US and German Airmen Conduct Close Air Support Training

USAF and German air force airmen carried out close-air support exercises in Michigan earlier this month with an emphasis on air-to-ground and ground-to-ground engagements. The five-day exercise, which ran from April 10-14, took place at the state’s National Guard’s Camp Grayling, the largest military installation east of the Mississippi River. The 19th Air Support Operations Squadron worked alongside the German Air Ground Operations Squadron on the exercise. “NATO is fi?ghting together as a coalition,” said Maj. Nader Samadi, the German AGOS commander, in a release. “We do everything together, whether it’s US or other NATO partners, the standards are the same.” The exercises emphasized training tactical air control parties consisting of joint terminal attack controllers. “Nobody really knows what the JTAC is doing but everybody wants to have them,” said Samadi. “It’s really important because we don’t want civilian casualties. So NATO forces send us JTACs on site to find out the best way to conduct what we call surgical strikes, where we have civilian collateral damage concerns.”