Forward Air Controller: Task Analysis and Development of Team Training Measures for Close Air Support


  1. Zobarich, R.M.
  2. Lamoureux, T.M.
  3. Martin, B.L.E.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
The role of the FAC in Close Air Support (CAS) is critical, as their performance can mean the difference between effective CAS and fratricide. Effective live training opportunities in Canada for FACs are limited as they require large supporting teams (involving among others pilots, the supported commander, higher air command, etc.). Distributed simulation may be a useful tool for generating and sustaining FAC capabilities in the Canadian Forces (CF). However, in order to establish the effectiveness of such training, it is necessary to define the tasks the FAC and the CAS team perform, and to identify suitable metrics for assessing the team’s performance. To this end, a Hierarchical Task Analysis of CAS was performed. The analysis was used to develop a series of Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scales (BARS) that captured team performance in CAS. These BARS were trialed during Exercise Northern Goshawk, a distributed simulation of a joint coalition operation involving research partners from DRDC Toronto, the United States and the United Kingdom. The exercise revealed a number of challenges affecting the application of the instrument as well as the interpretation of the ratings obtained with it. Thus, this report does not provide analysis of the ratings. However, a number of possible solutions to the challenges are discussed. The report also makes a number of recommendations for improving the instrument prior to its application in future distributed simulation exercises. The pri

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Close Air Support;Forward Air Controller;BARS;HTA;Team Cognition;Fratricide;Training;Distributed Mission Operations
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2007-156 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2007
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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