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328th WPS tackles WSINT from space

The Milky Way Galaxy is on full display as it passes by a ground-based electro-optical deep-space surveillance telescope located on White Sands Missile Range--the location of Detachment 1, 20th Operations Group and their space surveillance mission, March 29, 2017 in New Mexico. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --

The Weapons School Integration (WSINT) exercise involves a multitude of aircraft, including fighter jets, cargo planes, bombers; however, the 328th Weapons Squadron (WPS) has a different perspective of the battlefield during the week-long exercise.

 

The 328th WPS creates space superiority weapons officers who take what they learn from the Weapons Instructor Course (WIC) and apply it to combat, using a multitude of systems from space.

 

“WSINT is the capstone opportunity for our future space weapons officers to take everything they have learned up to this and integrate those systems and capabilities at the tactical level,” said Maj. Ryan Foster, 328th WPS integration lead.

 

Foster said anytime the squadron has an opportunity like WSINT to rehearse, train and practice with cyber and intelligence units, it absolutely increases the Air Force’s lethality as a larger fighting force.

 

“It’s a pretty rigorous course,” said Capt. John Canaan, 328th WPS student. “Going in, you understand that you’re going to have long days and obtain a lot of knowledge. Most weapons school candidates are focused on one specific aircraft, while we are fixated on 30 or more space systems in which we need to be experts. In the end, though, it’s very rewarding.”

 

Canaan said when it comes to aiding the Air Force, training is important so when weapons officers understand how to complete the mission in a joint environment.

 

“One of the missions we do during WSINT is a dynamic targeting mission in which the fighter jets look for surface-to-surface missiles,” said Foster. “There are things that we can do from the space side that can narrow down that area instead of the fighters running around the (Nevada Test and Training Range) looking for a needle in a haystack. We can help narrow down that area based on some of the capabilities we provide.”

 

“If we aren’t practicing how to fight that fight today, we’re not going to be ready when the fight happens,” said Foster. “The time to figure that out is now. Taking advantage of opportunities like WSINT, where we can bring it all together, will help us in the future.”

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