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JTAC/FAC

I used to be in one (614 TACP).
RAF Flt Lt, Cpl and me (Lcpl).
Always busy, always on exercise - Supporting the Brigade in multiple environments, using multiple platforms.
Boss = FAC trained, CPL/LCpl = Operate the marker/comms (and babysat the boss in an Army environment).
Was the RAF guy always a pilot?
 
I did an afternoon playing at FACing once, a long while back. E Tp (V) 244 Sig Sqn (AS) used to have a bunch of TA old ‘n bold officers of all cap badges who were reserve FACs. I was in D Tp (MAOTs) and one of the E Tp guys needed a currency session, so he came over to SPTA and I took him out on the Plain in my MAOT det one afternoon, playing with a Tornado. He was doing his bit, I was just a driver really. It was fun to call the Tornado in on our position, and he did a screaming pass at very low height right over my Rover.

I’d definitely recommend it for fun, but it must be serious shit to do it on Ops.
 
Not quite true. The JTACs in a TACP will usually be an officer but may be a SNCO and another who will be at least a Bombardier/Corporal. The siggies may not be JNCOs. RAF Regt ‘may’ provide ‘some’ personnel for 16AAB Bde and 3CDO Bde, others are from 7RHA and 29CDO, with some pax also being RM in the case of 3CDO Bde.

There is a pre-selection that must be passed prior to attending the JTAC course. There is also a two week TACP signallers course, also run at Leeming.
Thanks..A good non RAF insight as my knowledge of TACP make-up is from RAF Reg ALI cells and correct albeit anecdotal from people still in. I didn't get into this type of thing in the mid 80's.
 
I did an afternoon playing at FACing once, a long while back. E Tp (V) 244 Sig Sqn (AS) used to have a bunch of TA old ‘n bold officers of all cap badges who were reserve FACs. I was in D Tp (MAOTs) and one of the E Tp guys needed a currency session, so he came over to SPTA and I took him out on the Plain in my MAOT det one afternoon, playing with a Tornado. He was doing his bit, I was just a driver really. It was fun to call the Tornado in on our position, and he did a screaming pass at very low height right over my Rover.

I’d definitely recommend it for fun, but it must be serious shit to do it on Ops.
I associate with this post. The Cardiff lads were a good bunch, me being one of the not so old or bold FACs
 
I associate with this post. The Cardiff lads were a good bunch, me being one of the not so old or bold FACs

In those days, it was one of the only (if not THE only) regular unit(s) with a TA component. I think I’m right in saying that E Tp (V) moved to a TA Sqn which then became part of 21 SR when it moved to Colerne and subsumed 244.
 
I associate with this post. The Cardiff lads were a good bunch, me being one of the not so old or bold FACs

I believe you are talking about our forebears. FAC Tp (V) was in Cardiff, then Trowbridge before moving to Bath, where it was part of 21 Sigs, before rebadging to RA and NRHQ RA and being redesignated 255 (Somerset Yeomanry) TACP Battery, the rootinest, tootinest..er, oldest fighting unit in the West, with the entirely appropriate callsign of Vintage.

Edit. That’s not oldest in seniority of the unit, but in respect of the average age of the soldiers. Although to be fair, we’ve now got some people who are only in their 30’s.
 
I believe you are talking about our forebears. FAC Tp (V) was in Cardiff, then Trowbridge before moving to Bath, where it was part of 21 Sigs, before rebadging to RA and NRHQ RA and being redesignated 255 (Somerset Yeomanry) TACP Battery, the rootinest, tootinest..er, oldest fighting unit in the West, with the entirely appropriate callsign of Vintage.

Edit. That’s not oldest in seniority of the unit, but in respect of the average age of the soldiers. Although to be fair, we’ve now got some people who are only in their 30’s.

Splendid, I was right then :)
 
The pass you describe is what we call a Show of Force. Here are examples from Czech, German and US air forces.




And to think some people go infantry...!

Actually it was neither of those flight profiles. The pilot requested a smoke grenade, which I duly threw. “Contact, smoke” and then nailed his approach directly on it. If I’d had a decent camera, I’d have had a good shot of a Tornado nose cone. From my perspective as a 22-yr old squaddie that was used to playing with lumbering old helicopters (not to say that wasn’t fun), having a fast jet pull that pass on our position was outstanding. Probably why I can remember it nearly 30 years on.

Greasing battery terminals, not so much :)
 
Actually it was neither of those flight profiles. The pilot requested a smoke grenade, which I duly threw. “Contact, smoke” and then nailed his approach directly on it. If I’d had a decent camera, I’d have had a good shot of a Tornado nose cone. From my perspective as a 22-yr old squaddie that was used to playing with lumbering old helicopters (not to say that wasn’t fun), having a fast jet pull that pass on our position was outstanding. Probably why I can remember it nearly 30 years on.

Greasing battery terminals, not so much :)

It doesn’t feel any less outstanding as you get (much) older
 
All the RAF JTACs I’ve met were Regt.
RAF Regt took over responsibility for FAC/JTAC tasks in the RAF in the late 90s/early 00s. Before that, it was covered by aircrew and some air traffickers. It was offered to the ATC Branch as a core role but was turned down by HQ MATO (Military Air Traffic Organisation) on the grounds of being a bit scary and the RAF Regt grabbed it with both hands.
 
RAF Regt took over responsibility for FAC/JTAC tasks in the RAF in the late 90s/early 00s. Before that, it was covered by aircrew and some air traffickers. It was offered to the ATC Branch as a core role but was turned down by HQ MATO (Military Air Traffic Organisation) on the grounds of being a bit scary and the RAF Regt grabbed it with both hands.

That’s very interesting, I wasn’t aware of that. I’ll have to enquire further of our XO, former JFACTSU and STANEVAL.
So I guess that previously it was like the USMC who I believe have aviators as their JTACs.
 

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