Week-long summit happens at Nellis Air Force Base
Capt. Joseph Grennon
380th Ground Liaison Detachment,
5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada — Twenty-four Ground Liaison Detachments (GLDs) and Reconnaissance Liaison Detachments (RLDs) from seven U.S. Air Force bases spanning from Guam and Japan to Alaska and Arizona met at Nellis AFB, Nevada for the inaugural 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment (BCD) Ground and Reconnaissance Liaison Detachment Academics.
In addition to the 5th BCD leadership and the GLDs and RLDs, the United States Army Pacific Deputy Commander-South, Major General Charles A. Flynn, a personnel management team from the U.S. Army’s Human Resources Command, representatives from the Army Joint Support Team (AJST) and the 5th Combat Training Squadron were present for the developmental seminars.
“The purpose of this week of academics is to achieve a baseline of knowledge and share operating experience among our GLDs and RLDs,” said Lt. Col. Karlis Krievins, the 5th BCD Deputy Commanding Officer.
The academic seminars included courses on Air Force weapon systems, enemy anti-air threats, fratricide prevention, practical exercises, and career management presentations and discussion with the team’s human resources representatives. The academics also ran concurrently with the Air Force’s Green Flag exercise, the Air Force’s air-ground exercise at Nellis, AFB, which offered opportunities for the GLD Academic participants to sit in on close air support pilot briefings.
Major General Charles A. Flynn, served the keynote speaker for the GLD Academics.
“Commanders now have endless options for receiving support,” Flynn said. “At some point, someone has to stack those options to best support the commander on the ground. GLDs have a role in that process.”
Flynn also talked about the challenges facing the Army with respect to Multi-Domain Battle and Cross-Domain Fires, specifically how the different Department of Defense services operate off separate communication systems, which creates issues with integration among the different services.
“As an Army we need to relook our policies and procedures that create these issues, so that we may practice integration,” said Flynn. “We need to push joint interoperability to the tactical level. GLDs are key to building these relationships.”
GLDs and RLDs serve as liaisons between the Army and Air Force Wings. When Army units require airlift, reconnaissance, or close air support, the GLD and RLD teams provide pilots with valuable information on both friendly and enemy locations, threats, and airspace considerations.
In 2011, the Ground Liaison Qualification Course at Nellis Air Force Base closed its doors presenting a reoccurring opportunity for direct mentorship with respect to doctrinal knowledge for Ground and Reconnaissance Liaison Officers and Noncommissioned Officers.
The 5th BCD, Commander, Colonel Charles “Hawk” Mills, seized on this and organized and led his team conducting this week of seminars. To overcome the tyranny of distance presented by the 5th BCD headquarters being at Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam in Oahu, Hawaii and the subordinate GLDs and RLDs supporting U.S. Air Force bases spanning from Japan to Arizona, he has empowered the team’s campaign of education with the goal of creating a baseline of knowledge, building the team, and creating a forum for the exchange of tactics, techniques, and procedures.
The week of the academics culminated with an air mission briefing and practical exercise. This exercise provided the teams experience and the leadership provided valuable feedback to the GLDs and RLDs on maximizing effective integration of Cross-Domain Fires through their critical role briefing pilots.
Building on the success of this conference, the 5th BCD leadership is preparing the GLDs and RLDs for a more direct role in developing, observing and reporting the procedures and practices of Cross-Domain Fires between the Army and Air Force.