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SECDEF's oldest outreach program visits Nevada's premier USAF bases

  • Published
  • By Michael J. Hasenauer
  • 57th Wing Public Affairs

The Joint Civilian Orientation Conference's 93rd iteration toured Creech and Nellis Air Force Bases on October 26, 2022, and witnessed first hand how the U.S. Air Force is prepared to win the future fight.

Their day started at Creech, where they learned about the MQ-9 Reaper's capability, weapons capacity and munitions systems. Participants were able to sit in the pilot and sensor operator seats while members from the 11th Attack Squadron explained flying techniques and target tracking while in flight.

Afterward, participants traveled to the Nevada Test and Training Range, where they were treated to a combat, search and rescue demonstration on the NTTR. They observed U.S. Air Force Weapons School Combat Search and Rescue Airmen, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, HH-60 Pave Hawks and MQ-9s participating in a scenario focused on blue force recovery of two survivors within a few kilometers of the JCOC viewing area. The group then witnessed simulated attacks and a show-of-force from A-10s tasked to protect the HH-60s and survivors.

Next, the tour transitioned to Nellis Air Force Base with a short ride on a C-130 Hercules, where they were welcomed by the 57 Wing Vice Commander, Col. Conor W. Hiney.

The day continued with an overview of Shadow Operation Center-Nellis capabilities, emphasizing system and technological initiatives on the leading edge of Air Battle Management Systems development, followed by the 6th Combat Training Squadron and Joint Terminal Attack Controller Airmen.

At the 6th CTS, JCOC participants observed JTACs reacting to a narrated simulation of an ambush supported by A-10s and had a hands-on experience with Tactical Air Control Party equipment and tactical gear.

The last stop for JCOC was on Nellis' flight line, where an F-35A Lightning II was on display. Briefers talked about the F-35's capabilities and the role of the Air Force’s newest Aggressor squadron. JCOC members learned how the 65th Aggressor Squadron prepares joint and allied exercise participants with high-end training to compete and win against the pacing threat.

“It was a privilege to host the JCOC 93 team at Nellis AFB today and share the USAF story with such an amazing group of individuals.  Part of what makes Nellis so special is our relationship with the Las Vegas community, and it was great to expand that community to leaders from across the U.S.  I'm thrilled that the JCOC team was able to see what we do at Nellis and, more importantly, meet the airmen who do amazing things to generate airpower for our great country,” said Hiney.

Established is 1948, JCOC is the oldest Secretary of Defense-sponsored outreach program. JCOC alumn include CEOs of Fortune 100 companies, nonprofit organizations, presidents of universities and public administrators from metropolitan cities.

Leaders in civilian professions, organizations and communities make up the JCOC. DOD officials, military departments and JCOC alums chose the members from hundreds of applicants to learn more about the military and the men and women who serve. The Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air and Space Forces and Coast Guard fully immerse the participants during their tenure in the program.

To kick off this year's JCOC, Secretary Austin stated on social media, "It's a pleasure to welcome business and community leaders who are participating in the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. This important program helps create a greater understanding of the skills learned and sacrifices made by our military members."

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