DVIDS – News – Headline: US Marines Partner with Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs to Provide CAS Training


MCAS IWAKUNI, Japan – U.S. Marines with the III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Information Group (MIG), soldiers from the 1st U.S. Army Special Forces Group and U.S. Navy SEALs conducted close air support training (CAS) at MCAS Iwakuni, Feb. 15-16, 2022. The training was conducted to enhance joint operability between the various military branches to respond to possible threats in the Indo-Pacific.

CAS refers to any strike conducted by aviation in the vicinity of friendly forces that requires careful coordination between pilots and Joint Tactical Air Controllers (JTACs) on the ground. JTACs play a critical role in offensive air operations, acting as pilots’ eyes and ears in hostile environments to direct fighter aircraft actions. Because JTACs must make urgent decisions in high-pressure situations, the importance of CAS training is vital.

“The use of CAS in medium to high threat environments to achieve effects on joint integrated priority target lists is extremely complex and requires extensive coordination to be executed successfully,” according to a US Special Forces JTAC operator. Army with the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group.

This evolution provided a realistic and dynamic training environment, with ever-changing variables including low and high speed vehicles, moving personnel and various types of structures. Each branch was evaluated and received feedback to help improve the performance of future CAS operations.

“Having the ability to practice CAS in real terrain and learn the latest tactics to confirm joint doctrine is the best training opportunity a JTAC can get,” said a naval special warfare operator who participated. to training.

During the event, each branch alternately guided multiple Navy F/18 aircraft with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 to deliver simulated CAS to specified targets across the based.

The 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), III MIG, provided the Marine element for this exercise. The mission of 5th ANGLICO is to provide Commander Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) ​​liaison capability and to plan, coordinate, employ and perform terminal fire control in support of joint, allied and of the coalition. This was a unique opportunity for the Marines as the scenarios were complex in nature and involved other services.

Captain Jacob Rhin, a squad leader for 5th ANGLICO, said his unit is always looking for opportunities to train with joint and allied forces. He expressed how important it is to gain joint training experience, especially in today’s world, where a free and open Indo-Pacific remains a top priority.

“We’re not just learning a skill for practicing close air support in an urban environment,” Rhine said. “But we also gain experience in training with our mutual partners and are able to take what they know and how they train and try to implement it to make us better.”

Date taken: 03.04.2022
Date posted: 03.04.2022 02:39
Story ID: 415736
Location: IWAKUNI, JP

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