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  #1  
Old 17 April 2009, 04:45
thecat0369 thecat0369 is offline
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JFO

Anyone gone through the Coronado course? We graduate tomorrow. Pretty rad from the perspective of an 03-dumb-dumb.
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  #2  
Old 20 July 2010, 23:00
foxcolt13 foxcolt13 is offline
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So hows the JFO program moving along? I haven't heard much about it lately.
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  #3  
Old 21 July 2010, 08:49
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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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.
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Old 21 July 2010, 19:57
Square Square is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82Redleg View Post

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.
The above is why I get really nervous about people talking about the below

Quote:
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.
Now, I know I'm comparing apples to oranges (and distorting your arguement) when directly conflating JFOs and JTACs, but I really do respectfully disagree about the necessity for currency training for your JFOs. I've spent the last few months doing quite a bit of currency training with JFOs, and almost to a man they needed it.

You're absolutely right it's not rocket science, but it's something that has to be trained, especially when you're asking a JFO/JTAC team to actually employ some kind of kinetic effect. As we're seeing less and less of those kinetic effects, perhaps you're right and some of the currency requirements are excessive. If you want a bomb on target, and especially if you want a bomb on target *quickly*, nothing can replace that dedicated CAS training.
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Old 26 July 2010, 09:31
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swamppirate swamppirate is offline
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Let the Air Force continue to be the CAS experts...Army you can stay artillery experts... We have a hard enough time lining up air to stay current... how in the world would "big green" army ever manage to get enough air with the horde of JFO's they want? Don't get me wrong the JFO is a good thing to have around but there were too many of them running around in Iraq thinking they were JTAC's......regards
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Old 11 August 2010, 18:42
thecat0369 thecat0369 is offline
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Interesting

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Originally Posted by Square View Post
The above is why I get really nervous about people talking about the below



Now, I know I'm comparing apples to oranges (and distorting your arguement) when directly conflating JFOs and JTACs, but I really do respectfully disagree about the necessity for currency training for your JFOs. I've spent the last few months doing quite a bit of currency training with JFOs, and almost to a man they needed it.

You're absolutely right it's not rocket science, but it's something that has to be trained, especially when you're asking a JFO/JTAC team to actually employ some kind of kinetic effect. As we're seeing less and less of those kinetic effects, perhaps you're right and some of the currency requirements are excessive. If you want a bomb on target, and especially if you want a bomb on target *quickly*, nothing can replace that dedicated CAS training.
Wow, I started this thread a long time ago. We returned from deployment a few weeks ago so I guess I can give you guys some insight into how it went. After we sent two groups through school, we started training with our TACP and got the kinks out. We did a Lowland Fury with the Canadian JTACs and had a pretty good run. Our FACs were really involved with us, so we had a lot of training prior to deployment. Having a lot of familiarity between each companie's FAC/JTAC and their respective JFO made it pretty smooth sailing. As soon as we showed up in theater we heard how the previous infantry unit JFOs were sucking ass, but I think we made our mark. JFOs handled almost all of the MEDEVACs and resupply drops and we had quite a few Type 2 controls in Marjah. Unfortunatley, out of my group that went to school in Coronado last year, everyone was wounded and my buddy was killed. Guess that cert was bad luck this last pump.
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Old 16 August 2010, 17:12
infmedic infmedic is offline
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After reading this, I have a quick question. Is it possible for a 13F to obtain JTAC cert and or attend SOTACC? If I am reading this correctly, I would imagine the answer is yes, if you can get the approval to go to the schools... Is this incorrect?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 16 August 2010, 22:25
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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Some have, but I've never heard of any from a conventional unit. All those that I personally know, or have heard about from co-workers are from either SF Groups or 75th RGR RGT. Not to say that it can't happen, or that those qualified can't rotate to conventional units, I just don't know of any.
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Old 18 August 2010, 18:41
Square Square is offline
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Originally Posted by infmedic View Post
After reading this, I have a quick question. Is it possible for a 13F to obtain JTAC cert and or attend SOTACC? If I am reading this correctly, I would imagine the answer is yes, if you can get the approval to go to the schools... Is this incorrect?

Thanks in advance...
To piggyback on 82redleg, I haven't seen or heard of conventional Army types go through either, mostly because, I think, those conventional units have their aligned AF TACP JTACs to fill that role.

