NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER/FORT IRWIN, Calif. --
U.S. and Brazilian Air Force joint terminal attack controllers (JTAC) had the unique opportunity to work together during exercise Green Flag West, June 3-14, 2019.
Held jointly by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, Green Flag West is an air-land integration exercise designed to mirror current conditions present in overseas contingency operations.
During the exercise, JTAC specialists from the 12th Combat Training Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. joined with their counterparts from the Brazilian Air Force to direct the action of combat aircraft. Members of both countries worked and trained closely together and were able to exchange experiences and best practices.
“Working with the Brazilian JTACs is a great opportunity,” said SSgt Joseph Schwartz, 12th Combat Training Squadron joint terminal attack controller field instructor. “Part of my job is to instruct and coach people who come out here on how to be a JTAC. But it goes vice-versa, as working with the Brazilians allows me to take their knowledge and forward that as an instructor.”
The exercise tested the ability of units to work together and integrate operations in an austere environment. Both countries cited the unique training conditions as both a challenge and a learning opportunity.
“The training is a great way to enhance our abilities in a different environment,” said 1st Lieutenant “Tomahawk”, Brazilian Air Force joint terminal attack controller. “The terrain and operations [in Brazil] are different, but working with the American JTACs, we saw things run smoothly and it was a great opportunity for Brazil and the United States to work and train together.”
Members of the Brazilian Air Force further highlighted the importance of exchanging experiences with the U.S., emphasizing this two-way flow of information as critical to the overall success of the exercise.
“The U.S. Air Force has been a great influence and benchmark for us,” said Major Igor Fernandez, Brazilian Air Force joint terminal attack controller. “Being here of course gives us the opportunity to learn a lot but we can also pass things back about what we do back to the U.S.”
Personnel names have been removed due to security concerns.