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News | June 10, 2024

Air Force, Army symposium focus on improving large-scale combat operations

By 505th Command and Control Wing Public Affairs

The 505th Command and Control Wing, Detachment 1, hosted the second annual Warfighter Air Component Symposium, or WACS, last month, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

WACS 2024 was a key enabler in generating joint readiness during Warfighter exercises over the next year. Having Air Force and Army training staffs come together to focus on how to build more robust and real-world scenarios only helps to improve these world-class large-scale combat operation exercises around the globe.”
Col. John Schmidtke, 505th CCW, Det 1 commander

The symposium brought together key U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force personnel to strengthen partnerships and joint integration. This event highlighted recent observations and lessons learned from U.S. Army Warfighter exercises to identify solutions that will enhance the warfighter training experience.

“The more we can train to realistic SOPs [standard operating procedures], the better we will serve the training audiences at each of their respective theaters,” said retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. William Holland, former commander, 9th Air Force, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.

The symposium hosted 70 representatives from Air Combat Command’s Personnel Recovery Division, 505th Combat Training Squadron, U.S. Army’s Mission Command and Training Program, U.S. Army Joint Support Team, the Program Executive Office for Counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems, and the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command. The 505th CCW, Detachment 1, in the partnership of 505th CTS, is tasked to ensure that the tactical air control party, or TACP, along with the Air Operations Center - Replication Cell, provides an accurate air component replication to U.S. Army Warfighter exercises.

photo of large conference room with slide on wall, military members sitting at tables with computers
Air Force, Army symposium focuses on improving large-scale combat operations
The 505th Command and Control Wing, Detachment 1, hosted the second annual Warfighter Air Component Symposium, or WACS, May 5-7, 2024, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This year’s symposium covered a range of topics to include ground-based air defense, air defense warning and authorities, airspace control and management, future of TACP command and control, dynamic targeting, and counter-unmanned aerial systems; these topics were also tailored to the European and Indo-Pacific theater challenges and observations. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Photo By: U.S. Air Force
VIRIN: 240530-F-ES928-1001
“The purpose of the symposium was to highlight recent key air component observations and challenges to identify potential solutions and then agree on a way ahead,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Thomas Hopkins, 505th CCW, Det 1, WACS lead organizer. “Through the design of the symposium, Army and Air Force leaders and training staffs identified their requested efforts and initiatives that will help improve Army-Air Force integration in future iterations of the Warfighter exercises, which are designed to address the large-scale combat operation challenges in both the European and Indo-Pacific theaters.”

This year’s symposium covered a range of topics to include ground-based air defense, air defense warning and authorities, airspace control and management, future of TACP command and control, dynamic targeting, and counter-unmanned aerial systems. These topics were also tailored to the European and Indo-Pacific theater challenges and observations. Additionally, ACC briefed U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force leaders to inform them on the current and forecast changes to how the TACP will execute C2 for U.S. Army corps and divisions. 

photo of large conference room with slide on wall, military members sitting at tables with computers
Air Force, Army symposium focuses on improving large-scale combat operations
The 505th Command and Control Wing, Detachment 1, hosted the second annual Warfighter Air Component Symposium, or WACS, May 5-7, 2024, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This year’s symposium covered a range of topics to include ground-based air defense, air defense warning and authorities, airspace control and management, future of TACP command and control, dynamic targeting, and counter-unmanned aerial systems; these topics were also tailored to the European and Indo-Pacific theater challenges and observations. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Photo By: U.S. Air Force
VIRIN: 240530-F-ES928-1002

“WACS 2024 was a key enabler in generating joint readiness during Warfighter exercises over the next year. Having Air Force and Army training staffs come together to focus on how to build more robust and real-world scenarios only helps to improve these world-class large-scale combat operation exercises around the globe,” said U.S. Air Force Col. John Schmidtke, 505th CCW, Det 1, commander, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 

After the symposium, participants attended the symposium’s debrief session, which summarized the way ahead for all the participants involved and their respective organizations.