July 1, 2016 (by SrA Stephanie Serrano) - The C-130 Weapons Instructor Course celebrates its 20-year anniversary June 24, 2016, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The course, as some say, is a leadership course disguised as a tactics course.
USAF C-130 Weapons Instructor Course members gather outside for a 20-year anniversary group photo on June 24, 2016, at Nellis AFB. With the recent graduation of class 16A, the C-130 WIC has graduated 304 Weapons Officers, transforming the face of tactical employment and joint force integration. [USAF photo by SrA Stephanie Serrano]
Personnel from the 29th Weapons Squadron stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, traveled to Nellis AFB to participate in and support the 20th anniversary and graduation.
The approach to the class is a fast paced four phase course which begins with the basics of the C-130. From there, it moves on to how to deliver and how to operate the C-130 in different theaters with advanced capabilities.
C-130 students, who have already been certified as weapon system experts in the mobility platform are brought to Nellis AFB for a joint exercise. The WIC flies with partners from the Combat Air Forces, bombers from the Global Strike Command. Bringing all capabilities and partners together for training in how we would fight in the war.
The purpose of the course is to teach pilots and navigators how to deploy a C-130 in any advanced manner and how to instruct that back to their respective bases. Increasing the combat capabilities of flying squadrons and sharing with them techniques, procedures for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat and the latest tactics. It also helps students gain integration experience and take their knowledge combined with all other platforms in the Air Force to be able to employ that in a joint fight.
Only the top tier of instructor navigators and instructor pilots are selected to attend the U.S. Air Force Weapon School.
Mobility Air Forces uses the weapons school to ensure pilots and navigators stay current on procedures in order to effectively engage in a joint environment.
“If we treat ourselves as a separate entity, then we won’t be able to integrate and survive the fights that are out there to be had,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Rick Winfield, 29th Weapons Squadron undergraduate student. “It’s a learning experience that definitely challenges you and pushes you in ways you never expect to be pushed.”
The motto taught for the course is “humble, approachable and credible.” The instructor’s goal is to make students into the best they can be in all three areas.
“They’re really good at making you better, not only in your ability to fly and instruct the C-130, but as an officer,” Winfield said. “I’m looking forward to going back to my unit and taking the lessons that I’ve learned here and try to make people better in the same way that those who came out of this course before me, made me better.”
With the recent graduation of class 16A, the C-130 WIC has graduated 304 Weapons Officers, transforming the face of tactical employment and joint force integration.
“The future for the course is to continue to groom C-130 pilots,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jonathan Dixon, 29th Weapon Squadron phase manager. “There are a lot of new capabilities on the horizon with Block A.1 for the C-130J model as well as data link incorporation.”