TACP(FAC)

#1
Just wondering if anyone has done the job of OC TACP(FAC).

If so what's it like? Any help/advice would be good.

Read this years DIN, but any more info would be great.
 
#4
Go for it as long as you do not mind spending time in hot and sandy places. Cracking job ad you will be everyones best mate, especially in AFG. hard work long hours and bags of opportunity to bag a medal or 2. recommend the challenge especially as they are much better resoursed and considered much more key in today's asymetric battlefield.
 
#5
Wish i had done it when I was young enough - get on the phone to JALO down in strike or JFACTSU in RAF Leeming. They are a good bunch and will give you a heads up.
 
#6
Brilliant job, cracking time, own boss and lots of travel. Speak to JFACTSU or your local OC TACP/BALO. Wont make you the next CGS though. Tatt do you mean JASO?
Go for it.
 
#7
Retd_crab said:
Brilliant job, cracking time, own boss and lots of travel. Speak to JFACTSU or your local OC TACP/BALO. Wont make you the next CGS though. Tatt do you mean JASO?
Go for it.
No - I mean JALO - used to be JASO but changed its title about 18 months ago. Now Joint Air Land Org.
 
#8
Thanks TB. Tempus Fugit. Will remember to drop it into conversation next time I speak to Yorkie and Axeman. We are getting older by the day.

Did you know the the TA FACs are trying to arrange an annual FAC get together.
 
#9
Does anybody know the DIN reference for info on FAC? I used to be in possesion of it, but can't find it anymore.

Thanks

11D
 
#10
One of the best jobs you can do in the mil. Most fun you can have with your clothes on. Recommend you talk to SO3 Manpower at JALO (Air Command RAF High Wycombe)

Sorry cannot find the DIN, but can only recommend it, a good point was made about it not making you CGS, true but you can make a terrific diference at a tactical level. 8)
 
#11
OC TACP (FAC) is just about the most fun you can have. I did it a few years ago now and have been involved in Air/Land ever since (to the detriment of my career!). The role has evolved in the last few years. As OC of a TACP(FAC), you will find yourself doing more BM and air advising at BG level, and slightly less terminal control of ac, than used to be the case. You will travel alot; both on ops and on fairly exotic exercises. You will be living out of your bergen/grip for most of your posting. I would say it's definitely a single man's sport, unless you can't stand the sight of your other half. Sadly, despite the increasing importance of CAS/FAC/ALI, it is still a bit of a career-foul for army officers (Glasgow denies this, mind you). As someone has mentioned earlier, you wont make CGS/CAS/CinC Fleet, but it is the perfect job if, for example, you're coming to the end of a short-service commission and want a bit of fun for your last tour. I cannot recommend this job enough.
 
#12
Can anyone apply? I'm not even in yet (RMAS January) but you're all making it sound like a great posting, so I'm wondering if it's restricted to particular arms (i.e. Infantry) or anyone in the Army?
 
#13
One note of caution. It may sound obvious, but it hasn't yet been stated.

Think very carefully about whether you're prepared for the job. You can prepare yourself mentally for a tour in Afghan knowing that its likely that you'll be in contacts and have to fire in your defence. You can also know that you may attempt to destroy the enemy, and may kill civilians.

If you become an FAC you WILL go to Afghanistan. You WILL be at the most exciting point of each battle - the most dangerous part. You WILL drop bombs with devastating effect. You WILL kill civilians.

Are you prepared to do that? I thought I "of course", until it was a very real possibility, when it became more complicated. I would still answer "yes", but it would be a pretty close call.

I'm sure some of you will respond saying "well, of course we're ready, we signed up didn't we?".

Well, yes and no. When I went through Sandhurst going to South Armagh was seen as cheeky, and the most we expected was sporadic contacts in PSO environments. Yes, we knew theoretically that we could be called upon to kill but its different when:

a) The prospect is close, and real
b) That is your sole function. An infantry platoon is an adaptable instrument. As well as searching for and defeating the enemy it can escort aid convoys, provide security, be used as police, build relations between local factions etc. Your role, as an FAC, is to drop bombs on people. End of.

