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 6 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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1stSgt Dexter Swanstrom
1stSgt Dexter Swanstrom
24 d
It used to be everyone that went through basic had classes and fired the M-16. When you went over seas once again classes and qualified with the rifle. There were people other than security forces who were armed when needed. Usually when transporting something like drugs or other high value items. It changed in 84 when CATM was given to the Security Forces. What used to be a stand alone AFSC became a shred out for SF. Thought that if a base were over run at least someone who was not normally armed could at least defend themselves or at least make the attempt. There were Squadrons that were armed when deployed that were not SF
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PO3 John Priest
PO3 John Priest
18 d
Cpl Roman Makuch - Even as a Sonar Tech on the Fire control side (go figure, never could hear anything on passive sonar), I was trained to handle a rifle, a 9mm and a firehose. That last one is very important as fire is a ship's biggest enemy. You don't have anywhere to go that's safe in the water, so learning to put out fires is most important. followed by stopping water from flooding the ship if the hull breaches.
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SSG Robert Ecklund
SSG Robert Ecklund
14 d
Excuse me, I am a Vietnam Vet, First Cav. For all those airdales, What you going to do when the Hostiles are through the wire, assaulting down the flight line, In the barracks area, Joining you in your flight bay? It happened in Vietnam, It happened in Korea, It happened in WWII ........................ I don't know about your thoughts, But in the end, Be you an airdale, swab, POG, Cook, Baker, Wrench Turner ...... In the end you are a rifleman when it gets deep and dark and all hell has come to call.....
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Sgt Bob Lamb
Sgt Bob Lamb
10 d
TSgt George Rodriguez - I was AF in Germany 1968 and we had what we called "John Wayne" day. Bloused our boots, wore our blue neck scarf, and carried unloaded M1s around all day.
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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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PO1 Lyndon Thomas
PO1 Lyndon Thomas
25 d
Just jokes! I luv my AF brethren.
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PO1 Larry Sirmans
PO1 Larry Sirmans
20 d
PO2 Chuck Etheridge - Oh I hear You. Originally I was prior Army- 11B then I went in the Navy -I rose to the lofty rank of GMG1. Small arms, range master, Instructor for both SSET and SSEW back in the day How to board and take a ship "Away all boarders' and how to defend a ship from boarders "Stand by to repel boarders'. The Coast Guard was better prepared and trained in small arms and boarding actions than most squids. I even took a class session that discussed the finer points of actual use of the M1917 Cutlass (it was a bit of a historical class and frankly quite fun- but I degress....
I had to later requal with the Jarheads as I got assigned to ANGLICO. It was night and day. Believe me, the safest place to be for most OPFOR facing a US Sailor was directly in front of him. I suspect that reason more than anything is why we equipped extensively our security alert teams with 12 gauge shotguns inside the skin of the ship....
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PO3 John Priest
PO3 John Priest
18 d
Hey hey, we're not all Stormtroopers here, some of us can hit the broadside of the USS Gerald R. Ford! (and sometimes much smaller targets).
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Sgt Bob Lamb
Sgt Bob Lamb
10 d
Hahahhaha love it
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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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LtCol Bruce Janis
LtCol Bruce Janis
3 mo
Sorry COL, there have been incidents stateside where bases were put on alert. Main gate at NAS Pensacola comes to mind. Sad to say, but your security guards are probably better trained than the average Airman. Except the APs, of course.
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Col Joseph Lenertz
Col Joseph Lenertz
2 mo
LtCol Bruce Janis - I agree, there have been bases placed on alert, and most SF are better trained than the average Airman. But when no one on base (except SF) is allowed to carry, it doesn't make a difference how qualified they are. The vast majority of us on base are unarmed, and POTUS and Congress don't want us to be armed. They don't mind vulnerability. What bothers them is power they don't control.
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Sgt Russ Brayton
Sgt Russ Brayton
23 d
My son was at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan where the British were in charge of the security when insurgents decided to get on base and blow stuff up. He was out with his weapon, but never got to use it because the other Marines who were closer took them out. Those Marines were ground crews on Harriers. My son was also ground crew on light attack helicopters, and he knew how to defend himself from the insurgents if need be. What would have happened if they were Air Force and had to wait for the British guards to show up? I may only have two sons now. Thank God the Marines are trained to defend themselves.
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Col Joseph Lenertz
Col Joseph Lenertz
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Deployed Air Force troops are all trained in their assigned weapons, and they would not have waited. But that was not the question asked at the top. Also, see MSgt Peter Vatistas response just a few posts upward.
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