Indirect Fire Forward Observer Trainer (I-FACT™)
The Indirect Fire Forward Air Control Trainer (I-FACT) supports training for:
- Joint Forward Observers
- Naval Gunfire Observers
- Fire Support Planning
- Joint Tactical Close Air Support
These training objectives are achieved through a variety of solutions that include classroom and laptop based training as well as an add-on option which can be bundled with the FATS® virtual training systems.
The I-FACT has two training modes: simulation and Pilot-in-the-Loop training.
Using the simulation training mode, forward air controllers can conduct:
- Fixed and rotary wing close air support missions
- Close air support using bomber aircraft
- AC130 gunship close air support
These elements, coupled with the supported indirect fire assets, allow trainees to conduct:
- Procedural training
- Close air support planning
- Coordination and de-confliction of aircraft
- Suppression of enemy air defense
- Marking of targets
- Simultaneous attack of targets using both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
For more advanced close air support training, Pilot-in-the-Loop mode allows an individual to pilot the simulated aircraft acting as fixed or rotary wing aircraft. In this mode, ground controllers coordinate directly with the pilot and work to talk the pilot on to ground-based targets just as they would in the real world. This mode also facilitates mission rehearsals by allowing aircrews to interact with ground control units prior to deployment. The Pilot-in-the-Loop mode represents the highest fidelity full mission capable close air support training outside operations utilizing actual aircraft.