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104FW attend WIC at Nellis AFB

104th FW/PA

BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts – Members of the 104th Fighter Wing attended the two-week USAF weapons school integration exercise from April 6, 2024, to April 20, 2024, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. This exercise combined multiple squadrons to test and determine the functionality of new air combat tactics through offensive and defensive counterair measures while using both fourth-generation and fifth-generation aircraft.

Members of the 104th Fighter Wing attend USAF weapons school integration exercise, April 6, 2024, to April 20, 2024, at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada. This exercise combined multiple squadrons to test and determine the functionality of new air combat tactics through offensive and defensive counterair measures while using both fourth-generation and fifth-generation aircraft.


Maj. James ‘Mongoose’ Hurley, 131st Fighter Squadron Weapons Officer, stressed the significance of the exercise through the potential for fourth generation fighter units to provide air combat support to fifth-generation aircraft for future missions.


“We received an invite from the 433rd Weapons Squadron and the 17th Weapons Squadron there for the F-22 Raptor and F-15E Strike Eagle, respectively,” said Hurley. “Our role within the exercise was to integrate with them to focus on advanced-threat defensive counterair the first week and offensive counterair the second week. Overall, our goal here was to provide the sensor, as well as the fourth-generation role in that against fourth and fifth-generation fighter integration.”
Providing fourth-generation fighter F-15 support in the exercise effectively enables the Air Force to practice and analyze the validity of the new air tactics listed in the Air, Land, Sea, and Space application fighter integration doctrine. This also enables the weapons school students at Nellis to learn these new tactics and be able to teach them to their respective future units when they graduate.


“Helping to be the platform that validates the new tactics, whether its operational tests or the weapons school is great,” said Hurley. “But when you bring in units like us who are going to be the ones to get called on to do it, it’s crucial we have invaluable experience in practicing it.”
By having as many as 25-30 sorties per day, the Air Force can effectively analyze how fourth-generation fighters can provide critical support to fifth-generation fighters through combat and tactics integration.


“While the fifth-generation fighters are certainly capable, they are limited in their gas and missiles,” said Hurley. “If we talk about how fourth-generation can to enable that, we have extra missiles, extra sensors that we can use to support them, in so doing making everyone more lethal and survivable than they would be if they were doing so standalone.”
The exercise provided the 104FW with valuable lessons and experience in practicing integrating with the weapons school students and having the ability to sit through their brief, debrief, and mission planning. Through this integration, the Air Force is better equipped to test, validate, and adjust.
“It’s definitely a valuable experience to get to learn the latest tactics they’re coming out with from the weapons school,” said Hurley. “The validation of the new tactics manual and just learning exactly how best to do it with the changes happening daily as we progress and work our way closer to what looks right. Overall, this was the most useful temporary duty assignment I’ve been on, tactically speaking since I’ve been here.”

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USAF announces winners of William Tell 2023 competition

The Air Force wrapped up its first William Tell Air-to-Air Competition in 19 years on Sept. 15, at the Air Dominance Center in Savannah, Georgia.
Airmen from across active and guard wings participated in William Tell 2023, which tested aircrew performance in air superiority, weapons and tactics use, weapons loading, maintenance, command and control, intelligence and weapons director competitions.

“Rule number one for fierce competitors is when the competition is over, you celebrate and congratulate the winners,” said Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command.

The week-long event showcased the air-to-air capabilities of the F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II and F-15 Eagle and Strike Eagle units representing various Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Force and Air National Guard units.

The winners were announced at the William Tell 2023 Closing Ceremonies Friday night.

2023 Winners:

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104th Fighter Wing in Action

F-15C Eagles take off as part of a training exercise Nov. 4, 2022, at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. The 104th Fighter Wing is trained to provide around-the-clock Aerospace Control Alert, providing armed F-15 fighters ready to scramble in a moment’s notice to protect the northeast United States from any airborne threat. (U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Randy Burlingame)
F-15C Eagles take off as part of a training exercise Nov. 4, 2022, at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. The 104th Fighter Wing is trained to provide around-the-clock Aerospace Control Alert, providing armed F-15 fighters ready to scramble in a moment’s notice to protect the northeast United States from any airborne threat. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Randy Burlingame)
F-15C Eagles take off as part of a training exercise Nov. 4, 2022, at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Randy Burlingame)
F-15C Eagles take off as part of a training exercise Nov. 4, 2022, at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Randy Burlingame)