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 5 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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CMSgt George Barrett
CMSgt George Barrett
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The Air Force has not had a base over run since WWII. In Vietnam we had bases from DaNang to Bihn Thuy. When I was at Binh Thuy we were attacked almost daily. We couldn't rely on the VNAF (DLBO or dirty little bug outs) but the VC or NVA never got to the perimeter of our base. Our SPs were augmented by base personnel and they were great. My last assignment was with GLCM (ground launched cruise missile) in Sicily. Althought we had the Army and Marines attempt to penetrate our defense, they never did. I saw the Russian satellites trying to find us, they never did. The first nuclear weapons system they asked President Reagan to deactivate was ours.
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Sgt Frank Latham
Sgt Frank Latham
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I was in the AF during the Vietnam era and we had to qualify on the M-16 annually. We were familiar with the rifle should the need come to use it. Para Rescue and AF Snipers along with the men that call in air assaults putting their lives on the line are quite different than infantry, etc.
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SSG Medical Practice
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Sgt Latham, my dad was AF in Vietnam too... Back then, the M-16 had just come out, it was and still is an awful weapon. It jammed so often that a lot of our soldiers were killed for not bein able to return timely fire. When I went to basic training, it jammed on me while qualifying, about 3 times. I had to signal the Cadre over to fix the problem every time.
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SSgt Gordon Hayes
SSgt Gordon Hayes
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Having started martial arts in grade school and use firearms since jr high, I was stunned in basic training in the USAF to find no hand to hand training, but really surprised to find little firearms training. Some with M16 none with handguns. I remember tales of those in Vietnam whom I worked with in the 70s telling me stories of being put in a hole outside the perimeter at an air base. Parachute shop roof with so many holes in it from shrapnel rain was a problem. I get that is cost effective not to over train but it still seems to me if you're in the military you should be trained on the most basic of things, regardless.
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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 Joseph Holness
MSgt Joseph Holness
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MSgt Tito Alejandro - Nothing says "SHroooms" like USAF ICBM's! (lol)
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MSgt Tito Alejandro
MSgt Tito Alejandro
3 mo
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You know it! Reminds me of my time at Ellsworth AFB, SD , 44th Missile Maintenance Squadron.
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SGM Frank Marsh
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Sgt John Wallace
Sgt John Wallace
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Lol, in 68 I would have been eligible for Every one went to Germany except me.
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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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TSgt Gary McPherson
TSgt Gary McPherson
1 mo
As a former Marine(armor) and retired USAF.As a USAF I had to qualify with the .38 and the M1 Carbine .McChord,Mt.Home ,Travis,.Japan and helped train USAFSS members on the Greek island of Crete.I was in supply.I think every military member no matter what branch should be trained in the used of the handgun as well as a long rife.
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Lt Col Jim Mercer
Lt Col Jim Mercer
11 d
As aircrew, I also qualified expert with the M9, which was interesting since we carried the S&W Model 15 as our service weapon! Another interesting fact was that your base had to forecast their ammo requirements for 5 years in advance, so when the SP force was increased due to a change in mission requirements, there was no way to increase ammo stocks, so the aircrew that shot expert were only required to qualify every 3 years in order to provide ammo to keep the SP's proficient!
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PFC Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic
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CW3 Kevin Storm you are spot on chief. Even if they don't use the same rifle qualifications as the Army they should have some amount of weapons training... Shoot move and communicate
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Col Joseph Lenertz
Col Joseph Lenertz
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They do have some amount. But the question at top indicates fully qualified as a rifleman. I guess it depends whether that means qualifying at the range once a year...or squad-to-platoon-level week-long exercises in urban terrain every 6 months.
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