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  #21  
Old 9 September 2010, 16:08
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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OK, checked on the MTOE thing on USAFMSA.

On the IN BN TOE 07216R300 for FY 11 (note, this is the base TOE requirement document, not the authorization document) for IN BN IBCT, the 9 PLT FOs are coded L7 JFO.

When I looked at MTOEs, 82nd, 1st ID, 25th and 10th MTN are not coded, 101st, 25th and 1st AD are coded (I only checked 1 or 2 BNs from each division). Why that is, I can't explain. Some irregularity in the MTOE update process, I'd guess- not like that hasn't happened before.

A quick check (just a couple of BCTs) showed that if the IN BN FOs were coded L7, the CAV SQDN FOs and COLTs were also coded. I didn't check to see if any were coded if the IN BNs weren't coded.
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  #22  
Old 20 September 2010, 10:38
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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"If, for whatever reason, there is no JFO present, the JTAC can gain the real time targeting information he needs from anyone else on the battlefield- usually an FO, FSO or some other observer, but it could be any infantryman that he can establish comms with."

Not with the accuracy and expertice of a JFO/FO Hi! this is Jessica Lynch will you kindly drop some bombs over there please? thanks.

"If, for whatever reason, the JFO doesn't have a JTAC in the loop, then the JFO is subject to the exact same limitations as any other non-JTAC. "I am not a qualified controller" and in extremis CAS "

It is "I am non JTAC qualified" that is it go here for further instruction on the subject you will need you CAC. https://www.us.army.mil/suite/doc/9571395 as you will notice from the work book and the slide the JFO is qualifide to do a lot more than anyone else.

so we have a complete understanding where I am coming from knowledge wise. I am a 13F4PF95UL7, I have 4 deployments 2 to Iraq as a BCT level FSNCO and 1 to Agghanistan as a PLT FO. While the officers where in meeting us enlisted soldeirs where always the ones doing the deconfliction of assets and handling Fires Request and CCA and Air request with our enlisted JTAC brothers. As an FO I went on a plethura of QRF missions where there was never a JTAC availible so your not talking to some chump who has been hiding out at the school house his whole carreer.

Basically what it comes down to is this.... when a Pilot gets the assigned call sign designating the caller as JFO, if there has been an extensive certification program that Pilot will be very comfortable with dropping for him. Unlike let say a PAC-Clerk with no formal training having to open up his write in the rain notebook and sending up a CASEVAC 9 line instead of the CAS one.

Saying a JFO canít do anything anyone else can is inaccurate and again shows a definite lack of knowledge on the JFO program. This paired with FSOs whose job it to advices BCT commanders on the JFO program is why it has been so hard to make it work.

a JFO is a formally trained soldier who doesnít have to be walked through the 9-line process who knows exactly what the pilot/JTAC needs. The very fact he rolls through the 9line then provides a beautiful talk on to the target sending everything he needs to do to get the pilot Tally , means that we get bombs on target quickly and efficiently and accurately within moments. Pilots happy, JTACS happy and ultimately the GFC is happy.

Unless properly trained; an Infantry guy, engineer, scout, pac-clerk, Finance officer, hell even our badass 18 Series (depending on which one of course) cannot do what even an FO can do let alone what a JFO can do until they receive proper training.

Doctrinally yah they can all "do it" but if doing it means accurately and effectively while deconflicting multiple assets at the same time to include 81mm, 105mm, 2 AH-64s, 2 A-10s and a flight of B-1s and properly echeloning those fires, then the answer is no there is no one formerly trained enough to do what the FO/JFO does for a living which is why we have a certification process for our JFO blessed off by multiple services which states.


 A JFO is: A trained service member qualified toÖ
 Request, adjust, and control surface-to-surface fires
 Provide timely and accurate targeting data ISO Type 2/3 CAS
 Perform autonomous Terminal Guidance Operations (TGO)

This qualification (TGO) is what sets him apart right here. he is qualifide to do this job

The operative word is ďQualifiedĒ no one who is not formally trained is ďqualifiedĒ. the way you get qualified is to go to school and then get certified. So who does the the commander whant doing the job the PAC clerk or the guy who went to JFO school?
Joe Smuckatelly Snuffy does not know how to do terminal guidance nor do they know how to use laser guided weapon systems. Improper employment of laser guidance will result in the death of lots of friendlies. To ensure this does not happen we certify and train soldiers on these tactics soldiers who are designated as JFOs, soldiers who through their career have eaten slept and crapped Joint fires.