Perhaps that makes me lose man points. If so, I don't care - its got to be something you think long and hard over. If you don't think about it thoroughly when you apply, it'll hit you even harder when you do it. I say this having had a friend who faced a good deal of soul searching about his role as a FOO in Helmand.

Sermon over. It is a very warry role for a young officer, and one that robust characters will find extremely fulfilling.

I am pretty sure that Paveway_3 will jump in, I believe he's a very experienced FAC.

Incidentally two TA FACs are deploying to Helmand this summer with the HCR - One Army and all that!

If you go for it - good luck.

Edited to respond to The Goon. I wouldn't get your hopes up, I'm afraid. So far as I know its open only to Teeth Arms and is quite difficult to get on. Not because the criteria is extremely tough ( although people do fail the training ) but because there is high demand for capable young officers to fill a number of slots within and without of Battalions.

All Inf YOs worth their salt want to do the Gucci FAC / OMLT / FHT etc jobs but every unit needs Coy 2ics, an RSO, YOs to fill the recruit training positions etc. And they must develop their YOs careers, which such jobs can but not always be poor for. Hence the huge demand for FACs, and places open to the TA.
 
#14
Charlie_Cong said:
One note of caution. It may sound obvious, but it hasn't yet been stated.

Think very carefully about whether you're prepared for the job. You can prepare yourself mentally for a tour in Afghan knowing that its likely that you'll be in contacts and have to fire in your defence. You can also know that you may attempt to destroy the enemy, and may kill civilians.

If you become an FAC you WILL go to Afghanistan. You WILL be at the most exciting point of each battle - the most dangerous part. You WILL drop bombs with devastating effect. You WILL kill civilians.

Are you prepared to do that? I thought I "of course", until it was a very real possibility, when it became more complicated. I would still answer "yes", but it would be a pretty close call.

I'm sure some of you will respond saying "well, of course we're ready, we signed up didn't we?".

Well, yes and no. When I went through Sandhurst going to South Armagh was seen as cheeky, and the most we expected was sporadic contacts in PSO environments. Yes, we knew theoretically that we could be called upon to kill but its different when:

a) The prospect is close, and real
b) That is your sole function. An infantry platoon is an adaptable instrument. As well as searching for and defeating the enemy it can escort aid convoys, provide security, be used as police, build relations between local factions etc. Your role, as an FAC, is to drop bombs on people. End of.

Perhaps that makes me lose man points. If so, I don't care - its got to be something you think long and hard over. If you don't think about it thoroughly when you apply, it'll hit you even harder when you do it. I say this having had a friend who faced a good deal of soul searching about his role as a FOO.

Sermon over. It is a very warry role for a young officer, and one that robust characters will find extremely fulfilling.

I am pretty sure that Paveway_3 will jump in, I believe he's a very experienced FAC.

Incidentally two TA FACs are deploying to Helmand this summer with the HCR - One Army and all that!

If you go for it - good luck.
Very unhelpful CC. I don't think that you can say with certainty that anyone doing a FAC job 'WILL' kill civilians. You might as well say the same of the Arty or even anyone operating a crew-served weapon. Generalising merely undermines all of your other points.

There's more to TACP(FAC) work than just bomb dropping. The Battlespace Management and integration of all air activity, incl ISTAR, NTISR and EW into planning and execution at the front-line are also key roles.

Over the past 7 years, the RAF has been taking an increasing interest in this area (after a long period post WWII of apparent indifference). Many TACP(FAC) posts are filled by RAF personnel and even more are likely to be in the future.
 
#15
Many thanks for the gen regarding getting into this role; I'm planning to join either the AAC or Infantry, so I guess it'll only really be an option if I go Infantry.
 
#17
Rheinstorff said:
Charlie_Cong said:
One note of caution. It may sound obvious, but it hasn't yet been stated.

Think very carefully about whether you're prepared for the job. You can prepare yourself mentally for a tour in Afghan knowing that its likely that you'll be in contacts and have to fire in your defence. You can also know that you may attempt to destroy the enemy, and may kill civilians.

If you become an FAC you WILL go to Afghanistan. You WILL be at the most exciting point of each battle - the most dangerous part. You WILL drop bombs with devastating effect. You WILL kill civilians.

