HOHENFELS, Germany (Jan. 31, 2016) -- The ground maneuver training held during Exercise Allied Spirit IV took to the skies, as multinational forces trained under U.S. Air Force methods of engagement.Soldiers, from NATO partner nations participating in the exercise, were introduced to the Tactical Air Control Party, or TACP, methods that rely on joint terminal attack controllers, or JTAC. These JTACs, either a Soldier or airman armed with a radio and a plan, are then embedded with a variety of military units, said Air Force Capt. Skylar Jackson, assigned to the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, or JMRC, Bullseye Team, 4th Air Support Operations Group.That JTAC is the maestro, the key to orchestrating critical close-air support fire, Jackson said. While on ground, the JTAC is responsible for coordinating fire from a pilot overhead, nearby artillery fire and small indirect fire, like mortars, close by."We're using multinational JTACs and JFOs [joint forward observers] to integrate both Air Force- and Army-side of fires, and to integrate those fires on one target set for the ground commander's scheme of maneuver," Jackson said. "There's a little bit of language stuff. It's kind of a tricky thing anyway because it's a ground guy talking to a pilot in the air, so there are certain words we're trying to get them to pick up on, to easily get their eyes on the target, from the air to a ground perspective."As difficult as that seems, it's even harder when JMRC observer-coach-trainers, or OCTs, inject simulated incoming munitions around the JTAC. These JTACs-in-training are constantly on their radios and headsets, communicating with a multitude of weaponry channels while makeshift rockets and rounds are landing. This gives a perspective of being in an actual combat environment.In this training exercise, JTACs are posted atop a hill overseeing a valley. Once they get called for support, the JTACs coordinate incoming fire. An opposing force is visible, so the JTACs have to plot positions and call in accurate fire, all pending a ground commander's movement of troops."We're looking over their shoulders, to see where they're weak and where they're strong," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Jerrod Mowery, the situational training exercise, or STX, lane coordinator.Many aspects make this training a critical success, Jackson said. Working radios, upgraded maps, precise surveillance, weaponry knowledge and accurate location targets are among the important keys. The lessons these JTACs learn during training are reinforced during an after-action brief following each training lane.Exercise Allied Spirit IV includes more than 2,400 participants from seven NATO nations, and exercises tactical interoperability and tests secure communications within alliance members and partner nations."Everyone's got a little bit of a different way to get the job done. We're trading [tactics, techniques and procedures], different ways to accomplish the same goal," Jackson said of his multinational participants. "Each nation has their own way to do it. Small tweaks kind of bring TTPs together to expedite the process."Italy's Garibaldi Brigade is the lead brigade headquarters for Exercise Allied Spirit IV. Soldiers from Germany, Slovenia, Latvia, Canada and the United Kingdom and United States are also participating."This exercise is actually the first time the Italians have exercised a JTAC or air liaison officer at the brigade level. So a lot of lessons to be learned there, with how to integrate CAS [close air support] through the Italians at the brigade level," Jackson said. "We've seen a lot of different ways that the fires and the JTACs have integrated. As far as who does what job at the brigade staff, working with the Italians, we can kind of help shape their effects of their fire cells to try to help that integration a little bit more, to help it be more fluent.""This is very good training," Italian Warrant Officer Pasquale Pagano said. "We're learning a lot of fundamentals. I have to improve my skills by doing this training. If you don't use, you lose. If you train hard, you fight easy."Pagano said calling for fire support can mean the difference between life and death, so he stressed the importance of being very accurate and precise."We're getting to see how they do the CAS 9-Line brief, which is what we tell the aircraft to get the effects on the ground," Jackson said. "[The Italians] have a different technique of how to do it. They add some things, take some things out. So figuring how they do that, and an integration of artillery and fire support as well, they all kind of do it a little bit different. They're learning some of our ways, and we're picking up some of their stuff."