Saying that anyone can do what a JFO or FO does is like saying anyone can do what a Medic, Infantry, Combat engineer, or pac-Clerk. Sure why not but who do you want stopping your bleeding the Combat Life Taker or DOC Simmons? If we are all capable of doing each otherís jobs then letís do away with the MOS and we will all be infantry men in fact letís do away with the whole FDC all together and the FA officers and we will replace them with our PA because he has the training to do the job right?
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  #23  
Old 20 September 2010, 12:43
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Sharky Sharky is offline
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Originally Posted by Craobhruadh View Post
If we are all capable of doing each otherís jobs then letís do away with the MOS and we will all be infantry men in fact letís do away with the whole FDC all together and the FA officers and we will replace them with our PA because he has the training to do the job right?

Settle down there, killer. This a good and interesting conversation. Obviously you have some insight into the topic at hand and I think everyone appreciates that. No need to get your back up and start with the sarcasm just because someone doesnt agree with everything you have to say though. Keep it civil and professional. Understood?
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  #24  
Old 20 September 2010, 22:22
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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Originally Posted by Craobhruadh View Post
.....
Saying that anyone can do what a JFO or FO does is like saying anyone can do what a Medic, Infantry, Combat engineer, or pac-Clerk. Sure why not but who do you want stopping your bleeding the Combat Life Taker or DOC Simmons? If we are all capable of doing each otherís jobs then letís do away with the MOS and we will all be infantry men in fact letís do away with the whole FDC all together and the FA officers and we will replace them with our PA because he has the training to do the job right?
I acknowledged at the beginning of this discussion that JFO is GREAT TRAINING, and that we need to keep it, and that we need sustainment training, because we all know that without sustainment training (or actual use) then skills atrophy. What concerns me is people misunderstanding the certification/qualification. Usually, if you are certified to do something (whatever that thing is) it means that the certification is required to perform the task, and that the task cannot be performed by someone without the certification. That is exactly how the Air Force understands certification & qualification- a certified JTAC can conduct controls, and no one else can (with the "in extremis" caveat we both discussed). Once we start talking about JFOs as certified/qualified, I see a small step before the AF starts demanding a JFO to conduct Type 2/3 controls, and then we have limited ourselves instead of expanding our options, which was the point of the exercise in the first place.

Please explain what makes a JFO more qualified than any other 13F or 13A to "request, adjust and control surface to surface fires"? I thougth that was the whole point of the 13F MOS. The JFO may be (probably is) better trained, but nothing requires JFO training to do that.

Same with providing data for Type 2/3 controls. I'm sure that, as a senior 13F, you were quite capable of this, with or without JFO. I know that all of my CO, BN and BDE FSNCOs were, and I was a BDE FSO before I had anyone JFO qualified. Again, great training, but I'm worried about the repercussions of requiring a certification. Does the JFO forget all of his training at 181 days? Just because the JFO has passed 181 days, can he no longer provide this data, just as accurately and expertly as he did at 179 days?

Same with conducting terminal guidance operations. Lots of COLT teams have conducted terminal guidance operations for lots of years before JFOs were ever invented. If no one else is on the OP, I'm pretty sure I could conduct terminal guidance operations, if required. Sure, I'd be rusty, and it would be better if I had some refresher training before attempting to do so.

The overall point remains, JFO is great training. I don't like the terminology we apply to the program regarding certification and qualification, because of the path I can see the AF taking with it. We're all on the same side- we need more access to joint fires, and better means to control it. We're arguing over the semantics of a couple of terms.
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Old 21 September 2010, 06:59
Square Square is offline
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Please explain what makes a JFO more qualified than any other 13F or 13A to "request, adjust and control surface to surface fires"? I thougth that was the whole point of the 13F MOS. The JFO may be (probably is) better trained, but nothing requires JFO training to do that.
I was confused as well as to why surface fires are mentioned in the JFO balliwick, as it seemed like all the JFOs I met were 13F-type guys. The thing is, not all JFOs are coming from the Army--the vast majority are, but not all. We send Airmen on a fairly regular basis, before they're at the point where they're set for JTACQC. I imagine the Navy does as well. I can only imagine the reference to surface fires in the JFO MOA is more for the benefit of the non-Army "J" part of JFO. That's conjecture on my part, but it makes sense.

Quote:
Same with providing data for Type 2/3 controls. I'm sure that, as a senior 13F, you were quite capable of this, with or without JFO. I know that all of my CO, BN and BDE FSNCOs were, and I was a BDE FSO before I had anyone JFO qualified. Again, great training, but I'm worried about the repercussions of requiring a certification. Does the JFO forget all of his training at 181 days? Just because the JFO has passed 181 days, can he no longer provide this data, just as accurately and expertly as he did at 179 days?

<snip>

The overall point remains, JFO is great training. I don't like the terminology we apply to the program regarding certification and qualification, because of the path I can see the AF taking with it. We're all on the same side- we need more access to joint fires, and better means to control it. We're arguing over the semantics of a couple of terms.
I hear what you're saying, but please humor me a little more on the semantics... what word would you use for a guy who goes through a particular course for a particular skillset? It seems like we use the qualified/certified words all the time in the military for a variety of skills--jumping out of airplanes, scuba diving, Ranger-ing, etc.

