NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Warfighters from around the Air Force came here this week to participate in Air Combat Command’s 13th annual Weapons and Tactics Conference.
According to the ACC website, the two-week event brings in hundreds of Airmen representing every area of the Combat Air Forces and serves as an arena for discussion on current issues, future issues and finding solutions for the joint employment of forces.
“For us in the CAF, WEPTAC is a chance to get together and review tactics improvement proposals that come in throughout the year looking for ways to do things better,” said Maj. Ronnie Hawkins, WEPTAC 2014 conference chairman. “We place a big emphasis on being able to look beyond the current fight.”
The theme for this year’s conference is centered on finding innovative ways to use existing technology to accomplish the five ACC core functions: air superiority; global precision attack; global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; personnel recovery; and command and control. New this year is the participation of Air Force Global Strike Command, the command responsible for the core function of nuclear deterrence operations.
“Our goal is to make sure we’re prepared as an air force to go into that next fight, and that means looking beyond Operation Enduring Freedom,” Hawkins said. “OEF’s been a huge focus for us, but there are so many other parts of the world where we have the responsibility to bring airpower to bear if needed.”
This year’s WEPTAC was divided into two phases. During the first phase, proceedings focused on specific problem sets funneled in from around the CAF’s throughout the year. Those problems were then analyzed by a small tailored group of tactical experts, and then opened up for discussion and brainstorming in a series of briefs held in the following week. The second phase focused on evaluating and validating proposals for tactics improvements for all CAF weapons systems.
WEPTAC concluded Jan. 17 with outbriefs attended by multiple MAJCOM commanders. Gen. Herbert Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, was the keynote speaker.
“This is our one opportunity a year to get everybody together and ask ourselves how we, as the CAF, can do our jobs better,” Hawkins said. “We’re always looking to implement tactical changes that allow us to better accomplish our CAF core functions.”