It simply means that a fighter must take off from its carrier before the carrier moves if it's going to attack. In other words, you can't move the carrier two spaces and then have the fighter take off and move three more spaces. The movement of both pieces begins in the original sea zone.
Thanks so much, Mr. Krieghund! One more question:
Defending fighters and carriers don't have to move, so it's not an issue - defending fighters are always considered to be in the air.
What does this clarification mean in the context of this rule:
In a sea battle involving transports or aircraft carriers, place any cargo (whether your own or a friendly power’s) beside the sea
unit that is carrying it. Cargo does not roll attacks, nor can it be chosen as a casualty. It is lost with the sea unit carrying it if
that sea unit is destroyed.
Just to make sure I'm understanding correctly, defending fighters are not cargo (unless owned by a friendly power), and they will also defend if the carrier housing them is attacked. Is that right?
Also: can the "telescoping" thing be done during noncombat? i.e. move an aircraft carrier 2 spaces, then the fighters launch from there in order to land on a friendly territory or other carrier.