I hear what you're saying that you don't like how your hands get tied. I have to say as a JTAC that I kind of do like how your hands get tied. It forces your chain of command to take this seriously and align's your chain of command's training priorities with mine. I certainly hear that you don't like that, and if our situations were reversed I wouldn't like it. For better or worse, I suppose it was written that way out of a distrust that JFO continuation training would actually take place.

Anyway, my two cents.
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Old 21 September 2010, 17:20
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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I was confused as well as to why surface fires are mentioned in the JFO balliwick, as it seemed like all the JFOs I met were 13F-type guys. The thing is, not all JFOs are coming from the Army--the vast majority are, but not all. We send Airmen on a fairly regular basis, before they're at the point where they're set for JTACQC. I imagine the Navy does as well. I can only imagine the reference to surface fires in the JFO MOA is more for the benefit of the non-Army "J" part of JFO. That's conjecture on my part, but it makes sense.
The huge difference, to me, is that if I (or my FDC, now) get an untrained observer on the other end of the radio, we work through it, and shoot for them, no matter what. The default, systemic AF answer seems to be "No JTAC, No Shoot" (I realize that's an extremely broad generalization, with specific TTPs in place to work around, but remains my impression). Heck, I've shot for a Khost Border Force observer, relayed through a US guy (I assume with a terp, but not sure) through an SF ODB, to my FDC. It took a little longer, but there was no question that we were going to shoot.


Quote:
I hear what you're saying, but please humor me a little more on the semantics... what word would you use for a guy who goes through a particular course for a particular skillset? It seems like we use the qualified/certified words all the time in the military for a variety of skills--jumping out of airplanes, scuba diving, Ranger-ing, etc.
I agree, and if you are not qualified & certified, then you don't jump out of an airplane or go scuba diving. No ABN wings, no Jump. No BAR, no Jump (at least in the 82nd). I guess it doesn't really apply to Ranger-ing, but there is not certification/currency requirement for that, either. The point is that a JTAC can use ANY observer to gain targeting information to conduct Type 2/3 controls, and now (recently, what 2005?) we've added a qualification/certification requirement. Again, its not that JFO isn't GREAT TRAINING, but the qualification/certification doesn't add any independent task capability- it just proves competence in a task that anyone can do.

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I hear what you're saying that you don't like how your hands get tied. I have to say as a JTAC that I kind of do like how your hands get tied. It forces your chain of command to take this seriously and align's your chain of command's training priorities with mine. I certainly hear that you don't like that, and if our situations were reversed I wouldn't like it. For better or worse, I suppose it was written that way out of a distrust that JFO continuation training would actually take place.

Anyway, my two cents.
Will you/Have you conducted Type 2/3 controls through a non-JFO observer? Did it work? What I am worried about is that by putting a qualification/certification requirement on something that doesn't require it (again, see above, it is great training, and a JFO is certainly better trained and more able, but he is not capable of doing anything that any or observer is not capable of), we will become limited to having JFOs as observers for Type 2/3 controls, thus limiting what was once unlimited. I understand, and am all for training and sustainment training, I am merely hesitant to use the words associated with a pre-requisite to perform a task when the training is not (at least not now) a pre-requisite for performing the task.

We can agree to disagree, I just want to make sure that my reasoning is understood, since we've obviously had some misunderstandings on this board with my contention that a JFO is not qualified to do anything more than any other observer. So, to use some examples (one of yours, again, and some others):
1- BASIC ABN COURSE graduate is now qualified to conduct static line jumps from a military aircraft. No one else can do this. Certification is by way of actual employment or basic airborne refresher.

2- JUMPMASTER COURSE graduate is qualified (among other things) to conduct JMPI of static line jumpers. No one else can do this. Certification is by way of actual employment or Jumpmaster Refresher course.

3- JTACQC graduate is qualified to conduct terminal control of joint fires. No one else can do this (with certain, very strictly controlled exceptions). Certification is by way of employment (? I believe) or training/simulated controls.

4- Air Assualt graduate is qualified to inspect slingloads. No one else (well, there are 2 other courses that provide the same qualification) can do this. There is no certification process for this that I know of.

5- JFOC graduate is qualified to ???????????????? I understand that the JFO is "qualified" and I understand how he stays certified, I just don't know what (that no one else can do) goes in the blank.
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Old 21 September 2010, 17:51
foxcolt13 foxcolt13 is offline
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I certainly have enjoyed this thread. I'm glad someone has been able to make it clear for a change that the FO can and has been doing CAS for a long time. I admit we needed more training but we had enough to get the rounds or bombs on target. I didn't get alot of CAS training as a INF FO but after joining a COLT we had lots of extra training on CAS mainly because we were usually out of gun range on most missions.
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Old 21 September 2010, 21:10
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The huge difference, to me, is that if I (or my FDC, now) get an untrained observer on the other end of the radio, we work through it, and shoot for them, no matter what. The default, systemic AF answer seems to be "No JTAC, No Shoot" (I realize that's an extremely broad generalization, with specific TTPs in place to work around, but remains my impression).
Funny you mention FDC. I was just out at an FDC and howitzer gun line for the first time this evening. It was really impressive. But I digress...

