Exercise Terminal Strike recently took place in the challenging terrain of the Scottish Highlands, and provided a valuable training opportunity for Royal Artillery and Royal Armoured Corps Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs), say the British Army.

Joint Terminal Attack Controllers facilitate Close Air Support in direct support of ground units. Close Air Support has been a key force multiplier on the battlefield since 1918. Forward Air Controllers (now called JTACs) have been employed within the British Military since 1941, say the Army in a news release.

“By the end of the exercise soldiers will maintain their qualification as ‘Joint Terminal Attack Controllers’ or JTACs and they have been training in five locations across Scotland, North East England and the East Anglian coast. Normally taking place over two weeks, twice a year, Exercise Terminal Strike was extended to 4-weeks to maximise on Operation Shader preparations for those due to deploy in early 2019.

The UK Military currently draws JTACs from serving personnel from the Royal Navy (Royal Marines), British Army (Royal Artillery and Royal Armed Corps) and Royal Air Force (RAF Regiment) for service within 3rd (United Kingdom) Division,  1st  Artillery  Brigade, 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade, 3 Commando Brigade, 16 Air Assault Brigade, RAF Force Protection Force (RAF Regiment) and within the Special Forces Support Group.”

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Dangerous work but sounds fun. Do AR do this training e.g. HAC? 21 or 23?

Daniele Mandelli

Been waiting for someone in the military who knows for sure to answer, but I don’t think so.

HAC is specialist S & TA patrols ( 1 Squadron) where’s 21 and 23 are doing HERA work now they’ve been removed from DSF.

I believe 5 RA carry out most of this work, along with 148 RA.

Happy to be corrected and would be interested to know for sure myself.

There was a small unit at Leeming working with 100 Sqn Hawks too. ( JFACTU )


Sorry Riga and Daniele, I can put some meat on the bones. Daniele is correct with 21/23 now doing HERA, but HAC do the STA work, and in doing so also have a 3 Gun Troop of 105mm, as back fill to 7RHA. The JTAC came into its current form, as in the early days of Herrick (4) we had FOO parties from the Guns, MFCs and FACs, forming teams and being called TAC parties. The JTAC came about as the airspace got more complicated, while not contested, but a lot more de-confliction was needed, and swifter and more seamless… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Thanks for the detail Airborne. Was well aware 148 do NGS by the way. ? they themselves are para trained too I believe?

David Steeper

Just a heads up for anyone interested there’s an interesting article on Defenseone website about a new US standard rifle calibre.


6.8mm I believe? It will be interesting to see how the rest of the US military reacts. Logistically it will be more of a headache, and I recall reading a report that the 6.8mm round only offers marginal ballistic improvements over the NATO standard round. Considering the USMC also recently announced it is standardizing to the HK416, and the rest of NATO has no current plans to move away from 5.56mm, it is quite an interesting choice. The L85A3 will be getting rolled out over the coming years to UK forces so no change on the horizon for us. I… Read more »


One of the big problems that the U.S. military is trying to overcome is many types of body armor will defeat the 5.56 round (even the 62 grain steel core) and it’s only going to get worse. Sooner or later I think you’ll see NATO following the U.S. lead.