The 509th Weapons Squadron partners with the 92nd Operations group to support WSINT course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Haiden Morris
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Air refueling professionals assigned to the 92nd, 93rd, and 97th Air Refueling Squadrons and the 509th Weapons Squadron participated in the Weapons School Integration course at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Nov. 26 - Dec. 13, 2023.

WSINT is a series of complex, large-force employment missions that serve as the capstone portion of U.S. Air Force Weapons School classes which take place twice a year.

The course consisted of 21 weapons schools coming together to train across the Nevada Test and Training Range and over 15,000 square miles of air space.

“Over three weeks, students plan, execute, and debrief large force missions ranging from counter-land to defensive counter-air,” said Capt. Blake Kidd, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot assigned to the 93rd ARS and a weapons school graduate. “The students learn from each other and the instructors as they train to the pacing threat, and upon graduation, all new weapons officers and weapons instructors are charged with training and leading their communities to ensure readiness for any future fight.”

Before they can graduate, weapons school students are required to undergo six months of training, log over 400 flight hours, and complete 15 flying missions and multiple ground missions. Following that, students complete the three-week WSINT where they plan and execute every aspect of air, space and cyber combat operations, with joint force components converging over the Nevada Test and Training Range and other air spaces.

“Weapon School students go through core academics run by the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base,” said Kidd. “The 509th Weapons Squadron handles tanker-specific Mission Design Series specific academics, flying missions and ground missions which test and improve students’ ability to make and communicate a plan for a very complex problem set in a very limited period of time.”

Kidd also noted how strong partnerships between Airmen assigned to the 509th WPS and tanker units like the 92nd OG improve the effectiveness of WSINT.

“Guest crews provided by the OG and other tanker bases allow better training to occur,” said Kidd. “The volume of tanker sorties required to make the WSINT vulnerability windows happen is high, so guests help facilitate that.”

Throughout the course, the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron alone provided over 165,600 pounds of jet fuel to multiple air frames including F-15E Strike Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-22 Raptors, and F-35A Lightning IIs.

“Our job is to make sure that aircraft can stay in the air and in the fight for as long as possible,” said Senior Airman David Trulson, an inflight refueling specialist assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron. “On a typical day for a boom operator, we are used to two or three receivers, but WSINT forced us to adapt to multiple stacks of fighters coming one after another for aerial refueling.”

Trulson added that WSINT provided the 92nd Operations Group real-world scenario training with weapons school students who demonstrated the vast skillset they gained while undergoing their assigned courses.

“Being prepared and able to come together with our counterparts for [any] future threat is what this exercise is about,” he explained. “This is a good example of how we are staying ready and pushing our capabilities to a new level.”

Fairchild supporting exercises like these ensures that Airmen across the Air Force are trained to apply appropriate tactics to possible pacing threats, and ensure they are ready for tomorrows fight anytime, anywhere.