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By Chief Master Sgt. Susan Sparks, 21st Operations Group
/ Published October 15, 2019
There is a cadre of experts who form a fraternity of trusted advisors and problem solvers. These are our weapons officers, our institutional reservoir of tactical and operational knowledge.
They, as well as their enlisted counterparts, advanced instructors, are selected based on their competency, experience and mettle.
A graduate from weapons school, or the advanced instructor course, is called a “patch” and gets issued a memorable (or embarrassing) call sign, which usually is associated with a hidden story.
Their five to six months of rigorous advanced training focuses the students on the in-domain space fight and joint warfighter support problem sets, and further prepares them to meet the challenges they are sure to face as they go forward.
After graduation, these experts complement each other in their skill sets as they fill roles in tactical units and wing weapons and tactics shops as well as joint billets in our nation’s combatant commands. They act as key advisors to our commanders and ensure high quality mission planning, advanced training and tactics development within their organizations.
When things go wrong, they are trained in debriefing to find the true root cause and extract the lessons learned for the benefit of the community. The humility, commitment to excellence and expertise of these space professionals serves to enhance the entire force.
We are proud to announce the selection of six of our family. Tech. Sgt. Colton Collins and Tech. Sgt. Thomas Parnell are selectees for the Space Warfighter Advanced Instructor Course. Also, Capt. Ariel Rollins, Capt. Shannon Sewell, Capt. Matthew Simpson and 1st Lt. James Dean are selectees for the Space Superiority Weapons Instructor Course.