LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Aircrews from the 29th Weapons Squadron flew dissimilar aircraft combat training (DACT) sorties, better known as airborne intercept sorties, with the Alabama Air National Guard’s famed 100th Fighter Squadron, March 10.
The two squadrons coordinated for three C-130J Super Hercules to fly against two F-16 Fighting Falcons to provide both the C-130 Weapons Instructor Course (WIC) students and fighter pilots an opportunity to practice intercepts against large aircraft and conduct engagements at varying airspeeds.
The purpose of the WIC is to teach C-130J pilots how to become tactical experts and leaders in the art of cross-domain battlespace dominance. Top-tier instructor pilots and instructor navigators are selected to attend the course and are charged with taking their training back to their respective units, increasing overall combat capability and lethality of the force.
According to Capt. Matthew Rounds, 29th WPS flight commander, piloting DACT sorties are part of the student’s Employment Fundamentals phase of the training.
“This phase is used to instruct our students on advanced employment tactics, such as airborne intercept, while allowing them to accomplish multiple iterations to enable them to develop effective lessons learned with which to teach the rest of the MAF [Mobility Air Forces] community,” said Rounds.
The overarching objective for the integrated training was two-fold.
For the 29th WPS students, it was their first opportunity to critically analyze their tactics, techniques and procedures along with their personal assessments when intercepted by a fighter aircraft.
The 100th FS utilized the training to provide experience to their pilots for intercepting low-altitude and varying airspeed targets as both single and formation aircraft.
At the conclusion of the training, the aircrews debriefed together, allowing both MAF and Combat Air Forces pilots to share their experiences during the sortie.
“Overall, this integrated training provided our students an opportunity to validate their assessments and develop a greater understanding of how our CAF brethren prosecute airborne engagements,” said Rounds.