When you have located and identified the enemy surface forces, it remains to take the offensive to them. This is when resource management becomes essential. There will certainly be multiple enemy task groups, and your supply of planes is limited. You might be able to get by without any new search missions, but not maintaining a CAP once battle has begun is sure suicide. The first step in sending an attack to the enemy is to select the task group or base from which to launch the strike. From the Command Menu, choose Carrier Ops (when commanding a task group) or Base Ops (when commanding a base). Game time is paused, and the Air Operations screen opens.
The right-hand half of the Air Operations screen is dedicated to squadron status information. The list in the small box near the top contains all of the squadrons based on the selected carrier or base. Just to the right of this list is more specific information about whichever squadron you select. To view a squadron, left-click on its name in the list box. For that squadron, you'll see:
- the squadron name, - the type of plane of which the squadron is composed, and - the total number of planes in the squadron.
Below this, in the large box, the assignment and status of every plane in the squadron is listed. Once you know how many planes you have available for strikes, you can determine the optimum configuration for each strike force. You may find that you need to recall some of your search sweeps or CAP planes.