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227th ASOS multinational TACP team trains with USAF F-16C and F-35A

A picture of German armed forces Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, 1st Lts. Marius Sokol and Andreas Bier confirming laser designator codes.

German armed forces Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, 1st Lts. Marius Sokol, right, and Andreas Bier confirm laser designator codes with close air support F-16 fighter aircraft pilots from the 177th Fighter Wing while training at the Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J., Oct. 26, 2016. German armed forces JTACs partnered with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 227th Air Support Operations Squadron for a second time in 2016 for a five day combined training exercise which included training with F-16s and training in the 227th's JTAC training facility. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

A picture of U.S. Air Force Capt. Keith Giamberardino, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) with the 227th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS), and German armed forces JTAC 1st Lt. Marius Sokol discussing areas for improvement after close air support (CAS) training.

From right, U.S. Air Force Capt. Keith Giamberardino, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) with the 227th Air Support Operations Squadron, and German armed forces JTAC 1st Lt. Marius Sokol discuss areas for improvement after close air support training with New Jersey Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets from the 177th Fighter Wing at the Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J., Oct. 26, 2016. German armed forces JTACs partnered with the New Jersey Air National Guard's 227th for the second time in 2016 for a five day combined training exercise which included training with F-16s and training in the 227th's JTAC training facility. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

A picture of German armed forces Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Capt. Tim Jantzen listening to a read back of nine line information.

German armed forces Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Capt. Tim Jantzen listens to a read back of information from New Jersey Air National Guard F-16 fighter pilots from the 177th Fighter Wing, while training at the Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J., Oct. 26, 2016. German armed forces JTACs partnered with the New Jersey ANG's 227th Air Support Operations Squadron for the second time in 2016 for a five day combined training exercise which included training with F-16s and training in the 227th's JTAC training facility. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

A picture of a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon releasing an inert GBU-12 practice bomb.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet from the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard releases an inert GBU-12 practice bomb while training at the Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J., Oct. 26, 2016. The training was conducted with U.S. Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the 227th Air Support Operations Squadron, and German armed forces JTACs who partnered with the 227th for a five day combined training exercise which included training with F-16s and training in the 227th's JTAC training facility. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

A picture of German armed forces Capt. Tim Jantzen, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) with the 131st Artillery Battalion in Weiden, Germany, training in the 227th Air Support Operations Squadron's $1.2 million Air National Guard Advanced JTAC Training System.

German armed forces Capt. Tim Jantzen, Joint Terminal Attack Controller with the 131st Artillery Battalion in Weiden, Germany, trains in the 227th Air Support Operations Squadron's JTAC training facility at the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., Oct. 26, 2016. U.S. Air Force JTACs from the 227th hosted a five day combined training event which included close air support controlling at Warren Grove Bombing Range in Ocean County, N.J. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, New Jersey -- German armed forces Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) made a second visit to the 227th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) this year to train with their U.S. Air Force counterparts Oct. 25-28, 2016.

The NATO partners once again benefited from: the New Jersey Air National Guard ASOS unit's state of the art $1.2 million Air National Guard Advanced JTAC Training System, its co-location with the F-16 pilots and aircraft of the 119th Fighter Squadron, and the live combat air support (CAS) training available at the 177th Fighter Wing's Det. 1 Warren Grove Bombing Range (WGR).

U.S. Air Force Maj. Daniel Roske, 227th ASOS Director of Operations, has been very aggressive in his efforts to provide effective training to meet German JTAC objectives.

"Helping to increase multinational cooperation between NATO partners is the objective," said Roske. "We try to give them as much exposure as possible, to a multitude of training opportunities, including CAS controlling with 5th generation fighters."

German armed forces JTAC, 1st Lt. Marius Sokol, noted some of the differences between CAS with European and American pilots regarding restrictions on attack profiles each of them fly. 

"U.S. JTACS let the pilots do their job," said Sokol. "In Europe we have more positive control than that. They teach us to make sure the pilot does this and that and then another procedure. In the U.S. you just want to get the effects on the ground...you just say, "I want these effects" and the pilot will do their job."

Although much of the equipment that JTACs from Germany and the U.S. use is similar, the restrictions on use during training can be very different.

"The laser designator is mostly the same, you just need to know how the switch buttons are different," said 1st Lt. Andreas Bier, German armed forces JTAC in the Pathfinder Platoon, Airborne Regiment 26. "We are much more restrictive using lasers. If we use the laser in the range in Germany, we use it inside a building or inside a hut and we have walls on each side of it."

After CAS training at WGR concluded, U.S. Air Force Capt. Keith Giamberardino, JTAC with the 227th, explained some of the procedural nuances of hearing, as well as using, specific words.

"If you hear the aircraft tell you they're doing something that's going to take extra time, respond by saying continue, not copy...copy just means I heard you," said Giamberardino. "Make sure that nothing's going to change in that minute of time that will make you tell the aircraft to abort or not give them clearance. "Continue" means, yes, it's going to be O.K., continue what you're doing, "Copy" just means yes, I heard you."

Sokol talked about another aspect of working in a coalition environment. "I think it's important to realize that you have a lot of F-16 and A-10 pilots that are qualified Airborne Forward Air Controllers and you don't have to tell a FAC-A pilot which attack profile he or she has to fly. It's a challenge for us and we have to know that this is a difference when you go on a mission and we have to switch in our minds a little when we work with U.S. pilots."

For follow-on training, Roske networked with the 6th Special Operations Squadron out of Duke Field, Florida, to give the Germans a chance to control U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation fighter aircraft from various locations in Alabama and Florida.

"This road trip was unique in that we performed our training in civilian clothes, so as not to alarm the local populations," said Roske. "It was also a trip that turned professional, multinational relationships into lasting friendships."