The Land Joint Fires Staff Officers Course

#1
"The Land Joint Fires Staff Officers Course (JFSOC) is run by the Royal School of Artillery (on behalf of the Land Warfare School) at the Artillery Centre at Larkhill, Wiltshire. The course is five days in length."

http://www.army.mod.uk/royalartillery/units/royal_school_of_artillery/courses/jfires_course.htm

"The LJFSOC addresses the joint fires training shortfall for Staff Officers by delivering all the Joint Fires systems and methodology in one package to a varied audience. It is valuable pre-employment training for mortar officers, recce regiment squadron operations officers, battlegroup staff and those SO2s and SO3s involved in Joint Fires at the Bde level. There is also relevance for Air and Naval Staffs working in headquarters of other components or elsewhere in the joint arena. The course’s remit is to instruct on Joint Fires at the Brigade and Battle Group levels across the spectrum of operations; but will concentrate on high intensity warfighting at the BG level."

This course appears to be strictly rank-ranged. Before I pick up the phone to the RSA and make a fool of myself, have any YO's / SNCO's ever attended ?
 
#3
Many thanks.

The intent is for 6 Regt AAC (V) to develop an Avn Ops Support function over and above our expertise in FARP'ing AH etc.

I've been trawling the DIN's for courses, exercises etc. that would support some of the training objectives.

Sounds an extremely interesting course.
 
#4
I did the cse back in Mar/Apr and can highly recommend it. A good spread of capbadges and reps from the other two services. It is good to see that we have at last started to break down the barriers that once existed between FOOing, FACing, mortars etc.

I never thought that I would say this but, well done the RSA.

C_T
 
#6
I think for the ''walls'' to come down further the RA need to accept the idea that they dont own the FAC world .How about a rep from JFACTSU at the RSA?.The way it looks to me is that there is a massive loss of comms between the RA joint fires types and the rest of the non-RA FAC's. The term ''Empire building'' is often heard on the wet and windy Op's of Otterburn,Loch ewe and Spadeadam.
 
#7
tally_target said:
I think for the ''walls'' to come down further the RA need to accept the idea that they dont own the FAC world .How about a rep from JFACTSU at the RSA?.The way it looks to me is that there is a massive loss of comms between the RA joint fires types and the rest of the non-RA FAC's. The term ''Empire building'' is often heard on the wet and windy Op's of Otterburn,Loch ewe and Spadeadam.
so what FAC training is actually done at the RSA??
 
#8
Sounds good. Lets get a JFACTSU rep down there. There is also some discussion about relocating elements of the LWS Support Weapons School there.

Stuff empire building lets just get this crucial activity right. I am quite happy if T-T wants to rename the RSA; no skin off my nose if he calls it T-T's RAF School of Best Practice for Joint Fires...

C_T
 
#9
mastergnr said:
tally_target said:
I think for the ''walls'' to come down further the RA need to accept the idea that they dont own the FAC world .How about a rep from JFACTSU at the RSA?.The way it looks to me is that there is a massive loss of comms between the RA joint fires types and the rest of the non-RA FAC's. The term ''Empire building'' is often heard on the wet and windy Op's of Otterburn,Loch ewe and Spadeadam.
TT, I don’t believe that the RSA think they own FACs, as you know they do not train FACs what they strive to do, is to stop FACs thinking they work for themselves( sat on a deck chair wearing sun glasses) and train them as part of a team in joint fires and that they come under the control of the FST commander who they are working too.
Affirm Visual friendly’s
 
#10
''happy friendlies 2 ks NE''

Am am well aware that no FAC training is conducted at Larkhill. I just think as do many of my FAC chums,that there should be some FAC interest at RSA. Joint fires is here to stay and if the RA want to embrace that then brilliant.Its the other corps that have been caught napping.It is a fact that Fast air is a massive player within Joint fires yet the FST commanders coming off the course seem a little naive to CAS .Maybe you gunners should check fire once in a while to let us do our jobs.We know our jobs just let us get on with it.''Too many cooks'' and all that.

