How does Joint Integrated Live Fire Work?
First, what is joint integrated live fire?
Joint refers to the fact that two or more military services are working together. In the case of UK exercise Joint Warrior 16-2 currently ongoing in Scotland, joint means primarily Navy and Air Force units working together.
Integrated means the personnel from the two services are not only working on the same problem, they are cooperating to deliver a coordinated attack.
Live Fire indicates munitions, live or inert, are actually being fired into the target area and are not simulated or digitally replicated.
Coordinating these complex maneuvers of helicopters, airplanes and ships to provide the right force at the right time requires trained and practiced individuals.
Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC), also known as Forward Air Controllers (FACs), are military personnel who direct the action of air, land and naval strikes at the tactical level. They are the individuals on the ground with the authority to control and call for fires on targets.
The JTAC and FAC personnel are an important asset of Allied joint operations. These specialists need constant challenging training events to maintain their skills that they will need to perform as and when required in real-world situations. Combining NATO maritime exercise Noble Mariner and NATO air exercise Noble Arrow with the United Kingdom’s joint exercise Joint Warrior gives these JTAC and FAC personnel the opportunity to direct fires from both the air and sea.
Frequent joint integrated live fires training allows NATO allies to operate together and practiced shared NATO doctrine and procedures. The exercises help to build trust and confidence in their fellow service members and demonstrate that a JTAC can get on the radio with any NATO asset and bring the right force to play at the right time.