Easing Work for JTACs:

SSgt. Erik Roberts, a joint terminal attack controller with the 422nd Test and Evaluation Center at Nellis AFB, Nev., is testing new technology so that JTACs will have better ways to track troops and control air strikes. A Ground Mobile Gateway—a Humvee outfitted with tactical battlefield command and control functions for real-time field application—will allow a JTAC to see Blue force and Red force assets on the battlefield to improve close air support. The GMG taps the Link 16 on the F-16, F-15E, and F/A-18 and the situational awareness data link on A-10/OAs, combining them into one system that the GMG combines with ground-force provided GPS coordinates to provide “a live common operating picture of the battlefield,” reports journalist MSgt. Tonya Keebaugh. Roberts said that he can “now see the ground picture and the air picture as it’s moving,” and, he went on, “The machines do the math and let the warfighters make the decisions.”