Having said all of that ,I have been plesantly surprised to find the training at RAF Waddington fantastic and many of the old school BC types are either moving on or coming round a little.If the RA had a dedicated trade as an FAC then I am sure it would get many transfer requests.Just dont make us wear those silly white tw@t hats.I for one see the massive potential that the FST concept can bring.However there seems a while to go yet.



sense of humour please guys.
 
#11
ChargeSuper said:
mastergnr said:
tally_target said:
I think for the ''walls'' to come down further the RA need to accept the idea that they dont own the FAC world .How about a rep from JFACTSU at the RSA?.The way it looks to me is that there is a massive loss of comms between the RA joint fires types and the rest of the non-RA FAC's. The term ''Empire building'' is often heard on the wet and windy Op's of Otterburn,Loch ewe and Spadeadam.
TT, I don’t believe that the RSA think they own FACs, as you know they do not train FACs what they strive to do, is to stop FACs thinking they work for themselves( sat on a deck chair wearing sun glasses) and train them as part of a team in joint fires and that they come under the control of the FST commander who they are working too.
Affirm Visual friendly’s
CS, my bold, I think you do FACs a dis-service, somehow I missed the deckchair issue in HERRICK/TELIC. As for working for myself? My overriding mission is to support the Grnd Cdr's SOM.

I am inclined to agree with TT regards the RA expansionist mentality, Why are FSTs commanded by a FOO? Arguably a FAC enables the most versatile kinetic platform and is equally versed in BM (there are other cse out there that specifically deal with BM), has the rank, SA and comms. I think that RSA consider FAC to deliver greater capability in some respects and as such are desperately trying to maintain the position of steam gunnery. Kit such as the TUAV, GMLRS and Point Defence Wpn give trhe RA utility in the contemporary operating environment. I just wish that you (RA) would stop trying to do everything and allow the other Corps, Arms and Services to deliver excellence in their respective AO as opposed to a sub-optimal RA solution (FST manning for instance...due to limited manpower money and resources)
 

Captain_Crusty

War Hero
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#12
[quote="johnnypaveway]

I am inclined to agree with TT regards the RA expansionist mentality, Why are FSTs commanded by a FOO? Arguably a FAC enables the most versatile kinetic platform and is equally versed in BM (there are other cse out there that specifically deal with BM), has the rank, SA and comms. [/quote]

An immediate problem with FACs being FST Comds is that you would need 2 FACs (1 to FST Comd and 1 to FAC) in every FST. We struggle as it is to provide the necessary number of FACs across the purple community so suggesting we should have twice as many is unlikely to hold much water.
 
#13
[
CS, my bold, I think you do FACs a dis-service, somehow I missed the deckchair issue in HERRICK/TELIC. As for working for myself? My overriding mission is to support the Grnd Cdr's SOM.

quote]

deckchair - messing around

I do believe that anyone can be an FST commander if they have an understanding of all aspects of joint fires, for an FAC who is not RA cap badge and does not understand gunnery, this would be difficult, FACs are doing a fantastic job both in Afghan and Iraq and they must be left to carry out their job without worrying what the guns, mortars, AH are doing, that is the FST commanders responsibility to co-ordinate and de-conflict.
Not sure what they teach at RSA on the FST/FOO cse so will not comment on their lack of understanding of Air when they finish, maybe someone who as just completed the cse can comment

PS the training at RAF Waddington is of excellent value for both Joint fires Cell/FPC and FST and is a step in the right direction, I believe this is run by Gunners from RSA
 
#14
Captain_Crusty said:
[quote="johnnypaveway]

I am inclined to agree with TT regards the RA expansionist mentality, Why are FSTs commanded by a FOO? Arguably a FAC enables the most versatile kinetic platform and is equally versed in BM (there are other cse out there that specifically deal with BM), has the rank, SA and comms.
An immediate problem with FACs being FST Comds is that you would need 2 FACs (1 to FST Comd and 1 to FAC) in every FST. We struggle as it is to provide the necessary number of FACs across the purple community so suggesting we should have twice as many is unlikely to hold much water.[/quote]

CC, being pragmatic, I agree with you entirely, as quite rightly you point out that we are undermanned for current competent CR FACs. That said


