DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Seventeen C-130H Hercules and C-130J Super Hercules from several active duty, reserve and air guard bases took off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in support of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School Joint Forcible Entry 17B, Dec. 9.
The JFE 17B is a USAFWS large-scale airdrop and land mobility mission at Nellis AFB, Nev., in which students from the weapons school plan and execute a complex air-land operation in a simulated contested battlefield.
The Weapons School Integration is the capstone event that culminates a 5-month course for its students. WSINT involves the planning and execution of every aspect of air, space and cyber combat operations, with joint force components converging over the Nevada Test and Training Range.
“Working with joint forces allows students to practice how we will fight,” said Lt. Col. Marty Smith, 29th
Weapons Squadron commander. “It affords the opportunity to see the battle space through others' points of view. From a Mobility Air Force standpoint, working with joint forces allows students to understand capabilities and limitations of supported and supporting forces so they can communicate requirements, enhance capabilities, and minimize vulnerabilities in execution.”
WSINT demonstrates the strategic advantage of multi-domain, integrated command and control and produces leaders capable of delivering success in a spectrum ranging from small tactical teams to strategic transformational change.
“Weapons Officers require a strong track record of credibility,” said Smith. “The only way to gain that credibility is to put students into leadership and planning roles in large scale exercises of this kind. This gains them the experience they can bring back to their units, use to advise their commanders, and lead and execute if/when the National Command Authority calls upon the forcible entry option.”
Participants have the ability to synchronize aircrafts movements from geographically-separated bases, command large formations of dissimilar aircraft in high-threat airspace and tactically deliver and recover combat forces via airdrops and combat landings on an unimproved landing strip.
“The goal of this phase is to get the different air frames of the Air Force together to fight a big air war,” said Lt. Col. Scott Lew, 317th Operations Group deputy commander. “The total focus is on our joint capabilities to ensure the air and ground are safe to execute the mission.”
Every six months, the school graduates approximately 100 weapons officers and enlisted specialists who are tactical system experts, weapons instructors and leaders of Airmen.
For the past three years, Dyess has been the host base for the launch of the C-130H Hercules and C-130J Super Hercules that participate in the capstone event which aids in the wing’s mission of maintaining readiness and executing operations to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere.
USAFWS class 17B is scheduled to graduate Dec. 16. Upon graduation, the new weapons officers return to the field to serve as unit weapons and tactics officers, leading combat missions and providing Air Force senior leaders and decision makers tactical, operational and strategic impact support.