AQIC receives official designation
By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs
/ Published September 04, 2020
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – The Acquisition Instructor Course (AQIC) has been officially designated as Detachment 2, Headquarters, Air Force Materiel Command as of Sept. 3, 2020.
The order marks a major milestone in the evolution of AQIC on its path to become the conduit for Air Force and Space Force acquisition career fields to integrate into the USAF Weapons School.
“This course will take the development of our acquisition professionals to the next level,” said Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., commander Air Force Materiel Command. “We are looking forward to partnering with Air Combat Command and the Air Force Weapons School as we develop this course. It will be a force multiplier as the Air Force makes the changes it needs to meet challenges of the future.”
The course, open to both civilian and military members, is a rigorous 5.5 month, multi-phased course focused on tactical acquisition and instructorship training, operational/acquisition and industry/acquisition integration. In addition to being trained in the latest emergent techniques, graduates return as fully trained instructors ready to advance the training of their home units.
“We’ve designed the course to bring USAF Weapons School rigor to the acquisition community,” said Col. Steve Smith, AQIC Commandant. “We take the latest developments from the range of acquisition competencies like program management, systems engineering, contracting, financial management and logistics and merge those traditional topics with technology-enabling courses like digital engineering, open systems architecture, data science/engineering, cloud computing, and UI/UX design. It is important that we build acquisition experts with the skills that govern our legacy systems but it is also equally important to educate our workforce in the skills required to look forward and tackle emergent technology. Scaling a workforce to adopt a digital, or software mindset, is how we will truly change the Service’s approach to acquisition and make a difference.”
Integration with industry and with weapon system operators are key focus areas for the course. In the past, operators were often assigned to program offices to give their input during the acquisition process – a practice that is not sustainable in the current Air Force structure. Smith intends AQIC to help fill the breach by restoring the day-to-day warfighter integration with the program offices.
While inclusion as a weapons squadron in the USAF Weapons School is the ultimate goal, Smith adds it is a very rigorous process and AQIC will need to fully prove their methodology to meet their high standards.
“The USAF Weapons School is ACC’s premier warfighter training environment. We know getting into the Weapons School will make our acquisition process, and our Air Force better,” Smith said. “It is the right thing to do, so we need to meet that high bar and get the job done. Ultimately, we view placing the Air Force and Space Force’s top tier operators alongside its top acquirers as fruitful ground to delivering more relevant technology at speed.”