The C-17 Master Course

The 57th Weapons Squadron, part of the Air Force Mobility Weapons Center at McGuire AFB, N.J., runs the masters of weapons systems course for C-17 pilots. Each year, the squadron offers two 5.5-month courses, comprising 300 academic hours, 140 flight hours, and 24 sorties, for six instructor pilot students—the “best of the best,” says Lt. Col. Johnny Roscoe, 57th WPS commander. The student IPs learn how to integrate their aircraft with other Air Force weapon systems and, once graduated with the “coveted” weapons school patch, return to their units to share their training. One recent graduate, Maj. Tony Carr from McChord AFB, Wash., called the training the “most challenging thing” he has done in 16 years of service. AFMWC offers similar training for tanker and C-130 pilots.