CS from your post:
I do believe that anyone can be an FST commander if they have an understanding of all aspects of joint fires, for an FAC who is not RA cap badge and does not understand gunnery, this would be difficult, FACs are doing a fantastic job both in Afghan and Iraq and they must be left to carry out their job without worrying what the guns, mortars, AH are doing, that is the FST commanders responsibility to co-ordinate and de-conflict.
Not sure what they teach at RSA on the FST/FOO cse so will not comment on their lack of understanding of Air when they finish, maybe someone who as just completed the cse can comment

My bold, the FST Cdr does not have to be a Gunnery SME, as long as the FST contains someone who is, he can get on with the job of running the team. The role of the FST Cdr is to integrate effects and translate grd cdrs SOM into supporting effects.

My second bold, every time a tgt is prosecuted by Air, the FAC is worrying about Guns/Mortars/AH/TLAM/TUAV/SUAV/GMLRS from yourselves and then all the other air users because he is paid to understand the joint environment. FAC'ing is not just about the terminal control. My key point is that just because someone is not RA/RHA capbadge, pse do not expect them to be ignorant of RA fires and integration. As a consequence I still maintain that a FAC can cmd an FST..............pity we don't have enough :roll:
 
#15
ChargeSuper said:
[
CS, my bold, I think you do FACs a dis-service, somehow I missed the deckchair issue in HERRICK/TELIC. As for working for myself? My overriding mission is to support the Grnd Cdr's SOM.

quote]

deckchair - messing around

I do believe that anyone can be an FST commander if they have an understanding of all aspects of joint fires, for an FAC who is not RA cap badge and does not understand gunnery, this would be difficult, FACs are doing a fantastic job both in Afghan and Iraq and they must be left to carry out their job without worrying what the guns, mortars, AH are doing, that is the FST commanders responsibility to co-ordinate and de-conflict.
Not sure what they teach at RSA on the FST/FOO cse so will not comment on their lack of understanding of Air when they finish, maybe someone who as just completed the cse can comment

PS the training at RAF Waddington is of excellent value for both Joint fires Cell/FPC and FST and is a step in the right direction, I believe this is run by Gunners from RSA
Whoa there mate. If there is a/c in the air on task it is the FAC's responsibility to de-conflict it with the other things travelling through the air. AH mortars or arty. One of the things you don't wanna here as an FAC is "I never thought it would make that big an explosion" As a Mortar round knocks the jet out of the sky. The FAC is controlling the air and deconflicts be that by time, height or latterally.
 
#16
Whoa there mate. If there is a/c in the air on task it is the FAC's responsibility to de-conflict it with the other things travelling through the air. AH mortars or arty. One of the things you don't wanna here as an FAC is "I never thought it would make that big an explosion" As a Mortar round knocks the jet out of the sky. The FAC is controlling the air and deconflicts be that by time, height or latterally.[/quote]

myapologies, your right he takes control and deocnflicts however responsibility lies with the FST comd
 
#18
forniup said:
Not on the board of enquiry if anything happens to the FJ
Surely it is the responsibility of the FST Comd to inform the FAC of Vertex heights, gun tgt lines (when hot or cold) and the responsibility of the FAC to inform the FST Comd how he/she is de-conflicting so that the FST Comd has the whole picture
 
#19
ChargeSuper said:
forniup said:
Not on the board of enquiry if anything happens to the FJ
Surely it is the responsibility of the FST Comd to inform the FAC of Vertex heights, gun tgt lines (when hot or cold) and the responsibility of the FAC to inform the FST Comd how he/she is de-conflicting so that the FST Comd has the whole picture
You are correct that there should be sharing of SA regards: Vertex Height, GTL, Obscuration, Illumination. But irrespective of the orders of the FST Cdr, it is the FAC who will be held accountable for the safety of the ac/crew.........am off to find a deck chair :D
 
#20
Hmmm...lots of issues here but straightaway I'd like to say that I think you're all in violent agreement! Here are some views (coloured by my own background as a FAC), which are clearly separate from my professional views, of course:

1. FST Comds must be RA capbadged. Clearly this is crap. If the Gunners can make an Air Defender an FST Comd, they can take anyone with a brain and do likewise, from any capbadge. DRA don't like this as they feel this will reduce their stranglehold on the capability (discuss) and dramatically reduce the ability of BCs to do their job in the future. This is also crap as there aren't enough of those as it is; and surely exposing a cohort of junior officers from other capbadges to the whole 'Joint Fires' piece can only benefit RA PLC...?