That being said, and don't take this for gospel truth, I suppose you're right that if you could get approval to go to the schools you could earn those quals. The challenge at that point would be getting the necessary support to stay current and qualified, both from your chain of command and from whereever you'd be getting your air.
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Old 19 August 2010, 01:41
infmedic infmedic is offline
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Thanks for the info guys...much appreciated.
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  #11  
Old 31 August 2010, 15:26
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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I disagree

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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.
There is most definately a need for certification and keeping our JFOs current on there skills. By doing so and getting out JTACs involved with their training it allows those JTACs to become comfortable with the JFOS they will be working with. We are asking these soldeirs to perform terminal guidance operations and send targeting for type one and type two control as well as be able to talk on a pilot to target expertly so that the Pilate feels comfortable with dropping ordinance as well as the JTAC who will clear the TGT hot who is listening on line.

There are not enough JTACS to go around and until the Army comes up with a way to keep it's own JTACs Certifide under the Joint Rules it will not be done. There are not enough sorties to keep the Airforce JTACs certifide as it is. And there is no way in hell the Airforce is giving up its JTACS those are their planes and in all honesty Airforce JTACs are the best at what they do.

What people dont understand is that the JFO is the extention of the JTAC as most JTACS are now located with the BN commander in conventional forces they are unable to be out front with the plts in combat. They need a targeting resources that they feel comfortable with. IE the JFO. The Airforce would not have signed off on the JFO MOA if their was no certification process involved. Many of the JTACs are slowly warming up to the program and have become very supportive especially the 14th ASOS and the 18th ASOG here on Bragg. They have given much input and have helped us greatly in establishing what soon will be the Armies Premier JFO facility here on Bragg. (our best kept secret which all here will know about here oct 1)

Until the army changes its doctrine to allow its CCA to be used in a CAS roll Army JTACs wil not be possible so until then we are stuck with just JFO. There is alot of push back on this by the AVN community becuase under current doctrine they are able to be much more flexable on the battle field and are not restrained by the ATO.

If we where to doctrineate ourselves simular to how the Marine Corps operates their AVN assets then under Joint DOctrine we could very well not only have our own JTACs but like the Marines be able to keep them certifide and sustained using our huge fleet of AVN war birds.

Under Joint Doctrine this is highly possible hence why the Marine CORPS has been able to ramp up their JTAC program. Contrary to popular belief the Air Force does not run the JTAC program. They may not agree with how the Marines do it but joint doctrines lays it out pretty clearly that they can. We need to do the same thing.

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XVIII Airborne Corps, G3 FSC ,Joint Fires Observer Manager
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  #12  
Old 31 August 2010, 15:57
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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huh?

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Originally Posted by swamppirate View Post
Let the Air Force continue to be the CAS experts...Army you can stay artillery experts... We have a hard enough time lining up air to stay current... how in the world would "big green" army ever manage to get enough air with the horde of JFO's they want? Don't get me wrong the JFO is a good thing to have around but there were too many of them running around in Iraq thinking they were JTAC's......regards
Really inteeresting since we make it very clear to them that they are most definately not JTACs.

FOr you information a FISTER is a Fire Support Specilaist this means he specialises from everything from CAS, AVN, Artillary and Naval gun fire.

Fister since the start of the war in Afghanistan have been traditionally doing talk on with CAS assets as 9 time out of ten there is no JTAC anywhere near their operation. THe FM radio wont reach to the other side of the mountain so unless the pilot is relaying to the JTAC at the BN TOC or the JTACS have super human powers and can use mind melds to hear the CAS talk on. the Person clearing those fires hot is going to be the FAC-A cert Pilot in the bird or the regular pilot is going to have to make the choice on his own.


regardless of who is there it is the ground forces commader who assumes responsibility for the bombs in bound hence why pilots, JFOs and JTACS will ask for Initials and last 4 of said GFC. Now granted the Pilot can deside he is uncomfortable and has full authority to abort his run, but this comes down to how well the FISTER has been trained. I have even heard pilots belay a JTACs run as well

Most JTACs prior to the JFO program realised that they are unable to be 12 places at once and would usually help by instructing the FSNCOs and FSO they work with in the TOC who in turn pass this training down to their soldeirs. That is at least the ones I jave been lucky to work with at two DIV. 82nd and 10th

This allowed the bright JTAC to extend his capabilitites and know when the radio call came in he could feel comfortable with the targeting data he was getting from the troopers on the ground in a TIC.

