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Air corps FAC's?

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    FACer
    Private 2*

  • FACer
    replied
    Originally posted by Turncoat View Post
    Yes he was. It was the RA chap that actually wrote the UK doctrine in the first place!



    Well yes thats the whole point, it was an emergency! Apparently 2 years ago they were having to call in american fast air as the Air corps Apache crews wouldnt fly as it was "too dangerous".(Though on the plus side this meant less deconflicting) Hence why we were doing CCA and CAS stuff in case something similar happened again. (Though i didnt deploy so it wasnt really relevant at all for me).
    We are in agreement then on ECAS!

    My point is for CAS to be its most effective and in all but emergency cases there is a need for a FAC trained person on the ground. You cannot get the same efficency from a non FAC trained pax with a crib sheet. Therefore the need today for FAC trained pers is greater than ever before.

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  • Turncoat
    Im a ranger!....No really

  • Turncoat
    replied
    Originally posted by FACer View Post
    Yes I have done the course. Perhaps your FAC was so good he made it look easy?!
    Yes he was. It was the RA chap that actually wrote the UK doctrine in the first place!

    Originally posted by FACer View Post
    What you did would have been some sort of prep on Emergency Close Air Support (ECAS) which by definition is only done in.........yep an emergency.
    Well yes thats the whole point, it was an emergency! Apparently 2 years ago they were having to call in american fast air as the Air corps Apache crews wouldnt fly as it was "too dangerous".(Though on the plus side this meant less deconflicting) Hence why we were doing CCA and CAS stuff in case something similar happened again. (Though i didnt deploy so it wasnt really relevant at all for me).

    Leave a comment:

  • GoneToTheCanner
    C/S

  • GoneToTheCanner
    replied
    Hi there
    I was watching a programme on Discovery or somesuch about an American unit that required danger-close air support, from two F15s.The Eagles started at about 15,000 ft and had a great deal of trouble, despite superb clear skies, in isolating the ground fight from the terrain.Eventually, it took a combination of smoke signals and several low runs, well within small-arms range, for the Eagles to positively identify the Taliban's central position.Once the Taliban saw the aircraft, they increased the intensity of their attack upon the Americans and tried to get close enough to the Americans to nullify the jets' coverage.It took a couple of large bombs, dropped at what could be described as danger-danger close, and a couple of gun runs to kill some of the Taliban and take the heat off the Americans.The fact that the Taliban fire kept their heads down meant that the Americans found it very difficult to clearly identify their surrounds to the pilots and made their job very difficult.
    regards
    GttC

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  • FACer
    Private 2*

  • FACer
    replied
    Originally posted by Turncoat View Post
    Have you done your course?

    From what I saw it is that simple! We all did basic CCA training on calling in Heli/Air, was a very simple process. Ok its not the full FAC course but it still left you more than capable of calling in a mission. From talking to the guys just back from afghan they were saying it was normal enough for troops to be calling in strikes as there is only so many FAC/MFC's
    Yes I have done the course. Perhaps your FAC was so good he made it look easy?!

    What you did would have been some sort of prep on Emergency Close Air Support (ECAS) which by definition is only done in.........yep an emergency.
    I don't doubt that guys in afghan have done ECAS but for the reasons stated above its not as easy as just calling in air.
    Apache is slightly different as it doesn't need "controlling" and as such is more free to select it's own targets and engage them. It also isn't tipping in as 480knots if low level or as in theatre at 15,000Ft AGL Both of which make it hard to identify targets. Also the ordanance carried on a Fast Jet is pretty awsome. Do you have any idea of the effects of a 1,000lb bomb or the "danger close" distance?

    Yup there are only so many FAC's in theatre and ideally you should have one there to call in CAS. If there isn't? Well then thats what ECAS is for. If you in the poo needs must.
    Not saying it can't or isn't done in an emergency but a Pilot will react differently to ECAS than CAS.

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  • Turncoat
    Im a ranger!....No really

  • Turncoat
    replied
    Originally posted by FACer View Post
    This will most probably mean rather than the pilot recieving all the info up front in his 9 line he will have to drag the relevent info from the Ground c/s. Believe me is really easy to get the info wrong even as a trained FAC. The last thing the pilot wants to do is drop on friendlies. In ECAS he will not drop till he is sure his first action will most probably be a show of force to try to get the enemy to withdraw.
    Have you done your course?

