By: LTC Ron Pendleton, CW5 Scott Brusuelas, and LCDR Matthew Kiefer
The Joint Combat Assessment Team (JCAT)—which consists of Army, Navy, and Air Force contingents—continues to adapt to the ever-changing worldwide operations to process evidence from aircraft hostile fire incidents to give combatant aircraft unit commanders immediate threat data, while also providing data for engineering improve-ments to reduce the loss of lives and aircraft.
Since our last update, the team has been busy completing Phase Two and Three of our three-phase process to certify new JCAT assessors. JCAT Phase Two training was held at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) China Lake, CA, on 11–15 March 2019. JCAT trainees from Navy, Army, and Air Force personnel participated and received credit for JCAT training. The Phase Two course is designed to build upon the student’s Phase One training, with additional classroom-based instruction, threat education, simulated field-based events, and event report-outs.
JCAT Phase Three, the Threat Weapons Effects (TWE) training, was held at Eglin AFB, FL, on 23–25 April 2019. TWE training draws information from threat exploitation, live fire testing, and combat experience to provide a complete picture on threat lethality. This year’s event brought together approximately 200 personnel, including military and civilians in the survivability, intelligence, and aircraft operation fields. Subject-matter experts delivered briefings on various topics, such as design for Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) aircraft survivability, data analysis of recent hostile fire events, warhead design and blast effects, air-to-air threats, antitank guided missile threats to aircraft, and the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) system, among others. In addition to briefings on the latest happenings in the community, this event hosted a well-received live fire demonstration consisting of two shots of a man-porta-ble air-defense system (MANPADS) against a simulated aircraft structure as well as a static detonation of a PG-7.
With the completion of the JCAT phase training class of 2019, 27 joint personnel are now fully qualified JCAT assessors. Four of these members from the Air Force will be deploying to various overseas locations this year and are dual-hatted with battle damage repair and JCAT duties.
Finally, Army JCAT would like to hail CW3 Paul Olson and his wife, Tracie. Paul joined JCAT in April after complet-ing a recent deployment to Afghanistan with the Brigade Aviation Element, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. As a former infantry-man and aviator, he brings a diverse background and is a welcomed addition to the team.
In addition, Army JCAT extends a sad farewell to CW4 Bart Schmidt. Bart officially retired from active duty at the end of May after a +26-year career, and he will be sorely missed. The entire team would like to thank him for his service to the Army, to JCAT, and to the nation. We wish him and his family the best of luck in their next adventure.