USAF Fighter Weapons School Graduation – Mission Employment 11a
On June1st – June 9th the USAF Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB held its bi-annual graduation exercise, M.E. (Mission Employment) Phase for Weapons School Class 11A. Students prepare over the first 5 months of the course with hundreds of hrs graduate level academics and advanced flight/mission time. 480 individual sorties and over 1400 flight hrs, 93 students are set to finish the USAFWS course and graduate after M.E.. 4 students will finish the first U.S.Navy AEA (Airborne Electronic Attack) Weapons School Class- EA-18G Growler (VAQ-129 Vikings). Over 30,000 man-hours go into making M.E. happen with 5 months of work for integration shop and various off-station players.
On June 8th 2011 public affairs at Nellis hosted a Media day for ME phase 11A. Photorecon and several Military aviation photojournalist were in attendance to capture the launch and recoveries of the various aircraft participating in their final flying missions of the exercise. We were allowed access to the mid-field area situated on the west side of Rwy 21R between the runway and main flight line taxiway catching the remainder of the late morning launch and later to the EOR at the departure end of 21R for recoveries after all aircraft recovered, we were then taken to USAFWS buildings conference room for a Q&A briefing with Col. Robert “Shark” Garland, Commandant of USAFWS, followed by the following:
Maj David I. Stamps – Director of Staff
Maj Kurt C. Helphinstine – Chief, Integration Flight/Mission Employment Phase Project Officer
Maj Suzanne M. Nadal – Chief of Academics
Maj James N. Davitch – “Red Czar”/Aggressor Force Coordinator, USAF Weapons School
Capt John A. Christianson – Chief, Joint Force Integration,
They described about ME phase 11A and the role of the USAF Weapons school.
Participants included 90+ aircraft, and various ground, space, and cyberspace units,and over 3500
personnel from all branches of the U.S. military units included:
VAQ-129-EA-18G 14WPS-AC130,MC130 66WPS-A10 57WPS-C17
VAQ-209- EA-6B 16WPS-F16 77WPS-B1
422TES- A10,F15C,F15E,F16 17WPS-F15E 325WPS-B2
9th RW- RQ-4 19WPS-INTEL 328WPS-SPACE,ICBM
VAW-117- E2 26WPS-MQ1,MQ9 340WPS-B52
USSOCOM 29WPS-C130 433WPS-F15C,F22
91 NWS- CYBER 34WPS-HH60 509WPS-KC135
315NWS-CYBER 64AGRS-F16 65AGRS-F-15
CAOC-N – AOC(AIR OPS CENTER) 98RW- SURFACE TO AIR
608AOC 507ADAS- SURFACE TO AIR
614AOC 57IAS- INFORMATION OPERATIONS
A special thanks to Public Affairs 2lt Kenneth Lustig and Senior Airman Michael Charles for making our Media days and visits possible, An additional thanks to Airmen First Class’s Whitney Jackson and Cynthia Haughton for their professionalism and assistance!
BRIEFING VIDEO, COURTESY OF RICHARD TRAJANO of Nellisspotters.com