    From what I saw it is that simple! We all did basic CCA training on calling in Heli/Air, was a very simple process. Ok its not the full FAC course but it still left you more than capable of calling in a mission. From talking to the guys just back from afghan they were saying it was normal enough for troops to be calling in strikes as there is only so many FAC/MFC's

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  • FACer
    Private 2*

  • FACer
    replied
    Originally posted by Goose View Post
    Beat me to it, I was just going to say why couldn't they issue out crib cards like the Brits do. Very simple, everything is listed and you just fill in the blanks. The same card works for Mortars, Arty or Air, and once its followed everybody can call them in if the need arises. Have to admit it was very easy to pick up the basics and once a few people get extra training to become dedicated in the role I don't see a problem.
    Unfortunatley it ain't that easy. You need one cell Directing these Joint Fires.
    For Starters the FAC will be the only one with a UHF Radio to talk to the Air. There is also the need to deconflict the Mortars, Arty and Air, both rotary and Fixed wing. There is no way on earth Biggles is going to fly into an area without knowing where the Rotary is working and to what height, where the Gun to Target lines are and the max vertex of the Arty/Mortar rounds. Its a big sky but the last thing you want is an Arty round hitting the Air assets. That is why there HAS to be one team MFC, FOO and FAC there They can talk to each other and the FAC can deconflict the Air. On top of this the FAC is essential to providing CAS. THe FAC buys the bomb he tell the pilot where to strike and is responsible for briefing Friendly positions. If there is no FAC there it becomes ECAS and the Pilot then has the responsibility for the bomb. This will most probably mean rather than the pilot recieving all the info up front in his 9 line he will have to drag the relevent info from the Ground c/s. Believe me is really easy to get the info wrong even as a trained FAC. The last thing the pilot wants to do is drop on friendlies. In ECAS he will not drop till he is sure his first action will most probably be a show of force to try to get the enemy to withdraw.

    The FAC course is mentally very hard you need to be able to think in a different way. It is not a basic course that anyone can do. People do fail this course.

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  • easyrider
    Commandant

  • easyrider
    replied
    Australian PC-9s used for FAC training,

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  • California Tanker
    My tank is bigger...

  • California Tanker
    replied
    Seems they didn't forget that possibility: You can see the flares dropped by the previous aircraft on #2's gun camera.

    NTM

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  • easyrider
    Commandant

  • easyrider
    replied
    Those aircraft seemed to spend a lot of time loitering over the target - just as well the bad guys don't have MANPADS.

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  • California Tanker
    My tank is bigger...

  • California Tanker
    replied
    On a vaguely related note.

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  • California Tanker
    My tank is bigger...

  • California Tanker
    replied
    Just to add to the American confusion, the US Army distinguishes between Close Combat Attack and Close Air Support. The former is usually done by Army Helicopters, the latter by aircraft. The procedure is actually pretty similar between the two of them, the main problem is that Army choppers have SINCGARS radios, whilst fixed-wings tend not to, meaning that fewer people have the option of calling in for support from fixed-wings.

    The way the US comes up with air tasking orders, you may as well have a USAF type on the ground with you. Actually getting the aircraft to attack your target is a lot simpler than finding the aircraft to talk to in the first place. The briefings we're getting from the pilots are along the lines of 'You know that CAS 9-line? Don't worry if you don't get it right. Just speak to us in plain English, let us know where you are, where the enemy is, what he is, and how to find him. We'll take care of the rest." The real difficulty lies in synchronising the airspace and being able to talk to an airplane.

    NTM

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  • easyrider
    Commandant

  • easyrider
    replied
    True, but I'm sure those young Top Guns out in Baldonnel would love a chance to put their training to use on actual operations.

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  • Tadpole
    Sergeant Major

  • Tadpole
    replied
    No sea in Chad for the PC9s to attack!!

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  • easyrider
    Commandant

  • easyrider
    replied
    The PC-9s spent a week attacking the sea off Gormanston recently... There's an idea.... Although most likely those FACs will be calling in the French Mirage F1s that are based in Chad.

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  • Tadpole
    Sergeant Major

  • Tadpole
    replied
    Off course the aircraft providing support will be weather dependent but I think Gripens point is that the FACs will surely be on the ground with the troops rather then arriving when needied by, or directing the support from weather dependent aircraft.

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