News>Tactical Air Control Party airmen support air expeditionary wing operations from afar
Airman 1st Class Matthew Perry, right, and Army Sgt. 1st Class Darryl Honick, left, walk back to the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected, All-Terrain Vehicle after supporting Operation Spartan Shield on Sept. 11, 2012, in Southwest Asia. Perry is a radio operator maintainer and driver with the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, and Honick is a joint fire observer, 3rd Battalion, 159th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
1st Lt. Drew Parks uses a laser target designator to mark the target for a laser guided bomb on Sept. 11, 2012, Southwest Asia. JTAC's establish and maintain command and control communications, control air traffic, naval gun fire, and provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition close air support. Parks hometown is Hampstead, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
1st Lt. Drew Parks makes his way to a better vantage point prior to calling in an air strike supporting Operation Spartan Shield on Sept. 11, 2012, Southwest Asia. JTAC's establish and maintain command and control communications, control air traffic, naval gun fire, and provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition close air support. Parks hometown is Hampstead, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
1st Lt. Drew Parks grabs equipment from a Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected, All-Terrain Vehicle on Sept. 11, 2012, in Southwest Asia. Parks is a joint terminal attack controller with the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Savannah
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
9/21/2012 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Though they live and operate in a geographically-separated location, Airmen of the 82nd Expeditionary Air Operations Support Squadron are a crucial part of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.
The 82nd EASOS is comprised of tactical air control party (TACP) and battlefield weather Airmen, who provide close air support and weather support in theater.
When the TACPs pulled out of Iraq, they were established in another area of Southwest Asia, but "because of our mission - controlling aircraft, (close air support) - we were aligned with the 380th," said Lt. Col. Douglas Hamlin, 82nd EASOS commander.
The 380th AEW operates the Air Force's only joint, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, tanker, fighter, and airborne command and control wing.
The squadron's first responsibility is to call in the close air support and provide weather support needed by forces on the ground in theater, Hamlin said.
TACPs plan, request and direct air strikes against enemy targets in close proximity to friendly forces. Battlefield weather provides air and ground forces commanders with timely, accurate meteorological information.
However, they are also focused on building their skills and fostering host nation relationships.
"As a ready force, they train on a daily basis with host nation and U.S. (Air Forces Central) assets to maintain their proficiency in theater, something they can't get on the other side of the world," Hamlin said. "They are able to maintain peak proficiency by employing their skills with host nation and AFCENT resources at the same time."
Hamlin said he's happy with the job his Airmen are doing to represent the 380th AEW and being able to provide a ready force of TACP in theater.
"Because of the number of assets we can call on a moment's notice -- the Army, the Air Force, and host nation assets -- they're doing an outstanding job performing in this broad spectrum of training."
9/26/2012 11:43:05 PM ET So this is close air support...from another country That is a whole new definition of close.
9/26/2012 11:41:10 PM ET I think you meant EASOS not EAOSS. Never fails.