British Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) are in Finland for an exercise.
The MoD say that Exercise Bold Quest has seen armed forces from as far afield as Canada and Australia nations deploy to Finland with the aim of improving the interoperability of coalition forces.
Army Air Corps Warrant Officer Class 1 Norrie Kennedy, is the Standards and Evaluation Officer for all UK JTACs. He said in a news release:
“A JTAC’s job is to coordinate the attack of aircraft in close proximity to friendly soldiers. Such Close Air Support is a team effort, each participant, whether the JTAC on the ground, a pilot in the air or the air command and control, all have a part to play. From an observations post situated high on a disused ski slope, a pair of UK JTACs were afforded a commanding view of the Finnish countryside for miles around. Using FireStorm, a high precision targeting system, the RAF Regiment and Royal Artillery personnel were practising locating simulated targets.
Once identified the JTACs generated highly precise coordinates and passed them digitally to other users and combat aircraft which in turn would simulate an attack. This affords the opportunity to put our processes through their paces and have them analysed with a view to informing future investments and improving interoperability.”
Aircraft available included Finnish Air Force and US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets, French Rafales and a Vietnam-era O-2 Skymaster, say the RAF.