Tactical Command and Planning
The Joint Force Air Component Headquarters and National Air and Space Operations Centres perform tactical command and planning of air operations. When operating with NATO or coalitions, this level of command and planning will be undertaken by a Combined Air Operations Centre. These units have responsibility for a large area and large number of assets and are therefore not best placed to provide detailed and local control, known as Tactical Control.
Tactical Control provide air picture information, threat warning and mission direction to aircraft and surface-based air defence units - to ensure air missions and operations go as planned, despite the efforts of adversaries and the friction of war. They use Sensor Fusion and Identification with radars, tactical data links and intelligence, to produce this sensory information. Trained Operators then analyse the image to identify each aircraft as a ‘Recognised Air Picture.’
This is undertaken by Air Battle Management units, such as Control and Reporting Centres, Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft, air defence ships and specialised land units such as the Air Support Operations Centre. Dynamic Battle Management allocate the tasks, priorities, and the assets. All tasks are supported by Trade Group 7 Air and Space Operations Specialists.
Tactical Air Command and Control, and Air Battle Management is based at RAF Boulmer.