I should start by saying that I'm not trying to be contrarian, but I'm also a "true-believer" if you will in capital-A Airpower. I know that's not a very popular stance in today's DOD, so you may just want to throw out the rest of what I have to say.

Would you really work through it, and shoot, not matter what? I know and you know that that's not always possible if you simply don't trust the targeting data that's coming in to you, or I would hope you don't. I have a lot of faith that there are smart, thinking people in the FDC who can determine if something doesn't pass a smell test in terms of targeting, either because the data looks bad (for any number of reasons) or because shooting would violate in some way or another ROE, etc. To say that arty can always shoot is a bit of an exaggeration. I have a feeling you didn't really mean it in such an absolute sense, so I don't want to make too much of that other than to say that the constraints the AF operates under are much the same as yours.

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The point is that a JTAC can use ANY observer to gain targeting information to conduct Type 2/3 controls, and now (recently, what 2005?) we've added a qualification/certification requirement. Again, its not that JFO isn't GREAT TRAINING, but the qualification/certification doesn't add any independent task capability- it just proves competence in a task that anyone can do.
I agree with everything you wrote above. I bolded the point I'm trying to make over my past few posts. For a little while I know the European JFOC was washing out about 60-75% of the students coming through. I think their numbers have gotten better but it's illustrative that the skills you're talking about are not givens, even with troops with a FO-type background.

I totally get what you're saying that targeting data can come from a variety of sources. I controlled off of a UAV feed, I've also controlled off of a fighter's own targeting pod, so it's not like there were even any people other than the aircrew involved. The operative words, and I know you know this, are "timely and accurate targeting data," with the reg itself providing a few examples like FISTers, COLT, TACCS, UAV, the aircrew itself, and if I remember correctly, the list is not presented as exhaustive or limited. It's on the JTAC/aircrew/ground commander to make the call if they assess the targeting data to be timely and accurate.

I see the whole point of the JFO course as really two fold:

1. Provide observer-type troops exposure to and formal training on sister service assets and TTPs, so CAS, CCA, arty, naval gunfire, SOF air support.

2. In the CAS context to provide a shorthand to JTACs and Aircrew (and ground commanders?) that the guy they're talking to has received the above training. If someone comes up using a JFO callsign I can have a reasonable expectation as to his skillset (like other qualifications--ie, the person is wearing a scuba bubble, I know they can dive). Further, that shorthand can extend to the mission planning process or division of duties: the JFO qual'd guy goes into the convoy that's going to have air support, the non-JFO qual'd guy goes to a tasking that doesn't have tasked air. I'm kind of pulling this out of my rear, but I hope you get what I'm trying to say. There is real value, at least from my perspective, in being able to identify to myself and to aircrew that the person they're talking to has been qualified on certain skills--especially since we may not necessarily be able to develop habitual relationships between units or personnel.

Quote:
Will you/Have you conducted Type 2/3 controls through a non-JFO observer? Did it work?
Only in a training scenario, and I was standing right next to the non-qual'ed guy. Would I real world? That would depend... am I sure about the data I'm getting? Do I have a warm fuzzy? If so, sure I would. If not, I'm going to be working very hard to confirm/deny what that guy is telling me. This goes for any kind of type 2/3 control no matter what, but again, that JFO qual can just accellerate the process. My warm fuzzy meter is higher to start with when I know I'm talking to a JFO.

Quote:
What I am worried about is that by putting a qualification/certification requirement on something that doesn't require it (again, see above, it is great training, and a JFO is certainly better trained and more able, but he is not capable of doing anything that any or observer is not capable of), we will become limited to having JFOs as observers for Type 2/3 controls, thus limiting what was once unlimited. I understand, and am all for training and sustainment training, I am merely hesitant to use the words associated with a pre-requisite to perform a task when the training is not (at least not now) a pre-requisite for performing the task.
Do you see this as a slippery-slope issue that soon the reg will be JFO-only for type 2 controls?

Quote:
We can agree to disagree, I just want to make sure that my reasoning is understood, since we've obviously had some misunderstandings on this board with my contention that a JFO is not qualified to do anything more than any other observer. So, to use some examples (one of yours, again, and some others):
1- BASIC ABN COURSE graduate is now qualified to conduct static line jumps from a military aircraft. No one else can do this. Certification is by way of actual employment or basic airborne refresher.

