CSOR provides close air support to MAPLE FLAG.

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,363
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
CSOR provides close air support to MAPLE FLAG.
Thursday, June 28, 2007

COLD LAKE, Alberta — Exercise MAPLE FLAG generally prepares and tests pilots originating from various coalition nations for missions in potentially hostile environments.

This year, pilots were challenged with close air support (CAS) through a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC), with members of various international special operations forces (SOF) guiding them to their targets. Canada's SOF commitment included members of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR).

The CSOR team allowed Army News to follow them through a couple of missions during the exercise and a CSOR member was interviewed. For operational security reasons, he is referred to as Captain Dave.

"We are participating in a SOF package for MAPLE FLAG", he stated about his contribution. "We are working with coalition partners coordinating a CAS attack as part of the exercise."

CSOR soldiers have been busy training in the area recently. "We have done some dynamic JTAC training in the past few weeks," he continued. "Recently we were inserted by air, via parachute, into the Wainwright training area. Once on the ground we would call in air strikes while being followed and tracked by an enemy force provided by the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre's opposing forces."

When asked what his team brought to the table for the exercise, this was Capt Dave's response: "We are able to coordinate an effective and efficient manner of calling in CAS missions executing precise targeting on the ground."

As every soldier gains something from their experiences, Capt Dave was asked about the benefits deriving from EX MAPLE FLAG for his team. "Working with the special operations forces of the other nations. The Belgians and the German tactical air control party have similar functions as we do. So, we learn various things from each other. They have different equipment than us and we show off some of ours to them. Essentially, we learn various techniques and improve our proficiency here on the ground."

The international SOF soldiers definitely stepped the training level up a notch. Although this year's Ex MAPLE FLAG was shorter and smaller in scale compared to previous years, several participants called it the best.

For more information on the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, please go to http://www.csor.forces.gc.ca/en/index_e.asp

This link will take you to Canadian Special Operations Forces Command:
http://www.cansofcom.forces.gc.ca/en/index_e.asp

Article by Sergeant Steve Hofman
Photos by Sgt Steve Hofman and Sgt Donald Clark

Looks like it was a good Ex and probably great experience for all involved.

I've met this Capt Dave, he's a dick. We had differing opinions on what sort of soldiers he should look to for recruiting into the JTAC program. He's a believer that they should be a "shooter" (qualified SOF Operator) first and that "you can teach them that radio stuff in a day". I tried to convince him that if you took Radio Operator's from the Army that have Tac Aviation experience and FAC's, and send them through the normal SOF screening/training before they start the JTAC training.

Our eyes on the ground, Forward air controllers (FACs).
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
15,914
Location
Not Afghanistan
We had differing opinions on what sort of soldiers he should look to for recruiting into the JTAC program. He's a believer that they should be a "shooter" (qualified SOF Operator) first and that "you can teach them that radio stuff in a day". I tried to convince him that if you took Radio Operator's from the Army that have Tac Aviation experience and FAC's, and send them through the normal SOF screening/training before they start the JTAC training.

You could do both, it depends on how much training time they get on the skills they don't have.You simply won't be a competent commo guy in a day and becoming a JTAC in the US isn't something you learn in a few days either. To do one job you have to be good at the other too. To think that anyone though will receive a day or two train up and be as good a commo guy as the guy that received weeks of training and years of experience is lunacy.
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,363
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
You could do both, it depends on how much training time they get on the skills they don't have.You simply won't be a competent commo guy in a day and becoming a JTAC in the US isn't something you learn in a few days either. To do one job you have to be good at the other too. To think that anyone though will receive a day or two train up and be as good a commo guy as the guy that received weeks of training and years of experience is lunacy.


That was my feelings exactly and my argument with said individual, it takes 4 years to reach the Journeyman level as a Signals Operator and that doesn't even take into account any speciality courses/training paths that you take on. I would be more than willing to take on as much of his knowledge as a shooter.
 

Pete031

Leave....
SOF Support
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
260
The CF is in such a major transition at the moment, that many different routes are going to be tested, sadly this may take away from the assets available to the shooters on the ground.
 

Pete031

Leave....
SOF Support
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
260
Whats going on?

You can start a thread if its going to be an involved discussion.

Well, in short,
The Canadian Army was one of the most feared Army's in WW1, WW2 and Korea. After that, because of government changes and whatnot, we sort of became branded as PeaceKeepers, by the international community. A noble brand, but not really good for soldiers who are trained to ram a bayonet through a badguy.
Only in the last few years have we gone back into a combat role. And as a result, having once again proven ourselves in battle, the army is going through changes, right from Basic training, to newly formed units. With the creation of these new units and such, there is a lot of trial and error.
Thats basically what I was getting at.
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,363
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
Pete,

I completely understand what your getting at.

The problem is where they are looking to recruit to fill these JTAC positions. Isolating it to already qualified shooters when there are other pools in which they could draw from. The role of a JTAC is that of a highly qualified communicator, so why not draw from a already qualified pool of communicators?
 

Pete031

Leave....
SOF Support
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
260
The problem is where they are looking to recruit to fill these JTAC positions. Isolating it to already qualified shooters when there are other pools in which they could draw from.

Well they could do it like the Dwyer Hill boys and have specialists come in as supporters. Give them some Insert/extract courses and a few shooting packages...
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,363
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
Well they could do it like the Dwyer Hill boys and have specialists come in as supporters. Give them some Insert/extract courses and a few shooting packages...

I think that is the idea but I meant the original recruitment pool from which they get their bodies. Have you seen any advertisements to apply to be a JTAC out in the real world?
 

Pete031

Leave....
SOF Support
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
260
I think that is the idea but I meant the original recruitment pool from which they get their bodies. Have you seen any advertisements to apply to be a JTAC out in the real world?

I have worked with US JTAC's overseas... Great guys, who saved our lives many times.... I presently do not see anyone in our Air Force who comes close to those guys. (Maybe I just haven't seen them). The closest ones we have army side are the FOO/FAC's in the Recce Platoons and whatnot.
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,363
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
I have worked with US JTAC's overseas... Great guys, who saved our lives many times.... I presently do not see anyone in our Air Force who comes close to those guys. (Maybe I just haven't seen them). The closest ones we have army side are the FOO/FAC's in the Recce Platoons and whatnot.

It's new and not in the Air Force. You'll only see them out of the Tan hatted world. ;)
 

Pete031

Leave....
SOF Support
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
260
Thats good, but I think they should sort out the conventional side too. SF can always get attachments from other countries to roll with them. And seeing as we are mostly using US and Brit CAS, it really has to be an in depth trade. Our birds don't get deployed enough.
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,363
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
I completely agree. And with my background I've done a lot of work with the FAC/FOO courses and worked the G3Air TacCP for a while. Did some work with the Multinational FAC's in Afghanistan doing dry runs. And working in the Tac Avn world with the Helo's, it's a broad spectrum that most guys don't get shown.

I argued it with this Capt Dave that it was needed across the Forces and that there was already highly qualified and motivated soldiers out in the conventional world. I'm sure that it will be noticed eventually by someone higher but by that time, it will be to late. It takes years to learn to be able to talk on the radio as if it was a natural reaction. And there is more to it than just turning the radio on and talking on it. ;) Especially when it comes to aircraft.
 
Top