Royal Netherlands Army JTACs train with Aussie counterparts

JTAC personnel from the Australian Defence Force and Royal Netherlands Army deployed to Delamere Air Weapons Range

Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) from the Australian Army 16 Air Land Regiment and Royal Netherlands Army deployed to Delamere Air Weapons Range (DELAWR) in the Northern Territory to conduct joint training operations during Exercise Pitch Black 2018.

Australian JTACs are working closely with international forces to enhance interoperability with the planning, briefing, controlling and reporting of close air support on the battlefield.

On operations, JTACs embed with ground-combat troops and direct precision air strikes against hostile targets.

Australian Army JTAC Evaluator, SGT Corey Freckleton, said Exercise Pitch Black enables JTACs to cross-train and share intelligence to execute a wide range of missions.

“Today we’ve been working with the Dutch Forces at the Delamere Air Weapons Range, predominately operating from an observation tower engaging targets in a tactical urban environment,” said SGT Freckleton.

“Once the training target was identified, the RAAF No. 4 Squadron PC-9 dropped a smoke marker for coalition fighters to engage on a Close Air Support (CAS) mission.

“Other target engagements used precision munitions including Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) and laser guided munitions with aircraft from the United States Air Force, Royal Singaporean Air Force, United States Marine Corp and other international forces.

“Throughout the exercise, we will provide support for a multitude of countries including Canadian, Dutch and Germans JTACs.

“Delamere vast open spaces provide an environment where JTACs from across the world can integrate to achieve joint learning outcomes.

“The exercise re-enforces Australia’s commitment to the on-going development of JTAC interoperability with other nations.

DELAWR is the Royal Australian Air Force’s primary range for air-to-surface weapon delivery training. Military activities many be conducted by any of the three Services of the Australian Defence Force, operating either singularly or jointly, and foreign military forces.

DELAWR is located 536 km from Darwin and covers 2,112 sq km of Commonwealth land.

By FLGOFF Belinda Scott

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