Posted on May 28, 2015
SSgt Security Forces
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I have noticed through the years of being in the Air Force (Security Forces member here) that most people in the Air Force are clueless when it comes to M-4/M-16/M-9. This is outrageous! What are they supposed to do if the enemy comes knocking on our door step and everyone needs to fight. I have taught classes on the M-4 with communication airmen and have seen them completely mess up clearing out the weapon, loading it (magazine upside down or rounds the wrong way), and just completely incapable of achieving a zero on target after four rounds of firing. I am a big fan of how the Army and Marines teach that your are always a rifleman first. It almost seems like some of the Airmen don't expect to carry a weapon (ummmm why did you join the military in the first place)? I wish the Air Force would pick up on this to make us a more combat ready force. But, enough of me what are your thoughts?
Edited >1 y ago
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SMSgt Operations Superintendent
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The Air Force was never intended to be a ground fighting unit. Back in the day, AF bases were protected by Army units for that very same reason. The ground fighting component of the AF is SF. Among our many duties, being the infantry of the AF is one of them. I started my military career in the Army and I will tell you that the AF as a whole was never designed to operate like the Army or Marines. The culture is completely different, and for good reason. The AF could not operate under the same culture as the Army or Marines. In SF, weapons are a tool for us. For the majority of the AF, a weapon is not a tool that they use in their day to day duties. ANd frankly, it should not be. I used to be CATM, and I can tell you that keeping an M-4 away from most AF members is a good thing.
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Cpl Dan A.
Cpl Dan A.
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MAJ (Join to see)

AMEN Sir! I think it is unacceptable as it stands and needs to be corrected RICKY TICK. We are collectively called the ARMED Forces.

Your comment is the bottom line on this ominous "combat effectiveness" of the USAF issue.
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Cpl Dan A.
Cpl Dan A.
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MSgt Billy McDonough

Have you even been in a combat zone? If you had been I doubt you would disagree with the Major who just posted above.
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Cpl Dan A.
Cpl Dan A.
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Cpl Ray Frigerio

Hey brother, AND IT DID HAPPEN at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan shortly after I left Camp Bastion myself...Airfield was infiltrated and attacked and Airwing Marines literally dropped tools, grabbed weapons, and engaged and nuetralized the squad sized enemy element. A bunch of Harriers were blown up, even the Commanding Officer of the Airwing Squadron was KIA leading fellow USMC mechanics and pilots in the firefight. One USMC Aviation Electronics Marine earned Valor Award for his part in killing the enemy.

