EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Approximately 20 Marines with the 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company participated in an integration exercise with its sister services during RED FLAG-Alaska 21-1 in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex on Oct. 15, 2020.
The 1st ANGLICO’s mission is to serve as a liaison to its joint partners, coalition, or allied forces and assist them in delivering American firepower.
During RF-A 21-1, the Camp Pendleton-based unit conducted a close-air support simulation where they provided targeting data for their team’s aircraft to neutralize, suppress or destroy.
“In this exercise, we had multiple flights of aircraft engaging in aerial skirmishes with the 18th Aggressor Squadron while us, as JTACs, and my firepower control team were on the ground providing dynamic targeting for the aircraft flying for us to prosecute,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Kenneth Fasone, a 1st ANGLICO Joint Terminal Attack Controller.
To take advantage of the vast size of the JPARC, the Marines were grouped into three firepower control teams executing different close-air support scenarios in different areas simultaneously.
“RED FLAG is set up in such a way that allows us to perform two different missions run by a separate crew,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Benjamin Guardenier, the 1st ANGLICO brigade platoon commander. “One of the F-35A pilots was the mission commander this morning while a Miramar-based F-18 pilot who came out to Alaska to train was the mission commander in the afternoon.”
1st ANGLICO has been part of several joint exercises in the past but this is its first time participating in RF-A, and the unit is better for it.
Marines are known to be lethal warriors trained to fight in all kinds of terrain, and the snowy mountains of Alaska are no exception.
“Alaska is very different from what we’re used to in Southern California but we need to be able to operate in different kinds of environments,” Guardenier said. “Having trained on doing that would make us much more effective in a real-world scenario.”