The rise of Valkyrie

JTAC Tucanos

As demand for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers increases, commercial firms are bridging the training gap. Valkyrie Aero’s chief pilot, Col Jack Allison (ret’d), tells Dr Kevin Wright how its A-27 Tucanos fits in

Eyes on – with the Wescam MX-15 trained on the cameraship, the sensor is mounted on the aircraft’s centreline to eliminate fuselage blanking, enabling the operator to keep it directed wherever the JTACs requires 
Joe Copalman
Inset: Valkyrie’s chief pilot, Jack ‘Coach’ Allison has more than 36 years of experience flying CAS operations 
All images Valkyrie Aero unless stated

As the scale, complexity and tempo of both US and NATO ground operations has grown over the past decade, so has the need forqualified Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) to ensure the safe and precise delivery of direct close air support (CAS).

Shortages have become so acute, however, that significant growth and the allocation of training resources have been required to cope with the demand.

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