Monday, May 25, 2009

Sheffield soldier to guide fighter jets in Afghanistan war

BRITISH fighter jets bombarding Taliban positions in Afghanistan could soon be directed to their targets by Sheffield lad Craig Dwyer.
The former Handsworth Grange School pupil, aged 22, is a Lance Corporal in the Royal Armoured Core 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, and is training as part of a Forward Air Control team to guide pilots from the ground.

He is among 2,000 service personnel taking part in a training exercise in the Czech Republic, where they are practising how to give speedy and precise instructions to pilots in Tornado jets travelling at 600mph.

He said: "I talked pilots through to their target destinations, ensuring they knew exactly where it was.

"We can be based on the ground or in an helicopter in the air and are in direct radio contact with the pilots. We literally have only around 60 seconds to talk them through before they open fire."

Craig, who has previously been part of a FAC team working in Iraq, added: "It's essential we get it right - the targets may be near schools, in civilian areas or close to our troops on the ground.

"Any mistake, however small could be disastrous."

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