World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Combat air patrol

Article Id: WHEBN0000365226
Reproduction Date:

Title: Combat air patrol  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: F-14 Tomcat operational history, Kamikaze, 2008 Indo-Pakistani standoff, Anti-aircraft warfare, Battle of Midway
Collection: Aerial Warfare Tactics, Military Terminology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Combat air patrol

Combat air patrol (CAP) is a type of flying mission for fighter aircraft.

Two F-15 Eagles from the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 102nd Fighter Wing fly a combat air patrol mission over New York City in support of Operation Noble Eagle

A combat air patrol is an aircraft patrol provided over an objective area, over the force protected, over the critical area of a combat zone, or over an air defense area, for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile aircraft before they reach their target. Combat air patrols apply to both overland and overwater operations, protecting other aircraft, fixed and mobile sites on land, or ships at sea.

Known by the acronym CAP, it typically entails fighters flying a tactical pattern around or screening a defended target, while looking for incoming attackers. Effective CAP patterns may include aircraft positioned at both high and low altitudes, in order to shorten response times when an attack is detected. Modern CAPs are either GCI or AWACS-controlled to provide maximum early warning for defensive reaction.

The first CAPs were characteristic of aircraft carrier operations, where CAPs were flown to protect a carrier battle group, but the term has become generic to both Air Force and Navy flight operations. Capping operations differ from fighter escorts in that the CAP force is not tied to the group it is protecting, is not limited in altitudes and speeds it flies, and has tactical flexibility to engage a threat. Fighter escorts typically stay with the asset they are supporting and at the speed of the supported group, as a final reactive force against a close threat. When an escort engages, the supported force is left unprotected.

Contents

  • CAP types 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Further reading 4

CAP types

Numerous types of combat air patrols have been employed by US military forces since World War II:

  • BARCAP: "Barrier Combat Air Patrol", in fleet terms, a mission flown between a carrier battle group and the direction from which it is most likely that an enemy attack will come. Also refers to fighter aircraft placed between a friendly strike force and an area of expected airborne threat, also known as a "MiG screen".
  • CAP/Strike: Aircraft with a primary CAP role and a secondary strike role; such aircraft are permitted to jettison strike ordnance and actively pursue any enemy aircraft sighted, and are not restricted to defensive encounters.
  • FastCAP: Combat air patrol to protect fighter strike aircraft.
  • FORCAP: "Force Combat Air Patrol", a patrol of fighters maintained over the strike force, essentially an escort.
  • HAVCAP: "High Asset Value Combat Air Patrol", flown to protect a "high-value asset" such as an AWACS aircraft or aerial refueling aircraft during its specific time on station.
  • MiGCAP: Used primarily during the Vietnam War, a MiGCAP is directed specifically against MiG aircraft. MiGCAP during Operation Linebacker became highly organized and threefold:
    • an ingress MiGCAP of 2–3 flights (8–12 fighters) that preceded the first supporting forces such as chaff bombers or SAM suppressors and remained until they departed the hostile zone;
    • a target area MiGCAP of at least 2 flights that immediately preceded the actual strikers; and
    • an egress MiGCAP of 1 or 2 flights that arrived on station at the projected exit point ten minutes prior to the earliest egress time. All egress MiGCAP flights were fully fueled from tankers and relieved the target area CAP.
  • RESCAP: "Rescue Combat Air Patrol", a fighter force, often drawn from aircraft already in the area, used to protect personnel on the ground (such as downed pilots) from ground threats, as well as combat search and rescue aircraft or other rescue forces from both ground and air threats.
  • SARCAP: "Search and Rescue Combat Air Patrol", an earlier version of RESCAP.
  • Slow CAP: A combat air patrol to protect slower aircraft, such as the EB-66, B-52, or EC-121 during the Vietnam War, replaced by "HAVCAP".
  • Strike/CAP: Aircraft with a primary strike role and a secondary air defense role, permitted to jettison strike ordnance and engage enemy aircraft only if directly attacked. Strike/CAP aircraft also have an egress CAP role once strike ordnance has been delivered on target.
  • TARCAP: "Target Combat Air Patrol" is flown over or near a strike target in order to protect specialized attack aircraft such as AC-130 gunships from enemy fighters.

See also

References

Further reading

  • , Air University, Headquarters USAF, on-line editionUnited States Air Force in Southeast Asia: Aces and Aerial Victories - 1965–1973Futrell, L. Frank, et al. (1976)
  • Griffith, Paddy (1991). The Ultimate Weaponry. Sidgwick & Jackson.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.