HomeNewsArticle Display

Weapons school officers employ total force training during Libya B-2 strike

Two B-2 Sprit stealth bombers assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, taxi down the runway as they prepare to takeoff during Deliberate Strike Night at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, June 16, 2016. Two B-2s departed Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri for a transatlantic flight to Libya on Jan. 18 in what would become the B-2’s first combat mission since Operation Odyssey Dawn in 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum)

Two B-2 Sprit stealth bombers assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing taxi down the runway as they prepare to takeoff during Deliberate Strike Night at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., June 16, 2016. Two B-2s departed Whiteman AFB, Mo. for a transatlantic flight to Libya on Jan. 18, 2017 in what would become the B-2’s first combat mission since Operation Odyssey Dawn in 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Kevin Tanenbaum)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- Two B-2 Spirit bombers departed Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, for a transatlantic flight to Libya Jan. 18 in what would become the B-2’s first combat mission since Operation Odyssey Dawn in 2011.

The demanding 30-plus-hour mission against two Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant camps required personnel with advanced expertise in the B-2’s capabilities. It also required a firm grasp of total force integration. In essence, it required graduates of the 57th Wing’s U.S. Air Force Weapons School.

“There was a deliberate effort to fill all of the (B-2 strike) seats with weapons officers because of the niche skill set we train to on our (special operations force integration) ride,” said Col. Michael Drowley, the weapons school commandant.

The success of the B-2 strike demonstrated the total force integration training inherent in a weapons school education. This training made B-2 graduates of the 325th Weapons Squadron the natural go-to experts for the North Africa mission.

“(It is) a testament to the awesome job the 325th instructor corps does to prepare graduates to lead in combat,” Drowley said.

The weapons school’s 26 weapons instructor courses employ a building-block approach to produce weapons officers who are not only doctorate-level experts in a platform or specialty, but also trailblazers in total force and joint integration planning and execution.

The final month of each class consists of the weapons school integration phase, a series of complex missions enacted in a highly contested operational environment.

The immediate applicability of WSINT to a real-world situation was highlighted during the B-2 strike.

Prior to the Libya mission, the most recent sortie flown by Capt. Nathan Mueller, the 13th Bomb Squadron B-2 flight lead, was the WSINT offensive counter-air mission he flew in December as a student.

“It was a very humbling experience when my squadron commander told me that I would be flight lead for what would become the B-2's participation in Operation Odyssey Lightning,” Mueller said. “The dynamic targeting and inherent integration that took place en route to Libya is not something that B-2 pilots train for on a regular basis. It was, however, very much a part of the weapons school syllabus, particularly during WSINT.”

The weapons school instructors do not often have the opportunity to reap the benefits of the WSINT training so quickly.

“We're obviously extremely proud of the work our graduates did in combat,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Hoadley, the 325th WPS commander. “It's especially gratifying to see one of our graduates lead this mission on his first B-2 sortie after weapons school. I would equate it to practicing football plays with your kid in the back yard for six months and then watching them score the winning touchdown on their first game!”

The true value of any integration training, however, lies in its ability to forge weapons officers who can lead and work with diverse forces.

During the strike in Libya, for example, the B-2 personnel collaborated with multiple KC-135 Stratotanker, KC-10 Extender and MQ-9 Reaper crews to achieve the mission. The 325th WPS reflected the weapons school’s “humble, approachable, credible” motto when discussing the strike.

“We recognize we are a very small piece of the big team that led to success on this mission,” Hoadley said.

The weapons school plans to multiply the value of its integration training, from 2017 forward, with more syllabus opportunities earlier in the class and joint partnerships.

This expansion will ensure weapons school graduates continue to provide top-notch leadership to any mission they are called to do.

“I lost count of the number of times we did something in our formation because of a lesson learned during weapons school,” Mueller said. “I can't think of any higher praise for a program than when combat feels like the training scenarios.”

Engage

Twitter
Coming in hot Crew chiefs assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Air Maintenance Squadron conduct hot-refuel training… https://t.co/bOue5e3y08
Twitter
Honoring heritage. The Tuskegee Airmen were not only pilots, they were support personnel as well. Although better… https://t.co/9dJPHKfnXS
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you @Ng_Eng_Hen for welcoming me to discuss the close U.S.-Singapore security partnership. The @USAirForce looks f…
Twitter
Measuring base readiness @Spangdahlem_AB Airmen participated in a base readiness exercise on Nov. 17. During the e… https://t.co/DK6PKX7Irs
Twitter
The Digital University was recently launched to increase digital literacy, by providing access to free courses to a… https://t.co/0fq0lgPEvu
Twitter
Combat Hammer ⚒️ Airmen from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina participated in exercise Combat Hammer, which is… https://t.co/sYUgdA0MLs
Twitter
555th Fighter Squadron Airmen prepare for takeoff during a bi-lateral exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The train… https://t.co/3ZjJsLkn2O
Twitter
Train like we fight. Operators participate in the Special Operations Terminal Attack Controller Course. The 5-week… https://t.co/IOoJBrbqgO
Twitter
Twitter
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Specialized training ensures our Air Commandos are ready any time, any place. #ReadyAF 📸: A1C Blake Wiles https://t.co/8s…
Twitter
Strengthening readiness with dynamic force employment F-16 Fighting Falcons deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base par… https://t.co/xxEbuttB1G
Twitter
Strengthening community ties @AZNationalGuard Soldiers and Airmen served w/a national food bank to provide 1K+ tur… https://t.co/DzmCnjZIZq
Twitter
New toys 🚒 Firefighters assigned to the 422d Fire Emergency Services use a new Rosenbauer PANTHER vehicle to figh… https://t.co/DvhDRwuiYT
Twitter
RT @AF_Academy: Great grad spotlight! We’re proud of you, Keidrick! #LongBlueLine @usairforce @DeptofDefense https://t.co/LYbFtiZWr3
Twitter
Half a century of service. @SecAFOfficial called to congratulate Laura Gourgas, a longtime federal civilian employ… https://t.co/m8s21eOWnO
Twitter
Congratulations, MSgt Holly Vaught! When 20-year-old Holly Vaught walked into an Air Force recruiter’s office in t… https://t.co/NFve0Zheeg
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Taking care of our people doesn’t just stop at the Airmen, it extends out to their families as well. During a time of crisi…
Twitter
Long haul MEDEVAC @TeamFairchild Airmen worked alongside @wyoguard to conduct an aeromedical evacuation mission, w… https://t.co/zEGFybjLFF
Twitter
The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group hosted both Weapons System Evaluation Program East and West at @TeamTyndall and… https://t.co/If0RBeR8TJ
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,312,245
Follow Us