Weapons-minded warriors converge at 162nd Wing

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(Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt Micah Hill/Released)

TUCSON, Ariz. – — Warfighters from throughout the Air Reserve Component (ARC) gathered for the 34th annual ARC Weapons and Tactics Council Oct. 19-23 at the Tucson International Airport and Davis-Monthan AFB, home of the conference hosts Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center, the 162nd Wing, and the 355th Fighter Wing.

This year’s theme was “Defend the Homeland – Win the Nation’s Wars.” The focus of the event was on the rapidly expanding mission sets of the Air Reserve Component and its warfighters involved in domestic and overseas contingency operations.

“The absolute objective of WEPTAC is to define warfighter requirements from an unfiltered bottom up perspective bringing in weapons officers, tacticians, and Air Staffs from across the ARC,” said Lt. Col. Brian Sherry, the WEPTAC Council Chairman and Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center F-16 pilot.

The WEPTAC conference is a chance for all airframes and mission sets to interact with other warfighters also engaged in current operations. This allows the ARC to share its mission, and weapons and tactics knowledge, with other essential players within the ARC operational loop.

During the week-long conference, more than 700 ARC members assembled for the event to attend briefings and discussions between the two operating locations of the 162nd and 355th. There were 31 different working groups with specific breakouts that discussed the tactical development and modernization planning for the future of their respective airframes and mission sets.

The conference concluded with an executive meeting and out-brief of warfighter conclusions to Lt. Gen. Stanley Clark III, the director of the Air National Guard, and Lt. Gen. James Jackson, the commander of the Air Force Reserve.

“These select warfighters spend three days discussing Airmen combat priorities, lessons learned, and tactics proposals before briefing them directly to the ARC senior leadership, congressional staffers, and peers,” said Sherry.

Previous WEPTAC councils have produced immediate changes for future requirements based off input from the warfighters, field representatives, major command staffs, system program offices, and industry.

The event, held Oct. 19-23 at Tucson International Airport and Davis Monthan Air Force Base, focused on the rapidly expanding mission sets of the Air Reserve Component, and brought together warfighters from multiple airframes and mission sets to discuss tactics, weapons, and solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.