THAT IS EXACTLY WHY THIS NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED YESTERDAY. TO NOT BE PROFICIENT WITH OUR MILITARY MAIN BATTLE RIFLE IS UNACCEPTABLE AND EMBARRASSING. OH YEAH, AND IT CAN COST USAF PERSONNEL AND OTHERS TO LOSE THEIR LIVES.
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Lt Col W Scott Arnott
Lt Col W Scott Arnott
3 d
I was qualified multiple times but, I had strange jobs, often away from real bases... Both M-16 and P-38 in Air Force Assignments but also had to dig a hole, bury an AK-47, qualify with the M-16, then dig up the AK-47 and qualify with it, without cleaning it! Good lesson on the trade-off between precision vs. combat utility... But, it wasn't an Air Force school, I was one of the few AF pukes in an Army school.
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PO1 John Miller
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Real_firefight
Completely in jest. I have seen people in all branches who should be permanently downloaded (having their weapons privileges revoked).
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MSgt Tom Shepke
MSgt Tom Shepke
2 y
1stSgt Dexter Swanstrom - he’ A SMSgt. Count the stripes. Looks like he should be a senior tech Sgt
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A1C Michael King
A1C Michael King
2 y
TSgt Shayne Jenkins - They must have changed the chevrons since I was in. I remember three stripes on either side of the star for Sgt, three rockers below them for MSgt, one stripe on top for SMSgt, and two stripes on top for CMSgt.
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MSgt William Barnett
MSgt William Barnett
2 y
A1C Michael King - the chevrons changed in the early ‘90’s to bring uniformity to the way the top 3 are recognized.
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SSgt Jack Rupert
SSgt Jack Rupert
2 y
the transition started in the mid to late 70's. when a 3 trip with a star was an nco and without sr. airman.
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Col Joseph Lenertz
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Everyone sees things through their own experiences. If I were an AF Security Forces officer, I might share your opinion. As a pilot, I was required to qualify annually on my assigned personal weapon, the M-9, because aircrew members deploy more than other AF personnel. So far that makes sense. So why not go to the much bigger effort and expense of making us like the Army or Marine Corps and force every Airman to qualify annually? To put it as simply as possible, because there is a fixed amount of time and money, and there isn't an Air Force base in Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere else we fight. When deployed, we generally either to deploy to large Airbases in-country with our Army, Navy, and Marine brethren (who are responsible to protect the base) or out-of-country where the threat is much lower (SA, Qatar, Bahrain, etc). I know there are exceptions, especially for our Special Forces community...but then they are qualified on their personal weapons, aren't they? In order to be the best at Our Job as Airmen, we spend our time and money on training aircrew, mechanics, and all the other support functions necessary to keep airpower supporting the Joint Force Commander. If we spent lots of time and money to be like the Army and the Marines, we would be better infantrymen but worse airmen.
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Capt Brian Curtis
Capt Brian Curtis
1 mo
CW3 STORM, You are absolutely correct.CW3 Kevin Storm
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LCpl Rob Campbell
LCpl Rob Campbell
1 mo
I am a Marine, my dad retiredAF enlisted my mom babysat for Etta income while station at Sheppard one Couple both AF him CE her Base Ops, he’s was made to spend a weekend playing like they was in a war zone one of them shot another with a cleaning rod (M16) so all their weapons we’re taken away. As a Marine we was taught from day one to dang near become intimate with our rifle!!!
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Lt Col Security Forces
Lt Col (Join to see)
18 d
Col Joseph Lenertz - The Air Force does in fact protect its own bases. That is the reason SF exists. At both Bagram and Ballad SF had the perimeter, ECPs and outside the wire patrols. We did work with mostly the Army in both environments, however doctrinally SF owns the battlespace from the resource (aircraft etc) to the edge of the rocket/mortar belt as well as the SAM footprint on the approach/departure corridor. The exact lines get fuzzy depending on what the joint team is doing. The Army will draw in and out depending on what else they have going on. However, as we learned in Vietnam and re-learned in OEF/OIF, the busier the Army gets the less interested they are in the security environment around fixed bases. As one Army O-6 I worked with at USFOR-A said about fixed bases "we don't fight that way."
To your point about priorities, yes you are correct about making every airman a rifleman. I started off as a propulsion specialist. It took all my time to be proficient on C-141 and C-17 engines. As a nearly 20 year SF officer after that it's hard enough to keep Defenders up to speed on airbase defense (on top of law enforcement and security while working 12's in 75% manned units just to man the gates and the flightline).
Camp Bastion did turn to crap really fast (and those WERE Marines, including a Squadron CC who died). Bagram had a couple of close calls, as did Kandahar. We did train all airmen before going to OIF/OEF. But I'm not convinced THEY are convinced. Most AF personnel are more concerned with the internet connection than the threat environment. Fortunately SF at the wire working with our joint partners on the ground and in the air kept all the Call Of Duty warriors safe. Everyone going to a combat zone needs to be ready to defend themselves, but that message gets lost in the Air Force (and the Navy, and even some Army I worked with). Marines always want to find a fight....
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TSgt Robert Moore
TSgt Robert Moore
17 d
When I was in the Air Force we were required to fire the M16 proficiently and tear it down and clean it and put it back together annually.
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