Joint forces should be prepared to degrade or destroy an enemy's command capability
early in an action. The interaction of air, land, sea, special operations, and space capabilities offers the
JFC an array of C3 countermeasures (C3CM). These can increase the shock effect, disorientation, and
paralysis caused by a joint force's operations. By blinding an enemy and severing his command links,
the joint force can drastically reduce his effectiveness.
Unified and specified commands.
The primary purposes of a unified or specified command are to:
Provide optimum effectiveness to our armed forces in combat operations.
Project our military power.
Support and advance national policies.
The number of unified and specified commands is not fixed by law or regulation. Thus,
the number may vary from time to time.
A unified command has broad, continuing missions under a single commander,
designated the Commander in Chief (CINC). It is composed of forces from two or more services. Some
unified commands have geographical areas of responsibility, while others are non-geographical and
supporting in nature.
Those with geographical areas of responsibilities are Atlantic Command,
Central Command, European Command, Pacific Command, and Southern Command. The unified
command plan assigns each CINC an area of operations. Each CINC is responsible for all operations
within his set area.
The Space Command, Special Operations Command, Strategic Command,
and Transportation Command are non-geographical and supporting in nature. Each CINC has
worldwide functional responsibilities and is not bound by any single area of operations.
A specified command is a command with broad, continuing missions. Organized
on a functional basis, it is established and designated by the president. The CINC is responsible to the
SECDEF for executing the missions. A specified command primarily has forces from a single military
department. However, it may have elements of other services. Currently, the only specified command
is Forces Command.
A joint force has major Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps elements, or
elements of two or more of these services. It operates under a single commander who is authorized to
exercise unified command or operational control over joint forces.