Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

October 8, 2010 at 8:52am

Not enough JTACs to go around

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Air Force Times is reporting that the Air Force is training more NATO troops to call in airstrikes because it can't meet the demand from battlefield commanders without ratcheting up the deployment tempo even more for its own small pool of joint terminal attack controllers.

U.S. Air Forces in Europe expects to train 144 JTACs, twice as many as it did last year, according to the report.

Half of the airmen will be from NATO and coalition countries.

"The total number of JTACs required has always been a mystical, magical number that we have always tried to get our arms around," said Master Sgt. Jay Lemley, chief of standardization and evaluation for JTACs assigned to USAFE. "There never was an answer except, ‘We need more.'"

Repeated deployments for JTACs and the requirements in Afghanistan "have really been a driving factor," Lemley said. "We're in a counterinsurgency fight in Afghanistan. It's not a linear battlefield."

For more on the story, click here.

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