, specific information about the activities, resources of an enemy or potential enemy; or in securing data concerning the meteorological, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.

Combat SAR

Pop-Up text: Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) is an integral part of U.S. combat operations and must be considered across the range of military operations. CSAR consists of those air operations conducted to recover distressed personnel during wartime or contingency.

Navigation & Positioning

Pop-Up text: Navigation and Positioning operations provide accurate location and time of reference in support of strategic, operational, and tactical operations. Navigation and positioning are key elements of information superiority and global awareness.

Weather Services

Pop-Up text: Weather Services supply timely and accurate environmental information that is used by commanders for planning at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Weather Services information also influences the selection of targets, routes, weapon systems, and delivery tactics. It is a key element of information superiority.

Link to AFDD-1(opens acrobat pdf in new window): AFDD-1 p.46 (54 of 96)

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