William Tell Competition: 3rd Wing sends Raptors to compete

  • Published
  • By Maria Galvez
  • 673rd ABW/PA
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska—The highly anticipated William Tell competition is set to make a triumphant return at the Air Dominance Center, Savannah, Georgia, Sept. 11 to 15, after a 19-year hiatus.

With a renewed mission to increase the United States Air Force air superiority advantage, inspire Airmen, and convey the focus of the U.S. 's air dominance to global competitors, this event is poised to be a showcase of talent, skill, and teamwork.

“Air superiority must be achieved; without it all other domains will fail,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Ethan ‘Lefty’ Waitte, William Tell lead judge. “The goal of William Tell is to reinvigorate competition within the Air Force with a focus on air superiority, a critical capability the Air Force provides our nation and one that must never be taken for granted.”

A total of nine teams from eight different wings will be competing in William Tell. Representing a wide range of aircraft, including F-22 Raptors, F-35 Lightning IIs, F-15E Strike Eagles, and F-15C Eagles, these teams are made up of highly qualified individuals with different qualifications. Each team consists of the team captain, instructor, two flight leads and a Wingman.

The aircrew, consisting of pilots, will engage in four aerial events including aerial gunnery, and a large-force, simulated fighter integration mission against a near-peer adversary. The weapons load team will showcase their proficiency in a series of timed weapon-loading events given varying conditions and ordnance types. Controllers will work alongside the aircrew, demonstrating battle-management proficiency. The intel teams will compete in mission-planning and debrief efficiency and participate in a bracket-style one-on-one analysis tradecraft competition.

“Being part of a team is why many of us joined the Air Force.” said Primo, a 90th fighter instructor pilot. “You’re contributing to something larger than yourself. Bringing back William Tell revives a cross-town rivalry competitiveness that makes us better.”

Primo explained that while winning is undoubtedly a shared goal, the teams aim for something more profound.

“Iron sharpens iron. By challenging ourselves against each other, we can better test our own limits and capabilities.” said Primo.

The teams have been diligently preparing for the competition, dedicating two weeks to working together in simulators and tailoring their flight training specifically for William Tell. This intense preparation ensures they are well-equipped to face the challenges that lie ahead.

As the highly anticipated William Tell competition makes its comeback, it promises to be a grand display of American air dominance and spirit of the Air Force. William Tell is not just a competition; it is a testament to the dedication, skill, and camaraderie of those who serve in the United States Air Force.

That being said, “You don’t go to William Tell to just compete,” said Primo. “You go to win.”