An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Developing Mobility Air Force Tacticians through Tactics Advancement

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Joseph Morales
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

The 305th Air Mobility Wing collaborated with the 60th AMW and 436th Airlift Wing to host a new three-week, hands-on Tactics Advancement Course from Jan. 10-28.

The course is designed to strengthen and advance combat aviation skills of C-17 Globemaster III aircrew members assigned to the 305th Operations Support Squadron, 6th Airlift Squadron, 3rd AS and 21st AS.

“We are faced with threats worldwide. Near-peer and pacing adversaries have forced us to redesign our training,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Michele LoBianco, 305th Operations Group commander. “I’ve asked my Airmen – ‘how can we prepare, train and ultimately be ready for what comes next?’ They came back with the Tactics Advancement Course…to ready our forces, outpace our adversaries and standardize advanced training across the entire C-17 Mobility Air Forces.”

The new course trains and prepares C-17 crewmembers to operate in complex and non-permissive environments; equipping them with knowledge and skills that familiarize them with advanced strategic and tactical operational flying.

This was accomplished through a week of academic sessions and a week of hands-on mission planning cells held at Joint Base MDL. The training culminates to a week of tactical sorties at Travis Air Force Base where C-17 loadmasters and pilots from JB MDL, Travis AFB, and Dover AFB apply their skills and knowledge to meet force generation requirements.

“The course is designed specifically to challenge aircrew to plan and fly in more dynamic and challenging environments,” said Maj. Sarah Radakovich, 6th AS chief of tactics. “By emphasizing collaboration in the mission planning cells, we’re allowing pilots and loadmasters to integrate with each other and force them to think about problems in a way they haven’t had to before. Right now, we’re succeeding at exposing aircrew to [new] concepts, challenges, and what the future fight against a near-peer might look like.”

The training aims to fully utilize the C-17’s capabilities of rapid strategic delivery by emphasizing the aircraft’s flexibility, performance and ability to integrate with the other services, such as working with Marines to employ artillery systems and deploying soldiers to austere airfields.

TAC provides pilots, instructor pilots, loadmasters and instructor exposure to the coordination and organization needed in order to effectively plan a contingency mission.

“We want to expand everyone’s perspective,” said Maj. Charles Cummings, 21st AS C-17 evaluator pilot. “We have a singular goal, which is to make better crewmembers. By having loadmasters and pilots here, we’re creating tacticians: people who are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and can develop tactics, techniques, and procedures to succeed in the next fight.”

The objective of TAC aligns with the Air Force’s new Force Generation Model, by providing a standardized schedule for training while preserving readiness.

“Each month different Wings will take turns leading the off-station trainer portion of the course. Each month is going to be a slightly different ‘flavor,’” said Capt. Daniel Jones , 305th OSS chief of wing tactics. “Eventually, we want this training not only for the C-17, but also the KC-10 Extender and KC-46 Pegasus, as well as other career fields.”

Additionally, students who go through the program will be eligible to teach the program for future classes and continue embracing a collaborative training environment.

“It’s an iterative process, the program is constantly evolving,” Jones said. “With this course, we’re accelerating our pace of learning. We’re raising the bar to present forces that have the training required to be ready for anything.”