2- JUMPMASTER COURSE graduate is qualified (among other things) to conduct JMPI of static line jumpers. No one else can do this. Certification is by way of actual employment or Jumpmaster Refresher course.

3- JTACQC graduate is qualified to conduct terminal control of joint fires. No one else can do this (with certain, very strictly controlled exceptions). Certification is by way of employment (? I believe) or training/simulated controls.

4- Air Assualt graduate is qualified to inspect slingloads. No one else (well, there are 2 other courses that provide the same qualification) can do this. There is no certification process for this that I know of.

5- JFOC graduate is qualified to ???????????????? I understand that the JFO is "qualified" and I understand how he stays certified, I just don't know what (that no one else can do) goes in the blank.
I hope a Ranger type can chime in here and correct me if I'm wrong with this analogy: A guy goes to the Ranger school. He's Ranger qualified. I've never been, but I hear that this course reinforces skills like order writing, small unit leadership, and sucking it up when things are shitty. People don't have to go to Ranger school to do these skills, but when you see that tab on a uniform, you know that guy has been exposed to those things, had some training in those areas, and could be (probably is? I'm a little far out of my lane here, so please don't judge) better at those things. It's that shorthand I'm talking about.

Last thing for this post: I hardly think the JFO qual is the end-all-be-all or that it should be required for type 2/3 CAS as you fear it may be. My point is that I think it has more value than you're assigning it, and it's worth the real downsides that you point out.
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Old 22 September 2010, 07:16
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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Funny you mention FDC. I was just out at an FDC and howitzer gun line for the first time this evening. It was really impressive. But I digress...
Glad to hear that you enjoyed your experience.


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who can determine if something doesn't pass a smell test in terms of targeting, either because the data looks bad (for any number of reasons) or because shooting would violate in some way or another ROE, etc.
Roger, I will pass data back if it violates ROE (or FSCMs). I will even question data that doesn't pass the smell test. However, there is absolutely no portion in our doctrine for responsibility of the round resting on the gun line, in the way that the pilot is responsible for the bomb he drops. I shoot the data provided by the observer- if its off, its on him. In my experience, with a non-JTAC, the pilot is the final call. I happen to disagree with this assumption, on the fundamental level, in a fire support asset.


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Last thing for this post: I hardly think the JFO qual is the end-all-be-all or that it should be required for type 2/3 CAS as you fear it may be. My point is that I think it has more value than you're assigning it, and it's worth the real downsides that you point out.
I think that we are pretty much in agreement. I am just arguing a specific point. As the XVIII Corps schools manager about my pursuit of JFO training for my FOs from OCT 08-JUN 09. I'm damn sure he'll remember our near daily conversations. As I keep sayng, it is very valuable, I'm concerned that we use the same terms with a different meaning in this program.
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Old 23 September 2010, 15:34
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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Funny he mentioned Ramstien’s JFOC I went there, and anyone who has been to BNCOC and ANCOC will tell you what he is saying is true. Out of our class of 12 student at Germany’s JFOC there where 4 that is 1/4 who washed out because they had no clue how to do a 9-line let alone call for fire and they where Fisters. So right there already is the issue. Apparently , not all FOs can do the Job. In the perfect world yes but in the reality of our Army that is a big flat no. Again in ANCOC I actually had a fellow E-7 ask me how to do a target list worksheet. Something I knew how to do as a private this guy had made it through his whole career and still didn’t know. Would you want him talking on Bombs if he can’t even complete a simple TLW?.


As a NCO who has been responsible for training FISTERs I can tell you quite clearly that it is a perishable skill if they are not constantly trained they will lose those skills. For example I took over as a FSNCO a BCT COLT PLT only to find out these guys didn’t even know how to turn over there trucks let alone do there Job as COLTs. It took me 6 months to get them up to speed and I can tell you now I wouldn’t let them order a Pizza on the radio when I first met them.

So knowing that across the Army there are soldiers who don’t know how to do their job in order for the Air Force to feel comfortable with allowing 13F and any other guy to do what they do, they require a certification and so do we.

Back in the day when we didn’t care what our bombs did it wasn’t an Issue but now days with tight ROEs and CDE we have to make sure that the people doing targeting can do it. Having a certification program creates a system where commanders and JTAC feel comfortable with the data they are getting and ultimately will facilitate quicker response and save the lives of American soldiers.

We already certify FO every six months as a requirement across the Army so really we are just adding more skills sets to a certification process all ready in place. And the Armies plan is to have every FO JFO certified. It is a simple dot the I cross the T formality that makes all the powers that be happy.

