JCAT Corner

by LCDR Mike Allen

JCAT Group Shot

The summer 2022 edition of the “JCAT Corner” provided some initial insights into the Naval component of the Joint Combat Assessment Team (JCAT-N), including some perspective on anticipated issues and challenges that will likely impact timely aircraft survivability assessments in future peer-level conflicts. As a follow-up to that article, this edition highlights some of JCAT-N’s recent efforts that have been keenly focused on addressing those challenges.

As is widely known, the current JCAT training curriculum is supported by Phase 1 at Fort Novosel, AL, and Phase 2 at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, CA. These courses help lay the foundation for understanding the aircraft battle damage assessment process for both tactical and rotary-wing platforms, provide detailed study of current threat systems, enable examination of aircraft system survivability, and include relevant live-fire demonstrations.

To help further mature the training curriculum, Navy members assigned to JCAT evaluated additional advanced assessment training opportunities and coordinated alignment with Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force active component commands to enable operational training during the Northern Edge 23-2, Talisman Sabre 23, and Marine Aviation Support Activity (MASA) 23 fleet and field support exercises. At these events, JCAT-N members were distributed throughout the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) theater and embedded with the active component commands at multiple levels to continue maturation of their operational expertise, test their concept of operations, continue training and development of advanced tools and assessment processes, and strengthen information flow and relationships with the associated commands.

Team members were able to successfully integrate with the active commands, run simulated aircraft battle damage events, and perform timely aircraft battle damage assessments. The alignment with the operational community during these U.S. and partner-nation fleet and field exercises provided the Navy component with strategic and tactically relevant experience, with planned growth across the JCAT components through future standardized training. These lessons learned are currently being applied to future fleet exercises incorporating Navy, Army, and Air Force JCAT membership to further refine JCAT procedures, as well as provide training and investment opportunities for JCAT to operationalize this new concept of operations.


U.S. Marine Corps Photo

While the focus of the recent operational training was on enhancing aircraft battle damage assessment capability necessitated through global uncertainty and risk of a peer- or near-peer-level conflict, the goal and emphasis of these efforts (and others like it) continue to be the preservation of peace among nations across the globe.

JCAT will continue to train and expand capabilities across all Service components with strategic emphasis on sharpening our skillsets in advanced tools and battle damage assessment processes.

In conclusion, JCAT-N extends its sincere appreciation to the component commands that enabled our success during these recent events. Their continued professionalism and dedication to ensuring military capability and capacity prove once again that they are dedicated world-class Warfighters!