Virginia Air National Guard pilot is weapons school distinguished graduate

Maj. "Sly" is recognized as distinguished graduate of weapons school.

Maj. "Sly", weapons officer for the 27th Fighter Squadron and 149th FS, poses for a photo June 15, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. He was recognized as the distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Myhr)

Maj. "Sly" is recognized as distinguished graduate of weapons school.

Maj. "Sly", weapons officer for the 27th Fighter Squadron and 149th FS, poses for a photo June 15, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. He was recognized as the distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Senior Airman Bryan Myhr) (This image was created in color changed to black-and-white)

Maj. "Sly" is recognized as distinguished graduate of weapons school.

The helmet belonging to Maj. "Sly", weapons officer for the 27th Fighter Squadron and 149th FS, sits on the flight line June 15, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. He was recognized as the distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Myhr)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- A Virginia Air National Guard pilot received the distinguished graduate award at the United States Air Force Weapons School December 16, 2017, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Maj. “Sly,” 149th Fighter Squadron pilot, was recognized as the distinguished graduate for being the top performer in graded tasks and academic achievement. 

The USAF Weapons School trains tactical experts and leaders to control and exploit air, space and cyber on behalf of the joint force. Every six months, the school graduates approximately 100 weapons officers and enlisted specialists who are tactical system experts, weapons instructors and leaders of Airmen.

“It is essentially a PhD equivalent for flying that specific aircraft [the F-22],” said Lt. Col. “Hawkeye,” 94th Fighter Squadron director of operations and 149th Fighter Squadron pilot. “It is very selective to even get in. It’s a six-month program that is considered the most difficult flying training probably anywhere in the world.”

Upon return to his squadron, Sly assumed the position of weapons officer for both the 94th FS and 149th FS which are active duty and ANG units respectively. This arrangement is possible due to the total-force integration of the 1st Fighter Wing and 192nd FW and showcases the resulting efficiencies at Langley as well as the impact the F-22 ANG pilots have on the Combat Air Forces’ warfighting capabilities.

“The weapons officer is the chief tactician for the squadron,” said Hawkeye. “[The weapons officer is] the most familiar with the latest tactics and directs the squadron in how best to employ this airplane [the F-22] in combat.”

Weapons officers also serve as instructors for their assigned units and are the Air Force’s institutional reservoir of tactical and operational knowledge.

 “Maj. ‘Sly’ encompasses all of the traits that make a great weapons officer. His humble, approachable and credible outlook on each problem he takes on makes him the perfect fit as both the 94th and 149th weapons officer,” said Lt. Col. Michael “Bok” Schaner, 149th FS commander. “Being named the outstanding graduate of his class once again showcases the talent and amazing work ethic he brings to the fight as the tactical leader of the squadron."

The 149th FS is the USAF’s premier F-22 air dominance and T-38 adversary air squadron. During the past year, the 149th FS and 192nd Operations Support Squadron, along with their 1st Fighter Wing counterparts, mobilized for six months to support Operation Inherent Resolve. During this deployment, they flew 534 F-22 Raptor flights, logged 4,600 combat hours and dropped 263 bombs, executing a critical role in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

