A U.S. F-22 Raptor conducts a combat air patrol mission over an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Sept. 13, 2019. The F-22, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation's Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. (Air Force photograph by Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)

U.S. Air Forces Central Command held their fall Weapons and Tactics Conference (WEPTAC) Sept. 23-27, 2019, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

Tactical Experts Agree

Tactical experts from across the region discussed current issues and provided solutions for challenges facing the U.S. Air Force, joint services, and coalition partners.

“The WEPTAC is a series of working groups that are providing tactical improvement proposals,” said Tech. Sgt. Brian Nawrocki, AFCENT joint tactical attack controller weapons officer. “TIPs are suggestions from the tactical and operations communities on how to improve employment of combat air capability. Once the TIPs are consolidated, they are formatted into questions that the working groups brainstorm over for the week.”

WEPTAC allows the group to work toward improved processes in a consolidated setting.

A U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle conducts a combat air patrol mission over an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Sept. 10, 2019. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night and in all weather. (Air Force photograph by Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)

“The attendees are invited several months in advance and are subject matter experts from across the region,” Nawrocki said. “For example, if we want to improve how we are conducting close air support, the WEPTAC organizers will invite the aircrew who fly the missions, as well as tactical air control party personnel, to participate in the conference.”

As a result, once the working group chairs present their recommendations, senior leaders can use the work they did during the conference to make better-informed decisions on enhancing equipment and policies to facilitate improved conditions for the warfighter to operate and win across all domains.

“Our focus is on security and stability in the Arabian Gulf, supporting our partners in the region, and expanding our operational depth to protect U.S. interests,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, AFCENT commander. “This conference gathers experts from around the theater to develop and enhance tactics, techniques, and procedures that advance combat capability. Constantly refining the way we execute airpower makes us the most capable Air Component in the world.”

A U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt II conducts a combat air patrol mission over an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Sept. 21, 2019. The simple design of the twin-engine A-10 and its ability to loiter and maneuver at low air speeds and altitudes makes it an accurate, effective, and survivable weapons-delivery platform. (Air Force photograph by Master Sgt. Russ Scalf)


U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles break away during a combat air patrol within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, June 2, 2019. The F-15 plays an integral role in shaping the battle space of ongoing operations, working hand-in-hand with joint, international and interagency partners, providing stability in the region by deterring current and emerging threats. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Keifer Bowes)


An U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II departs following recieving fuel from a KC-10 Extender from the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, June 11, 2019 at an undisclosed location. The 908th EARS plays a key role in ongoing operations in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility by maintaining constant readiness in support of air operations, providing deterrence and stability, and bolstering the mission efforts of coalition partners. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Keifer Bowes)