Close coordination among Marine air controllers, strike aircrews, their joint and coalition partners enabled decisive realization of Marine Air Group 11's objectives in Operation Iraq Freedom—which included knocking out Iraqi artillery batteries of firing at long ranges.
For decades, Marines jealously have guarded Marine fixed-wing aviation for the near-exclusive use of the Marine air-ground task force commander. Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was no exception. As the war progressed from planning to execution, the maneuver commander had an impressive and at times overwhelming amount of coalition air supporting his scheme of maneuver. It was the coordination and employment of this "unbriefed" coalition air by Marine airborne forward air controllers (FAC[A]s) that helped speed the advance of the 1st Marine Division (IstMarDiv) toward its objective.