USAFE-AFAFRICA Warfare Center sharpens the NATO joint warfighter

  • Published
  • By Capt. Daniel de La Fé
  • U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s Warfare Center (UAWC) hosted a combined training seminar alongside eight NATO partner nations to discuss the development of the Joint Terminal Attack Controller instructor and evaluator courses at Einsiedlerhof Air Station, June 22-24.

The 4th Combat Training Squadron currently teaches a USAFE-accredited JTAC instructor course and is preparing to launch a JTAC evaluator course within the next year. The courses are formal training opportunities for JTAC operators to advance the readiness of the joint warfighter, build partnerships among nations, and integrate allied battlefield capabilities.

“This is the first course of its kind for the U.S. Air Force and many JTAC programs across NATO,” said Lt. Col. Sarah Fortin, 4th CTS director of operations. “Considering the diversity of capabilities within NATO, this next-level course seeks to create an educational forum to consistently facilitate the dynamic exchanges of tactics, techniques, and procedures between the 4th CTS JTAC instructor cadre and partner nation JTACs.”

The courses are applying lessons learned from real-world multinational exercises and operations to strengthen interoperability with allies. JTACs must have an increased awareness and understanding of partner air force capabilities to successfully control and maneuver close air support to protect ground forces.

“These courses will continue to provide opportunities to improve interoperability between nations,” said Sergeant 1st Class Almir Mujcinovic, a JTAC operator with the Slovenian Army’s 152nd Fixed Wing Squadron.

Effective command and control of any battlespace, especially advanced multi-domain operations, begins in the classroom. The UAWC’s battlefield dome simulators provide complex and challenging scenarios allowing JTACs access to realistic training opportunities, across mission sets.

“We are building large-scale operational combat scenarios into the rehearsal system,” said Aaron Corales, a JTAC simulator operator. “This gives an accurate reflection of real-world concepts of operations to the JTACs so they are prepared when they enter the theater.”

The 4th CTS continues to provide formal education and training to achieve the UAWC’s goal of providing professional opportunities to integrate alongside NATO JTACs.  Standardizing advanced practices between allies and partners builds greater cohesion and interoperability on the all-domain battlefield.