Now days your lucky if you have the same JTAC longer then 6 months as their rotations don't line up with ours so the need of a Highly trained soldier in Air to ground tactics became nessary hence the JFO program.

JTACS are the best at what they do but the FISTER prides himself at being as good as he can in handling all fire support assets. We will gladly come up on the hill to train with you but how many of you come down too our lowly OP and train with us god knows I offered time and time again to cross train our JTACS on Arty and only the best take us up on the offer.

Nothing is a bigger rush than being a loan FO in a plt with 60, and 81 mm Mortars and set of 105mm howitzers, 2 AH-64, couple of A-10 and some B-1s at your disposal during a big fight and coordinating and deconflicting all of those assets inside your little postage stamp on a map in Afghanistan. There are many of us who know exactly what I am talking about. I wish I could intraduce you to SFC Monti as he was the best example of our best but he died trying to save a fellow soldiers life while talking on CAS assets to target alas he was a fister. I learned more from him as a young COLT the month he OCed me at JRTC then I ever learned any where else

Dont down play down Fister because you will never hear one of us play down you. fire supporters in all services are the red head step children of their units and our respect is earned.

Arty only loves us when where cutting their grass
Infantry on loves us when we are saving their A##
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Old 31 August 2010, 20:42
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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certification

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Originally Posted by Craobhruadh View Post
There is most definately a need for certification and keeping our JFOs current on there skills. By doing so and getting out JTACs involved with their training it allows those JTACs to become comfortable with the JFOS they will be working with. We are asking these soldeirs to perform terminal guidance operations and send targeting for type one and type two control as well as be able to talk on a pilot to target expertly so that the Pilate feels comfortable with dropping ordinance as well as the JTAC who will clear the TGT hot who is listening on line.
I disagree, only on certification. Certification is the WRONG term, because the JFO can't do anything that any other Soldier can't do, he is just better trained at it. And the training is GREAT!

JFO tasks have ALWAYS (well, since 1997) been 13F skill level 2 and 3 tasks. And good units have always trained them.

As you noted, FOs have been doing this, with or without JFO, since we went to Afghanistan- that was the plan. Now, we have an added requirement, but the JFO has no added capability. If there is no JFO present, the JTAC can use an FO, FSO, or any other individual on the ground to get the info and execute Type 2 control- the JTAC is the key element. If there is no JTAC, the JFO has exactly the same capability as any other observer.

That's why I am against the certification process for JFOs.
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Old 31 August 2010, 22:40
VMI_Marine VMI_Marine is offline
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Originally Posted by 82Redleg View Post
I disagree, only on certification. Certification is the WRONG term, because the JFO can't do anything that any other Soldier can't do, he is just better trained at it. And the training is GREAT!

JFO tasks have ALWAYS (well, since 1997) been 13F skill level 2 and 3 tasks. And good units have always trained them.

As you noted, FOs have been doing this, with or without JFO, since we went to Afghanistan- that was the plan. Now, we have an added requirement, but the JFO has no added capability. If there is no JFO present, the JTAC can use an FO, FSO, or any other individual on the ground to get the info and execute Type 2 control- the JTAC is the key element. If there is no JTAC, the JFO has exactly the same capability as any other observer.

That's why I am against the certification process for JFOs.
Amen. We're facing the strong possibility that we will not get any JFO seats, so I'm focusing on ways to train 0861s and 0311s on terminal guidance skills.
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Old 31 August 2010, 22:47
Square Square is offline
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Originally Posted by 82Redleg View Post
I disagree, only on certification. Certification is the WRONG term, because the JFO can't do anything that any other Soldier can't do, he is just better trained at it. And the training is GREAT!

JFO tasks have ALWAYS (well, since 1997) been 13F skill level 2 and 3 tasks. And good units have always trained them.

As you noted, FOs have been doing this, with or without JFO, since we went to Afghanistan- that was the plan. Now, we have an added requirement, but the JFO has no added capability. If there is no JFO present, the JTAC can use an FO, FSO, or any other individual on the ground to get the info and execute Type 2 control- the JTAC is the key element. If there is no JTAC, the JFO has exactly the same capability as any other observer.

