JCAT Corner

by the Aviation Survivability Development and Tactics Office

Photo Courtesy of LTC Thaggard, Fort Novosel PAO

Photo Courtesy of LTC Thaggard, Fort Novosel PAO

The ability to rapidly assess and mitigate enemy air threats has never been more crucial for the future success and survival of our aviators and their mission sets. For this reason, the Joint Combat Assessment Team (JCAT) has continued efforts to better refine capability in future Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO)—whether those take place on land or sea.

As a large part of this endeavor, the active-duty component of JCAT, the Army’s Aviation Survivability Development and Tactics (ASDAT) office, has worked a variety of initiatives to improve the intelligence collection process for JCAT by implementing novel technologies while also working diligently to revive the use of pre-existing national or Joint assets. Access to capabilities of this nature has proven imperative to JCAT’s ability to closely monitor the operating environment. This improved collection capability not only allows JCAT to be as far “left of bang” as possible, granting shorter response times, but it also directly enables Joint Combat Damage Collection efforts in LSCO environments once incidents begin to occur.

JCAT also recognizes that actively and intentionally practicing within a Joint environment will be critical to ensuring efficiency in future survivability operations. As a nod to the Joint-interoperability of JCAT, the ASDAT recently hosted a small team of Navy personnel at Fort Novosel, the home of Army Aviation, to make headway on cataloging nearly a decade’s worth of Army Combat Damage Data into the Combat Damage Incident Reporting System (CDIRS). The Navy team, led by CDR Frank Ianiro, spent countless hours conducting CDIRS training and uploading historical data. This venture not only confirmed CDIRS functionality and accessibility across JCAT Service components but also provided the survivability community with enduring access to the Army’s Combat Damage data archive.

Separate initiatives in modernizing JCAT efforts have focused on strengthening and deepening JCAT knowledge and increasing JCAT membership. JCAT’s annual Phase I training was conducted at Fort Novosel in January, adding 30 more JCAT-trained combat damage assessors to the community. The ASDAT would like to congratulate this class on a job well done and thank our Navy and Air Force counterparts for their role in ensuring high-quality training.

Additionally, the ASDAT would like to make the survivability community aware of an upcoming training opportunity. In September 2024, the Army Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE) G2 will be hosting its first Intelligence Support to Aviation Symposium (ISTAS) at Fort Novosel. ISTAS is intended for both the aviation and intelligence communities and will be focused on topics geared at improving intelligence support to aviation operations.

Finally, the ASDAT would like to bid a fond farewell to CW4 Blake Gailey, who retired after an Army career that spanned more than 21 years. Blake served as the ASDAT’s UH-60 subject-matter expert and will be deeply missed by the team. We thank Blake for his hard work and dedication to the Army and survivability community.