192d Fighter Wing

192d Fighter Wing

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Issue #14 of the 2018 Commonwealth's Guardian bi-weekly newsletter is available for download in PDF format at https://go.usa.gov/xUkYn. Please share the newsletter link with anyone you think would enjoy keeping up to date with the Virginia National Guard. Please visit https://go.usa.gov/xUkfU to subscribe to the newsletter via email. In This Issue: 529th CSSB ordered to mobilize for federal active duty Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYa Virginia cyber warriors join New England exercise Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYY Bissell takes command of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYg Va. National Guard aviation battalion trains around the state Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkY4 192nd Security Forces Squadron trains to shoot, move and communicate Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYb DMA conducts first-ever Supervisor Course Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYW
This #VaANG recruiting video from 2001 is #throwbackthursday gold. #tbt
192nd Security Forces squadron trains to shoot, move and communicate. Read more here - https://go.usa.gov/xUWZg Photos here - https://flic.kr/s/aHskEepSJQ
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Happy Independence Day 192nd Fighter Wing! Thank you all for helping to keep our country free. Enjoy your families today and be safe. Honored to serve with you all! - Chief Bouley
"Please join me in congratulating our 149th Fighter Squadron's Maj. 'Mongo' Dietrich who was awarded the United States Air Force 2017 Fighter Instructor Pilot of the Year," said Col. Frank J. Lobash, 192nd Fighter Wing commander. "This is an incredible accomplishment that once again shows the amazing talent and dedication our F-22 fighter squadron brings to the fight everyday." Lt. Gen. Mark C. Nowland, U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, hosts the 2017 Air Force Fighter Awards Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., June 25, 2018. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)
Issue #13 of the 2018 Commonwealth's Guardian bi-weekly newsletter is available for download in PDF format at https://go.usa.gov/xUrKZ. Please share the newsletter link with anyone you think would enjoy keeping up to date with the Virginia National Guard. Visit https://go.usa.gov/xU4R5 to add your email to the subscription list. In This Issue: 149th Fighter Squadron celebrates its 71st year Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrb2 Soldiers, Airmen awarded for marksmanship excellence Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbT Flora to succeed Mercer as Assistant Adjutant General – Army Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbj Hubbard takes command of 183rd RTI Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbW 192nd Fighter Wing welcomes new wing command chief Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbZ Governor signs DMV drivers license veteran indicator bill Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbB
#Throwbackthursday to when the Virginia Air National Guard enlisted 50 Airmen in just three days during 1970. See anyone you served with? #VaANG #VANGUARD #TBT read more here: https://go.usa.gov/xQsqU
“Civil Support Team operations are extremely complex, and excellence doesn’t just happen,” said Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff. “We are extremely proud of the outstanding performance of the Soldiers and Airmen of the 34th CST on the external evaluation and greatly appreciate the time and effort that went into their success.”
Welcome Chief Master Sgt. Christopher L. Amburn! He is the newest member of the VaANG and the incoming 192nd Fighter Wing command chief.
The VaANG is making a difference around the world. 203rd RED HORSE Squadron is building a school for children in rural El Salvador as part of Operation Beyond the Horizon 2018. Accompanied by the 192nd Security Forces Squadron and 192nd Medical Group, the mission provided training opportunities for the Airmen and new facilities for Salvadoran children.View photos here - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1826178330771708.1073741976.111055992283959&type=1&l=b1d569b546
Today, the 149th Fighter Squadron, Virginia Air National Guard, celebrates its 71st year as a unit. Read about what Airman 1st Class Dagejah Hampton and Lt. Col. "Scrappy" think makes the 149th FS great - https://go.usa.gov/xQhhc
Airmen of the 203rd RED HORSE squadron, Virginia Air National Guard, begin construction of a school, kitchen and latrine facility during May 2018 in rural El Salvador. The project was designed to bring vital services and resources to rural communities as part of Operation Beyond the Horizon, conducted by U.S. Army and Air Force active, guard and reserve components along with the El Salvadoran military and civic agencies. (Courtesy photo)
Happy Father's Day!
In case you missed it when the 203rd RED HORSE squadron volunteers were featured on the evening news for building a playground for kids in Norfolk, we talked with them too and went back to get photos of the finished project. According to one of the teachers there, the kids love the new playground. Great work RED HORSE! Read more here - https://go.usa.gov/xQtQ3
Members of the 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer (RED HORSE), 192nd Fighter Wing, volunteered their time to construct a playground April 20, 2018, at the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk, Virginia. The effort was in coordination with the United Way of South Hampton Roads to help a Head Start preschool program remain in the neighborhood it primarily serves.
Approximately 100 U.S. Flags are displayed in celebration of National Flag Day June 14, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Flag Day was officially established by President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Myhr)