FORT HOOD — Joint terminal attack controllers assigned to the 11th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Hood conducted close-air support training with six Dallas-based F-16 Fighting Falcons near Observation Point Jack on Wednesday.
Lt. Col. Frank Biancardi II, the commander of the 11th Air Support Operations Squadron, said the goal of the training was to provide highly capable controllers to Army units.
The training ensures the controllers remain proficient at directing attack aircraft onto ground targets in support of U.S. forces engaged in combat.
“Here at Fort Hood, the 11th ASOS is associated with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and we are getting ready to go to the National Training Center in a few weeks,” Biancardi said.
“In order for us to be at our absolute best, we need to get the most realistic training we can.”
Biancardi said to do that they needed to get Air Force aircraft to come out to the range and give the controllers the qualifications by working through the communications, identification and targeting processes involved with close-air support.
The controllers directed the F-16s to drop 500-pound bombs onto armored tanks on the range and strafed enemy positions with their 20 mm cannon.