Airmen assist with Army ground movements in Iraq
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq (AFNS) -- Tactical air control party teams assigned to the 4/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team here help to keep their convoys safe by being a liaison to Airmen in aircraft flying above, when convoys are on the move.
A TACP team consists of two Airmen: a joint terminal attack controller, and a radio operator, maintainer and driver.
The team provides air coverage, close air support, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to the 4/2 SBCT during convoy missions in Iraq.
"Whenever there is ground operations outside the wire, we provide close air support, and we provide overhead or top coverage for the ground units as they're moving around," said 2nd Lt. Dennis Seay, a TACP officer. "We basically keep the guys on the ground safe with aircraft by trying to drop bombs on the bad guys as soon as we can identify them."
Before the convoy heads out, TACP team members plan the operation with the ground forces commander, showing the commander where air power can help. In a certain situation they may want bombs instead of guns, and the controllers can advise the commander as the situation warrants.
They advise in the beginning, and then they'll either go out with the convoy or stay back and provide support from the tactical operations center by working with Airmen in ISR aircraft flying above the convoy, Lieutenant Seay said.
"Typically we like to roll with them in their convoy or whatever they're doing," he said.
"For normal convoy (operations) we have the close air support ... then we will watch certain points that the Army wants us to watch," he said. "Then we task the air units out and as soon as a threat is identified, as soon as something happens, we try to pop on that threat, (identify) the threat and then ultimately neutralize the threat however we can."
The TACP members will continue this mission as U.S. forces continue to draw down from Iraq.
Article by Staff Sgt. Sanjay Allen, Air Component Coordination Element-Iraq Public Affairs