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WEPTAC 2021: Staying relevant for future fights

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brandon Esau
  • AFSOC Public Affairs

Air Commandos from Air Force Special Operations Command hosted a weapons and tactics conference here, July 6 – 16, 2021.

This annual conference was a gathering of special operations forces and combat air force’s tactical experts to meet and identify and improve tactics, techniques and procedures with the purpose of conducting Mission Area Working Groups (MAWGs) and the annual Tactical Review Board (TRB) to bolster AFSOC’s Tactics Development and Improvement Program (TDIP).

The theme for the 2021 WEPTAC conference is “Competing Now and in the Next Conflict – SOF Operations in the Joint Fight.” Operators and tacticians identified potential deficiencies and worked to develop TTP’s for future fights while advancing AFSOC’s creativity and capability.

“This is a great opportunity for teammates to come together and discuss how we can and must help AFSOC change for any future challenges,” said Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, deputy commander of AFSOC. “Our command has faced various inflection points in its history, and WEPTAC is a forum where some of our best minds develop ways for us to stay relevant in the fight.”

Since 9/11, AFSOC has largely focused on a counter-violent extremist organizations fight, but this year’s WEPTAC shifted the conversation towards implementing new strategies in the peer and near-peer adversarial competition.

“If history has shown us anything, change is inevitable,” Hill said. “I know that each one of you here will do your part to help push the conversation and develop changes needed far into the future.”

After Hill’s opening remarks, conference attendees broke out into the MAWGs, which were built using a combination of subject matter experts from operations and intelligence, that had industry knowledge and air and ground tactical expertise, with the goal of working through potential future problem sets.

The TRB’s addressed specific tactical improvement ideas in both mobility and strike functional areas, and combined with the MAWG’s, worked towards helping push forward innovative thoughts.

The conference was an opportunity for Airmen to focus on joint MAWG’s that provide relevant near-peer planning in line with the NDS and AFSOC strategic guidance. WEPTAC is aligned with generating advantage in competition by enabling the joint force to respond to crisis and to win.

“Our human capital is our ultimate weapon,” Hill said. “The ideas and tactics we come up with during WEPTAC will make sure that our Airmen remain the competitive advantage.”