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British JTACs train with American bombers

The Preachers from the 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery Royal Artillery

The Preachers from the 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery Royal Artillery pose for a group picture July 23, 2018, at the 37th Bomb Squadron on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. R. Michael Longoria)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Joint terminal attack controllers, or JTACs, from the Royal Army trained here July 14 - 24, 2018.

Members of the 4/73 (Sphinx) Special Observation Post Battery Royal Artillery, the British Army's only regular Surveillance and Target Acquisition Patrol unit, made the trip across the pond to gain first-hand experience with controlling U.S. Air Force bombers.

This is the third time the team, which goes by the call sign Preachers, have come to Ellsworth for training: twice with the 37th Bomb Squadron and once with the 34th Bomb Squadron in December 2017. The familiarity has made for a smoother process during training and real life operations.

“We come here every six months or so to get a tick for the bombers,” explained British Army Sgt. “Redders.” “If we deploy, these are the guys we’d be talking to down range.”

The Preachers spent approximately 15 hours on the ground in the Powder River Training Complex and controlled B-1s from Ellsworth and B-52s from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

“We now have a better understanding of the bombers and theirs capabilities as well as letting us get to know the aircrew,” “Redders” said. “So, controlling them and [directing strikes] is more fluid.”