With object labels on you can see the targets from miles away, which is a good thing. It's entirely up to you whether you leave labels on or off. I tend to turn them off if things are going well, and flick them on if I've lost track of things... which happens a lot!
As the sim models it, which apparently is close to real world conditions, vehicle size ground targets are incredibly difficult to see from a fast moving jet.
Here's a trick which helps maintain immersion in the sim - tell your wingman to attack the ground targets with "Backslash - F1 - F1 - F5".
Then just fly towards the smoke and flames!
By the way that's my wingman doing the immaculate strafing run, not me !
Now I can see them !