Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | March 4, 2022

U.S. Marines Team Up with Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs to Conduct Close Air Support Training

By Lance Cpl. Brienna Tuck III MEF Information Group

MCAS IWAKUNI, Japan -- U.S. Marines with III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Information Group (MIG), soldiers with U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Group, and U.S. Navy SEALs conducted close air support (CAS) training at MCAS Iwakuni, Feb. 15-16, 2022. The training was conducted to enhance joint operability across the separate military branches to respond to possible threats in the Indo-Pacific.

CAS refers to any aviation-delivered strikes in close proximity to friendly forces that requires careful coordination between pilots and the joint tactical air controllers (JTACs) on the ground. JTACs play a critical role in offensive air operations, acting as the eyes and ears for pilots in hostile environments to direct the actions of combat aircraft. Because JTACs need to make time-sensitive decisions in high-pressure situations, the importance of CAS training is vital.

“Employing CAS in medium to high threat environments to achieve effects on joint integrated prioritized target lists is extremely complex and requires extensive coordination to execute successfully,” according to an Army Special Forces JTAC operator with 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group.

This evolution provided a realistic and dynamic training environment, with constantly changing variables, including vehicles traveling at low and high speeds, moving personnel and various types of structures. Each branch was evaluated and given feedback to help lead to better performance of future CAS operations.

“Having the ability to practice CAS on real terrain and learning the latest tactics in order to confirm joint doctrine is the best training opportunity a JTAC can get,” said a Naval Special Warfare operator who participated in the training.

During the event, each branch alternated guiding several Navy F/18 aircraft with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 to provide simulated CAS to specified targets across the base.

The 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO), III MIG, provided the Marine element for this exercise. 5th ANGLICO’s mission is to provide the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commander a liaison capability and to plan, coordinate, employ, and conduct terminal control of fires in support of joint, allied, and coalition forces. This was a unique opportunity for the Marines as the scenarios were complex in nature and involved other services.

Marine Capt. Jacob Rhine, a team lead with 5th ANGLICO, stated that his unit is always looking for opportunities to train with joint and allied forces. He expressed how important it is to obtain joint training experience, especially in today’s world, where a free and open Indo-Pacific remains a top priority.

“We gain not only a proficiency for practicing close air support in an urban environment,” said Rhine. “But we also gain experience training with our joint partners and are able to take what they know and the way that they train and try to implement it to make us better.”


Like Us
Follow Us



Miguel Keith, Charleston, Chief Conduct Exercise Noble Vanguard in the Indo-Pacific
Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 conduct fast rope training from a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25, Detachment 6 on to The Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) during Noble Vanguard. Noble Vanguard serves as an enabler to reinforce tactics and techniques of different mission sets that contribute to regional stability.
May 24, 2022 - SEA OF JAPAN - Ships assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 participated in integrated mine-countermeasure training exercise Noble Vanguard May 12 to 21.Noble Vanguard marks the first time the expeditionary sea base...

USINDOPACOM Statement on DPRK Missile Launch
May 24, 2022 - CAMP H.M, SMITH, Hawaii -- We are aware of the multiple DPRK ballistic missile launches today and are assessing and consulting closely with our allies and partners. While this event does not pose an immediate threat to U.S...

U.S. Navy Formally Hands Over Unmanned Aircraft System to the Royal Thai Navy
Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative:  U.S. Navy Formally Hands Over Unmanned Aircraft System to the Royal Thai Navy
May 24, 2022 - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Thailand -- Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas presided over a ceremony to officially hand over the RQ-21A Unmanned Aircraft System to the Royal Thai Navy on May 24. The RQ-21A...

White House Statement & Fact Sheet on Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity
Statement on Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity
May 24, 2022 - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Australia -- We, the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam of the...

Ebeye Elementary School Students Visit Majuro with Atoll Community Support
Chaperones and fifth-grade students from Ebeye Public Elementary School stand for a photo with members of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Nitijela during their March Spring Break trip to the national capitol of the RMI.
May 24, 2022 - Republic of the Marshall Islands -- Students in the fifth grade at Ebeye Public Elementary School made an educational trip to Majuro in March 2022 with special assistance from the Ebeye, Majuro and Kwajalein communities.The...