The RAF led Tactical Air Control Party that is deployed in Estonia, has organised and led a large-scale Air Land integration Exercise to test the skills of NATO Joint Terminal Attack Controllers.
The exercise known as Exercise Furious Wolf runs twice a year and was first created in 2020. It is a Joint Terminal Attack Controllers specific exercise and this time involved exercising 38 Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from ten different nations currently serving with NATO in the Baltic region. The objective of the exercise is to enable the participants to train together and practice integrating aircraft with land components.
For this exercise the British Tactical Air Control Party created a battle lane on the South Tapa training area in Estonia. Each team of Joint Terminal Attack Controllers was then embedded with a UK infantry section in a Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle from B Company, 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, supported by a Challenger tank from the Royal Tank Regiment to carry out a battle run.
The scenario tested the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers' ability to process information quickly to enable Close Air Support to be directed from the ground and attack the simulated enemy while still ensuring the safety of friendly forces in close proximity to the enemy targets.
“Exercise Furious Wolf is an important opportunity to integrate training with all Joint Terminal Attack Controllers here in the Baltics. This chance to share tactics and experiences with other nations is extremely beneficial providing us the chance to maintain currency for ongoing Operations.”
Flight Lieutenant John Ennals
RAF Regiment, 3 Royal Horse Artillery
During the exercise the ‘enemy’ forces were played by 3 Royal Horse Artillery who defended their 105 light guns. Stormer vehicles from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery providing a surface to air threat that delivers an extra dynamic to test the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and also French tanks from 12th Cuirassiers Squadron that forms part of the British led Armoured Battlegroup.
The aircraft for the exercise were provided by Estonian Airforce, together with aircraft from the Spanish and Italian NATO Baltic Air Policing detachments.
After the battle runs during the exercise, the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers also visited the Italian Air Force pilots who are currently conducting the Estonian element of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from Amari Airbase. At this meeting the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers were able to discuss capabilities and tactics with the pilots to ensure Close Air Support is requested in the most efficient way.
“There has also been capability briefs around Tapa camp from all ground units for the visiting Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, so although many moving parts it has been a fantastic opportunity for all nations to share experiences as one. The Exercise was a huge success and a vast amount of training was completed during the weeklong exercise. It also offered the opportunity to build relations and contacts between the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers community which is vital for this ongoing multinational integration here.”
RAF Regiment, Second in Command