Are you prepared to do that? I thought I "of course", until it was a very real possibility, when it became more complicated. I would still answer "yes", but it would be a pretty close call.

I'm sure some of you will respond saying "well, of course we're ready, we signed up didn't we?".

Well, yes and no. When I went through Sandhurst going to South Armagh was seen as cheeky, and the most we expected was sporadic contacts in PSO environments. Yes, we knew theoretically that we could be called upon to kill but its different when:

a) The prospect is close, and real
b) That is your sole function. An infantry platoon is an adaptable instrument. As well as searching for and defeating the enemy it can escort aid convoys, provide security, be used as police, build relations between local factions etc. Your role, as an FAC, is to drop bombs on people. End of.

Perhaps that makes me lose man points. If so, I don't care - its got to be something you think long and hard over. If you don't think about it thoroughly when you apply, it'll hit you even harder when you do it. I say this having had a friend who faced a good deal of soul searching about his role as a FOO.

Sermon over. It is a very warry role for a young officer, and one that robust characters will find extremely fulfilling.

I am pretty sure that Paveway_3 will jump in, I believe he's a very experienced FAC.

Incidentally two TA FACs are deploying to Helmand this summer with the HCR - One Army and all that!

If you go for it - good luck.
Very unhelpful CC. I don't think that you can say with certainty that anyone doing a FAC job 'WILL' kill civilians. You might as well say the same of the Arty or even anyone operating a crew-served weapon. Generalising merely undermines all of your other points.

There's more to TACP(FAC) work than just bomb dropping. The Battlespace Management and integration of all air activity, incl ISTAR, NTISR and EW into planning and execution at the front-line are also key roles.

Over the past 7 years, the RAF has been taking an increasing interest in this area (after a long period post WWII of apparent indifference). Many TACP(FAC) posts are filled by RAF personnel and even more are likely to be in the future.
Rheinstorff, I don't not think that CC is necessarily being unhelpful, but there is of cse a very real possibility of frat/collateral, I say this from a perspective of creating carparks in both Iraq and Afg. In terms of who can apply, as I currently understand it the majority of FACs are RAF Regt, RM, Army (Infantry/RA/AAC), Army (other eg Sigs etc).

BM plays a large part of the FAC/ALO role but the prosecution of terminal control remains the key role, notwithstanding the ability to manage HLS and TLZ/TDZ.

Goon, generally FAC / OC TACP (slight difference in role) are experienced soldiers/airman/marines (normally SNCO and above with a few exceptions) with several tours experience as there is strateigic importance to the assets they can apply. IMHO it is one of the major growth industries so I think it will be opened up as wide as possible with the possible exception of specialist FAC jobs 16AAB, 3Cdo et al.

Good luck
 
#18
Ah, I understand now. Not worth applying until I get some time in as an Officer, some tours etc.

Well, I look forward to hearing more and looking into it in more detail once in! Thank you for the gen again, gents.
 
#19
Rheinstorff - I concede your points about the wider responsibilities of an FAC, but feel my point remains valid.

I didn't intend to over-dramatise, and don't think I did:

a) In Helmand, at the moment, on a 6 month tour you WILL. I can't point to statistics, but I (personally) find hearing anecdotes at first hand, within the wider context of debate about the use of air power in theatre, persuasive. Hopefully, and I mean that very much, future tours will be different - for everyone's sakes. Can't see it happening for a while though.

In this respect being an FAC / FOO is definately different to a tour almost any other capacity.

b) Being an FAC / FOO is very different to manning a crew served weapon. You have eyes on the target and huge responsiblity : to ensure that the munitions hit the right place, at the right time, and that it is justified with entailed "collateral" - what a horrid phrase.

To my mind manning an artillery piece, or being part of an Arty / Air Ops Comd chain simply cannot compare.

Any officer considering applying should bear these in mind. "Unhelpful" - no. "Intimidating" - yes.

But necessarily so.

Charlie
 
#20
When in Dhofar,some years ago,I partook with 4 other guys,of a morning's insruction for FAC.I then used it with Strikemasters and Iranian Phantoms(had to talk to them in French!).It mirrored my short mortar course(1 hour).Then I just carried on the movement,for several months.
 
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