2. FACs can be FST Comds. Yes - of course they can. However, the FST needs another FAC in the team, as it has been demonstratively proven on Ops and Trg that an FAC qualified FST Comd tends to focus exclusively on that capability to the exclusion of all else: I have the Investigation Reports to prove it.

3. RA 'own' FACs. Hmmm - that's not even a long term aspiration. True, by 2010, over 80% of FACs will be RA capbadged, but training will remain in the capable hands of JFACTSU. There is no requirement to have a JFACTSU rep at the School and in any event, the move of the CR course to LWC (wrongly IMO) means that capability can be brought in if needs be. Besides, I understand that the Jt Fires Cell (Wing?) at Harry Larkers have FAC Obs personnel so I would question the presence of a JFACTSU blokey anyway.

4. FACs 'do' BM. Oh no they don't - not by a very long shot. At least, they aren't system-trained to do it. They receive additional training in this specialism through the (developing) PDT cycle but it has been acknowledged by the chain of command that this needs to be addressed. Interestingly, a TACP was discovered at RAF Waddington who didn't even understand the concept of Class G airspace and they'd both been in post for over 18 months. The inclusion of TABM as a mandatory requirement for TACP-bound personnel will go someway to resolving this. I believe that we also need to provide a bespoke capability to FACs in FSTs as well, as there is far, far more to this than just running a ROZ/HIDACZ. The most recent POR from Op HERRICK bears this observation out: FACs needs to be better at this, but the system is guilty of failing them to a degree. It should also be borne in mind that the 2 major theatres do this very differently indeed.

5. FACs and the deckchair mentality. There is nothing more arrogant and obnoxious than a brand new FAC. Zero operational controls but my God, do they talk the talk. Oakleys on, shirts off, and on with the one man show. Fortunately, we now identify these clowns a lot earlier and have sacked 3 on PDT and 2 on Ops so we are doing better at this. However, they are a special breed of people with a different way of looking at the world, so who really cares as long as they deliver? Well, it would appear that various 'stuck-in-the-muds' in the chain of command care so we find ourselves increasingly defending these muppets until they effectively sack themselves by fcuking up magnificently. So I can see where the opinion comes from, but by and large, I am hugely impressed with the current batch of FACs although I am increasingly concerned that the quality is dropping: fact.

6. Responsibility lies with the FST Comd. Rather like 'the FAC owns the bomb' this only goes so far. The ultimate responsibility remains with the pilot. Yes - they may be exonerated by the BOI but they'll certainly be the first point of contact. Improved support to SIB will also ensure that incompetent FSTs and sheer cowboyism (guilty.... :D ) will not go unchecked in future. As has been pointed out, the FST commands a group of people who control so he/she shares some corporate responsibility in any event. In the case of aircraft sharing space with ballistic projectiles (or any other airspace user for that matter) the FST Comd should as a matter of course, ensure that the whole team remains abreast of everything, but in reality the FAC controls the sky and everyone lets him know what's going on. My point is that there is a huge difference between TTP and what is taught - too many people getting caught out on this one: again, I have the Investigation Reports.

7. We don't have enough FACs. I absolutely agree, but I would ask why this is. I believe it is because we don't retain the ones we train (at vast expense) and then let them slip back into their dull lives in Inf Bn 101: approx 85% of FACs are lost this way post HERRICK. If you're lucky, you'll get a 'career' FAC from FR (like Johnny PW) who breathe the capability: unlucky, you get whatever Inf Bn 101 can afford for the trawl, so perhaps it's a blessing in disguise. I have handled 7 transfers for FACs into the Gunners through various sneaky loopholes but we need to do better. We are now looking at a full career for Jt Fires blokes from Cpl - Brigadier, if the DOC piece is accepted - which it will be!

Again, these are only my views. Undoubtedly some of this will have people reaching for the 'Outrage' key instantly, but I'm coming from a position of a certain amount of knowledge. Cue 'Internet Tough Guy' posts...
 

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