Aim: The JFO course is designed to provide select personnel with training on the procedures required to provide timely and accurate targeting information to a qualified JTAC for Type 2 and 3 Close Air Support (CAS) Terminal Attack Controls, and perform autonomous Terminal Guidance Operations (TGO). Additional training will be provided on engaging targets with AC-130, naval surface fires, and indirect surface fires.
Objective: Students will be trained on Joint-approved Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) such as: Close Air Support (CAS), Close Combat Attack (CCA), Artillery, Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS). Students will also receive instruction in the operation of communications equipment and laser designating equipment (G/VLLD/LLDR).
Description: Trained Service Members will be known in the Joint community as a Joint Fires Observers. The JFO adds warfighting capability but does not circumvent or nullify the need for a JTAC/FAC(A) during CAS operations. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the joint fires available to the ground force commander, the JTAC and JFO should be employed as a team, with the JFO acting as an extension of the JTAC during the execution of CAS. During CAS operations, a JTAC/FAC(A) will retain terminal attack control. JFOs, in conjunction with the JTAC, FAC(A), and fire support officer (FSO), assist manoeuver commanders with timely planning, synchronization, and responsive execution of joint fires.
Target Audience: This course is designed for officers, warrant officers, and NCOs with varied backgrounds and who preferably have fire support experience. Prior to commencing JFO training, trainees should complete a pre-screening process to assist in identifying appropriate candidates to attend a formal JFO certification program of instruction. Candidates with at least six months operational fire support exposure, or fires-related experience, have an increased rate of successful course completion. JFO trainees must be able to demonstrate a level of competency at map reading, surface-to-surface calls for fire, and radio communications before beginning training.
Requirements: All JFO course selectees will complete the JKO-based JFO familiarization training (20 hours, online) prior to the course start date, and bring a printed course completion certificate to JFO course registration on day one. Additionally attendees must complete a one week distance learning block of instruction administered by NSOS JFO-Instructors. JFOs need adequate knowledge of and proficiency in the English language. Language proficiency must meet standards as defined in NATO STANAG 6001, with Proficiency Levels across listening, speaking, reading, and writing (LSRW of 3 3 2+ 2).
A NATO SECRET clearance is required for this course, and students must provide a copy of their security clearance upon arrival at NSOS.