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  • Air corps FAC's?

    I read with interest an article in this months "flying in ireland" magazine that stated that six pilot officers from the Air corps have been trained as forward air controllers at the NATO joint and inter allied training for air support college(CFAA) in nancy,France.
    The article goes on to state that the FAC's will deploy to Chad with the next rotation and subsequent ones at a strength of two per trip.
    Interesting enough.Curious though.Is their function going to be in co-ordinating resupply flights etc or in ground control over "fast air".
    Any ideas?
    "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

  • #2
    Probably a bit of both, although you don't need FAC skills to provide what is essentially an ATC job.Directing someone to drop a supply pallet is not quite the same as directing someone to put a rocket into a trench-line or a gun position.Perhaps they need to upgrade their airfield logistics and airfield/LZ preparation skills......
    regards
    GttC

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    • #3
      FACs? I thought thats what LGBs and designators were for!!

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      • #4
        A bit of reality: the DF has, quite often, given and recieved training and real-time info from aid agencies such as Concern and Trocaire and GOAL, who are, often, in the middle of the shit with no firearms, shit vehicles and no helo evac,etc. that soldiers enjoy. Aid agencies often have much, much better int than militaries and are quite well up on airfields and the real operational abilities of aircraft.An example would be Concern vols recieving training about mines and returning the favour with real-time gen about local tribes, custom and practise,etc, and such relevant gen as the length and duration of the rainy season and which vehicles will cope with shitholes such as Chad.Quite often, an aid agency has been in a place such as Chad or Sudan for decades and are experts on local conditions.Militaries often rush in and act Boss but don't have the gen.
        thread Creep? Sure, but you'd have to ask why a nation with no history of ever using FACs feels the need to do so now, especially since they have no fast air or even slow air of their own out there.Another skill set demanded from a spurious need?
        regards
        GttC

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        • #5
          Could it be part of the process of building up an Air Corps overseas deployment capability?

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          • #6
            Are there strike assets out there?
            Could they be called on if the Irish troops did not have a FAC?
            Should we rely on a needing a French FAC with all Irish patrols in case we need a strike asset?

            Dont know, only askin'

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            • #7
              Afaik there are french mirage fighters out there who provide recce overflights for Eufor and are on call for CAS.Open to correction on this though.if this is true it would explain why the officers were sent to the french course as opposed to the UK as is the norm.
              "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

              Comment


              • #8
                Why Air Corps Pilot Officers? Why not Army personnel? As means of developing a skill set with the aim of introducing a course in the DF possibly? Otherwise it would mean these guys would have to embed in an Army unit on overseas deployment

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tadpole View Post
                  FACs? I thought thats what LGBs and designators were for!!
                  In many instances LGB's are designated by an FAC on the ground, operating as part of a forward deployed special forces unit for example.

                  http://www.cilas.com/laser_designator_dhy307.htm

                  Self designation using something like a Lantirn pod is also possible, or for example in Gulf War I Buccaneers provided buddy designation for Tornados(pre TIALD) as part of an overall strike package.
                  Jetjock
                  Commandant
                  Last edited by Jetjock; 6 October 2008, 14:17.

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                  • #10
                    It has long been the practise to use a pilot, attached to a ground unit, as a FAC, on the basis that he has experience of the difficulties attached to delivering non-precision weapons such as rockets, unguided bombs and cannon shells.Given that an Air Corps pilot would have minor experience of the first, none of the second and very little of the last, he'd have a bit of a learning curve to over come, to say the least.As JJ points out, FAC has gone from directing basic weapons to the era of the designated LGB.There is probably a case to be made for Irish soldiers to be trained as FACs, without the need for them to be pilots(as was the case in Vietnam, a much tougher FAC case than Chad), so that a unit would have the in-house skill readily to hand.
                    Be more in their line if they actually had generic air support per unit, instead of having to beg for it.
                    regards
                    GttC

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                    • #11
                      Would it not make more sense to train artillery FOOs for the FAC role? They already know how to designate targets, they just have to adapt their current skills to a slightly different method of designating the target and delivering the explosives. This is what the Brits do currently, with artillery and air assets all guided in by a FST (fire support team). This also helps in preventing friendly fire incidents, as the local infantry only have to keep one bunch informed of their locations.

                      (That said, as of late the Air Corps have been making moves towards airborne artillery OPs run by Air Corps officers, so this may just be an extension of that idea)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by apod View Post
                        I read with interest an article in this months "flying in ireland" magazine that stated that six pilot officers from the Air corps have been trained as forward air controllers at the NATO joint and inter allied training for air support college(CFAA) in nancy,France.
                        The article goes on to state that the FAC's will deploy to Chad with the next rotation and subsequent ones at a strength of two per trip.
                        Interesting enough.Curious though.Is their function going to be in co-ordinating resupply flights etc or in ground control over "fast air".
                        Any ideas?
                        Ah..................Lads..........
                        how long more is this going to last we now the reserve not the FCA and if you are going to call us FCA please oh please spell it right hedgie could be looking at this.........



















                        come on lads get a sense of humour i was only jokin.........

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Barry View Post
                          Would it not make more sense to train artillery FOOs for the FAC role? They already know how to designate targets, they just have to adapt their current skills to a slightly different method of designating the target and delivering the explosives. This is what the Brits do currently, with artillery and air assets all guided in by a FST (fire support team). This also helps in preventing friendly fire incidents, as the local infantry only have to keep one bunch informed of their locations.

                          (That said, as of late the Air Corps have been making moves towards airborne artillery OPs run by Air Corps officers, so this may just be an extension of that idea)
                          Jesus Barry you would love that
                          oops 2 more points coming my way
                          its like the tyrone v's kerry final all over again
                          up the kingdom!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just to give you an idea of the different approaches out there-referencing an article in last month's Air International on same:

                            UK forces employ personnel from the British Army, Royal Marines, RAF Regiment and Special Forces Units. In the case of the BA these are predominantly but not always Royal Artillery personnel. They are in many cases assigned to a Fire Support Team(FST) and work alongside a combat signaller and a forward observation officer(artillery fire direction). They can also be assigned to a cavalry unit in something like a Scimitar for deployments ahead of a main armoured force- interestingly young Harry is a qualified FAC.
                            FAC training is undertaken by the RAF at Leeming. One wonders is this the direction being taken by initially training Air Corps officers with the view to implementing an in house course in future?


                            US forces take a different approach. In the US system an FAC is known as a JTAC or Joint Terminal Attack Controller. These individuals are drawn in the majority from the USAF-with a much smaller number from the USMC. The reason for this is that the USAF is of the view that they are responsible for any weapons released from an Air Force aircraft, so they should be directed by Air Force personnel.
                            It is also possible that this is the direction being taken by the DF, in the short term maybe, but I would be leaning towards the British example as a long term ambition.
                            Jetjock
                            Commandant
                            Last edited by Jetjock; 7 October 2008, 12:28.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'd go along with that.I'd rather that the persons in harm's way be able to direct air or artillery support down on their enemy's heads rather than wait for a pilot/commisioned officer to rock up, either in a spotting aircraft or a helo, either of which are weather-dependent.Try telling someone in Chad, "Sorry, it's a sandstorm.heli's grounded.See you...sometime".At least, the man, already on the scene, can see his target and call down whatever he needs.
                              regards
                              GttC

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