published July 6, 2007 By stglossesweb.comf Sgt. Julie Weckerlein U.S. Central Command Air pressures Public to work

You are watching: How to call in an airstrike

FORWARD operation BASE KALSU, Iraq (glossesweb.comPN) -- Situated in a dusty military headquarters tent at this forward operation base south of Baghdad, a team of joint tactical air manage party Airmen orchestrated the damage of one explosives-laden roadway recently, avoiding the circulation of ordnance and weapons into Iraq"s capital. By phone call in the air strike, i beg your pardon dropped 13,500 pounds that bombs, the team of Airmen also perhaps saved the stays of coalition troops on the ground connected in the continuous surge to clean out hostile insurgents native the area. "This to be a fairly important road," stated Capt. Kevin Carrigan, wait liaison officer because that the 15th Expeditionary Air support Operations Squadron that supports the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, third Infantry department here. "The insurgents to be using (the road) to carry explosives into Baghdad, yet they inside wall it v , do it difficult for troops to secure it." Usually, joint terminal attack controlers, or JTACs, who space assigned to military units, straight combat plane for near air support from the former lines, but during this existing deployment, several of lock were relocated up to brigade headquarters come work directly with military leaders. "This is the an initial time we ever really worked at this level," claimed Captain Carrigan. "It"s an excellent because us have access to every kinds of information that we wouldn"t have in the field. Native this position, us can administer support come both the leaders and also our JTACs downrange." that connectivity proved an important the night the the wait strike, which started a couple of days earlier with Iraqis coming forward v information. "This to be a case where we had human intelligence about the road," stated Capt. Carrigan. "The army then walk out and also noticed inconsistencies within the road that to be later evidenced with imagery taken indigenous overhead." v the built up information, a "target packet" was produced with the inquiry to call in an wait strike. Target packets are provided by senior leaders to identify whether a target and its recommended destruction are appropriate and also in accordance v the law and also rules that engagement. In many cases, a target packet is approved within three days. For very urgent and hostile situations, it can be approved within hours. In this certain case, the packet was approved in three days. The intelligence collected about the roadway was compelling and also military leaders determined the road necessary to it is in taken out. "What we are doing is saving soldiers" lives," stated Col. James Adams, deputy command of the second Brigade combat team. "We target numerous things based upon the knowledge we collect about how this foe operates within our area of operations. Us use many assets to do that; F-16 (Fighting Falcons), A-10 (Thunderbolt IIs), laser-guided bombs and also Maverick missiles. We destroy the mines and also it permits us to obtain to the close hit sglossesweb.comely." It to be standing room only in the headquarters tent that night of the strike together Captain Carrigan and also his team the JTACs worked alongside army Soldiers. Four display screens at the former of the tent displayed live radar and also images from unmanned aerial vehicles. In the edge of the tent, Tech. Sgt. Mike Cmelik, a JTAC, communicated directly with a B-1 Lancer pilot, making use of a telephone, laptop and a remotely operated video-enhanced receiver, or ROVER, system. That was likewise able to interact directly with the UAV operator who sat throughout the room. "There"s more situational awareness in the headquarters than out in the field," stated Sergeant Cmelik. "We"re may be to watch the bigger snapshot and certain no friendly pressures in the area." while constantly collecting and verifying data, Sergeant Cmelik and Captain Carrigan called out updates, letting the commanders and also interested bystanders know the status of the drop. "It can obtain pretty stunner in there, v everyone yelling back and forth," said an elderly Airman Logan Abrams, the JTAC journeyman who assisted Sergeant Cmelik and also Captain Carrigan the night. "But right prior to the bombs drop, it gets quiet together everyone watches." In a issue of minutes, a full of 15 bombs to be dropped in 3 passes do by the B-1 bomber from the 379th Expeditionary wing based in Southwest Asia. Plenty of plumes the smoke, made black color by the heat imaging, appeared on the screen, indicating that the bombs hit secondary targets. "That"s good when we get those second explosions," stated Capt. Carrigan. "It confirms the we"re law the ideal thing, our suspicions were correct and that the number the bombs we recommended was justified." having the JTACs at the headquarters has proven valuable over the food of the deployment, because of this strikes happen virtually daily, targeting tools caches, mine fields and roads filled through IEDs, claimed Colonel Adams. "The JTACs brings a an excellent deal the experience," that said.

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"They assist us as we develop the plans: which targets to hit, what kind of ammunition, what type of wait frame, and also they assist us acquire at where this specific enemy is placing his mines and also storing his weapons." He claimed he is likewise appreciative that the direct link the JTACs administer to the pilots overhead. "They bring in the interaction in order come talk directly to the pilots together we incorporate Army and Air force assets," the said. "We work-related as a team come ensure that we"re hitting where we"re aiming." Comment top top this story (comments might be released on Air pressure Link) Click right here to check out the comments/letters page