|ATAC REACHES 30,000 FLIGHT HOURS
OF DoD SUPPORT
ATAC Provides Commercial Air Services in support of Airborne Fighter and
Training Support for Defense Department Agencies
Mr. Matt Bannon, Director of Marketing
NEWPORT NEWS, Va., (May. 13, 2013) –ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company) recently surpassed 30,000 flight hours supporting tactical training of US Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy pilots and shipborne personnel. Surpassing this milestone underscores the value ATAC provides its two primary contract customers, the United States Navy and the United States Air Force. As military training budgets shrink, or stagnate, creative senior leaders within the Armed Forces are increasingly recognizing the value ATAC brings to their training programs, by performing critical non-combat and non-deployable tasks that are nonetheless necessary to do train their warfighters. ATAC's fleet of aircraft and expert operators serve to extend the service life of 4th generation tactical aircraft, which would otherwise perform the adversary-surrogate mission at great cost but little operational benefit. ATAC is the industry leader in contracted/commercial air services (CCAS).
The milestone flight was accomplished by Mr. Matthew "Yort" Pearse in ATAC's Mk-58 Hawker Hunter, as part of a two hour long, two-ship mission supporting a SFWSP (Strike Fighter Weapons School, Pacific) tactics event. Mr. Pearse is one of ATAC's newest full-time employees, who completed his rigorous Hawker Hunter training in January, and also maintains F-5N instructor qualification as a member of the USN Reserves.
After the flight, Mr. Pearse humbly compared his accomplishment to the feats of the legendary military fighter pilots who inspired him to serve his country, and those who continue to serve, then summed up the occasion, "If you put 30,000 hours into perspective with regard to the multiple locations across three continents, and conditions we fly in, the number speaks volumes for what ATAC has accomplished in nearly two decades. Happy to be here, proud to serve."
Mr. Pearse's mission was a routine adversary air support sortie flown from NAS Pt. Mugu in W-291 airspace against an element of two USN F-18E pilots undergoing a rigorous tactical training program. However, ATAC's support of the USN is anything but routine. Over the course of 19 years of steady growth, ATAC has established itself as the premier provider of tactical commercial/contract air services to the US Department of Defense, currently supporting contracts with the United States Navy, and the United States Air Forces in Europe. As Federal budgets supporting tactical aviation have diminished, or stagnated, despite increasingly sophisticated potential adversaries, ATAC's value to both the USAF and the USN has increased proportionally. ATAC aircraft and pilots enhance operational training by augmenting or replacing combat-coded aircraft and aircrew as adversary surrogates, saving millions of dollars in operating costs by utilizing more efficient threat-replicating civilian-owned and -maintained fighter aircraft instead of front-line 4th and 5th generation fighters. Furthermore, the Services' fighter airframe aging and service life/fatigue problems are reduced at a one-to-one ratio when an ATAC fighter supplements a USN, USMC, or USAF fighter in "adversary" formations. The economic case for ATAC grows proportionally stronger as the Services' front line aircraft are stretched to cover the gap created by the JSF's increasingly delayed and increasingly expensive acquisition.
ATAC operates a fleet of over 23 aircraft, consisting of three distinct airframe types, across three continents, from permanent facilities and multiple deployed or detached airfields, supporting US military training around the clock, around the world. ATACs fleet of fighter aircraft is uniquely selected to meet the rigorous and demanding requirements established by the USN or the USAF, in order to most efficiently deliver superlative training at a reasonable cost.
ATAC's training services repertoire ranges from basic air intercept control profiles to advanced, highly integrated dissimilar adversary training, as well as providing a Close Air Support (CAS) platform for upgrading Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs). Specific missions also include Navy Fleet Integrated Training, opposition force, aggressor support, target towing, electronic warfare, and large force, multi-national ship and fighter exercises. In addition to the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marines, customers include other Department of Defense and non-DoD agencies and allied FMS customers.
In response to requests from the DoD, ATAC recently expanded its program to include Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) training for the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) Air to Ground Operations School (AGOS) in Germany. The DoD is training more JTAC's to meet demand from battlefield commanders; ATAC has trained JTAC's for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force around the globe. ATAC initiated JTAC support services in 2009, and has conducted light-inert and night JTAC training operations.
"Under our industry-leading DoD contracts, ATAC's fleet of 23 aircraft, including five supersonic Israeli Aircraft Industry F-21 Kfir, four Aero L-39 Albatross, and fourteen Hawker Mk-58 Hunter aircraft enhance U.S. military training and readiness around the world," said Jeffrey Parker, ATAC's President and CEO. "The US Navy relies on ATAC for proven and professional readiness training to cost-effectively prepare pilots and crews to meet current and future threats. The US Air Force in Europe relies on ATAC to maintain their critical Air Ground Operations School graduate production. Both services continually express their pleasure with our expertise and their increasing satisfaction with our contractual performance. I am proud of my people and their dedication to excellence, enabling us to surpass the 30,000 hour benchmark."
Since its inception in 1994, ATAC has provided a growing fleet of tactical aircraft and services to the U.S. military in support of missions involving airborne tactical training, threat simulation and research and development. Using a variety of high-performance aircraft, advanced threat tactics and electronic attack equipment, ATAC provides realistic and cost-effective advanced training and testing. ATAC is the only civilian tactical airborne services provider approved to train the Navy's elite at the Navy Fighter Weapons School ("Topgun") and the Navy Strike Air Warfare Center, and also is the only civilian entity approved to fly with and against U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors. The company, headquartered in Newport News, Va., employs approximately 80 people. ATACs entire pilot cadre consists of former or active reserve U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force fighter pilots averaging over 3000 fighter hours, with over 75% being USAF Weapons School or USN TOPGUN Graduates. ATAC maintainers keep the fleet of 23 aircraft in superior airworthy condition by rigorous adherence to maintenance standards mandated by the FAA, while mimicking the best practices learned from their personal services and experience with USN, USMC, USAF and USA flight line, carrier based, and deployed operations.