Of the many facets of military aviation, perhaps no other is as consequential to the outcome of an armed conflict than the prosecution of ground targets. When those targets are in close proximity to friendly forces, detailed coordination is required between the ground commander and air assets to ensure the proper targets are attacked in an appropriate way. The conduit for that coordination is the JTAC, or Joint Terminal Attack Controller. An aviator filling this role is known as a Forward Air Controller, or Forward Air Controller. A pilot serving alongside ground forces, acting as a liaison with combat support aircraft..
On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Captain David “Chili” Culpepper joins us to describe nuances of being a FAC—drawing on his vast experiences piloting both the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18F Super Hornet as an airborne FAC, or Forward Air Controller (Airborne). Aircrew who perform FAC duties while aloft in an aircraft, typically while also at the aircraft controls.. Arguably the most difficult aerial mission Generic term for any aircraft crew member, whether at the flight controls or not. perform, a FAC(A) must balance the A term used in aircraft carrier maintenance cycles denoting a period of time where the carrier avails itself to being maintained instead of operational. of air assets with a dynamic and ever-changing ground situation and complex command and control, all while flying. This largely explains why U.S. Navy and Marine FAC(A) missions are only flown in two-seat tactical aircraft where the mission chores can be divided between the crew.
During the listener question segment, Jell-O and Sunshine discuss what happens when a pilot is afflicted with vertigo, reasons why the F-14 Tomcat was retired, duplicate aircrew A nickname aircrew use to address one another on the ground and in-flight, in lieu of using real names and ranks., and favorite flight suit patches.