Videos: Today's Military

Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Brune: So my name's Technical Sergeant Jonathan Brune, or Tech Sergeant Jon Brune. I'm the Tactical Air Control Party recruiter for the Washington Air National Guard.

Tactical Air Control Party is a link for a ground battlefield commander, between his troops on the ground, and the firepower that Air Force brings to the battlefield. So what we do is we coordinate with that ground commander, and with the pilots as they were flying, to put an ordinance on target for that ground commander, for whatever he wants us to hit.

For a guy to be a good TACP we need someone who's definitely self-motivated, and a self-starter, because there could be times where he would be the only guy with that specialty out on the battlefield. So the ground commander may come to him and ask him to do a lot. So he's got to be self-motivated. He's got to be quick on his feet. He also needs to be someone who doesn't mind a challenge, and who looks to be challenged, because this job is going to push you physically and mentally. In general, there is a need for that specialty in today's battlefield, that close air support link has proved itself to be extremely vital to those ground commanders.

The ground commanders don't like to go on a mission without air support, so the need for air support has pretty much tripled. So has the need for people who can bring that air support with precision onto the battlefield. So it's not just Washington State where there's a need, it's basically the nation-wide where there's a need.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Roland: Are you guys ready to start?

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Roland: All right, so here's your six transmissions, and it breaks it down to the first transmission.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Roland: I'm Tech Sergeant Jason Roland. I'm a JTAC instructor at the 116th ASOS. What we do, we use a simulation here to reinforce procedural controls, so that when they're in combat, or a stressful environment, they just go right to what they learned here in the sim.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Roland: Red Leg, this is Husky, fire for effect, over.

Speaker 1: Husky, red light, fire for effect now.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Roland: Fire. Red light, Husky, in the mission, one target destroyed. Repeat, over.

Speaker 1: Splash over.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Roland: Splash up.

Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Brune: In addition to the simulation, we also go out to bomb ranges all over the country, and do live fire training. So guys will actually go out, talk to a pilot onto a target, and the pilot's either going to drop a bomb, he's going to do a gun run, or he's going to fire rockets from his airplane onto that target that they're talking him onto, and part of that is, we have to do that for this job. You have to be proficient at that to go out and do it in a deployed location, so it's actually a requirement that guys in this career field have to get certain amount of controls every 90 days to stay current.

Guys like us in this career field, we don't just do dropping bombs off an aircraft. We also have to be able to call in Army artillery, naval gun fire, we have to be able to direct attacks with Army attack helicopters. All of that we may do on top of, also, depending on the training a guy gets, he may have to set up a landing zone, or a pickup zone for a helicopter. So we are extremely, extremely versatile, and all that training, if you don't do it, you get rusty. So we constantly have to keep our skills sharp.