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Air Force's newest air advisor publication leverages 'best practices'

by Capt. Sybil Taunton
Air Force Expeditionary Center Public Affairs

8/24/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. (AFNS) -- The Air Force's newest tactics, techniques and procedures publication, AFTTP 3-4.5 Air Advising, became an official document after being signed by Maj. Gen. Brett Williams, Headquarters Air Force director of operations, and Maj. Gen. Bill Bender, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, recently.

"The publication of this TTP will, most importantly, provide guidance to Air Advisors both in training and operating in the field," said Bender. "It will also help continue the discussion on the importance of collecting lessons learned and best practices that our Joint Tactics Squadron can codify and develop into TTPs used to guide mission effectiveness in future operations."

The development of the publication was led by Headquarters Air Force, Irregular Warfare Directorate, and facilitated by the Expeditionary Center's 422nd Joint Tactics Squadron.

According to Master Sgt. Richard Oliver, of the 422nd JTS and three-time Air Advisor in both Iraq and Afghanistan, AFTTP 3-4.5 provides Air Force advisors with guidance on how to assist partner nation air forces in building, sustaining and implementing air power capabilities, as well as building aviation enterprises in support of national policy.

"The document codifies best practices and lessons learned from air advising units collected from after action reports, theater collection visits, commander exit interviews, and the experiences of subject matter experts from across the advising communities," said Oliver.

The TTP will serve as a foundational publication for air advisors conducting building partnership and security force assistance type missions around the world. Additionally, it guides air advisor training currently executed at the Air Force Air Advisor Academy located here.

"It was a tremendous advantage to have the 422 JTS co-located with the Air Advisor Academy here; this enhanced and expedited the development of this viable new tool for the air advisor," said Col. John Holm, Air Advisor Academy commander. "The Air Advisor Academy now has a grass roots set of tactics, techniques and procedures to help produce the next generation of air advisors and this same document will help air advisors in the field effectively accomplish their mission."

Development of the TTP began with a series of working groups hosted by the 422nd JTS where more than 50 subject matter experts came together to discuss lessons learned and best practices within the air advising community. The development team was led by David Ellis, of Headquarters Air Force, Irregular Warfare Directorate, and Col. John Holm, of the Air Advisory Academy. The team also included representatives from Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Central Command, Air Force Special Operation Command, Joint Center for International Security Assistance Force, Mobile Support Advisory Squadrons and recently deployed advisors.

Following the development process, the 422nd JTS facilitated the production and coordination process of the TTP.

"By having a production and coordination team available, the Air Force gets the maximum benefit from subject matter experts while leaving the coordination and validation process in the hands of the 422nd JTS," said Oliver. "The coordination process used by the JTS ensures major commands, field operating agencies and Air Force headquarters agencies get the opportunity to review the TTP prior to publication."

AFTTP 3-4.5 Air Advising is available for download on the Expeditionary Combat Support TTP repository. According to JTS officials, the repository supports 163,000 Airmen, providing a common global environment for sharing information and knowledge with ECS forces. The repository includes a master AFTTP library, consolidating all currently available TTP documents, after action reports and lessons learned reports.

"Our goal is to get more ECS Airmen and leaders talking about TTPs, and helping the 422nd JTS determine what mission sets could benefit from this process. We need the experts actively involved to ensure we are preparing personnel in the field with the best available guidance that will drive successful operations and keep our Airmen safe," said Bender.

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