RAF Close Air Support?

#1
Hello all,

I'm an American so forgive me my ignorance, but I'm really curious about how UK forces operate. Does the UK have any substantial capability tto provide close air support to British troops? Did, or does the RAF fly many CAS missions for British or US forces during Op Telic? Also, did UK forces use the Lynx helicopters in any kind of ground attack role during Op Telic? Thanks.
 
#2
We attempted to use air power, but you shot it down. :cry:
 
#3
Close Air Support usually gives us the opportunity to practice our Battlefield First Aid Drills.
 
#6
Saw a tornado drop some flares in Al Amarah. Shame we were asking for bombs. Had to let the septic do the biz in the end. Might I add, a jlly nice job they made of it too.
 
#7
Coincidentally, writing an essay on whether or not we need an RAF at all at the moment, and whether it can be incorporated back into Army and Navy.
My thoughts, yes (is the short answer), but that's from a theoretical point of view, and without knowing the inner workings of the MoD, doctrine, etc.
 
#8
Unfortunately I'm a crab prat and my father asked a few of his friends about this.

The RAF did deploy Harriers to the Gulf but at no time did we ask for help(apparently a lack of trained Forward Air Controllers was the reason). The SF fraternity did call in some ground attack missions but these were few and far between.
 
#9
patchemup said:
Unfortunately I'm a crab prat and my father asked a few of his friends about this.

The RAF did deploy Harriers to the Gulf but at no time did we ask for help(apparently a lack of trained Forward Air Controllers was the reason). The SF fraternity did call in some ground attack missions but these were few and far between.
Maybe, just maybe if we had more resorces, enough manpower and a little time to actually get out and train rather than everyone being on Ops, we wouldn't have a lack of trained FACs.

Or is that maybe asking a little too much? :oops:
 
#12
patchemup said:
The SF fraternity did call in some ground attack missions but these were few and far between.
Nothing to do with Telic but I did see the after effects of one such job in Faizabad. Our lads can do FAC stuff pretty well. The ruins of what was an opium cooking plant proved it must have been the USAF that dropped the bomb though!
 
#13
Having worked assisting the JHF in the sandpit, I have to say that on the whole they were a good bunch.

However it all comes down to a lack of airframes.

But then again why bother spending the money on them, when we can always ask the Shermans
 
#14
MM, go and slap yourself. Not onyl have you said that the lazy sods at JHF are "a good bunch", but you have taken to using air-berk slang "airframes". My office, 0800 and tell your girlfirend your on extras this weekend.
 
#15
I used the term good bunch as in

'If anyone buys me a beer, then they are a good bloke"

Apart from that we all know that Crab air & associates are just civvies in uniform.

Extras, its not the first and it not the last....

Now where is the hole in the fence again.....
 
#16
WhiteHorse said:
What hapened to the TACP?
I used to be (a long while ago) with 613 TACP and as far as I am aware they taken over by RAF Regt
 
#17
barbs said:
Close Air Support usually gives us the opportunity to practice our Battlefield First Aid Drills.
A WW2 Cdn Army veteran once told me the only time they saw the RAF was when they were being strafed by them.
 
#18
The newly formed RAF wrote the book on close air support during the hundred days in 1918. Said book was further improved upon during the desert in WW2 and then in Normandy. And they can still get the job done today.

However you do need someone on the ground to talk to, and that area is sadly lacking these days. We need to go back to having FACs embedded in units, not a separate unit who go on endlessly about how difficult it is and how "special" they are.
 
#19
....Or go to war alongside the US and get ANGLICO teams embedded. They brought considerably more to the party on TELIC 1: 400 plus rotary (proper attack hels) and 400 plus fixed wing, all of whom were willing to 'punish' the Queen's enemies without a 20 minute closed-down brief.

Until our flying bomb droppers / missile chuckers realise that we on the ground are the main event, and not them (a la USMC), we'll continue to get the crap CAS service we currently do.

And don't think that when the WAH 64 comes online we'll get any of that 'over the shoulder', they'll be too busy getting shot down on insecure air corridors on 'deep strike' missions. Unless someone has the sense to read the lessons from the US on OIF.


Was hugely impressd by the USMC CAS service we received, especially the ANGLICO teams embedded down to Cot level. A FOO and an FAC at Coy level gave us some serious clout.
 
#20
Thanks for the replies. Perhaps this would be better addressed to an RAF person, but am I right in assuming that the Air Tasking Orders during Op Telic 1 were largely generated by the USAF? How much say did UK commanders really have in tasking their Harriers and Tornados to support British operations in southern Iraq? At the time, I heard media reports of RAF Harriers providing air support for US Marines in Nasiriyah. Also, as a sidebar, does anyone know the origin of the term "crab" for someone in the RAF?
 

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