If youíve selected a base or a task group that includes at least one carrier, the rest of the command options will be available to you. Of these, two are used primarily for information-gathering and defense purposes.
AIR SEARCH One of the fastest, most reliable ways of reconnoitering a large area is to send out a spread of search planes. Thatís what the Air Search option is for. The enemy is certainly lurking around out there somewhere, and itís best if you find him before he finds you. Until you have a sighting, you have no way of targetting a strike. First, select Air Search. If the force youíre giving orders to includes more than one carrier, you will be prompted to choose from which carrier you would like to launch the search. Next, you need to decide which squadron will supply the search planes. All of the available squadrons will be listed in a window according to the type of aircraft that makes up that squadron. There are no mixed squadrons in 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR. Left-click on a squadron to see how many planes are available.
Once you find the squadron you want for the search sweep, left-click on the up and down arrows next to the squadron information to set the number of planes involved in the search. Remember that these planes will be unavailable for other duties until the search is called off. As you raise and lower the number of planes flying the search, the wedge showing the optimum search area is adjusted. You can use this wedge as a guide, to help you decide how many planes are necessary. Once youíve settled on a good total, youíll need to assign a direction to the search. Left-click anywhere on the map in the direction you want the search to proceed, and the wedge will move. (It might take a little fine-tuning to send the search in the exact direction you want.) When everything is satisfactory, left-click on the square in the upper left-hand corner of the window to launch the search. The search will continue until you return to this window and cancel it.