Czech forward air controllers received accreditation from the U.S. Expert Committee and NATO
The national programme for training of forward air controllers, after the previous successful course in Autumn, received the necessary accreditation from the U.S. Expert Committee and NATO at the end of the last year. Obtaining this accreditation is prestigious, the forward air controllers at the base in Náměšť nad Oslavou received it for the third time.
The result confirms the high level of training of the Czech unit. It has proved again that it belongs to the NATO ‘s top and is highly valued by its partners in operations. The accreditation process followed the certification course of the forward air controllers that took place last autumn at the 22nd Helicopter Air Force Base in Náměšť nad Oslavou.
The operation of the forward air controller (Joint Terminal Attack Controller - JTAC) ensures coordination of the activities of the Air Forces with other elements in order to effectively destroy the enemy and protect their own forces from the adverse effects of air ammunition. These soldiers move on the ground in different types of terrain, often work with radios. Air navigation on targets is a complex activity that takes place in a common and alliance environment. Therefore, it is crucial that the pilot knows the procedures and is equipped with the necessary military equipment.
PPractical part with a simulated ejection of air ammunition
The training of the JTAC unit is a subject to regular accreditation of the U.S. Expert Committee and NATO. “The basic professional traineeship, certification course, which lasts at least 6 weeks, are the part of the national programme for the JTAC training. Formerly, these courses took place only in foreign training facilities, but thanks to the accreditation they can now be held at the 22nd Helicopter Air Force Base. The participants must demonstrate broad theoretical knowledge of techniques, tactics and procedures for requiring and performing close air support, aircraft and aircraft weapon systems. Afterwards, the challenging practical part takes place in the military or civilian areas with a simulated ejection of air ammunition. The training with a real tactical theme that also involves navigation takes place day and night in built-up areas in cooperation with artillery, unmanned aerial vehicles, etc. The trainees of the course must be able to handle a wide range of tasks that they will perform in combat operations to support ground troops. The navigation of aircrafts with sharp ejection of ammunition against ground targets with the integration of real artillery at air shooting ranges in military training areas is the top,” explained one of the instructors who is responsible for the quality of training.
Apart from the Czech Republic, the air controllers continue to train abroad
Throughout the course, the students are continuously reviewed and evaluated in detail by instructors from the Department of Integration and Navigation of the 22nd Helicopter Air Force Base.
Apart from the Czech Republic, the air controllers continue to practice their skills abroad, primarily in the UK and the U.S.A. Another location is the U.S. Air Force Training Centre for Air and Ground Operations in Einsiedlerhof in Germany.
The air controllers also play an important role in foreign operations of the Army of the Czech Republic. Since 2007 the members of the JTAC unit from Náměšť have been regularly participating in the key foreign operations. The unit organises the selection process twice a year to add the personnel with the earliest dates scheduled from 12th and 13th March.