CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind.-– Airmen assigned to the U.S. Air National Guard 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, based in Syracuse NY. are participating in the Joint Staff sponsored Coalition Capability Demonstration and Assessment event Bold Quest 20.2 on Camp Atterbury, Indiana. The event continues through Nov. 4.
Bold Quest is an opportunity for U.S. Military Services, coalition partner nations and program developers to come together in a collaborative environment to test, troubleshoot and interact with new and emerging technologies to improve interoperability and information sharing.
“It has been a great experience looking at the emerging technologies for our career path,” says Tactical Air Control Party Technical Sergeant Jeremy Miter, assigned to the 274th ASOS. “It’s great seeing what the future is going to hold and honing our skills on what is already out there.”
Approximately 600 personnel, including military and civilian contractors from across all branches of the U.S. services and six remotely participating Partner Nations are involved at BQ20.2. Planning is already underway for next year’s event which will include as many as 19 partner nations.
“The other really cool thing about this event is exposure to some of the other aircraft and systems we don’t get to work with all the time,” says Capt. Will Boddy, a TACP officer with the 274th ASOS and a native of Syracuse, NY. “There are more players here, so some aircraft, people and services share tactics. We get a lot out of it from a squadron perspective.”
TACPs are an Air Force Special Warfare career field and can deploy with the infantry or special operations forces such as the Rangers or Special Forces. TACPs earn the Joint Terminal Attack Controller qualification and focus on directing both kinetic and non-kinetic precision strikes.
“We are kind of the liaison between the ground and the air,” says Capt. Boddy. “For me, being a JTAC is one of the only places on the battlefield where you are entrusted with such a high level of responsibility. You’re that one Air Force guy out there with a team of Army, Marines, or Navy. You really have a ton of impact on the battlefield and have a chance to turn the tide and help a lot of people out.”
While active military service is one path you can take if you are interested in becoming a TACP, the U.S. Air National Guard is also a viable option to pursue this unique field. Airmen in the ANG can serve their country, receive specialized skills and job training, and still maintain a civilian career and full-time family life.
“I was intrigued by the small, highly specialized teams and the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers calling in air strikes,” says Boddy “I knew that I wanted to be a JTAC and I wanted to be a special operations JTAC. I was considering active duty or National Guard and I started doing some research and found out that we had a squadron that was only about an hour and a half away from where I grew up. Instead of going active duty, I decided I would go into the Air National Guard. I could stay close to home, close to family, continue with my school and career path and do the JTAC job still.”
Bold Quest was held in Finland the previous year and is being held in Indiana this year as well as next. However, organizers are open to a return to Europe or possibly Australia in the future. Along with giving you time for a civilian career, help with tuition and valuable training, traveling is just one of the many other benefits the ANG can afford an Airman.
“This really gives you the opportunity to go out, see the world and broaden your horizons,” says TSgt. Miter. “You get to go out and see plenty of places. The squadron has done plenty of exercises in Europe with Slovenia, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, on top of everything in the U.S. You can pretty much hit every state.”
“Participating units are deployed for Bold Quest 20.2, the latest in a series formally known as Coalition Capability Demonstration and Assessment, a multinational joint fire interoperability demonstration event, organized annually since 2003.
Bold Quest 20.2 is sponsored by the U.S. Joint Staff. Bold Quest’s aim is to improve interoperability and information sharing across a range of coalition warfighting capabilities to advance the operational effectiveness of the future joint force.
Learn more about Bold Quest 20.2:
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