Air Combat Command hosts weather conference

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Michael Caggiano
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

Airmen from different weather specialties across the Air Force convened at the Air Combat Command Weather Conference held here, March 5-7, 2024.

The conference afforded an opportunity for those attending to hear directly from weather leadership and subject matter experts while also offering their view from the field.  

“From our perspective, it’s an opportunity to be in the room, have conversations, poke holes, throw spears, and bring our perspective and expertise from the Army mission we support to our leadership,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Von Almen, commander of the 3rd Combat Weather Squadron, based out of Fort Cavazos, Texas. 

“Being able to communicate what we’re encountering in the field through our joint experience is important so that we can get after the mission in a more adaptive and agile manner rooted in the lessons we’ve already learned.” 

By bringing together experts from around the force, the ACC Weather Conference expanded opportunities for communication between units.

“This conference offers the capability to get the vast majority of weather forces together as a gathering of subject matter experts so that we can talk through a lot of the initiatives we need to get after now, and how we may assist in leading the combat-oriented transition into the future,” continued Von Almen. 

Furthermore, the conference allowed members of operational support squadrons across the Air Force to speak directly with major command leadership about all things weather, giving them unique frames of reference to bring back to their wings.

“As a fighter training base, we are able to hear from the command that employs our platforms in an operational environment,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Leah Gonzalez, 56th Operations Support Squadron Weather Flight chief, Luke AFB, Arizona “We can implement what they see as our way forward into how we train our Airmen, communicate with our pilots, and how we interact with our customers throughout the wing.”

Gonzalez expanded on the unique perspective by saying, “It gives us the opportunity to provide our Airmen a viewpoint they may not normally receive in a training command, and to explain at the tactical level the reasons why we’re doing what we’re doing.” 

As the Air Force evolves to meet the Great Power Competition, weather Airmen will need to continue to evolve and grow.

“Breakout sessions and open discussions provided valuable unit-level views on GPC challenges, generating action items for rapid improvement,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jeffrey Jarry, chief of weather operations division for Air Combat Command. “We also discussed tools that utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning being fielded this year, which will pave the way for more human-machine teaming and empower Airmen to place more emphasis on weather integration in planning.”