Pre-WIC helps for future trials
By Airman Quentin K. Marx , 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 20, 2020
ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Two B-1B Lancers assigned to the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons at Ellsworth Air Force Base launched to prepare and train individuals for the Air Force Weapons School April 15.
The Air Force Weapon School, located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is a six-month volunteer program and is meant for pilots, combat systems officers and other careers to become subject matter experts on how to operate in high-stress combat operations.
“This school is meant to train Airmen to solve very difficult problems with limited resources in a short amount of time,” said Capt. Jay Martin, the 37th BS weapons and tactics chief. “It also teaches students how to utilize all the systems on the jets, how to integrate into different combat roles, and how to drop bombs on targets under abnormal conditions.”
Airmen who are exceptionally good at their jobs in specific Air Force Specialty Codes, such as pilots, navigators and weapons systems officers, and intelligence Airmen, can volunteer to participate for the school, with the school itself determining which applicants attend. Applicants are decided based on how well the students perform on specific tasks.
“Airmen must do a lot of planning of real-world missions and practice missions, as well as know the integration of assets and how the different aircraft operates,” said an Airman assigned to the 28th Operations Support Squadron. “The students will learn how to perform combat rolls, drop munitions, learn more in-depth controls of the jets, and how to incorporate all of this training into a multi-domain combat situation.”
Two Airmen from the 28th OSS also helped prepare student aircrew members for the application process to the Air Force Weapons School during this test mission.
“This school also allows for students to get acclimated with integrating with different military services,” said the Airman. “The students must study all of the volumes to prepare for any possible situation that might occur during flight.”
Students must train vigorously before they are allowed to join the Air Force Weapons School, as well as perform test missions to simulate what they would be doing at this school and possibly what they would be doing on the field. Only when the students are fully prepared will they get the chance to be selected to attend this school.
“There are two pilots and two weapons systems officers in each B-1,” Martin said. “For this mission, there were trained aircrew members in one aircraft, while the second aircraft had one student pilot and WSO each assigned to one instructor pilot and one instructor WSO. The students lead the mission planning and inflight leadership, and the instructors were there to ensure they achieve the desired learning objectives, and that the mission was executed safely.”
For this mission, the students were tasked with dropping bombs on targets in Utah. Specifically, they were training to deliver weapons without the help of the B-1’s GPS constellation guiding the bombs to their targets.
Martin continued that the April 15 launches were one of the final steps the students had to take to show they are ready to be admitted to the school that they have trained so hard to be in.
*Some names have been removed due to anonymity.