An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | March 26, 2024

Alaska Guard Black Hawk Aviators Train at Marine Corps Course

By Alaska National Guard

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Aviators from the Alaska Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence are training at the Marine Corps Weapons Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course at Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona.

The Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 is hosting the training March 4 through April 20. It’s the first time U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk crews (other than Special Forces) have taken part in the highly competitive and rigorous joint training course, often called the “Top Gun” of Marine Corps aviation. 

Unlike the Navy’s Top Gun, which focuses on air-to-air combat, the WTI course trains the complex integration of all Marine aviation assets, ground forces, command and control systems, logistics, and air defense assets. 

According to the Marine Corps website, the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course “is a fully integrated course of instruction for highly experienced and fully qualified officers from all aviation communities. Officers from ground combat, combat support, and combat service support also attend the course to ensure appropriate air-ground interface.”

The combined Army aviation detachment comprises about 18 Soldiers — 14 from the Alaska Army National Guard. An Alaska Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III transported two AKARNG UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in early March to participate in the course.

Two active-duty aviators from U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Novosel, Alabama, are taking part in the course alongside the Alaska Guardsmen. The Utah Army National Guard provided a spare UH-60L Black Hawk and two Guardsmen to assist with maintenance.

During the seven-week course, the two Army aircrews will train with members of the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. The two hoist-capable Black Hawks with extended-range fuel tanks will fly a rigorous schedule of simulated combat missions with U.S., allied and opposing force fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.

Lessons learned will assist the Army in evolving its aviation training methodology and combat tactics as it trains to counter a near-peer threat.




Related Articles
Alaska Air National Guard Senior Master Sgt. Shannon Weaver, right, a loadmaster from the 144th Airlift Squadron, 176th Wing, guides a forklift loading equipment onto a C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Kodiak Arctic Care 24 Innovative Readiness Training Mission at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 6, 2024. Personnel from across the U.S. Uniformed Services partnered with the Kodiak Area Native Association to deliver free medical, dental, optometry and veterinary services to residents across Alaska’s remote Kodiak Island borough.
Alaska Guard Helps Provide Free Health Care to Kodiak Residents
By Alejandro Pena, | May 10, 2024
KODIAK, Alaska - Alaska National Guardsmen from the 176th Wing and the 207th Aviation Troop Command based out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson began Kodiak Arctic Care ‘24 on May 6, flying equipment and personnel to...

Alaska Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Sara Becker, a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter crew chief assigned to 207th Aviation Troop Command, scans the area while waiting for passengers during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 2-24 at a forward arming and refueling point near Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., April 8, 2024. The training iteration marked the first time that conventional U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk aircrews participated in the highly competitive and rigorous joint training course that integrates all Marine aviation assets, ground forces, command and control systems, logistics and air defense.
Alaska Army Guard, Marine Corps Enhance Aviation Tactics
By Balinda O’Neal, | April 24, 2024
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. - Aviators from the Alaska Army National Guard graduated from the Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor course April 22, marking a significant moment in the evolution of Army-wide...

A 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II refuels a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk during training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, March 23, 2020. During a March 30, 2024, medical evacuation mission from JBER to near Ruby about 175 miles west of Fairbanks on the Yukon River, HC-130 refueling was necessary to extend the range of the HH-60.
Alaska Air Guard Rescue Airmen Help 3 Over Easter Weekend
By David Bedard, | April 5, 2024
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Alaska Air National Guard rescue personnel of the 176th Wing medically evacuated a stroke victim from Bethel March 30 before rescuing two injured snowmachine riders near Ruby the same...