Silhouettes of Iraqi Tactical Attack Controllers (ITACs) from the Counter Terrorism Services and Coalition Joint Attack Controllers (JTACs) are seen as they continue into the evening as they participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 22, 2021.  The group participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires to allow ITACs to better hone their skills.  (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.)
1 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Silhouettes of Iraqi Tactical Attack Controllers (ITACs) from the Counter Terrorism Services and Coalition Joint Attack Controllers (JTACs) are seen as they continue into the evening as they participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 22, 2021. The group participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires to allow ITACs to better hone their skills. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL
Iraqi Tactical Attack Controllers (ITACs) from the Counter Terrorism Services and Coalition Joint Attack Controllers (JTACs) pose for a group photo near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 22, 2021.  The group participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires to allow ITACs to better hone their skills.  (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.)
2 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Iraqi Tactical Attack Controllers (ITACs) from the Counter Terrorism Services and Coalition Joint Attack Controllers (JTACs) pose for a group photo near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 22, 2021. The group participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires to allow ITACs to better hone their skills. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controller and the Iraqi Tactical Air Controller (ITAC) from the Counter Terrorism Services prepare for a night exercise near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 19, 2021. The two air controllers participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires to allow ITACs to better hone their skills.  (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.)
3 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controller and the Iraqi Tactical Air Controller (ITAC) from the Counter Terrorism Services prepare for a night exercise near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 19, 2021. The two air controllers participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires to allow ITACs to better hone their skills. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL
Silhouettes of Iraqi Tactical Attack Controllers (ITACs) from the Counter Terrorism Services and Coalition Joint Attack Controllers (JTACs) are seen as they continue into the evening during Exercise Phoenix Fires that took place Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 22, 2021.  The exercise partnered ITACs with Coalition JTACs to enhance Iraqi forces’ ability to engage in close air support. These bilateral exercises help build and maintain trust between partner forces through shared experiences and training. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres, Jr.)
4 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Silhouettes of Iraqi Tactical Attack Controllers (ITACs) from the Counter Terrorism Services and Coalition Joint Attack Controllers (JTACs) are seen as they continue into the evening during Exercise Phoenix Fires that took place Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 22, 2021. The exercise partnered ITACs with Coalition JTACs to enhance Iraqi forces’ ability to engage in close air support. These bilateral exercises help build and maintain trust between partner forces through shared experiences and training. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres, Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL
Iraqi Tactical Attack Controllers (ITACs) from the Counter Terrorism Services and Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) conduct night operations during Exercise Phoenix Fires near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, during Exercise Phoenix Fires Oct. 19, 2021. The exercise partnered Coalition JTACs with ITACs to enhance Iraqi forces’ ability to engage in close air support. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres, Jr.)
5 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Iraqi Tactical Attack Controllers (ITACs) from the Counter Terrorism Services and Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) conduct night operations during Exercise Phoenix Fires near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, during Exercise Phoenix Fires Oct. 19, 2021. The exercise partnered Coalition JTACs with ITACs to enhance Iraqi forces’ ability to engage in close air support. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres, Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controller (left) shows an Iraqi Tactical Attack Controller (ITAC) from the Counter Terrorism Services (CTS) the range limits near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, during Exercise Phoenix Fires Oct. 19, 2021. The exercise partnered Coalition JTACs with ITACs to enhance Iraqi forces’ ability to engage in close air support. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres, Jr.)
6 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controller (left) shows an Iraqi Tactical Attack Controller (ITAC) from the Counter Terrorism Services (CTS) the range limits near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, during Exercise Phoenix Fires Oct. 19, 2021. The exercise partnered Coalition JTACs with ITACs to enhance Iraqi forces’ ability to engage in close air support. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres, Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL
A five-hundred pounds bomb detonates on a target an Iraqi Tactical Attack Controller (ITAC) from the Counter Terrorism Services called in during the Phoenix Fires exercise near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 25, 2021. The Phoenix Fires exercise allowed ITAC and Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to call in air strike during day and night operations. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres Jr.)
7 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A five-hundred pounds bomb detonates on a target an Iraqi Tactical Attack Controller (ITAC) from the Counter Terrorism Services called in during the Phoenix Fires exercise near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 25, 2021. The Phoenix Fires exercise allowed ITAC and Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to call in air strike during day and night operations. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controller (left) explains aircraft movements to an Iraqi Tactical Attack controller (center) near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 20, 2021.  The two air controllers participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires to allow ITACs to better hone their skills.  (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.)
8 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controller (left) explains aircraft movements to an Iraqi Tactical Attack controller (center) near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 20, 2021. The two air controllers participated in Exercise Phoenix Fires to allow ITACs to better hone their skills. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Jose A. Torres, Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL
An Iraqi Tactical Attack Controller (ITAC) (left) from the Counter Terrorism Services practices calling an air strike on the radio near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq during Exercise Phoenix Fires Oct. 19, 2021. The exercise partnered Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) with ITACs to enhance Iraqi forces’ ability to engage in close air support. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres, Jr.)
9 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An Iraqi Tactical Attack Controller (ITAC) (left) from the Counter Terrorism Services practices calling an air strike on the radio near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq during Exercise Phoenix Fires Oct. 19, 2021. The exercise partnered Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) with ITACs to enhance Iraqi forces’ ability to engage in close air support. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff SGT Jose A. Torres, Jr.) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jose Torres Jr.) VIEW ORIGINAL

Iraqi Terminal Attack Controllers (ITAC) from multiple battalions of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Services (CTS) traveled to Mosul Dam and Al Asad Air Base to meet with their Coalition Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) partners from the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Levant for the Exercise Phoenix Fires. The exercise, which took place from October 16-29, 2021, allowed the partners to improve their ground and air communication skills to accurately call for air support on ground targets.

The first portion of the exercise focused on fundamentals and techniques during classroom based block of instruction. Afterwards the participants shifted from class time to the range where they worked with aircraft support during the day, as well as night operations.

“We are lucky to have this exercise for the soldiers (so) they can practice on their skills and keep them ready for doing more missions in the future,” said Iraqi Lt. Col. Ali, who is assigned to the Counter Terrorism Center Headquarters.

Air support for Exercise Phoenix Fires consisted of F-16 ‘Fighting Falcon’ jets, AH-64 Apache helicopters, Mil MI-17 helicopters and other Coalition aircraft. The exercise at Mosul Dam saw machine gun fire from helicopters throughout parts of the exercise, while participants at Al Asad Air Base had the opportunity to call in three 500 pound bombs from Coalition jets during the second week of the training.

The Special Operations Joint Task Force’s mission within Operation Inherent Resolve is to work by, with and through our partner forces to defeat Daesh. This exercise demonstrated aligned capabilities through shared experiences and institutional capacity while maintaining regional security.

“We’re trying to get them to become organic instructors themselves, to police each other,” said Tech Sgt. Anthony Evelyn-Watts from the 116th Air Support Operations Squadron. “That’s really the overall goal; is for them to have a self-sustaining air-to-ground integration.”

The Special Operations Joint Task Force – Levant is in Iraq at the invitation of the Government of Iraq to facilitate advisory, assistance and to counter malign influence that looks to disrupt the sovereignty and prosperity of Iraq.