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Jun 24 2022

Challenging Alpine training during Close Air Support exercise "Mountain Hornet"

RAMSTEIN, Germany – Hosted by the Air Liaison Element with German Mountain Infantry Brigade 23, the Close Air Support live-flying exercise "Mountain Hornet" is taking place in the German Alps from June 20 to July 1, 2022 with international Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) teams. 

With this multinational set-up we want to enhance interoperability and understanding amongst Allies and Partners regarding Joint Fire Support

"Our goal in this exercise is to train JTACs and aircrews under challenging conditions in mountainous terrain," said Major David Würtz, Exercise Director and Air Liaison Officer. "With this multinational set-up we want to enhance interoperability and understanding amongst Allies and Partners regarding Joint Fire Support," he added.

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During classroom instruction sessions, the German hosts introduce international participants to the layout of the specialised Alpine scenarios for Mountain Hornet 2022. Photo courtesy Mountain Infantry Brigade 23.
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Two German Joint Tactical Attack Controllers preparing for a mission brining in Close Air Support for ground forces at the right time and place. 
Photo courtesy Mountain Infantry Brigade 23.
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Geared up two international Joint Terminal Attack Controllers getting ready for their climb as a German instructor looks-on. 
Photo courtesy Mountain Infantry Brigade 23.
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Snow can be an additional  challenge in the Alpine setting of Mountain Hornet, and in the 2021 edition in May it definitely was. 
Archive photo courtesy Mountain Infantry Brigade 23.

For the third time after 2019 and 2021, German Air Force Tornado and Eurofighter aircraft as well as contractor-operated PC-12, PC-9 and Learjet aircraft are flying missions above the Alps in the area of Bad Reichenhall in support of JTAC training on the ground. The training airspace has been specifically established for four days to enable this theatre-realistic also involving NH-90 transport helicopters and Surface-to-Air Missile systems ROLAND simulating opposing forces.

The multinational joint exercise Mountain Hornet 2022 will take place at the Reiteralpe mountain training area, in the south eastern part of Germany. The German Air Force JTACs will be joined by mountain specialists and Special Forces teams from the German 23 Mountain Infantry Brigade, German Navy and the Danish, Italian and US armed forces. NATO's regional Partner nations Austria and Switzerland also join the exercise to benefit from the opportunity to work in accordance with tactics, techniques and procedures governing CAS and Air-Land-Integration missions.

Exercise Mountain Hornet is an opportunity for international JTACs to keep their skills current for Allied operations and execute control runs in demanding Alpine conditions. "I need your expertise as JTACs in the mountains," said Brigadier General Maik Keller, Commander Mountain Infantry Brigade 23 summarising the special relevance of the training hosted by Mountain Infantry Brigade, supported by the Air Force and executed by Army, Navy and Air Force JTACs.

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by Mountain Infantry Brigade 23

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