Thread: JFO
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Old 8 September 2010, 14:20
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: 18th ABN CORPS FSC FORT Bragg
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by 82Redleg View Post
Army MTOEs have finally caught up, and coded FO and COLT positions as JFOs. The school is now taught in Germany, Sill and Nellis, as well as an MTT. With FOs/COLTs coded, an IBCT needs 30, an SBCT 31 and HBCT 22- really each needs a few more, since COs without PLT FOs (IN WPNS COs, SBCT AT CO and RSTA TRPs, HBCT Tank COs and Recon TRPs) should have at least one JFO, too, and any CO employed in a maneuver role should have one.

The ATTP for currency is out there- I believe you need AKO, and the currency requirements have been clarified. As we get JFO qualified and grown up out of FO positions into BN and BCT FSNCO positions, managing the training will get easier- they often have the skills, but don't know the program as well as they should.

My big heartburn with the JFO program is that, while it is AWESOME training, we have put a qualification/currency requirement on something that doesn't require it. A JFO can't do anything that anyone else can't do- yes, he has special training, but he still has to (1) get a JTAC in the loop or (2) conduct a control as an unqualified controller. Anyone can do that.

To me, the real answer is to take the JTAC program from the AF, and modify the 13F MOS to grow JTACs. JFO should be part of 13F AIT, and JTAC qualification should be part of 13F BNCOC- if you can't pass those 2 things, you don't get or retain the MOS.
the ATTP is a carbon copy of the JFO MOA with some more detail on training. As of last check the ATTP 3-09.36 draft 02 Sept 2009, was still in draft form and had not been ratified yet. If it goes the way of the ATTP 3-09.30 14 April 2010 Draft, we have been screaming for to replace the 6-30 and the 6-20-20 expect approximately 10 years for it to finally get done. In the mean time the JFO MOA is the bible on all things JFO. And as we learn in JFCC and JFOC ,Joint doctrine supersedes Army Doctrine. Army can add to it just cannot be taken away from. It is also agreed on through multiple STANAGs So it is also a NATO program.
The ATTP which is being released; will be for Army use and does not reflect the standards of the Marine CORPs or any of the other non Army or NATO versions of the school. It is the Armyís interpretation of Joint and STANAG doctrine but not supersede such

The Marine CORPs; though they base their curriculum off of the FT Sill POI; in no way teach it the same and actually add more to the instruction. Where FORT Sill is a 2 week course the Marines are a 3 week course.

Where the Army FT Sill and Germany courses are more of a certification and you better know what youíre doing before you go there. The Marines are more of a Training before Certification and make sure JFOs are familiar with communication and lasers systems that their soldier use. They also train the soldiers on doing CAS versus a quick over view that the FT Sill school does and throws you right to the wolves in the certification faze.

The talk has been made of throwing recruits directly into JFO school, but from the quality of RTOs I have been getting from the school house they better fix FISTER School first. (which we hopefully did at the 13F skills review it was our responsibility to fix AIT, ALC, SLC)

We are currently getting young FOs who canít even fill a radio, can barely do call for fire, and wouldnít be able to find their way out of a wet paper bag if you handed them a GPS and pointed them to the opening. But they sure know about convoys and FOB ops and are very culturally aware of Iraqis and Afghans. Canít do their Job but can hug with the best of them.
This forces us to get them trained to standard. Hopefully we have fixed that because for the first time in history they brought Combat seasoned FISTERs from across the army to sit down and fix it. Whoever figured that one out should get a freaking metal.
I havenít made it this far in my career by kissing ass and making friends, I donít beat around the bush I will tell you exactly how I see it. My Job is to support my commander with the best fire support I can give him with the least collateral damage. If your wrong I will tell you right then and there. Then back it up with doctrine and experience.

Being wrong in our line of work gets Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Seamen killed. Improperly trained and certified soldiers sending tgting data for CAS gets people killed. Even the best trained in the fog of war have dropped JDAMs on their own ass.

Going out of our way to make sure the FO on the ground knows what he is doing will go a long way to make sure my soldiers out in harmís way donít die. 2000 pounders donít discriminate they go where you tell them to. One screw up in the 9-line, restrictions, or Laser Cone can make for one very bad day. Thankfully we are capable of weeding out the no goes through a well defined certification. So when ďI canít call CASĒ gets on the horn me and my JTAC buddy know to shake our head at each other break out the ROVER and get to some serious work. Knowledge we wouldnít have if we didnít certify them.
Those of us who have been to JFO school have seen even so called high speed experienced E-6 BOLO his 9 line. Even I screwed up on the my first couple of calls because I thought I knew how to do it. Having a SME (JTAC) set me straight when a long way to teaching me what I need to do to help him, help me, get bombs on target.
Iím comfortable and he is comfortable we make insurgent mash potatoes that simple.

as far as your numbers per IBCT you may want to relook at those. when all is said and done looking at the current MTOEs we are looking at close to 60 per IBCT in order to meet FORSCOM mandate.
Nothing has been coded in the MTOEs as of yet the JFO requirement has come down as a FORSCOM mandate on who and what positions they want at 80% ASAP.

Talk has been made of shaping MTOEs to reflect this but as of this date that has not been done (5 minutes on the FLS site will confirm this for you)

until some major changes come from the AVN community we will never have the birds to support the Army having JTACS, but under Joint Doctrine we could very well have our own. The Marine CORPS is able to this quite easily and has started training and fielding them down to their lines. The AVN fear is not having control over the situation if they become a CAS Platform.
Under current ROE and collateral damage mandates those days of them flying around like cowboys and shooting how they want are going to be over. They are just as capable making a big mess as a fixed wing asset and should be controlled as such. The GFC should have full control over these birds as they are fire Support assets. The days of them popping up from behind a mountain and engaging 200 tanks are not happening.

The enemy will pull his tanks into urban setting forcing us to be more precise with our targeting as they know they cannot beat us on the conventional battlefield. They will slap them next to churches and schools. One sneeze on the rockets can kill 12 innocent young kindergarteners and we have a big political problem.

This requires us to control our assets with precision and expert targeting. AS it is the commanders butt in the sling if something goes wrong he will prefer his assets to be controlled by his JFOs and JTACS. Under current CCA guidelines once you send the CCA 5 Line (or 6 depending on where you are) That bird is hot unless you require restrictions prior to the end of the fire mission.

More and more times no matter how they fight it the AVN assets is being taken off the Manuever net and pushed to fires as most BN nets are already glogged with fight and the commander needs to talk with his CO without interruption from the birds. Let alone no one is better trained on handling these assets than the JTACS, SOTACS, and JFOs who support these units so why would you subject a CO to controlling these when an SME is sitting right next to him.

Your JFO is there to facilitate controlling that asset whether they like it or not because currently our AVN is filling a CAS Role. They are in close proximity to troops and civilians and therefore require direct control to ensure the safety of all involved. If you have ever seen rockets or 30MM on target you know how ďprecisionĒ they are. The military has changed drastically over the past 10 years it is time for Army AVN to let go of the past and embrace the future.

They are still an Army Asset and would primarily support Army Missions just like the Marines birds do and if our doctrine is written correctly protect them from the ATO because they are ours.

Becoming CAS will allow the Army to field and sustain their own JTAC program as well as assist Air Force JTACS with atleast 2 of their controls.(there rules are alot tighter then the Marines are)

The Marines consider their AVN CAS so under Joint Doctrine they can be used I believe to fullfill all of their controls. please correct me if I am wrong.

So how many helicopters does the army have availible and how many controls would that be if we pattern our system like the Marines?

But that is my 2 cents worth

painfully long winded as usual

Craobh Ruadh
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