Next Level: Defender Weapons and Tactics

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gen. Mike Lutton
  • 20th Air Force commander

Weapons and tactics are not new to the Security Forces community. In fact, the Defenders often lead the way with innovative approaches to the application of weapons and tactics in defense of USAF-joint combat capability.

Chief Orf and I recently visited the professionals at the Ground Combat Training Squadron located at Camp Guernsey, Wyoming. Among the many highlights of the day, Chief and I met a group of Defenders attending the weapons and tactics course. The students represented nearly every major command in our Air Force. The cadre and students were truly motivated to hone weapons and tactics skills.

Security Forces Weapons and Tactics provides a single source to gather, retain, and implement existing, new, and updated Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) into training and daily operations, maintaining a lessons learned and best practices repository for the unit and the Air Force. Actively collecting tactical knowledge and lessons learned from deployed units, evaluating solutions in exercises, and formally preparing them for application across the force, these Airmen are focused on the integration of capabilities and resources across the area of operations maximizing our combat effectiveness.

With roughly two weeks remaining, students will soon graduate and return to their units to increase squadron lethality, improve readiness, and mentor Airmen in the art and science of weapons and tactics application. The students must maximize the USAF’s investment in taking them, personally and professionally, to the next level in order to propel their squadrons forward.

Like every other community on-boarding a formal weapons and tactics program, the defender community must make it their own. What is the mission of weapons and tactics? What echelon of command should weapons and tactics reside at? What is the weapons and tactics billet structure—squadron, group, wing, etc? All questions, plus many others, I know the defender community is ready to tackle the questions that need answers to advance defender weapons and tactics.

Chief and I were yet again inspired by the professionalism and pride of our Airmen. The Ground Combat Training Squadron is clearly on an outstanding flight path with strong leadership at all echelons—from commander and first sergeant to instructor! Our simple but foundational message left with the weapons and tactics class was to remain humble, approachable, and credible. With those attributes embodied by the graduates, Chief and I know defender weapons and tactics will get to the next level.