NEWS | Nov. 14, 2018

C-17 Weapons Instructor Course teams up with 535th Airlift Squadron for Indo-Pacific indoctrination

By Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman 15th Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The C-17 Weapons Instructor Course got its first look at the Indo-Pacific region when it flew with the 535th Airlift Squadron for the first time at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, from Oct. 5-8.

Students enrolled in the C-17 Weapons Instructor Course, assigned to the 57th Weapons Squadron, normally fly out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., but the 15th Wing offers.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to give Tier 1 Weapons Officers access to training and assets to operationally prepare them to become tactical leaders,” said Maj. Daniel Hartung, 57th WPS director of staff. “Training here in Hawaii is a great opportunity that is hard to match, as it gives our students exposure to the total force integration environment and multiple platforms, as well as access to joint assets.”

According to Hartung, the focus of the C-17 Weapons Instructor Course is to teach students how to think multilaterally while problem solving.

The Weapons Instructor Course is an advanced tactical and leadership course that teaches Air Force integrated warfighting. At the end of the course, students become the primary tactical experts at their wings and serve as an advisor to their commanders on tactical employment.

The training event indoctrinated weapons students to a joint environment, as they not only integrated with the 19th and 199th Fighter Squadrons, but also connected with sailors aboard the USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), homeported at JBPHH, to learn about the Aegis weapons system.

The Aegis Weapon System is a centralized, automated, command-and-control and weapons control system that was designed as a total weapon system, from detection to kill. The system is an advanced, automatic detect and track, multi-function phased-array radar that can perform search, track, and missile guidance functions simultaneously.

The 57th WPS’ visit was mutually beneficial for 535th AS.

“This is a great opportunity for us,” said Capt. Jonathan Lewczyk, 15th Operations Support Squadron chief of weapons and tactics. “This event not only exposes future weapons officers to the Indo-Pacific region, but it is also great training for the 535th AS, as it allows us to expand our capabilities.”

The 535th AS uses the C-17 Globemaster III, the most flexible cargo aircraft in the airlift force, to conduct its mission of global airlift, airdrop, and aeromedical evacuation operations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. The C-17 Weapons Instructor Course visit exposes pilots to advanced tactical maneuvering they can use to further the 535th AS’s mission.