After the briefing, and in discussion with the Air Cdr, it became obvious that there was little or no Buccaneer experience at Episkopi which meant that the AHQ lacked the necessary expertise to raise tasks or to direct operations. Indeed, the Air Cdr had requested that an Air Support Operations Centre (ASOC) should accompany the deployment but for some reason none had been forthcoming.  Another issue that required urgent attention was the relationship with CTF60, sitting just off Beirut, with the USSs Dwight D Eisenhower, Iwo Jima and Austen along with many other ships. There was also the Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) that had been put ashore at the International Airport.

Effective tasking of the Buccaneers would require close co-ordination with CTF60 so deconfliction of routes and the associated air traffic procedures were high priority issues for resolution by the air staff.

For the Buccaneer Detachment itself, the order of business was:

a.  Establish an ASOC, of sorts – even a one-man operation (probably all we could afford) would be better than nothing.

b.  Decide on comms requirements and draw up a Communications Plan.

c.  Identify a suitably experienced Air Liaison Officer (ALO) to be with CTF60 aboard either the

Eisenhower or the  Iwo Jima.

d.  Begin planning ‘showing the flag’ sorties under ROE 1.

e.  Brief the Forward Air Controller (FAC) who was about to join BRITFORLEB in the block of flats in Beirut, on standard operating procedures for ground laser designation for Buccaneer air attacks.

f.  Develop a Concept of Operations for all sorties under each of the ROEs.


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