About (Research) Making contact with friendly air
|June 18th, 2012||#1|
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(Research) Making contact with friendly air info
I'm a semi-professional author from the UK, and I'm currently working on a short spy story that may or may not ever be published. I'm working on it mostly to practice writing in a new genre, but I've found myself becoming quite interested in the nuts and bolts of how military operations are actually carried out on the ground. If anybody can help me (without risking OPSEC, of course) I will be grateful.
My question is, is it ever possible for ground troops to establish comms directly with friendly air, without pre-arranging it? By that I mean, could a commander who finds himself in an unexpected firefight just dial up a nearby pilot and organise CAS himself, or would he need to send the request back to his HQ who would then organise it?
|June 19th, 2012||#2|
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Your FAC can organize CAS, usually via an AWACS.
"We are the pilgrims, Master
We shall go always a little further,
it may be beyond the last blue mountain barred with snow,
Across that angry or glimmering sea..."
|June 19th, 2012||#3|
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Some Op's include a strike package as part of an Oplan. The unit would we briefed on available CAS or CIFs. Then the FAC, JTAC , TACP or FCT would be able to contact and control on station/on call sorties.
Conversely with no on station dedicated sorties the FAC/JTAC or the manuver element commander can contact higher and the ALO can file a JTAR for air support. This type of mission will generally be controlled by an AFAC if the unit does not have a qualed Terminal Controller attached.
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|June 19th, 2012||#5|
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There are also JFO qualified Fire support specialists who can fill the gap if there is no dedicated JTAC, TACP, of FAC available. They can't clear hot, but they can talk them onto a target and leave it up to the pilot(or ground commander) to make the call to drop ordinance. There are numerous ways to get air if you need it...
If a ground unit gets in contact, most headquarters will start laying on assetts anyways for that unit in preparation for use of their firepower. If there is bird in the air, we can usually get a hold of it in a pinch.
Dedicated CAS or CCA freqs will posted in the op plan before moving out on an operation. Furthermore, most aircraft or helos are equipped with the blue force tracker (at least in the US Army) and many times if I needed some type of air support I would send any aircraft I spotted on my BFT in the area a text with my radio freq and within a couple of minutes I was talking with the pilots.
|June 19th, 2012||#6|
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|June 19th, 2012||#7|
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|June 19th, 2012||#8|
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There are two types of CAS requests, preplanned and immediate.
Preplanned requests may be filled with either scheduled or on-call air missions while most immediate requests are filled by diverting preplanned missions or with on-call missions. Because these requirements cannot be identified early on, tailored ordnance loads, sensors, or platforms may not be available for specified targets. To resource an approved immediate request, the senior ground echelon AO/ALO may advise the G-3 to redirect scheduled CAS missions, to task on-call missions, or to forward the requests to the JAOC. During the execution phase of the ATO, the JFACC staff may need to redirect missions to cover immediate requests for CAS.
CAS can be conducted at any place and time friendly forces are in close proximity to enemy forces. The word "close" does not imply a specific distance; rather, it is situational. The requirement for detailed integration because of proximity, fires, or movement is the determining factor. At times, CAS may be the best means to exploit tactical opportunities in the offense or defense. CAS provides fires to destroy, disrupt, suppress, fix, harass, neutralize, or delay enemy forces.
Although simple in concept, CAS requires detailed planning, coordination, and training for effective and safe execution.
|June 20th, 2012||#9|
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It has gotten a lot easier than it was just a few years ago though. Getting IN the school is the hardest part, re-certifying is now carried out by the BDE FECC which makes things a bit easier.