Air Force conducts air strike training on Fort Hood

Posted at 10:18 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:20:05-04

This is the first time in a long time the Air Force has utilized Fort Hood's range for live fire training ...calling in F-16's from DFW and dropping bombs.

"In order for us to be at our absolute best, we need to get the most realistic training we can to prepare for that," LTC Frank Biancardi, the Squadron Commander for the 11th Air Support Operations Squadron, said. 

In a combat zone, soldiers in the Army work alongside a joint terminal attack controller, or JTAC, when they need air strikes to destroy the enemy, helping the Army accomplish their mission.

"We work very hard to be that responsible party who can take Air Force capabilities and work that into the Army's scheme and maneuver," LTC Biancardi added.

"It's where the green and blue sort of come in and merge together," SrA. Nicholas Ward of the 11th Air Support Operations Squadron said.

The JTAC will call for air support, speaking directly with the pilots, to coordinate the dropping of bombs or other ammunition at a specific target.
"The ground force commander would give us a, basically a target he wants us to neutralize, and we would work up the best effects that would meet his intent," SrA Ward added. 

While the 11th Air Support Operations Squadron trains as a unit, they deploy attached to Army units as individuals.

"We have 18-year-olds all the way through experienced Master Sergeants, Senior Master Sergeants and Chiefs that will go by themselves within a U.S. Army unit and they will be that sole individual that represents the air power for the Air Force," LTC Biancardi said. 

The Air Force will continue with their training for the next couple of days. 

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