509th Weapons Squadron creates KC-46 Weapons Instructor Course

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Haiden Morris
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Airmen assigned to the 509th Weapons Squadron welcomed the addition of KC-46 Pegasus pilots responsible for creating the new KC-46 Weapons Instructor Course at Fairchild Air Force Base in May of 2023.

The 509th WPS recruited six KC-46 instructor pilots from around the Air Force to build a syllabus and curriculum to shape what graduates of the future KC-46 WIC will be required to do.

Maj. Ian Maier, a KC-135 WIC cadre member assigned to the 509th WPS, is the lead WIC instructor mentoring the KC-46 WIC initial cadre. The six initial cadre members will put themselves through the course as students while also instructing themselves to validate the courseware, flights, and mission-specific desired learning objectives.

“The stand up of a weapons instructor course is a pretty big task,” said Maier. “I honestly think we have the best six people to do it.”

Maj. Kristi Miner, a KC-46 WIC initial cadre member assigned to the 509th WPS, explained that creating new courses such as this increases the lethality and agility of Rapid Global Mobility at a moment’s notice.

“Any weapons instructor course is aimed at creating experts at tactical employment of the aircraft,” she said. “This is particularly important for the KC-46 because it’s a new Air Force asset.

“The KC-46 WIC is standing up under the 509th because they are the experts at tanker employment, and they have decades of experience running a WIC and producing weapons officers,” Miner added. “We are here for their mentorship and expertise.”

The initial six KC-46 WIC initial cadre members will start instructing the courseware among themselves in January 2024 to validate and improve the course. The first group of KC-46 WIC students are expected to take the first official class in July 2024.

“Combining the KC-135 and KC-46 communities allows us to share expertise with each other,” said Miner. “[KC-135] Graduates will be better KC-46 planners because we are here, and we should be better tanker planners because we understand the KC-135 better from being in the same building.”

The evolution of courses and training is aimed at preparing Airmen to develop tactics, techniques, and procedures and create expert tactical problem solvers that are ready for tomorrow’s fight, anytime, anywhere.