Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company

Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company

ANGLICO (Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company) refers to several small units of the United States Marine Corps who specialize in coordinating artillery, naval gunfire and close air support (CAS) for the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and allied foreign armed forces. ANGLICO serves as liaison unit by providing capabilities normally contained only within the Marine Corps. These small teams possess the knowledge to direct and control air support for U.S. military and foreign units which lack this capability. ANGLICO not only can control U.S. aircraft, but they travel and train internationally to qualify to control foreign jets as well.

While all the services try to develop this type of unit, currently the Marine Corps and Air Force can provide the battlefield with most JTAC/Facs. The Navy has their own program that produces JTAC/FAC for SEALs and NAVSOF communities. Occasionally the Navy will send a SEAL or member of the NAVSOF community to the Marine school.


Mottos common to ANGLICO units are "Lightning from the Sky, Thunder from the Sea," and "Non Multa Sed Multum" (Not Many But Much). "We aim ... to please" was on the hootch at Tuy Hoa.An unofficial motto of the ANGLICO's has been "Simply forgot us" a play on the Marine Corps motto of Semper Fidelis.


Provide commanders a liaison capability with foreign area expertise to plan, coordinate, employ, and conduct terminal control of fires in support of joint, allied, and coalition forces.


ANGLICO is broken down by brigades. While these brigades may not be much bigger than an infantry platoon, the importance of this lies within its seniority in relation to other units (meaning ANGLICO carries a substantial amount of seniority with itself). The two brigades are commanded by the Division Cell. At this level, the unit's Commanding Officer, a Lieutenant Colonel, runs the company while being co-located with the senior leadership of the supported unit. (ANGLICO is one a few special units who report directly to the Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Commanding General). Each brigade will have two Supporting Arms Liaison Teams (SALTs); each having roughly 10 men. A SALT will function at a battalion level. Here, the team members will run and control the fire support coordination for the whole area of operations (AO). Also, they will oversee the mission of the Firepower Control Teams (FCTs). It is on these four to five man teams where the action happens. At the FCT level are the Marines actively engaging the enemy with CAS missions. FCTs constantly patrol and are known to setup observation posts (OP) for anywhere between six hours and three weeks at a time.

Battlefield Environment

ANGLICO is never assigned its own physical battlespace as teams are constantly on the move. ANGLICO's inherits its AO from whichever unit it is supporting. A Firepower Control Team in Iraq, for example, consists of no more than 4 to 5 men. The 5th man is needed to man the gun turret during a vehicle mounted mission. The primary member is a Forward Air Controller (FAC) or a Joint Terminal Air Controller (JTAC). A radio operator and forward observer will compose 2 of the 3 remaining team members, with the last member often being a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) gunner. Even though each team member has their own specialty, ANGLICO Marines are all cross-trained within their team. This high level of training and proficiency is what makes ANGLICO units so effective.

While ANGLICO units can perform many different tasks, Close Air Support has been its primary mission in recent conflicts. There are a limited number of JTACs in Iraq, and arguably the most sought out, are from Marine Corp ANGLICO units. The Marine Corps JTAC School is one of the most academically challenging schools within the military, with unusually high standards. To pass this school, a JTAC candidate must successfully coordinate 14 missions with live aircraft, and pass three intense written examinations. In contrast, the U.S. Army only requires their candidates to obtain controls from a simulator. But at the same time the Army can not call in CAS missions from Fixed Winged Aircraft unless in an emergency.

ANGLICO teams have been working with all types of units in Iraq; from a typical Marine or Army infantry company to a SEAL or Iraqi Army unit. Their training at all levels allows them to easily be plugged into any environment. Most Iraqi units will have, on some level, an ANGLICO team assigned to them. Also, the British Commandos have a special relationship with ANGLICO. Each year, these two units train for several weeks with each other.


ANGLICO units require Marines who are proficient in a wide variety of specialized military skills. In addition to their primary MOS training necessary to coordinate fire support, such as artillery fire support, field radio operations, direct air support operations, and naval gunfire spotting; 3rd and 4th ANGLICO (MARFORRES) Marines receive airborne training and jump qualification at the Army's Airborne School at Fort Benning, making the Reserve ANGLICOs two of the handful of Marine Corps units in which Marines are jump-qualified. ANGLICO Marines regularly receive further advanced training in other insertion methods, fieldcraft, SERE, and other specialized and demanding activities. This, combined with the fact that ANGLICO Marines routinely serve with and must cross-train with a wide variety of US and Allied units around the world such as the British 148 Commando Forward Observation Battery, Royal Artillery, including Recon and Special Operations units and foreign services, makes ANGLICO units among the toughest and most highly regarded in the Marine Corps.

