NEWS | July 24, 2019

Direct Air Support Center Ensures Air-ground Support during TS19

By Senior Airman Ashley Maldonado-Suarez U.S. Army Pacific Public Affairs Office

ROCKHAMPTON, QLD, Australia -- The Marine Air-Ground Task Force Direct Air Support Center links ground and aviation assets during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019.

Provided by the Marine Air Support Squadron-2, the DASC’s mission during the exercise is to integrate supporting in arms with the MAGTF and the Royal Australian Air Force 44 Wing, headquarters for the RAAF Air Support Operations Center.

“We’ve been able to provide communication assets to connect the DASC to the 1st Brigade for the Australians as well as communications on the single-channel spectrum while the DASC was getting established,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Ryan Eubanks, Marine Air Support Squadron-2 field radio operator.

The DASC ensures immediate air support is processed, to include joint tactical air strike, casualty evacuation and assault support requests. It also integrates weapon capabilities on the ground with nearby aviation assets, controlling the air space between air traffic control and their destination.

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jayden McGraw, Marine Air Support Squadron-2 air support operations crew chief, said members within the DASC work together like a machine to ensure aircraft have the safest passages of flight throughout the airspace. Every person has a crucial role in ensuring the airspace is taken care of.

During operations, the DASC receives the Air Tasking Order from the U.S. Marine Tactical Air Command Center then coordinates planned direct air support. The DASC also adjusts planned schedules, diverts airborne assets as well as launches aircraft as necessary.

Once the DASC receives pertinent tactical information, it is disseminated and reported by aircraft performing direct air support missions. It also provides aircraft and air control groups with advisory and threat information, assisting in safe flight conduct.

The DASC maintains friendly and enemy ground position displays as necessary in order to coordinate direct air support missions. It is responsible for providing aircraft and other Marine Air Command and Control Systems with information concerning friendly and enemy conditions. DASC members also coordinate supporting arms with the fires and effects coordination center, fire support coordination center, and fire support coordinator.

During amphibious or expeditionary operations such as TS19, the DASC is the principle Marine Air Command and Control System agency ashore, managing direct support air missions in support of those ground forces while also serving as a conduit for updates between aviation assets and friendly forces ashore.