Warfighters from throughout the United States will gathered at the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC), Tucson International Airport for the 31st annual Weapons and Tactics Conference (WEPTAC) Oct. 22-26.
This year’s theme is “Persistent Conflict – Enabling the Warfighter” as the focus will be on the rapidly expanding missions of the Air Reserve Component (ARC) and its warfighters.
During the week-long conference, more than 600 ARC members assembled for the event to attend briefings and discussions throughout the base. There were 27 different working groups with specific breakouts to discuss the tactical development and modernization planning for the future of their respective airframes.
The conference concluded with an executive meeting and out brief of their findings to the Director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt III and Lt. Gen. James Jackson, commander Air Force Reserve Command.
“The major benefit of WEPTAC is that it defines the warfighters requirements from a bottom up perspective bringing in weapons officers and tacticians from across the ARC. They spend three days discussing what their needs are from a warfighter view to help them do their job better down the road,” said Col. Richard Dennee, AATC commander.
Previous WEPTACs have produced positive results for the future based off of input from the conference, field representatives, MAJCOM staffs, System Program Offices, and Industry. “We take those requirements and test them to make them a reality in the future. These results are seen anywhere from six months to a couple years after the conference,” said Colonel Dennee.
The WEPTAC conference is a chance for 162nd Fighter Wing members to interact with other warfighters also engaged in current operations. This allows the wing to share its mission, weapons and tactics knowledge with other important players within the Air National Guard operational loop.
“The 162nd Fighter Wing benefits from this process because of their 59 maintainers who support the AATC mission. They provide a direct daily support that helps the war effort. The wing’s pilots are sometimes asked to fly with AATC to support testing missions along with A-10 pilots from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base,” said Colonel Dennee.
“We appreciate the teamwork and partnership with AATC, the National Guard Bureau, ARC and all who which support our critical mission,” said Col. Mick McGuire, 162nd Fighter Wing commander