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The voice of the warfighter

  • Published
  • By By 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts and Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira
  • 162nd Wing Public Affairs
The Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) hosted the 2014 Weapons and Tactics (WEPTAC) conference here, Oct. 20-24.

In its 33rd year, WEPTAC surrounds the 162nd Wing's direct support of the Air Reserve Component (ARC) convening on base. This year's WEPTAC is of vital importance as Guardsmen and Reservists continue operations globally, and the topics set for discussion are strongly affected by feedback from warfighters at home and abroad.

During the week-long conference, nearly 800 reserve component members assembled to attend briefings and discussions throughout the base.  Working groups discussed tactical development and modernization planning that will shape future mission execution.

"The weapons and tactics council is designed to provide direct feedback from the warfighter to the Director Air National Guard and Commander Air Force Reserve Command," said AATC Vice Commander Col. Bryan Cook.  "Based on their feedback, we can go out to industry and congress to show them what we need to develop the capabilities to meet our mission requirements."

Also, the conference is instrumental in determining the tactics, training, capabilities, and hardware required to accomplish the varied ARC missions.

"It (the conference) is input from the bottom up - getting the needs of the people at the ground level and communicating to the people on top," said 1st Lt. Carl Sundin, 195th Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) officer-in-charge. "It's what we need to gain a tactical advantage."

He added this type of forum is instrumental for field level users to communicate with leaders, who ultimately decide where funding is directed.

With any military operation, logistics is paramount, which is why Sundin advocates WEPTAC as a vastly beneficial assembly of defense-minded talent, all vying for modern equipment.

The theme of this year's gathering was "Global Warriors-Domestic Security," focused on the dual missions of protecting the community and country at home or abroad. 

"The reason we chose this year's theme is because the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are being employed all over the world, hence global warriors," said Cook. "While we're fighting all around the globe, we can never forget our 'no-fail' mission to defend the homeland."

The annual event generated positive feedback from its attendees. War-fighters and industry expressed how outstanding this year's event proved to be, said Cook.