JTACs are tasked with the responsibility of analyzing and transmitting the needs of the brigades on the ground to the relevant bodies in the IAF
These IAF representatives are called JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) and are the point of connection between the IAF and the ground forces The withdrawal of ground forces from the Gaza Strip was completed today with the assistance of the IAF. JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) liaise between the IAF and ground forces and are tasked with the mission of translating the needs of the ground forces into IAF missions
Shortly after 10:00pm, the representatives of the high command of the Nahal infantry Brigade waited for the signal to be given. A few minutes beforehand, a siren and announcement warning about infiltration into an army base by a terrorist were heard and flares were fired.Just meters away from the chaos in the Gaza Strip, IAF representatives sat with the rest of the representatives of the Nahal Brigade. These IAF representatives are called JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers) and are the point of connection between the IAF and the ground forces.
JTACs are tasked with the responsibility of analyzing and transmitting the needs of the brigades on the ground to the relevant bodies in the IAF. The job of the JTACs is divided into two main stages”, explains Major Arik, one of the JTACS of the Nahal Brigade since the beginning of Operation “Protective Edge”. “The first stage requires understanding the plans on the ground and coordinating aerial activities. The second stage happens after the fighting has begun and it involves dealing with what happens in real time”.
To understand the nature of the job of a JTAC, one must go to the border of the Gaza Strip where they are stationed. “In every brigade there are at least two JTACs, who work in shifts for the duration of the fighting”, says Major Arik. “Here specifically, in the Nahal Brigade, we are four people but that does not make the job here any less challenging and busy”.
Not far from where JTACs operate, intense fighting is taking place in the Gaza Strip and unlike the daily routine to which it is possible to adapt with relative ease in the communities in central Israel, the echoes of the firing and the bombing are heard in the short distance. “We have already planned over 200 airstrikes, more than 90 helicopter airstrikes and a few more helicopter evacuations and these are data from just the brigade”, Major Arik notes. “At the end of the day, we are partners in everything, every siren comes to us directly and every need that arises in the field gets to us. We are a part of this campaign, both in terms of our location and in terms of our actions”.