|ATAC FIGHTER TRAINING WITH ROKAF/7AF IN
"MAX THUNDER 13-2"
Mr. Matt Bannon, Director of Public Relations
NEWPORT NEWS, VA., (December 11, 2013) – ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company) recently completed a first-ever two-week detachment to Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, home of the United States Air Force's 8th Fighter Wing. As a guest player of MAG-12, ATAC deployed two Hawker Mk-58 Hunter aircraft from their home base at NAS Atsugi, Japan, providing adversary support in multiple Large Force Exercises (LFEs) as part of the Joint ROKAF/7AF Exercise MAX THUNDER 13-2.
The versatile Hawker Mk-58 Hunters flew a variety of adversary missions, ranging from Defensive Counter Air (DCA) to low-level strike, and everything in between, as Exercise planners directed. ATAC was commended by the 8th Operations Group Commander, Colonel Pete "Cujo" Bilodeau, for their professional threat replication in providing challenging scenarios for the Blue Air Forces to overcome. "ATAC's pilots were among the best in the Department of Defense when on active duty, and now provide an invaluable training aid for the operational forces they support," said Colonel Bilodeau.
ATAC's deployment to MAX THUNDER highlights the value of the outsourced adversary support in lieu of 4th generation fighter operators providing their own internal adversary support. Whereas all attending military aircraft were able to support one of three vulnerability periods per mission, ATAC's Hunters supported all three, tripling the effective size of ATAC's deployed force of two. ATAC effectively liberated 43 sorties and roughly 70 flight hours for the 8FW, 51FW, and MAG-12 to use for Blue Air training requirements, producing savings to the DoD in every quantifiable realm of measurement: money, airframe aging, and personnel time.
"ATAC's successful deployment to Kunsan Air Base supporting MAX THUNDER is yet another example of the versatility and professionalism of our personnel, and our increasing value to the US DoD and our allied partners," said Matthew Mayberry, ATAC's Director of International Programs. "The US Navy has steadily increased their reliance on ATAC since our first contract with them over 17 years ago, and we've seen our value increase with the challenges imposed by sequestration and two government shut-downs in the last year."
Since its inception in 1994, ATAC has provided a growing fleet of tactical aircraft and services to the U.S. military in support of airborne tactical training, air-to-ground training, threat simulation and research & development. Using 24 fully-employed high-performance aircraft, advanced threat tactics and electronic attack equipment, 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. ATAC is also the only civilian entity approved to fly with and against USAF F-22 Raptors. The company, headquartered in Virginia, employs approximately 90 people from WestPac to Germany. ATACs pilots consist of former or active reserve U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force fighter pilots, averaging over 3000 hours, with over 75% USAF Weapons School or USN TOPGUN Graduates.