News: 25th ASOS airmen conduct close-air-support training at Red Flag-Alaska
Story by Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth
JOINT PACIFIC RANGE COMPLEX, Alaska – Imagine being on a patrol in a distant river bed or village - enemy ground forces closing in, mortar shells exploding all around- then like a guardian angel an U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II descends seemingly out of nowhere with a loud burst from its 30 mm cannon. There are bursts of fire and smoke as the enemy scatters in full retreat.
This may sound like a scene from a movie, but for U.S. Air Force joint terminal attack controller airmen, it is just another day on the job.
Joint terminal attack controller airmen from the 25th Air Support Operations Squadron, (ASOS) Wheeler Army Air Field, Hawaii, trained from June 7-22 in the wilderness of Alaska to conduct close-air-support training with U.S. and coalition air forces during Red Flag-Alaska 12-2.
“This training is beneficial for us because back home all the training we do is dry CAS scenarios without any live ordnance,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Therron Bundick, 25th ASOS, JTAC. “So to come here and actually get to drop live ordnance is a bonus for us.”
The training here at Red Flag affords the 25th ASOS, JTACs an unique opportunity to integrate with U.S. and coalition aircrews during what has traditionally been an air-to-air exercise by getting into the field. Together, they are operationally testing equipment like the mission ruggedized tablet used for digital aided CAS. Even though digital CAS is not new to the battlefield, it is a relatively new technology that is important for JATC’s and aircrew to have a high level proficiency in because of its importance in coordinating multinational aircraft with real time information.
“For us to be able to no kidding, plug it in and be able to see on a tablet the entire war or exercise and use it to pass on targeting information to everyone simultaneously is invaluable,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Jonnie Green, 25th ASOS, air liaison officer, pilot. “We get a bigger picture that we don’t normally get to see. It’s a huge benefit.”
The integrated training between the JTACs and multinational aircrews help prepare forces for upcoming deployments.
“This is good spin up training for us getting to work together and learn new techniques benefit us and them while we are down range,” Bundick said.