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Attack controllers help ensure air strike accuracy

by Navy Seaman Shane Arrington
Det. 12, Air Force News Agency

5/22/2007 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (AFPN) -- The days of carpet bombing are over. In today's military it's about surgical strikes and preventing unnecessary collateral damage. 

Training to make this happen at Misawa Air Base is the team of pilots and joint terminal attack controllers, called JTACs, before they deploy to fight the war on terrorism.

"It's all about accuracy," said Staff Sgt. Krystoffer Bowman, a JTAC from Korea. "Those bombs that come off those jets, they're going to detonate wherever they hit. Our job is to make sure it hits the right place at the right time."

Pilots in the air work very closely with the JTACs on the ground. 

It's important to work with JTACs because they're the ones who talk a pilot's eyes onto a target, said 1st Lt. Alex Wolfard. "It's pretty serious business. We need to make sure we've positively IDed the target and are confident that there are no 'friendlies' in the area." 

Sergeant Bowman said the main purpose of his job his to make sure everyone gets home.

"When you're in an ugly situation and everything raining down on you, and then you hear that aircraft come on and you talk to them and you get ordnance delivered somewhere that stops that gunfire and gives you an avenue of escape, that's a good day," Sergeant Bowman said.

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