9.1 FORWARD AIR CONTROLLERS: 50 Forward Air Controllers (FAC) represent units specially equipped and trained to direct Ground Support attacks. There are three types of FAC: U.S.M.C. Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) (9.11). Offboard U.S.M.C. TACP (9.12), and airborne FAC (9.13); all three operate in a similar manner. Only the UN player may utilize FAC.
9.11 U.S.M.C. TACP:51 A U.S.M.C. TACP is represented by a MMC counter that bears the silhouette of two kneeling men operating a radio. It is considered the equivalent of an infantry-crew except as stated otherwise. A TACP may not possess any SW/Gun [EXC: its Inherent radio; 9.111], nor may it become an Inherent crew [EXC: TACP Jeep (UN Forces Vehicle Note 31)]. A TACP that sets up onboard may use HIP as if it were manning a fieldd phone. A TACP has a CCV of 3.
9.111 TACP RADIO: A TACP is assumed to possess a two-PP Inherent radio (Δ) (thus equaling seven PP for Passenger PP purposes), and may neither Transfer nor drop/share possession of that radio; however, if a TACP is captured/eliminated, its Inherent radio is immediately eliminated. A TACP's Inherent radio (referred to hereafter as a TACP radio) has a Contact value of "9" (G.7 can apply). A TACP radio breaks down on any Original Contact/Maintenance DR of 12; mark the TACP with a Radio Malfunction counter. A TACP radio can be repaired normally per A9.72; a dr of 1 repairs the TACP radio and removes the Malfunction counter, and a dr of 6 disables the TACP radio permanently. A normal radio/field-phone cannot be used by a TACP, nor may a TACP radio make Contact with an OBA/NOBA battery.
9.112 RADIO OPERATION: A TACP may only direct Ground Support attacks (9.113) if it currently has Radio Contact. Only a Good Order TACP (including a Passenger) may attempt Radio Contact/Maintenance and does so in the same manner as an Observer (A12.141; C1.2; C1.22; C1.6-.61).
9.113 GROUND SUPPORT DIRECTION: Ground Support attacks (E7.4) receive an additional -2 Sighting TC DRM (E7.3) when directed by a TACP [EXC: -1 if directed by an offboard USMC. TACP (9.12) or an airborne FAC (9.13)]. This DRM is reduced by one if there is any applicable LOS/LV/DLV Hindrance along the TACP's LOS between its Location (including such in the TACP's Location) and that of the aircraft's initial target hex. Contrary to E7.3, when directed by a TACP, the aircraft's Sighting TC must be based on the easiest target to spot in the initial target hex to which the TACP has a LOS. However, direction by a TACP is always optional [EXC: Close Air Support; 9.2]. A TACP can only direct an attack if it has a LOS to the aircraft's initial target hex, currently has Radio Contact (9.112), and is either Infantry, or a CE Passenger in an OT AFV, or a Passenger in a truck (D6.7) or the inherent crew of a TACP Jeep. A TACP may only direct attacks vs a single target hex during a Player Turn, but it may direct any number of aircraft‚ towards that hex. An aircraft can only be directed by a single TACP dining a Player Turn, but it may be directed by a different TACP in subsequent Player Turns. See also 2.22.
9.114 TACP IMMUNITY ZONE: All hexes within two hexes of a TACP (that currently has Radio Contact) may not be attacked during a Mistaken Attack (E7.32; E7.62) as per 8.4 [EXC: regardless of date, aircraft's LOS to TACP, and TACP's hidden/concealment status].
9.12 OFFBOARD U.S.M.C. TACP: A SSR may give the UN player a FAC represented by an Offboard U.S M.C. TACP. The SSR will specify a particular on-board hex and level (even though the listed hex may have no such level), and all LOS checks per 9.113 are taken from this point as if the TACP were located there. Since there is no TACP actually in the designated offboard TACP hex, any fire or movement into/from/through that hex has no effect on the TACP [EXC: Hindrances affect the Sighting TC DRM from that hex level normally: 9.113]. Even though an Offboard TACP has no Inherent radio, all FAC procedures (9.112-.113) are conducted normally, except that Radio Contact and Maintenance are automatic.
9.13 AIRBORNE FAC:52 An airborne FAC represents an aircraft specifically tasked to function as an observer for ground support aircraft. Only one airborne FAC is available to the UN side in any scenario, and it is subject to normal aircraft rules except where specified otherwise below. An airborne FAC is considered an Offboard TACP (9.12) [EXC: it is not considered U.S.M.C. unless designated as such by SSR; it has an Inherent radio (with a Contact value of "9") and needs to roll for Radio Contact/Maintenance (but Malfunction is NA)] with the added advantage of being able to make its Aerial LOS checks from any Friendly Board Edge hex of the owner's choice. It may not direct (9.113) a Ground Support attack against a Location in or beneath Fog (E3.31). An airborne FAC does not take counter form, but is considered just offboard until Recalled/eliminated. Heavy AA Fire (E7.52) [EXC: an Original 4 DR prevents it from directing a Ground Support attack during that Player Turn (mark it with a TI counter)] is the only way ground units can attack an airborne FAC. Even though technically offboard, an airborne FAC can be attacked in Aerial Combat (although it cannot fire back), and if held in Aerial Melee loses Radio Contact. An airborne FAC is worth three VP.
9.2 CLOSE AIR SUPPORT: UN aircraft directed by a FAC (9.1; 9.113) may conduct Ground Support attacks in the UN PFPh immediately after resolving all FFE in the same manner as a Ground Support attack in the MPh/DFPh (E7.4), including the placement of Residual FP counters. An aircraft may not conduct Ground Support attacks in two consecutive Player Turns.
9.21 LIGHT AA: The DEFENDER may use Light AA Fire (E7.5-.512) vs ATTACKER aircraft that are conducting Ground Support attacks during the PFPh. A DEFENDER unit that exhausts its full ROF in AA Fire is marked with a Final Fire counter as well as retaining the AA marker.
9.22 MISTAKEN ATTACK: Should a Mistaken Attack opportunity occur (E7.32) during a Ground Support attack in the PFPh, the DEFENDER moves the aircraft and attacks the ATTACKER's closest (in hexes) eligible (per E7.32; see also 8.4 and 9.114) unit.
EX: If the FB attacks 4P6 and it is not directed by the TACP in M8, its Sighting TC (E7.3) is based on the T-34/85 at ground ievel since that is the easiest target to spot in the initial target hex. The Sighting TC DRM is +1 (+3 [target is in building] +1 [target is within four hexes of non-HIP MMC friendly to and in the LOS of the aircraft] -1 [target is vehicular] -2 [target is not entirely concealed]). If, however, the TACP directs the attack (e.g., during the PFPh when the FB must be directed by the TACP [9.2]), the Sighting TC is based on the concealed 4-4-7 squad on Level 1 (the only target in P6 that the TACP has a LOS to), and would be +2 (+3 [target is in building] +1 [target is within four hexes of non-HIP MMC friendly to and in the LOS of the aircraft] -2 [TACP direction]). Had there e.g., been a +3 Smoke counter in the TACP's hex, the -2 DRM for TACP Direction would be reduced to -1 (9.113).