That's why I am against the certification process for JFOs.
I agree with you in principle, but as a practical matter, it makes things smoother/faster when the guy on the other end of the radio says up front that he's JFO qual'd. Having that qual establishes a baseline that is common knowledge to all players, both on the ground and in the air.
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Old 7 September 2010, 14:13
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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Originally Posted by 82Redleg View Post
I disagree, only on certification. Certification is the WRONG term, because the JFO can't do anything that any other Soldier can't do, he is just better trained at it. And the training is GREAT!

JFO tasks have ALWAYS (well, since 1997) been 13F skill level 2 and 3 tasks. And good units have always trained them.

As you noted, FOs have been doing this, with or without JFO, since we went to Afghanistan- that was the plan. Now, we have an added requirement, but the JFO has no added capability. If there is no JFO present, the JTAC can use an FO, FSO, or any other individual on the ground to get the info and execute Type 2 control- the JTAC is the key element. If there is no JTAC, the JFO has exactly the same capability as any other observer.

That's why I am against the certification process for JFOs.
OK as long as I have been a fister we have been required to certify our FO level 1-4 in their 13f Tasks. If a fister becomes uncertified he looses his position until he can complete the cert. If enough are uncertified it complete decerts the BN and violates 13F 350-1 task and can make them non-Deployable. Saying that a JFO doesnít do anything any other soldier can do is ignorant and makes me question where exactly you are coming from FISTER wise.
Each Fister must certify on their Call For fires, hands on Equipment, Land Nav and Map reading and as far as CAS the only thing they are required to cert would be a 9-line. A 9-line is only a small part of the whole CAS concept. This is based off the 13F common skills list. In fact it is not until level 3 that it actually jumps up to anything but. It is the FO at the Platoon who needs these skills not the CO FSNCO

As I was one of a select group of FISTERs who just came back from SILL in July who actually worked on the new 13 F skills list I can tell you that CAS is a very minor part of that though we have + it up a bit. There has never been a required standard on CAS until now. Hell even the 82nd Red Book is limited on the qualifications needed for such.
This being said the JFO must do the following things in order to certify
He must show extensive knowledge of the following
(a) Aircraft Capabilities or PODís (JFIRE FM 3-09.32)

(b) Aircraft Weapons (JFIRE FM 3-09.32)

(c) Brevity Terms/Authentication (FM 3-54.10)

(d) Laser/Terminal Guidance Operations (JFIRE FM 3-09.32, JP 3.09.1)

(e) AC-130 Capabilities/Employment (JFIRE FM 3-09.32)

(f) Threat Air Defense Artillery (FM 3-60.1)

(g) Inertially Aided Munitions (JFIRE FM 3-09.32)

(h) Close Combat Attack (FM 3-04.111, JFIRE FM 3-09.32)

(i) CAS Mission Planning (JP 3-09.3, FM 3-09.32)

(j) Navel Surface Fire Support (NSFS) (JFIRE FM 3-09.32, FM 6-30)

(k) Urban CAS (JFIRE FM 3-09.32, FM 6-30)

(l) Night CAS (JFIRE FM 3-09.32, FM 6-30)
He must also perform the following simulations

(1) Performance of two (2) live or simulated laser guided weapon system TGO events.

(2) Performance in support of one (1) live or simulated fixed wing CAS control.

(3) One (1) live or simulated night target marking event utilizing marking devices (i.e. Laser, IR Pointer), conducted at night beyond End of Evening Nautical Twilight (EENT) and prior to Beginning Morning Nautical Twilight (BMNT). Laser events in conjunction with Terminal Guidance Operations (TGO) in support of CAS controls, credits this requirement if conducted between EENT and BMNT.

(4) Performance of one (1) live or simulated terminal attack control as non-qualified JTAC, individual utilizing Multi-Service Procedures for the Joint Application of Firepower (JFIRE). Supervision by a qualified JTAC is preferred but not required.

(5) Performance of one (1) live or simulated abort mission. This task may be accomplished in conjunction with other semi-annual events.

(6) Performance of six (6) live or simulated surface-to-surface or naval surface call for fire events.

(7) Performance of one (1) live or simulated AC-130 call for fire.

5. Currency / Sustainment Training. A JFO retains qualification provided currency is maintained and all recurring evaluation requirements are accomplished.

(1) Sustainment of Qualification. During every 6 month period (semi-annual), each JFO must complete the number and type events prescribed by the JFO MOA (see 3 b. above) as well as re- complete academic requirements (see 3 a. above) to remain qualified.

