Home Aircraft manufacturers Countries Publications About & contact
Weapons Instructor Course (WIC)
Latest update: October 2021
Royal Netherlands Air Force base Leeuwarden is host to an annual exercise to train new weapon instructors. Until 2020 the exercise was known as he Fighter Weapons Instructor Training (FWIT). In 2021 the exercise name was changed into the Weapons Instructor Course (WIC) as for the first time officers from other air force branches took part.

FWIT focused on training F-16 pilots from the European Participating Air Forces (EPAF) nations Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. In 2017 the first Transport Weapons Instructor Course (TWIC)  exercise was organized. Running alongside the FWIT the selected pilots from 336 squadron were trained to become weapon instructors. TWIC was run from Leeuwarden for a short period, the remaining programme was conducted at Eindhoven.

WIC 2021 saw the first time the F-35A Lightning II pilots were trained to become a weapon instructor. With the exception of Norway the other EPAF countries purchased the Lockheed Martin Lightning to replace their F-16's. Norway declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) on the F-35A on November 6, 2019. The Royal Netherlands Air Force plans to reach IOC at the end of 2021. The first F-35A's for the Danish air force are flying at Luke AFB, Arizona within the 308 FS, 56 FW. The Belgian Air Component awaits the first delivery of their F-35A with the first aircraft also to be based at Luke AFB. Both the Royal Norwegian and Netherlands Air Forces also have personnel and aircraft assigned in Arizona to train their pilots.
WIC participants
Country Aircraft 2021
Belgium F-16AM Yes
Germany EF-2000 Yes
  Tornado Yes
  A400M Yes
Netherlands F-16AM Yes
  F-35A Yes
  C-130H Yes
Norway F-35A Yes
United States F-16C/D Yes

WIC 2021: The German Air Force fighter and transport aircraft participated in the two-week Mission Employment phase as external participants. The United States Air Forces Europe & Air Forces Africa 480th Fighter Squadron deployed to Leeuwarden from Sept. 10-17. It marked the first time the Spangdahlem, Germany based squadron deployed to a non U.S. 
base to conduct a short-notice Agile Combat Employment (ACE).
Tags: Lockheed Martin, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-35 Lightning II, C-130 (Super) Hercules, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway
WIC exercises
WIC 2021
Photo gallery WIC participants