1st ANGLICO utilizes MHAFB Range, conducts JTAC training
By Senior Airman Benjamin Sutton, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 04, 2013
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Seventeen Marines with the 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company began conducting joint tactical air control party maneuvers, Oct. 2, at the Saylor Creek Range during day two of exercise Mountain Roundup 2013.
The 1st ANGLICO team members called in air support during the exercise to re-qualify JTACs and to maintain proficiency in their ability to provide close-air support, while training with another major coalition partner nation - Germany.
"We are out here supporting the German Air Force by not only conducting terminal control of aircraft when close-air support is necessary, but also through exchange of CAS employment techniques, tactics, and procedures with our German allies," said Marine Capt. Charles Watt, 1st ANGLICO Supporting Arms Liaison Team officer-in-charge. "During the exercise, four German joint terminal attack controllers will be integrated into our teams to train side-by-side. Our bread and butter is our ability to integrate with foreign militaries and other services to provide fire-support and every opportunity to partner with foreign and joint services is highly valued throughout the ANGLICO community."
Mountain Roundup is part of GAF Tornado Fighter Weapons Instructor Course Mission Employment Phase, where everyone involved works to provide proficient integrated combined joint forces.
"As a SALT, we are excited to be working hand-in-hand with our German counterparts during the exercise, meet our goals of increasing individual and team proficiencies in regards to CAS and also to develop our unit as fire-support coordination experts," said Watt. "In short, we enable foreign militaries to capitalize on fire support provided by the U.S. military by embedding fire support experts within their ranks."
The ANGLICO Marines made the decision to live at the range complex in order to provide the most realistic training possible.
"Our leadership made the decision to have us stay out here for a total-concept training environment," said Marine Lance Cpl. Jordie Inoke, 1st ANGLICO SALT radio operator. "It's cold, but the training opportunities we get from the exercise make it worth being less comfortable."
The range complex is comprised of 7,400 square miles of associated airspace and 122,000 acres of land space used for two air-to-ground training ranges, five no-drop target complexes and 30 multi-size electronic combat sites.
"The range and training area out here is fantastic for these types of decentralized operations," said Watt. "We push our four-man fire control teams to various locations near the impact areas where they perform their dynamic CAS and individual training opportunities. Simultaneously, the headquarters unit is tracking each team's battle movements to ensure final attack headings and the location of friendly forces on the ground is made known to aircraft."
During their last deployment, 1st ANGLICO worked with the Afghan National Army, the British Army and several other units from various nations.
"In a real-world scenario, like Afghanistan, our unit enhances the capabilities of the battlefield commander," said Watt. "Mountain Roundup is an excellent opportunity for our SALT to continue its training in preparation for upcoming deployments.
The history of ANGLICO goes all the way back to World War 2, when they first began doing CAS missions and then continued into Korea and Vietnam, when they started partnering with other nations and into modern times.
"Some of our Marines have not had the opportunity to work with other coalition CAS platforms so this exercise is an outstanding opportunity to practice our skills in a joint environment," said Watt. "We are excited for the realistic training in a safe, effective, and efficient manner, hosted by our Gunfighter friends, that builds and maintains unit cohesion."