Nothing says that the JFO has to do all his talk ons in one sitting they can be spread throughout the 6 Months Just like the JTACS do. Every time he talks to a bird during a JFEX that is a Control, every time he calls for Fire during a Mortex that is a Surface to surface control. Everytime he sends targeting data during training in support of a JTAC that is a control, Every time he does Laser designation training on OP-13 with a KIOWA packing a hellfire simulator that is a control. Every time he goes to the FOTS and performs a flawless TGO in training he just did a control. So all in all the certification process is pretty much a JFO manager signing off on a piece a paper on training that JFO all ready is doing, it is setting up a log that says this guy is actually training.
So when such guy drops a 2000 pnd JDAM and kills a bunch of his own then they have a full log to go by and investigate if this soldier actually received the training he needed to do this in the first place if he didn’t then they know what JFO manager and FSO to hem up right next to him.

So as we can see by the training status of soldiers in different units there is a problem with NCOS and Officers fulfilling their responsibilities and making sure our soldiers are trained. JFO certification is one more tool available to the commander to cover his ass when something goes terribly wrong to ensure that his soldiers where properly trained to do the job. We certify FISTERs anyway every six months so what are 6 more controls in the scheme of things other than a little more work especially when you can knock them off during the training they are already doing.

And to be honest with you as many things as can go wrong with CAS, Artillary, and CCA if your not certifying the Soldiers whose Job it is to do this then you’re asking for trouble. Certification allows us to ensure that these soldiers are being properly trained, if they fail then we know they are not and it allows us to go after the people responsible for not training them.

We certify Gun Lines
We certify Mortars
We certify medics and EMTs
We certify EOD
WE certify infantry units on skills and tactics
We require Airborne soldiers to do so many Jumps a year to stay current, for example what happens when a soldier hasn’t jumped in 6 months? We send him to retraining at BAR
We qualify soldiers on their Weapons
We qualify electricians on their skills
So Why when a FISTER/JFO has the potential to inadvertently kill, maim, and destroy so many civilians, Friendlies and important structures would we not want to certify him????
If you guys out there are not certifying your fisters, please let me know the unit so I know never to accept a call for fire from them when they pass through my battle space.
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  #31  
Old 23 September 2010, 15:56
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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A fister is qualifide to do the following, notice what is missing in his qualifications

Skill Level 1 MOSC 13F1O. Establishes, maintains, and operates radio and wire communications and speech security equipment including encoding and decoding of messages using CEOI or grid thrust line templates. Prepares and maintains daily staff journal, fire support situation map, status charts, capability overlay, and other fire support and target processing records. Assists in preparation and dissemination of fire support plans, coordinating documents, and target lists and provides liaison support. Assists in initiating requests for field artillery, mortar, naval gunfire, and aerial delivered munitions. Emplaces, maintains, and assists in the operation of laser range finders, target designation, and night observation devices. Operates and performs operator maintenance on section vehicles and generators. Performs crew maintenance and participates in organizational maintenance of section equipment.


Skill Level 2 MOSC 13F2O. Assists fire support sergeant in training of subordinates in fire support procedures, techniques, and tactics, and supervision of section operations, maintenance, and training. Leads and trains the forward observer team and Combat Observation Las-ing Tech (COLT) in combat operations. Prepares observer target lists and assists in formulating offensive and defensive fire support plans. Initiates requests and adjusts field artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire using all methods of adjustment including continuous and coordinated illumination. Initiates suppressive and screening fire to support scheme of maneuver and performs crater analysis. Selects and occupies observation post (OP). Orients map and prepares terrain sketch and visibility diagram.


Skill Level 3 MOSC 13F3O. Instructs advises and evaluates forward observers and fire support personnel in tactics, techniques, and procedures. Supervises the performance of operator, crew, and organizational maintenance on section vehicles and equipment. Leads and trains the fire support team (FIST) operations at company level. Supervises and directs the construction, camouflage, and defense of the section position. Assists senior targeting NCO in targeting cells.


Skill Level 4 MOSC 13F4O. Leads and trains the targeting elements of the DIVARTY Tactical Operations Center (TOC), or FA Brigade TOC or the fire support element at battalion or higher levels during combat operations. Advises and assists fire support sergeants of subordinate elements in fire planning and coordination techniques. Drafts fire support plans for tactical operations orders and plans. Coordinates plans for company, battalion, and brigade fire support and integrates them with the overall scheme of maneuver. Recommends the employment of fire support means to include naval gunfire and close air support. Recommends employment of target acquisition assets and target selection standards to include COLT employment. Assists in the target analysis and fire planning at the brigade, division, and Corps fire support element (FSE). Supervises the performance of operator, crew, and organizational maintenance on section vehicles.

Did you notice what is missing in his official qualifications? where is the CAS? Yes we have taught our FISTERs CAS but they have never been qualifide to do so better trained than most but no qualifications. Now according to the MOA what is a JFO Qualifide to do…

 Request, adjust, and control surface-to-surface fires (SO can a FO)
 Provide timely and accurate targeting data ISO Type 2/3 CAS (not in the FO Job discription)
 Perform autonomous Terminal Guidance Operations (TGO) (not in the FO Job discription)

So yes fisters have been doing these things but they have never been qualifide to do them. If you look at the 13F skills list you will see that the CAS and CCA portions they are required to know by skill set is very limited.

