AMSE14 – Joint Effort Against the “Enemy”

A military patrol is on the move to a designated location when suddenly the vehicles receive “enemy” fire. "Contact on three," shouts a soldier. We are right into another scenario of the tactical Forward Air Controller (FAC) exercise Ample Strike 2014 ...

The exercise situation takes place in the Ondrejov firing range at Boletice military training area. A Czech Army unit comes under heavy enemy fire. The commander turns to the Hungarian FAC, who is integrated into his unit, ordering him to request Close Air Support (CAS), in an environment where the “enemy” also has air defense assets.

The response is immediate. To allow friendly airplanes to fly in for CAS the first step is to suppress enemy air defenses. A job for the 152 mm self-propelled howitzer platoon, located seven kilometers away at Cerveny Kopecek. A loud bang indicates that “Dany” the FAC has accomplished his first task against the enemy air defense systems. The fire mission lasts for fifty-seven seconds as two more artillery salvos are fired. Just minutes after the impact of the last charge an L-159 ALCA subsonic combat aircraft is overhead. However, before its pilot from 212th Tactical Squadron at Caslav Air Base can release ordnance, he has to be certain he engages the right target on the ground. This is again a task for the FAC who provides him the necessary information.

The FAC on the ground “talks” the ALCA on to its target. Via radio the pilot receives his final instructions like “cleared hot”. However, only if the pilot is absolutely certain that everything is as it should be he releases his ordnance.

"This example shows that Close Air Support is an effective tool to help coalition ground forces to gain an advantage over an adversary," says Exercise Director Colonel Miroslav Svoboda. According to him it is the international cooperation among NATO Allies, the realistic scenarios using live ammunitions and – last but not least – the enormous effort of the Czech armed forces that make AMSE14 so relevant and efficient.

Author: Pavel Lang, Communication and Promotion Department of MoD

Photos: Jan Kouba, Communication and Promotion Department of MoD

Posted: September 11, 2014