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A-10 CAS Mission using Nine-Line Brief


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Back in the olden days during the Cold War before the introduction of the Joint Direct Attack munitions (JDAMs), capable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Advanced Close-Air Support (ACASS) and the widespread use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) for guidance A-10 drivers would have relied heavily on Forward Air Controllers (FACs) and Army Liaison Officers to co-ordinate their Close Air Support (CAS) missions and avoid blue-on-blue accidents.

Instructions for the attack would have been passed to the A-10 pilot by R/T using a standardized nine-line brief containing the following information.

  1. The IP (initial point), the point from which the run-in begins
  2. Heading from the IP to the target
  3. Distance from the IP to the target
  4. Elevation of the target (amsl)
  5. Target description
  6. Target coordinates (TACAN radial/DME, lat/longs, or grid)
  7. How the target may be marked (smoke, laser TISL code)
  8. Location of friendlies
  9. Egress direction (threat avoidance)

In the current version of Lock On we can’t punch the co-ordinates of the IP or target into a nav computer but we can make use of the programmable steer points (which can be positioned in the mission editor) and the information provided on the HUD and HSI. Reminder: in Lock On cycling through the steer points (SPs) is done simply by pressing the ` key (normally keyboard top-left) whilst in NAV mode. Note the indication in the bottom-right corner of the HUD and the needle pointer on the HSI.

In this sample mission (here's the link http://www.the-eighth-art.com/A10MissionCASPushkino.htm ) you are just about to enter your Area of Operations (AO) to the west of Pushkino (SP2) with your wingman. An A-10 acting as Forward Air Controller is already on station looking for enemy units. The Army Liaison Officer is looking over the battlefield from his vantage point above the village of Vishennoe. Russian armour has moved into the area between Kolodeznoe and Emel’janovka and should provide plenty of targets.

The first request for CAS from you might go something like this:

“Uzi One this is Colt One One, I have trade for you:

IP is at (SP3) Privol’noe (village on T-junction) Arrive at IP at 10:34 Hrs and neutralize enemy AAA so AH-64A helicopters can attack armour.

Heading from IP to target is 287 degrees

Distance 9 miles

Elevation 164 feet

Two enemy self-propelled AA guns positioned near main road

At 45 16 56 N 34 34 44 E

Target will be marked by laser

Friendlies at Zybiny village 265 degrees, 6 miles from IP

Egress to north to (SP4)

 

If you want to try this type of CAS mission copy and print out the nine-line brief/s so that you have all the information to hand as you approach the IP. You could even make it more realistic by having another player acting as FAC read it to you. Visually ID the IP and start a stopwatch as you fly over it so that you can assess your range to run to that target. If you fly at 240 Knots you’ll cover a mile every 15 seconds.

 

Second CAS Request:

IP is at (SP4) Nizhnegorskij (town on railway line west of river).

Heading from IP to target is 025 degrees

Distance 10 miles

Elevation 164 feet

Several enemy rocket launchers located in an industrial area

At 45 35 37 N 34 49 55 E

Target will be marked by laser

Friendlies at Nekrasovka village 095 degrees, 11 miles from IP

Egress to south to (SP5), enemy ground troops around Nekrasovka are equipped with MANPADs.

 

 

Third CAS Request:

IP is at (SP5) at Zybiny village.

Heading from IP to target is 260 degrees

Distance 10 miles

Elevation 230 feet

Enemy helicopters refuelling at road bend on N side of Mel’nichnoe village

At 45 11 56 N 34 25 12 E

Target will be marked by laser

Friendlies on hillside 235 degrees 4.5 miles from IP

Egress to east to (SP6) as target is at the south edge of SA-8 SAM engagement zone.

 

Forth CAS Request:

IP is at (SP6) 2 miles south-east of Zybiny village. Don’t leave IP before SEAD Strike on SA-8 launcher at 10:55 Hrs

Heading from IP to target is 285 degrees

Distance 13 miles

Elevation 164 feet

Enemy armour at T-junction 2 miles south of Dokuchaevo village

At 45 15 15 N 34 22 17 E

Target will be marked by laser

Friendlies on hillside 260 degrees 4.5 miles from IP

Egress to east to town of Sadovoe (SP7)

 

The above is a stripped-down view of Forward Air Control/Close Air Support so that it is doable in the single player scenario. On-Call CAS missions in Lock On lend themselves more to multi-player where the FAC can load out his plane with SUU-25 flare dispensers and LAU-61WP rocket launchers (select OA-10 AFAC - Night in the payload panel) and then mark the target with flares or smoke.

Further and more detailed information about Forward Air Control concepts can be found at

http://www.simhq.com/_air/air_092h.html

Thanks to Mudd Glenn for additional input and corrections.

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I got a correction from MrMudd-Glenn over at SIM HQ for those of you who like to do it properly:

 

(Wrong)

8. best direction of egress/track to next IP

 

 

(Correct)

The 9-line brief looks like this:

 

1. IP (initial point)

 

2. Heading to the target

 

3. Distance to the target

 

4. Target elevation above sea level

 

5. Target description

 

6. Target coordinates (TACAN radial/DME, lat/longs, or grid)

 

7. How the target may be marked (smoke, laser TISL code)

 

8. Location of friendlies

 

9. Egress direction

 

 

Number 8 is the friendly location and or anything you dont want fratricide or collateral damage to happen too. Very important. The fighters need to know their purpose.

 

 

In the real World the 9 (Egress) is for threat Avoidance, However can be used as discribed. (we never include aditional Tasking as a FAC, Until Current tasking is completed. Typically those fighters are going to be heading home to rearm refuel and or a Beer and a steak. No Point in discussing Dinner when your serving Lunch.

 

This all begins with the CAS Checkin to the GFAC or FAC(A) on Scene Controller.. part of this Cas checkin is going to include the fighters fuel state, Mission Vul Time. Aircrqaft type, number of aircraft and ordnace.

Procedurally this is the way it works. A Fac Contacts the regional tactical air control coordinator or other simular agency. During this period Fighters are responsible to the Regional Tactical authority and the Facs will request them as an asset at which time The TAC authority will vector them to the Facs location the fighters check in (CAS CHECK-IN) takes place is that Fighters are scheduled to an area, in which case once their mission time is over, a new flight is going to replace them, or they leave do to expending ordnance, fuel or damage.

 

If the FAc needs additional support then the FAC will recontact the TAC Authority for nbew assets as well as a BDA report.

 

A good example for this in lomac is to create 2 fac Controllers and 1 Tac Coordinator.

 

Place two regions of enemy armor, and have waypoints for the FAC to go to the target area.

 

Once the fac Finds the targets, he will contact the TAc Controller, and that tac controller will handoff an assignment to a flight of a10's these a10's will now vector to FACs position, Checkin. FAC a Will provide the 9 Line Brief, Then begin the controlling of the targets. Once the Hog flight leader has expended all ordinace or hits his return fuel state. the fac wil lclear them to exit. and request additional assets as needed.

 

The fac is truly the localised commander, where the TAc Coordinator is the regional coordinator. It is the tac Controllers responsebility to track Mission performance and aircraft availablibilty. And to provide assets to the facs, For example, Weasels, Sandy, Air Cover, CAS..etc

 

The fac is supporting a Regional manuever commander (grunts ETC) and or conducting his own search plan.

 

LtCol Andy Bush and I had began a series on this for Sim HQ. Maybe I'll pickup were Alpha Kilo Left off. ( http://www.simhq.com/_air/air_092h.html )

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