Home' Air Force News : February 13th 2014 Contents 12
For almost 100 years, No. 4 Squadron has worked
alongside Army to enhance training, sustainment
and build operational preparedness. SGT Dave
Morley visited the squadron at RAAF Base
Williamtown to learn more.
0.. . NE of Aust . r
lia'S fU$t flying
squadrons, No.4 Squadron,
WaS fQnned in 1916 and des-
ignated an 'Army Cooperation
Squadron'. Almost 100 years later, it is
still fulfilling that same Tole.
The squadron worked very close-
ly with Allied ground force's on the
Western Front during World War I, and
the squadron's airçraft today (;lre still
employed primarily tu support Army,
according to XO SQNLDR Adrian
üO ne of 4SQN's primary roles is to
provide air support to the Army through
a wide array of 'missions to 'enhance
training and sustainment, which in
turn builds operational prepa,redness,'"
SQNLDR Greener said.
"We support 'a number of Army upits
from Speçia] Operations Command and
Forces Command, and each year we
clock up quite a few 'miles travelling
around the country visiting these uníts.'
SQNLDR Greener sa:id while
48QN's current aircraft, the PC-9/A(F),
was not an operational platfonu, it cer-
tainly contributed to a valuable training
and sustainment role aimed at enhanc-
ing ADF capability.
"'The squadrQl1 has racked up plenty
of runs in the past while working side-
by-side with the Army and we look for-
ward to buildihg on that relatiùnship for
decades to come ."
Army units to benefit from 4SQN's
air support over the last year include the
Special Air Service Regt, 2 Commando
Regt, 1 Regt, 8/12 Regt, the- School of
Artillery, 16 Air Land Regt, Special
Forces TrainitLg Centre, 171 Squadron
and 16] Recce Squadron.
A unique relationship
A unique relationship exists between
4SQN and Army's Joint Terminal
.Attack Controller (JTAC) Troop, allow-
ing each unit to complement each other
in delivÐring a world -class JTAr:. capa-
bility to the ADF, according to MAJ
Ross Wehby, OC JTAC Troop atRAAF
(" JTAC Troop was raised in 2006 and
thv professional relationship that has
existed in the JTAC environment has
grown from strength to strength with,
4SQN;i; MAJ Wehby said.
"Recent operational commitments
and the growing demand for JTACs has
enhanced the chYse ties between the
uníts as we work together to prepare
He said 4SQN was the reason ADF
JTAC: traIning had achIeved ongoing
accreditation from the US Department
of De fense under the terms of the
Memorandum of Agrecrnem.
"The units have shared operational
experiences in sùpport of both Forces
Command and Special Operations
Command and sought to Ìhtegrate this
experience into the JTAC ab Ìnitio train-
ing;" he saId.
"The units work very clQsely
specially during the two
annual JTAC courses
Sharp D_agger, which aims to enhance
advanced JTAC skills.
"The units also look to enhance
capabilíty by conductíng mutually ben-
eficial training, integrating new tech-
nologies, developìng tactics, techniques
and procedures" and workíng together to
provide world-best capability.
"Working ill the joint e-'llvrronmeIit
is particularly rewarding with a range
of professionals: with broad experiences
who add to the combat preparedness of
, . . ,
IMPORTANT MISSION: In its Army support role, a 4SQN PC""9/A(F)
conducts an intelligence" s.urveillance and reconnaissance mission at
ht over Sydney. Photo: 4SQN
TRAIN TO WIN: A 4SQN
PC-9/A(F) returns home
along the NSW coastline after
conducting a Joint Terminal
Attack Controller training
Photo: CPL Craig Barrett
A NUMBER of modifications
have been made to the
PC-9/A(T) trainer to enable' the
aircraft to perform the Forward
Air Controller (Airborne) role as
SQ_NLDR Adrian Greener,
FAC'(A) instructor and 4SQN
XO, said the F-models had three
primary modifications to make
them suitable to conduct the
"They have additional
radios, long-range fuel tanks and
target-marking smoke grenade
dispensers," he said.
"As a FAC(A), you need to talk
to a lot of people and the F-mod-
el PC-9 has three radios versus
two in the trainer.
"Sometimes the radios don't
stop feeding information in and
busy missions can lead to a
'helmet fire'. Being a FAC(A) is
like playing 3D chess where the
pieces are moving at 1000kmlh."
SQNLDR Greener said comms
were needed with the Ground
Force Commander, the support-
ing Joint Terminal Attack Con-
troller and Joint Fires Observer
and, at the business end, comms
with the airborne close air sup-
port assets such as the F/A-18
Hornet and ARH Tiger.
"You may also need comms
with the 'fires nef to pass fire
control missions to any indirect
fires units with their artillery or
mortar support," he s8,id.
"Sometimes you may need to
use one of the radios to bounce
between other agencies, such
as the tactical air control party,
to request additional close air
External fuel tan ks allow the
FAC(A) to remain on station for
up to four hours to support the
ground scheme of manoeuvre.
SQNLDR Greener said it was
not uncommon for 4SQN PC-9s
to conduct FAC(A) training mis-
sions that lasted several hours.
"My current record stands-at
4.7 hours, and being strapped
into a small plane that long is
like sitting on two broomsticks
for a day
" he said.
Smoke grenade launchers al-
low the FAC(A) to mark the target
with bright co loured smoke.
This enables the attacking
fighter jet or attack helo to gain
rapid target acquisition and
employ their weapons accurately,
especially for concealed targets.
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