Atlantic Strike Offers CAS Improvements

Some 800 US and coalition military personnel worked through the recent Atlantic Strike exercise at Avon Park, Fla., employing the latest in close air support innovations. The exercise, run under the direction of Air Forces Central for the past several years, began as a means to train joint terminal attack controllers in the use of video downlink capabilities and has “evolved rapidly in size and complexity,” with a subsequent transfer to direct control by Air Combat Command, said Maj. Raymond Brennan, exercise director. He emphasized the importance of that shift, saying, “For the first time, there is a Majcom-sponsored training event that identifies JTACs and the Air Support Operations Center as the primary training audience.” This year’s exercise had three new focus areas: use of the fielded tactical air control party CAS system version 1.4.1; test of refinements to ASOC Gateway equipment; and employment of digital CAS for operational test and evaluation. (Avon Park report by Capt. Nathan Borshear)