EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
There are two sides to every story; your side and someone else’s side. The same holds true for Tactical Air Control Party Airmen and A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots.
Although these Airmen are constantly working together, they never get to see the same side of the story as the other.
During Distant Frontier, pilots assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron out of Osan Air Base, South Korea, accompanied TACP Airmen assigned to the 5th Air Support Operations Squadron, deep into the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex in order to better understand what the TACP Airmen see from the ground.
“A majority of our job is working with the JTACs (Joint Terminal Attach Controllers),” said 1st Lt. Kevin Long, an A-10 pilot assigned to the 25th FS. “Being out there, we were able to see the fight from a different point of view.”
JTACs are highly trained TACP Airmen who act as a bridge between the ground commander and air power assets.
“We never talk directly to the ground commander, so it was interesting seeing someone play that role for the exercise,” said Long. “Being able to see and hear how the ground commander integrates air power into the mission is something that is very beneficial.”
While the pilots are able to gain a new perspective and a better understanding of what the JTACs are seeing from the ground, the same holds true for the JTAC Airmen gaining a better understanding of what the pilot is seeing from the air.
“Pilots are able to give us TTP’s (tactics, techniques and procedures) for why the aircraft are performing certain maneuvers,” said Tech. Sgt. John Welter, the 5th ASOS bravo flight, flight chief. “It gives us a perspective we usually don’t see from the ground, which helps us more with what we do every day.”
Seeing both sides of the story allows the ground crew and pilots to efficiently and effectively complete their mission.