Inside Nellis Air Force Base: The US Air Force Weapons School

Military Tech

MYSTERY WIRE (LAS VEGAS, NV – KLAS) — We’re taking you inside Nellis Air Force Base to highlight the advanced tactics and technology airmen are using to help defend the United States.

Of course, it all begins with training.

The U.S. Air Force Weapons School, located at Nellis, provides top-notch preparation to mold some of the best and brightest airmen in the country, so they can take the skies by storm. It is truly a one-of-a-kind classroom.

“What we do is train our students to become tactical experts in their combat specialty,” said Maj. Joseph Butler, chief command and control (C2) integration / air battle manager (ABM) weapons instructor course (WIC).

Butler is an instructor at the weapons school. He says the doctorate-level course runs twice a year, with anywhere from 100 to 130 airmen from all over the country in each class. The course involves a couple of weeks of academics.

“Radar theory through weaponeering, the whole gamut,” Butler shared.

Then, students get crucial, hands-on experience. This includes mid-air battle sequences, mock deployment of missiles and live fire operations.

“We start moving into more tailored ground events, simulations, live flying,” Butler explained.

Airmen at the weapons school go through about five and a half months of training, all culminating in what is known as the Weapons School Integration (WSINT).

“That is the pinnacle of the student’s time here at the weapons school,” Butler said. “It’s the crucible.”

WSINT happens during the final four weeks of the course. Students integrate multiple weapons systems across the air, land, space and cyber domains.

“You’re going to have one of our students at the weapons school as that leader for the joint force,” Butler said.

The whole point is to produce top airmen, who after graduation, can be trusted advisors to their commanders — and true leaders.

“They will be in charge of preparing their squadron for war,” Butler explained.

Nellis also provides the perfect place to practice, with the Nevada Test and Training Range.

“They are able to now actually go out and do their techniques, their tactics, their procedures to the full extent against an adversary that most best replicates what they might face in combat,” shared Col. Cameron Dadgar, commander of the Nevada Test and Training Range.

“The fact that we have the [Nevada] Test and Training Range just up the way is a huge benefit,” Butler said.

The school and the space combined create a formidable force.

“Having that person be the expert that’s able to fly, that’s able to mission plan, take lessons learned and lead… is something they can only get here at the weapons school.”

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