HOHENFELS, Germany — Allied Strike 10 allowed Belgium, Denmark, German, Dutch, Portuguese and U.S. Air Force and Army personnel to come together as of Aug 9 in a realistic combat training environment to understand how one and another work.
"This is the best training that is offered for JTACs (Joint Terminal Air Control) in Europe," said Air Force Capt. Jasper Larsen, Danish army forward air control instructor.
Larsen has been here supporting the joint coalition training for the last four exercises. He brings an expertise that stretches beyond the U.S. Forces JTAC community and has seen the training evolve.
"The first Allied Strike I was conducting close air support (CAS) missions on a hill, now there are many different scenarios," Larsen said. "It has improved each year because we have trainers that have been deployed and incorporate tactics that they have used down range."
Although the training is getting more advanced and difficult each year, it also plays a major role in building alliances in the JTAC community.
"This training is the most high fidelity training because of the ranges, pyrotechnics, simulation rounds and radio nets, but it also builds relationships with our NATO countries," said Air Force Maj. Bryan Trinkle, 8th Air Support Operation Squadron operations officer. "Bringing the JTACs here is allowing that community to become stronger throughout the nations."
Building partnership capacities is a crucial element during Allied Strike training. It allows each participating nation to learn as much from each other as possible.
"Bringing all the countries together is good because we can exchange experiences and
learn from them," the Danish captain said. "When I'm training your guys and your training my guys it ensures we take away all the information we can and implement it into our training. For example, Americans have their TTPs and we have ours. Coming together allows us to get the best one."
According to Trinkle, establishing good relations here makes it easier for those deploying and makes working with other nations easier.
"Being integrated with the Americans from prior exercises helped me a lot when I was deployed," Larsen agreed. "I knew what their TTPs were, knew how to use them, their limitations and capabilities."
Becoming accustomed with one another here builds strong relationships; helps ensure a smooth operation in a forward operating location and it the entire focus of the annual Allied Strike event for JTACs.
"The only thing I wish could happen is to get more training time," Larsen said. "It is extremely beneficial for those going down range but there are only so many slots during the four days of training."