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NEWS | Oct. 27, 2022

6th Airlift Squadron increases lethality to become AFFORGEN ready

By Senior Airman Joseph Morales Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 6th Airlift Squadron participated in a multi-week Tactics Advancement Course at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, V.A., from Sept. 19 to Sept. 29, 2022.

This course enabled participating units to meet Air Force Force Generation requirements by improving Airmen tactical proficiency to meet evolving threats. The course involved classroom academics, mission planning cell operations, and off-station training events enabling a 6 AS C-17 crew to integrate with the 27th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

“For many 6 AS pilots and loadmasters, TAC is their first exposure to semi-prepared runway operations, flying without GPS, or integrating with several other C-17s,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Allen, 6 AS deputy chief of squadron training. “The partnership between the 27 FS and the 6 AS allowed aircrew from both Wings to execute fuel transfer and weapons armament at a simulated Forward Operating Base, a scenario designed to promote unit integration and expose limitations that can be properly addressed in the training environment.”

The off-station trainer allowed the C-17 crew to integrate with F-22 Raptors assigned to the 27 FS. In addition to this fighter integration, the C-17 aircrew successfully navigated GPS-out along the Eastern seaboard and accomplished a rapid employment exercise with the 621st Contingency Response Wing.

“For the loadmasters on this mission, we learned new ways to help our fellow crew members in a harsh environment,” said Senior Airman Alexander Holewinski, 6 AS loadmaster. “TAC showed us that there’s more to the job than being proficient at loading the jet and running checklists. It teaches us that even though we think we can’t help, there’s something else to do on the jet.”

TAC provides aircrew exposure to Joint training opportunities required to operate in increasingly contested environments through the creation of synchronized and coordinated training events across several combat and combat support career fields. 

The addition of fighter integration demonstrates front line ingenuity, and highlights that TAC is ever evolving. The curriculum builds aircrew tactical proficiency and promotes inter-unit relationships, allowing the 6 AS and partner units to pursue AFFORGEN objectives and inform future force design. Future iterations of TAC will focus on communication, sustainment, movement, and maneuver of the Joint Force in contested environments. 

“TAC is the perfect avenue to quickly develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures and test them in small-scale integrated sorties with Air Force and joint partners,” said Capt. Dan Jones, 6 AS C-17 weapons officer. “TAC makes Air Mobility Command, and therefore the Joint Force, more lethal.”