The JFO put a higher standard and adds more skills sets that before they never offically had. So in order to ensure they are meeting the new standard as we required them to do with the old standard we require a certification just like we did with the FISTER of old we have just added more skills that they must learn and have established a criteria to ensure that they do so. Just like we did when they where just FISTERs.

So to answer yor question the other people in the army can do these things the difference is the JFO is actually qualifide to do so.

I can perform first Aid but the Medic is qualifide to do so.

I can drop a round down a mortar tube but the 11C is qualifide to do so.

So yes the JFO due to the certification process he must do is qualifide to do teminal gudance Control with a Laser and standar colt is trained to do so but he is not qualifide to.

I understand why you don't like the concept of qualification for type 2 and type three but into days day and age and the way we now fight it is a nessary evil, one that our Air Force JTACS agree on.
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  #32  
Old 23 September 2010, 18:27
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craobhruadh View Post
We certify Gun Lines
We certify Mortars
We certify medics and EMTs
We certify EOD
WE certify infantry units on skills and tactics
We require Airborne soldiers to do so many Jumps a year to stay current, for example what happens when a soldier hasnít jumped in 6 months? We send him to retraining at BAR
We qualify soldiers on their Weapons
We qualify electricians on their skills
So Why when a FISTER/JFO has the potential to inadvertently kill, maim, and destroy so many civilians, Friendlies and important structures would we not want to certify him????
If you guys out there are not certifying your fisters, please let me know the unit so I know never to accept a call for fire from them when they pass through my battle space.
You just made my argument for me. I can't speak for all of those, but the artillery and airborne related ones I can speak to. On those skills, if you are not qualified and/or certified, you don't execute the task.

If you aren't qualified with your weapon, you don't take it off the FOB, and you don't use it in a training exercise (at least not with live ammo- unqualified Soldiers have probably used blanks in other training).

If you aren't Airborne qualified and current (certified), then you don't jump.

If your howitzer crew isn't certified, then it doesn't shoot (again, with the exception that it can shoot if the PSG performs all of the section chief duties as an additional safety check).

Are you now saying that unless a Soldier is JFO qualified and current, the JTAC cannot use his targeting information to conduct Type 2/3 controls? Or the COLT/FIST cannot conduct terminal guidance operations (basically, laser operations, given the limitations of MTOE equipment) without being JFO qualified?

If you are making that argument, I vehemently disagree, and I believe that most of the rest of the fire support community would, too.
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  #33  
Old 27 September 2010, 11:38
Skidder Skidder is offline
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Craobhruadh,

Maybe this will help...82Redleg isn't wrong, just not looking at a broad enough picture.

IF you have all the time in the world, and IF the fighter over your head has all the gas in the world, then yes, anyone can help get bombs on target in an immediate CAS situation. It is my experience that this never happens, and the fighters never have enough gas to hang out all day praying the guy on the radio will get his crap in a sock.

However, if the unit you are with is getting the crap shot out of it, the guy on the radio (who is also one of the guys getting shot at) needs to kill the bad guy, yesterday. So, he might not have time to fart around with multiple screwed up passes with the fighter(s), before the bad guy kills him. So, if he is trained to handle the job, then he stands a better chance at keeping himself, and his unit, alive.

Back when OEF and OIF first started up, I was CENTAF's Chief of Killbox Interdiction and Close Air Support (KI-CAS). It wasn't then, and isn't now, the Air Force's position to NOT drop for the ground guy when he needs it done, regardless of controller or lack of controller. As long as the ground commander knows he is responsible for Priority, Timing, and Effects in his AO and is in the loop, then we will drop.

Here is where the JFO earns his money, it is simple math. The 'average' fighter is scheduled to be in multiple places in the AOR, throughout one 24 hour Air Tasking Order cycle. If that fighter is working CAS, and he is working with trained qualified JFOs, he may be able to conduct multiple attacks before he has to leave for gas/move to the next location. However, if he shows up and there is no qualified JFO, then he will likely only get one pass before he has to leave for gas, simply because air-ground integration isn't nearly as easy as some people assume it is. So, if you have lots of experience, you can handle more work...just like anything else in this world.
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  #34  
Old 27 September 2010, 22:02
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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Skidder,

