The Royal Australian Air Force is conducting Exercise Black Dagger 21-1, the final activity for students on No. 67 Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Course at Delamere Air Weapons Range, NT.
FILE PHOTO (2017): A US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron 27 conducts a show of force during Exercise Black Dagger 2017. Photo by Sergeant Kirk Peacock.
Black Dagger, conducted from 3 to 14 May 2021, is a critical component of JTAC training, providing the students with an opportunity to coordinate aircraft and ordnance in live and simulated air-to-ground strikes and consolidate everything learnt throughout the five-week course.
Commanding Officer No. 4 Squadron Wing Commander Sean Jobson said Black Dagger was a live fire activity that ensured JTACs were operationally ready to direct combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other air operations from forward positions in support of a joint force.
“The JTACs will execute all phases of a typical close air support mission, from the planning and briefing, to controlling and reporting,” Wing Commander Jobson said.
“Students on this course, who come from both the Army and Air Force, will have the opportunity to control aircraft during several close air support scenarios.
“Supporting the exercise are F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft from No. 75 Squadron, PC-21 forward air control aircraft from No. 4 Squadron, Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter from 1st Aviation Regiment, as well as 81mm mortars from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.”