561st JTS enhances warfighter TTPs

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Nellis AFB is home to many groups and squadrons with important mission capabilities that make the U.S. Air Force the most flexible and capable force possible.

The 561st Joint tactics Squadron is one of those units that calls Nellis AFB home. The squadron works to enhance warfighter lethality through past lessons learned, and utilizes current tactics, techniques and procedures as a tactical resource -- in the form of a diverse library of volumes and annexes.

"The 561st JTS develops and maintains all Air Force TTP 3-1s and 3-3s," said Maj. William Burns, 561st JTS director of operations. "Typically, 3-3s are the basic employment manuals for all U.S. Air Force weapon systems and the 3-1s are considered the advanced tactical employment manuals."

As emerging TTPs are developed Air Force wide, the 561st JTS captures and disseminates them to the Combat Air Forces through the form of Flash or Tactics Bulletins. In this way the 561 JTS is able to update the manuals in the middle of the rewrite cycles.

"However, the priority focus for new tactics being developed and used is centered on the area of responsibility," said Burns. "Thus, the development of new TTPs in any AOR can be quickly brought to the attention of the rest of the CAF so they are aware and can start training to them."

One important role of the 561st JTS is its work to foster integrated-warfare TTPs by bridging operations between mission areas, services, and across platforms.

"A great example of this is in non-kinetic operations command and control TTPs that the squadron continues to work on," said Burns. "The 561st JTS also works to help focus the CAF on force readiness In line with the (chief of staff of the Air Force) and (commander of Air Combat Command) priorities. The 561st JTS spearheaded the push for contested, degraded, operationally-limited integration into all Air Force TTPs. Finally, the 561st JTS is a key enabler to multi-service TTP development, working hand-in-hand with the Air Land Sea Application Center for its development. Bottom line is the 561st JTS is the AFTTP focal point for the Air Force and joint and coalition partners."

The squadron is uniquely set up in order to accomplish its mission. The squadron is divided roughly into three sections: production, information technology, and operations or lessons learned.

The production department works toward writing the initial or rewriting existing AFTTP volumes. Volume managers work with model managers in order to keep them on a predetermined time line.

"Our foreign military sales folks work with headquarters Air Combat Command, Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs, and contractors for the development of our FMS volumes daily," said Burns. "Our director of production is charged with working out all the fine details and ensuring that all the magic is happening."

Within the production department the editors and graphic artists work animation and graphics in to the volumes as required.
"I turn pilot speak into English," said Cassandra Kardeke, 561st JTS editor. "My job is to help the subject matter experts (which consists of the mission design series operators) organize their information and change technical speak to common English so that anyone can understand the information."

Due to the amount of data and the squadron's mission, they necessitate a small IT department. The IT department ensures the 561st JTS systems are up and running. The department also ensures data is secure and accessible to the rest of the CAF.

"They are charged with the task of taking the 561st JTS into the future in respect to our IT strategy and the squadron's vision," said Burns.

In order to capture new and emerging tactics, the squadron has a handful of SMEs. The SMEs work in the operations side of the squadron, continually developing a credible network in order to gather information Air Force wide. They are continuously engaging members for any and all new and emerging TTPs.

"Typically, they actively participate in their mission design series missions, this way they are able to keep their skills, relevancy and credibility within their communities," said Burns "They also go on temporary duty assignments to observe operations and missions in the AORs, exercises, etc., within their mission areas, as experts, gathering the required info the rest of the CAF needs. The rest of their time is spent vetting and writing flash and tactics bulletins for the CAF. Our subject matter experts also serve as the model managers for their MDS, AFTTP 3-1 and 3-3 as well."

The 561st JTS works with almost all operational AFSCs which use or work with AFTTP. The vision of the squadron is to be a well-trained and integrated team, with a positive and cohesive culture that efficiently communicates credible solution to priority air, space and cyberspace tactical problems.

Since April 2015, the 561st JTS has published nine 3-1s and six 3-3s totaling over 6,000 pages. Among these were volumes for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the E-3 AWACS, U-2, as well as volumes in support of Air Force Special Operations Command and Air Force Global Strike Command.