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TRF, CRF conduct joint fires observer training

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from Malmstrom’s tactical response force conducted their first joint fires observer helicopter training with convoy response force Airmen from the 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron May 8, 2017.

Joint fires observer training consists of Airmen traveling to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for two weeks to learn to communicate over radios, assess ranges of targets, properly read a map and call for different close air support, whether working with the Army, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard, or receiving support from aircraft or ships. The members then come back to Malmstrom for more training to learn additional tools and techniques centric to the base’s mission.

Convoy response force Airmen ensure the secure transportation of the base’s nuclear assets to help the weapons safely arrive at their destination, while TRF is responsible for recapture and recovery of assets at launch facilities, weapon storage areas and during all nuclear logistical movements to deny and prevent escape and restore government control.

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Kitts, 741st MSFS TRF flying program manager, has been with TRF since 2015. Kitts oversees TRF flying operations by working with all security forces group personnel to facilitate helicopter integration efforts.

Kitts said when TRF trains and learns new techniques, it is imperative to spread the wealth of knowledge and add more tools to the toolbox.

“We are all here to make sure we can successfully execute the mission,” Kitts said. “We do this by learning and teaching new abilities to other security forces Airmen.”

Joint fires observer training for the CRF team allows the trained members to request, control and adjust surface-to-surface gun fire, provide air support targeting information and stay in communication with aircrew and the airborne fire team inside a support helicopter. The AFT also provides extra security during convoys and additional fire power if needed.

The implementation of JFO training came after the 40th Helicopter Squadron armed their UH-1N Iroquois Hueys to provide defensive capabilities. In order to provide safe, accurate and smooth communication, individuals must be able to control gun fire on the ground and provide near-perfect identification of targets and locations.

Tech. Sgt. Michael Pease, 741st MSFS TRF NCO in charge, said it is vital for a group of Airmen to hone the necessary skills to provide security to the nation’s defense.

“We already integrate with CRF and we are familiar with the (40th HS), the hueys and what they go through,” Pease said. “We need specialized Airmen to be able to work together and be a cohesive team for security and for recapture.”