Tackling the Hard Weapons and Tactics Problems

Air Combat Command’s annual Weapons and Tactics Conference brought some 600 participants to Nellis AFB, Nev., in January, and generated some 68 proposals for tactics improvement for the combat air forces, said a panel of weapons officers Thursday at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. This year’s meeting had a multi-domain focus, looking for cyber, space, and kinetic effects beyond an individual pilot’s own aircraft or platform, they said. Air Combat Command hosted the conference’s first-ever joint Mission Area Working Group, inviting representatives from the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy to take part in identifying areas for improvement and to help fill out a “scorecard” for how well they rated cross-domain integration in a variety of mission areas. “Air Force operations in integrated environment is going to be critical in the future,” said Maj. Kendrick Carroll, the air battle manager in ACC’s weapons and tactics office. The areas the MAWGs focused on included defeating modern, long-range surface-to-air missiles; finding, fixing, tracking, and assessing naval missile threats; prioritizing shots in integrated air and missile defense; and recovering personnel in a contested environment.