LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. --
The roar of F/A-18 Hornet engines slowly enter into hearing distance at an altitude barely visible to the naked eye. Occupants of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, looked curiously at the actions taking place around them. A supporting arms liaison team of Marines with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) were coordinating with the jets establishing targets for simulated close air support April 12-13, 2015.
The training helped 1st ANGLICO’s joint fires observers and joint terminal attack controllers receive valuable training calling in close air support in urban environments.
The Marines were able to establish radio communication with the pilots and receive video downlink from the aircraft’s sensors, allowing them to observe targets from the aircraft’s point of view. This capability allows U.S. and allied forces the opportunity to destroy targets with lower risks and reduces the time to correlate a pilot onto the appropriate enemy target.
“This type of training is important because, as we progress into the future, things become more technologically advanced so we have to keep up with the times and keep being that modern war fighter," said Cpl. Martin Quevedo-Chirinos, a joint fires observer with 1st ANGLICO. “We gain more exposure from being out here, which makes us better at what we do.”
1st ANGLICO provides direct support to the various joint, allied, coalition and special operations forces working within Marine Corps battle space and conduct the coordination required in order to access close air support, artillery, rockets and naval gunfire.
“To be able and come out here is fantastic, it’s some of the best training we get to do,” said Capt. Nick Pollock, a forward air controller with 1st ANGLICO. “We try to work in urban environments as often as we can, because we have to be prepared for any situation that presents itself.”
The Marines conduct this training to maintain their familiarity with the various types of equipment required to complete their mission.