ANGLICO units can deploy as an entire company of 150 to support the large-scale operations of an entire Marine Expeditionary Force, or, more commonly, deploy in 4 to 7 man teams to support the activities of non-Marine units.

When a Marine checks into ANGLICO, no matter what his rank is or how long he has been in the military, he will have to pass the ANGLICO Basic Course (ABC). ABC can range from 2 to 4 months depending on the ANGLICO Company. All 5 ANGLICO units have their own Standard Operating Procedures(SOP); therefore things may be done a little different in each unit.


The History of ANGLICO dates back to the formation of JASCO (Joint Assault Signals Company) units who fought in the Pacific theatre of World War II. At the time, the JASCO units were used to coordinate air, artillery and naval gunfire support between the Marines, Army and US Navy during the Pacific "island hopping" campaign. The most famous JASCO Unit is the 594th, for its actions on Okinawa (1945) and the Philippines (1944-1945). Following the reorganization of the US Armed Forces under the Department of Defense in 1947, the JASCO units were disbanded and their responsibility transferred to the US Navy. In 1949, the Marine Corps began the process of recreating the JASCO capability under the new ANGLICO designation. ANGLICO, 2nd Signals Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, was formed in December, 1949 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The 1st Marine Division formed a similar unit at the same time, designated ANGLICO, 1st Signal Battalion, 1st Marine Division. A third unit, 1st ANGLICO, FMF Pac, was activated on 2 March 1951 at Pearl Harbor.

The original ANGLICOs, created in both 1st Marine Division and 2nd Marine Division in December, 1949, continued to exist and serve in combat throughout 1950 and 1951 in the Korean War. These were the first ANGLICO units to stand up, and to serve in combat. Teams from these units served in combat attached to USMC battalions, Korean Marine battalions, and US Army units. These ANGLICOs were entirely separate from the numbered ANGLICOs which first stood up in Hawaii in 1951, and predate those units by over a year.

1st ANGLICO activated Sub Unit One for duty in Vietnam in May 1965 where the unit was continuously deployed for 8 years. Sub Unit One was the only Marine Corps organization reporting directly to MACV which assumed operational control of the sub unit in September 1966. Throughout its involvement in Vietnam Sub Unit One NGLO and TACP teams operated in all four tactical zones and was the last Fleet Marine Force unit to stand down from the war. Sub Unit One provided naval gunfire and close air in support of South Vietnamese Army and Marine units, South Korean Army and Marine units, Australian and New Zealand Armed Forces as well as United States Army and Marine combat Divisions. While only an estimated 1350 men served the sub unit over those eight years they contributed in no small way to almost every combat operation of the war. In March 1972 naval gunfire spotters directing fire from the gunline ships of the U.S. Navy provided the only counter battery fires directed at North Vietnamese artillery raining ordnance all over I Corps in advance of the Easter Offensive. Unit strength at that time was only 107 officers and men both Navy and Marine who with their backs to the wall made up the numbers deficit by tenaciously providing around the clock support.

During the mid-to-late 1980s, under Lieutenant Colonel J.M. Wills and Lieutenant General A.M. Gray (later Commandant of the Marine Corps) 2nd ANGLICO went through a period of refocusing on core skills including regular live Naval Gunfire training with the USS Iowa battleship, and more frequent mass tactical exercises with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division. Additionally, the 2d ANGLICO began to train in Low Intensity Confilict response with weapon systems such as the Air Force SPECTRE gunship, Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction and Fast Rope insertion methods.

In 1999, all active-duty ANGLICO units (1st and 2d ANGLICO) were deactivated, their responsibilities transferred to less-effective Marine Liaison Elements. The two reserve units, 3d and 4th ANGLICO, were the only ANGLICO units that remained (and to this day are the only two to retain their jump mission and status as "Goldwingers"). In 2003, amidst the US war in Iraq and Global War on Terror and a high operational tempo being demanded of the reserve ANGLICO units, 1st and 2nd ANGLICO were reactivated (although their status as jump units has never returned) . Shortly thereafter, in 2004, 5th ANGLICO was formed (5th has never been a jump unit, nor will it ever be).

Current Units

Five ANGLICO companies currently exist in the U.S. Marine Corps:

ee also

* Organization of the United States Marine Corps


* [ ANGLICO Association]

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