Don't get me wrong- I am all for the training conducted in the JFO program. I am merely concerned about the terminology of qualification and certification, and I think my point is vindicated by the argument made by Craobhruadh. Obviously, if you have a JTAC with you, he should be doing the control. If you have a JFO (but no JTAC), he should be providing the targeting info to the JTAC. If you don't have a JFO, whoever has the best training to provide the info to the JTAC should do it. I am merely concerned that, by creating a qualification that doesn't provide a unique capability, we run the risk of limiting something that shouldn't be limited. My FOs and FSNCOs that provided targeting data to a JTAC before there was a JFO program did just fine, and I'm sure that there are FOs, and other non-JFO pax, that can quickly and accurately talk a pilot onto a target- whether through a JTAC or not. Limiting that because they haven't done a formal course, when there is no requirement for the course in order to do the task just doesn't make sense to me.
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  #35  
Old 28 September 2010, 15:21
Skidder Skidder is offline
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82Redleg,

If your experience has been that the FOs/FSNCOs "did just fine", then you should thank your lucky stars. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone.

What the JFO program (in the very broadest way) is trying to do is ensure a more standardized, good experience for everyone. The fact that this course is a way of providing experience to FOs, that they may not otherwise get, in no way limits anything.

If the crap is hitting the fan, and your unit is without a JFO, (assuming CAS is available anywhere near you, and nobody has a higher priority for CAS) you will get CAS. The Air Component will not say "too bad they don't have a JFO, because then we could help them."; although the pilot might think to himself, "crap, where is a JFO/JTAC when you need one?!?!". If the pilot has this thought pass through his brain, it will quickly be replaced by, "Alright, let's get this show on the road.", and he will then focus on pulling out the right information from "the guy in the crap". Everything said will be weighed against the knowledge that the guy on the radio is not experienced in talking to aircraft.

It isn't that the guy on the ground isn't trusted by the guy in the air; it is more like riding in a car with a driver who has 20 years of driving under their belt, versus riding with a 16 year who just got their permit. With the experienced guy, you (and let's just say that the guy has no tickets, always obeys the driving laws, and is a good all around driver) can be relaxed/comfortable that you will not be required to pay attention to everything. You only have to watch out for weird stuff...like the 16 year old that just got his permit.

Now, if you are riding with someone with no experience, then you are watching out for everything...is he driving too fast, too slow, will he stop at this red light, if he doesn't, is anyone going to hit us, etc. It is just a lot of work to stay alive.

The JFO program, although nowhere nearly managed as well as it could be (different story there), is a great tool to enable more efficiency in the air-ground fight.
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  #36  
Old 28 September 2010, 18:55
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidder View Post
82Redleg,

If your experience has been that the FOs/FSNCOs "did just fine", then you should thank your lucky stars. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone.
It had nothing to do with lucky stars. It had to do with a unit history of excellence in training, combined with personnel that supported that excellence. I like to think I had something to do with that, but I realize that it was MICROSCOPIC, compared to men like MSG C******, who lived the life of those standards for their entire careers.

Quote:
What the JFO program .......The JFO program, although nowhere nearly managed as well as it could be (different story there), is a great tool to enable more efficiency in the air-ground fight.
No argument from me regarding the utility of the program. I am merely uncomfortable with the combination of terminology. You say that the ACC will never no drop, but earlier in this thread an Army NCO and JFO program manager compared JFO qualification to airborne qualification, and that scares me, becauses I can see the end of the path.
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  #37  
Old 8 December 2010, 08:23
infmedic infmedic is offline
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JFO

I'm wondering if there are any other locations than Sill to take JFO, or any MTT activity? I have a bunch of FO's in my guard unit that need to get JFO prior to deployment in about 6 months.

Also, does the Army or Harris run any classes on the -117 or -152 (or thales on the -148.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated...
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  #38  
Old 8 December 2010, 08:34
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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Originally Posted by infmedic View Post
I'm wondering if there are any other locations than Sill to take JFO, or any MTT activity? I have a bunch of FO's in my guard unit that need to get JFO prior to deployment in about 6 months.

Also, does the Army or Harris run any classes on the -117 or -152 (or thales on the -148.)

Any help would be greatly appreciated...
There were courses at Nellis and in Germany- Nellis was going to shut down, but Germany should still be running. I've never heard of an MTT, but FT Sill should be able to tell you for sure. If they have an MTT, it would come from them.

Harris should be able to set up training for you- it will all be a factor of money. Never seen any Army training specifically for the Harris radios.
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  #39  
Old 8 December 2010, 15:26
Skidder Skidder is offline
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Reference JFO MTT...yep, happens all the time.

In fact, right now, one team is at Schofield Barracks and another at Ft. Bliss, with a resident course going at here at Ft. Sill, too.

In Jan, there are MTTs at Camp Lejune, Camp Pendleton, and the Warrior Prep Center in Germany... and a resident course here at Ft. Sill.

The world of the JFO trainers is, as you can see, VERY busy.
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  #40  
Old 9 December 2010, 23:38
infmedic infmedic is offline
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Thanks for the info guys. Much appreciated...
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