Page 103 - The Chapka 2016
P. 103

 The Royal Lancers Tactical Air Control Party
“Dropping a bomb in the wrong place could seriously hinder the strategic commander’s intent”
(someone at JFACTSU)
2016 has proved to be an exciting year for the Regiment’s Tacti- cal Air Control Party (TACP) consisting of numerous adven- tures abroad, RAC career course progression and the occasional flight in a fast jet. The TACP is held within 38 (Seringapatam) Battery at 19th Regiment Royal Artillery which supports the Royal Lancers on all deployments. It consists of an OC TACP, TACP Second-in-Command, three JTACs (Joint Terminal Air Controllers) and two driver/signallers. The advantage for the Ar- moured Cavalry units is that we are able to man our own TACPs with suitably qualified personnel who understand our core busi- ness of recce.
Captain Robertson and Corporal Bowers both completed the eight week JTAC course at RAF Leeming. After the initial week-long death by powerpoint phase, the training programme continues with one day of lessons, one day of simulation, two days on the hill with jets and a wash-up, or further training
on Friday. Corporal Bowers was fortunate enough to sit in the Hawk back-seat. Students lucky enough to fly backseat of the JFACTSU Hawks would regularly swap stories at the end of the day of pilots casually reeling off their check-in briefs to the nervously-awaiting JTAC students on the ground in a calm voice with steady breathing rate, all while flying the jet upside down, in a loop, with enough G-force for the student in the back to be on the verge of re-showing their breakfast.
On completion of the initial JTAC course the focus for training is undoubtedly the ‘CQ’ test. This allows the JTACs to control air- craft on operations, unsupervised. Following the initial CQ, the assessment must be taken annually to confirm the standard of controlling remains high. JTAC instructors ensure that air con- trolling matches the required standard and aircraft remain safe while operating to the TACP, particularly when deconflicting aircraft with artillery shells. Sergeant Stevens ran the seasonal
 Aviators and a baseball cap, obviously
More baseball caps

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