The 332d Air Expeditionary Wing conducted a joint air integration exercise alongside partner nation Joint Terminal Attack Controllers at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, July 6. During this training exercise U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and partner nation combat controllers coordinated with U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 332d AEW and conducted Close Air Support (CAS) 9-Lines with target correlation resulting in live-ordinance deliveries in a dynamic environment on an air-to-ground bombing range. The F-15E is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions with an array of avionics and electronics.
“Integration exercises like these build mission-essential proficiencies when working with our coalition partners. These fighter aircraft regularly work with partner nation ground controllers around the Middle East making our ability to conduct regular exercises critical to joint training. This training provided a unique opportunity to rehearse tactics and procedures that are universally employed across coalition forces,” said Col. David Och, 332d AEW Intelligence, Operations, and Plans Director.
The Strike Eagle has been deployed for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya, among others. During these operations, the strike fighter has carried out deep strikes against high-value targets and combat air patrols, and provided close air support for coalition troops. A JTAC is a qualified military service members who, from a forward position, directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations. U.S. Air Force JTACs evolved from “forward air controllers” whose guidance in combat operations tipped the scales in battles from World War II through Vietnam.
The 332d Air Expeditionary Wing has a wide array of Combat Air Force capabilities including precision strike, aerial refueling, and Combat Search and Rescue, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Their job is to keep track of all aircraft available in the area they are sent into while supporting any ground maneuver force to which they are attached. The wing’s warfighters, which generate, execute and sustain combat airpower in support of U.S. Air Forces Central and U.S. Central Command to commanders, seize combat initiative by, with, and through mission partners – building on the Red Tails’ legacy of excellence.