Tactical Air Controllers Train at Combined Resolve
“If it ever comes to us fighting together, I know we’ll do just fine.”
(L to R) U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Thomas Reeves, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jerrod Mowery and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jermain Capalos scan the battlefield for enemy activity in order to accurately call in an air strike during lane training at the Hohenfels, Germany Training area at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany Aug. 31, 2016, for Exercise Combined Resolve VII, which is a 7th Army Training Command, U.S. Army Europe-directed exercise, taking place at the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas, Sep. 2 to Sept. 15, 2016. The exercise is designed to train the Army’s regionally allocated forces to the U.S. European Command. Combined Resolve VII includes more than 3,500 participants from 16 NATO and European partner nations. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. David J. Overson, 301st Public Affairs Detachment)
1 photo: Tactical Air Controllers Train at Combined Resolve
Photo 1 of 1: (L to R) U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Thomas Reeves, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jerrod Mowery and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jermain Capalos scan the battlefield for enemy activity in order to accurately call in an air strike during lane training at the Hohenfels, Germany Training area at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany Aug. 31, 2016, for Exercise Combined Resolve VII, which is a 7th Army Training Command, U.S. Army Europe-directed exercise, taking place at the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas, Sep. 2 to Sept. 15, 2016. The exercise is designed to train the Army’s regionally allocated forces to the U.S. European Command. Combined Resolve VII includes more than 3,500 participants from 16 NATO and European partner nations. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. David J. Overson, 301st Public Affairs Detachment) Download full-resolution version

HOHENFELS, Germany -- To ensure air support is able to accurately hit their targets on the ground, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and Radio Operator Maintainer and Drivers, who comprise a Tactical Air Control Party, communicate directly from the ground with aircraft over the battlefield. 

To ensure they are at the top of their game, JTACs and ROMADs participated in rigorous lane training at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center at the Hohenfels Training Area Sept. 2, 2016, as part of Exercise Combined Resolve VII, which is a 7th Army Training Command, U.S. Army Europe-directed exercise taking place at the Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas, Aug. 8 to Sept. 15, 2016.

JTACs and ROMADs roam the battlefield on foot, keeping a keen eye on where air support is needed to aid the battle on the ground. When needed they know exactly when and where to order an air attack with pinpoint accuracy. 

One of the JTAC operators receiving training was U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jermaine Capalos from Plainfield, Ill., assigned to the 15th Air Support Operations Squadron, which supports the U.S. Army’s 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment.

Sometimes the Army (green) and the Air force (blue) have a difficult time communicating with one another due to their different jargon. However, this training helps solve this problem, in addition to bettering communications with NATO allies and partner nations.

“We connect the green and blue lines together,” said Capalos. “In fact, we get a lot of the different players to talk to one another. We have a lot of NATO allies and participating nations we train with and are able to communicate with all of them, enabling them to accurately hit their targets on the ground.”

The exercise is designed to train the Army’s regionally allocated forces to the U.S. European Command. Combined Resolve VII includes more than 3,500 participants from 16 NATO and European partner nations. 

“Most of our previous conflicts always occurred in deserts and mountainous terrains, so it’s nice to train here in Germany, where the terrain is much different,” added Capalos. “If it ever comes to us fighting together, I know we’ll do just fine.” 

As the JTACs and ROMADs bounce from one position to another on the battlefield, they are being coached and trained by JMRC Observer Coach Trainers. OCTs observe how units and individuals perform and they create different scenarios for their training. The objective is to create real-world situations and train all of the different nations to work harmoniously with one another to achieve the same objective. 

One OCT on the lane was U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jerrod Mowery, who took each JTAC and ROMAD through the lanes with the goal of creating chaos. As the scenario played out, Mowery threw artillery simulators in all directions, causing the simulated battlefield to rapidly change at a moment’s notice.

“We pride ourselves on simulating an actual combat zone,” said Mowery. “We try to make it as realistic as possible.”

Mowery added, “Another aspect to our training is the different nations we work with. We observe and train with American doctrine, NATO doctrine and nation-specific doctrine. It really keeps everyone on their toes and I think the different countries work really well with one another.” 

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