Close Air Support (CAS) (Requesting an air strike.)

These rules are to simulate an air strike during airsoft milsim scenarios. While they may seem complicated at first, I think they will actually prove to be fairly simple in use.

The rules change slightly if the air strike being called in is dropping laser-guided ordnance instead of normal ordnance.

For either a normal or laser-guided air strike you will need:

1. A person (referee) to represent the air strike.
2. A radio for the air strike ref to communicate as the forward air controller.
3. A player to act as the forward air controller.
4. A radio for the forward air controller to communicate with the air strike.
5. A six-sided die (just like those found in a game of Monopoly) for the air strike ref.
6. An air strike resolution reference card for the air strike ref. (Click here to see an example.)
7. Smoke bombs or something similar for the ref to simulate the air strike.
8. Map for air strike ref to coordinate the strike with the forward air controller.
9. A watch or stop watch to time the attack correctly.

10. Player acting as the forward air controller
11. Air strike request reference card. (Click here to see an example.)
12. Map for player acting as forward air controller.
13. Radio for player acting as forward air controller to communicate with the air strike.
14. Optional equipment for the forward air controller would be smoke bombs for marking targets, laser designator for painting targets etc.

As stated earlier, you have to have a player designated as the forward air controller. He is the player that actually talks to the air strike and guides it onto the target. You also have the air strike referee. He actually represents the air strike and acts as the pilot on the radio as he is flying the CAS aircraft in to the target area to perform the strike.

From the Forward Air Controller’s Perspective

The air strike request begins with the forward air controller. When an air strike needs to be called in he will need to fill out the air strike request card before contacting the CAS aircraft. The card will have blanks for the FAC (Forward Air Controller) to put in his call sign, the CAS aircraft call sign, the target’s grid location, what the target is and what the target will be marked by. Once he fills out the card he would then call the CAS aircraft and request the air strike.

The CAS pilot (air strike referee) will then respond, acknowledging the request and giving his estimated Time On Target (TOT) in minutes. This is the time before the air craft will arrive in the general area and be lined up to conduct the actual air strike.

When the pilot is 1 – 3 minutes out from the target he will contact the FAC and tell him to mark the target in whatever manner he plans on doing it.

The FAC will then mark the target and let the CAS know that the target is marked.

The CAS will then acknowledge that the target is marked and that he is inbound to conduct the strike.

At this point the FAC can only wait to observe the effects of the strike.

Once assessing the damage done by the strike the FAC may request the CAS to repeat the strike or give him a mission complete.

Example Airsoft air strike and communications:

The FAC is out on patrol when his group gets involved in a skirmish with an enemy patrol that is well dug-in in the tree line. After several minutes of fire fight with no results the patrol leader tells the FAC to call in an air strike on the tree line. The FAC pulls out his CAS Request Reference Card and fills in the needed information and then calls the Close Air Support (CAS) aircraft.

FAC: “Easy Rhino seven three three this is Wolf Pack six requesting immediate air strike. Target location is grid golf one one. Target is troops in the tree line. Target will be marked by yellow smoke. Danger Close. Over.”

At this time the referee playing the CAS will roll two six sided dice and add them together. He rolls a two and a three. Adding them together he gets five for the number of minutes before he is on target. He then calls and acknowledges the request.

CAS: “Wolf Pack six this is Easy Rhino seven three three, roger air strike request. Time on target approximately five minutes. Standby.”

The CAS referee will now start his stop watch. Approximately three minutes later the CAS referee has moved out to the general vicinity of the requested air strike. He is now two minutes out from his time on target. He calls the FAC to let him know that he is nearly on the target and the FAC should go ahead and mark the target with smoke as he earlier stated he would in the initial request.

CAS: “Wolf Pack six this is Easy Rhino seven three three. Time on target, two minutes, smoke, Over.”

At this time the FAC throws his smoke bomb near the intended area for the air strike and then calls the CAS to let him know the target is marked with smoke.

FAC: “Easy Rhino seven three three this is Wolf Pack six, smoke, Out”

At this time the CAS calls the FAC back and informs him that he is entering the target area with the requested strike.

CAS: “Wolf Pack six this is Easy Rhino seven three three, roger smoke, inbound, standby.”

At this time the CAS moves into the target area and then rolls a six sided die and references his Air Strike Resolution Reference Card under the proper target marking category. He rolls a three and on the visually marked category that is a result of “On Target”. The CAS then moves through the target area dropping one or more air strike simulators (smoke bombs, fire crackers or whatever you and your local Airsoft field have deemed safe enough to represent an air strike on the field.) and designating those who have been eliminated by the air strike.

About conducting the air strike:

Of all the targets that can be called in they will basically fall into two separate categories. Area targets and pin point targets.

Area Targets:

Area targets are targets such as troops in an open field, troops in a tree line, a convoy on a road etc.

The CAS should move in a straight line and should use some common sense when designating players that have been killed by the air strike. A general rule would be anyone from 20 to 25 feet on either side of the line of the air strike would be eliminated. The length of the air strike should be approximately 50 feet or so. If a miss were to occur the CAS would simply walk the line in a different area than that intended.

Pin-Point Target:

Pin-Point targets are targets such as a specific building, bunker, vehicle or other structure. With these types of targets, different types of ordnance would be used. The effect would be that if a successful strike occurred then the structure, anyone in the structure and anyone within 15 - 20 feet of the structure would be eliminated. If the strike missed then the CAS would pick a point and drop the simulator there. Anyone within approximately 30 feet would be eliminated.

If the FAC calls the CAS after a miss and is requesting a follow-up strike it is done just the same but the CAS will only roll one die six for the number of minutes until time on target.