(2) Evaluation Requirements: Recurring evaluations of JFO performance will occur no less than every 18 months. This 18 month evaluation requirement will consist of, at a minimum, the following events:
(a) Performance in support of one live or simulated fixed wing CAS control.

(b) One live or simulated night target marking event using marking devices (i.e. Laser, IR Pointer), conducted at night beyond End of Evening Nautical Twilight (EENT) and prior to Beginning Morning Nautical Twilight (BMNT). Laser events in conjunction with TGO in support of CAS controls, credits this requirement if conducted between EENT and BMNT.

(c) Performance of one live or simulated surface-to-surface or naval surface call for fire events.

This being said none of these things are the standard for current FIST CERT basis so therefore there is no way to make sure that the above things are being trained to the JFO unless a certification process is put in place.
The JFO program is the BCT commanders program which he has full oversight of; where as standard FIST CERT is a BN level program and the FA commander might be tracking it.

As I have learned through my times as BNCOC and ANCOC that not all units hold their soldiers to the same standards as others. Nothing is more disconcerting than a fellow E-7 asking you to help him with a target list worksheet. Really?
By establishing a Joint Standard it puts the bar at a level that all services agree on and now have signed off on in the new JFO MOA as of August. It now includes Army, AIR FORCE, Marines, Navy and NATO allies.
If JFOs send poor targeting data which results in a serious incident at least we know everything was done to make sure this soldier was certified to do so.

As a FSNCO who has gone through the course, when I guy comes across the radio with his JFO Call sign I am a lot less hesitant to support him with CAS as I would be a regular FO as I know that he has gone through serious certification to do this job prior to deploying one as a FSNCO I have oversite on. A CERT that all Services now agree on.
We have to CERT our FOs to call for fire why would we not CERT our JFOS to do the rest.
You are the reason this JFO program has been so hard to get to work, stopping being resistant to change and do your JOB. It sounds more to me like someone who doesnít want to do the hard work required to keep then certified. This is why 18th ABN CORP is not giving the units under them a choice. You will CERTIFY and I can tell you now that FORSCOM will shortly be mandating the same thing.
The JFO has become a force multiplier and has been reconised as effective. He is not going anywhere as far as the Army, Marine CORPS, Air Force, and Navy are concerned so get used to him and enjoy certifying because you wonít have a choice.

Craobh Ruadh
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Old 7 September 2010, 14:33
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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Originally Posted by VMI_Marine View Post
Amen. We're facing the strong possibility that we will not get any JFO seats, so I'm focusing on ways to train 0861s and 0311s on terminal guidance skills.
The Marine CORPs is currently precurring contractors to facilitate opening another school. Though this is not a quick fix look forward to more slots availible for you FOs and ANGLICOS soon.

We have actually been working very closely with your JFO and JTAC school in Virginia as yours is very well run and we wanted to snag your guys great ideas for training and use them here on bragg. your School is on point and the Army has a lot we can learn from them.

I am pretty sure they are prioritizing slots based off FO and ANGLICO positions which might be slowing down your INF guys from getting slots.

But don't quote me on that. :)
Craobh Ruadh
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Old 8 September 2010, 15:20
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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Quote:
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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  #19  
Old 9 September 2010, 08:06
Craobhruadh Craobhruadh is offline
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Location: 18th ABN CORPS FSC FORT Bragg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craobhruadh View Post
send targeting for type one and type two control as well as be able to talk on a pilot to target expertly
I meant type two type three my bad got type one on the brains as we are trying to procure simulators that allow that for Air Forc.e
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  #20  
Old 9 September 2010, 08:28
82Redleg 82Redleg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craobhruadh View Post
Saying that a JFO doesnít do anything any other soldier can do is ignorant and makes me question where exactly you are coming from FISTER wise.
I agree with everything you're saying. I want to clarify this one point.

The JFO is better trained (and hopefully better equipped) to facilitate Type 2/3 control through a JTAC.

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.

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 (I believe that is still the AF term).

That is what I mean when I say a JFO can only do the same thing as any other Soldier.

And I'm on your side, really I am. JFO is a GREAT program, with GREAT training. I still believe it should NOT be a separate program, but part of the 13F MOS. If the school is broken, fix it, then add the JFO stuff. It needs to be part of the skill set of EVERY FO, not just some.

I'll check on the MTOE thing later today- I thought for sure that I saw JFO ASI coded on the MTOE last time I checked, but I've been wrong before.
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