By 1st. Lt. Dennis S. Whitt April 24, 2014
HOHENFELS, Germany (April 24, 2014) -- Expert Observer/Coach-Trainers at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany concluded a complex air-to-ground training event integrating simulations, ground-based radio operations and fixed and rotary wing aircraft over a four-day period.
This technical training exercise combined mentors and trainees from around the world using advanced simulations equipment based at the Hohenfels Training Area, the U.S. Army's only overseas Combat Training Center.
To answer the question of how to provide resource intensive training to a highly-technical military occupational specialty, such as that of the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, known as JTACs, the U.S. and its allies and partners are turning to advanced, state-of-the-art simulations programs and systems that are delivering the realism required to maintain their demanding skill sets.
"We can simulate virtually any type of training by bringing together geographically separated military units from different parts of the world, all participating in a realistic real-time exercise at cost to the players involved," explained Mr. Larry Smith, Simulations Expert at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, or JMRC.
It's not just simulations training that multi-national JTAC Soldiers received at Hohenfels.
In JMRC's immersive field environment, the JTACs underwent realistic hands-on squad tactics lanes in tandem with the reinforcement of their skills in the simulation center.
"This kind of training is the closest thing these teams could do without coming into direct contact with the enemy," explained Staff Sgt. Daniel Hampton, Air Force JTAC trainer from JMRC's Bull's-eye OC-T, who assisted with the field portion of the training event.
In support of theater security cooperation, the Special Operations community plays a significant role in facilitating this kind of training with the U.S.'s European multinational allies.
"While the Special Operations Forces Cell manages the program, most of what we've been doing has been simply to foster some synergy between the simulations community and the USAF JTAC folks here at JMRC. At the end of the day, what we're doing is setting the conditions to achieve a strategic effect via tactical level training," said Lt. Col Peter Russo, Senior Trainer on JMRC's Wolverine OC-T, specializing in Special Operations Force training and mentorship.
These kinds of training events are a key component to regional stability by ensuring U.S. military forces and its allies and partners can achieve the highest level of interoperability possible.
The Joint Multinational Readiness Center is the U.S. Army's only overseas Combat Training Center. It is part of the Joint Multinational Training Command and trains more than 60,000 Soldiers, both U.S. and allied, annually.