Posted on May 28, 2015
SSgt Security Forces
268K
3.52K
1.61K
397
397
0
Carbine-backwards-mag
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
Avatar_feed
Responses: 721
SMSgt Operations Superintendent
377
376
1
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.
(377)
Comment
(1)
1stSgt Edward Jackson
1stSgt Edward Jackson
28 d
"How close is it to the front lines from the base?" A mire fraction of the distance any CVN could get. An F/A-18C/D launched from a CVN that is 500 nm away would take more than an hour to get to where the grunts need it and require an air refueling from the USAF due to its max combat range of just 400 nm. Yes, the F/A-18C/D is a supersonic jet, but if it went to max airspeed (M 1.8), at that airspeed it wouldn't even have the range to the tanker. Amazingly the F/A-18E/F is slower at M 1.6, and has shorter legs with just a 390 nm combat load range. The coming on line F-35C is also a M 1.6 jet, but has a better combat range at 670 nm.
In other words, there is no other option to having a USAF Base within the combat theater. When a POTUS asks "where are the carriers?" he has to know he has only about 75 combat fighters aboard, the rest of the aircraft aboard are E-2C/Ds, EA-18Fs, and helicopters. Not all of the fighters would be available with many used for buddy refueling, and many more in in various stages of maintenance in the hanger deck. Some fighters will be kept near the CVN Group for carrier defense. So the POTUS may have a maximum of 25-30 F/A-18s available for offensive operations at in one time.
(0)
Reply
(0)
MSgt Jesse Waldrop
MSgt Jesse Waldrop
4 d
At least during my time in the military Everyone was required to at least qualify with the M-16 once a year. If you happen to be good enough to fire expert you got an extension of I believe a year before requalifying. Granted we did not carry a weapon on a daily bases during non-deployed conditions. During desert Shield we were tasked to support guard duty and during that period we did have a weapon and three mags of rounds. However we were told not to load the weapon unless there was a valid threat. I do agree with the thoughts of some here that not everyone should be allowed to have a loaded weapon. During the Desert Shield there were a couple of times someone would carry a loaded weapon into the chow hall and it go off. I don't recall anyone getting shot but it was a non-security person who was carrying the weapon. Additionally officers were given a sidearm. The Ltc we had as our Deputy commander for maintenance threw a fit about letting unqualified person carrying weapons. Then only days later she herself discharged a round accidently and her weapon was also taken. So my point is leave the guns to the experts who are tasked daily use.
(1)
Reply
(0)
SSG Cargo Specialist
SSG (Join to see)
1 d
What you talking can be cured with training. Let's not actvas tho everyone that joined the Army and Marines was born with a rifle attached to their hands. I prided myself on training my Soldiers on weapons at any opportunity. Consistent training will cure all of that, if it were necessary.
(1)
Reply
(0)
SGT Richard McArthur
SGT Richard McArthur
7 h
I must agree with SSG. My service was in South Vietnam 1968-69. We could never be sure that the enemy was unable to attack us-anywhere-be it air base, headquarters Saigon, or anywhere else. Our colleagues had to know how to handle at least personal weapons.
I would have to point out that our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq involve possible attacks on our air bases by "infantry". While we hope that our infantry or Special Forces might be sufficient to defeat that, we must face the possibility that all personnel present may have to shoot back. Training must be done, it is as simple as that.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
PO1 John Miller
290
290
0
Real_firefight
Completely in jest. I have seen people in all branches who should be permanently downloaded (having their weapons privileges revoked).
(290)
Comment
(0)
SrA Hiram Day
SrA Hiram Day
3 mo
Yea that makes plenty of sense. Most should be permanently downloaded?¿ OK, so most of the airmen that discharge from the AF have EXCELLENT paying careers in the civilian sector. I dont have a clue where you get your "facts", but they surely arent "facts". So we are all pretty much able to obtain secret security clearances but shouldnt be allowed to bear arms. Sir, Heres your sign!
(0)
Reply
(0)
SSgt Ronald Krogel
SSgt Ronald Krogel
1 mo
SF at one time also had Air Base Ground Defense, and of course, we could always take a cook and put him in a fire position as an augmented role. You die enough in training you start paying attention. I had trained enough who were not SF to know you do not want to be in a fight and not have the proper training. They were first to drop. Should everyone qualify? Probably. Will the Air Force do it? Probably not. Is it typically needed? Probably not. All comes down to cost and need.
(4)
Reply
(0)
LTC Ronald Stephens
LTC Ronald Stephens
6 d
Long before my son who is now in his 12th year in the Air Force,and up for MSgt E-7 and not knowing what would be required of him when it comes to the use of the M16, M4, I decided that if he had to qualify with either he would shoot expert. I spent quite a few hours with hin and the M16 clone (not fully automatic) making sure he would have no problem qualifying. He as succeeded spectacularly in that he was invited to recreationally shoot with the PJs at his last CONUS duty station in addition to his regularly qualifying expert.
(1)
Reply
(0)
LtCol Bruce Janis
LtCol Bruce Janis
7 h
As a retired cop, there are some who were more of a danger to themselves than the bad guy
(1)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
Col Joseph Lenertz
285
285
0
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.
(285)
Comment
(0)
CSM Brad Carter
CSM Brad Carter
2 mo
I was combat arms my entire Army career! I have been Infantry, Armor, and Cavalry! As I was a CSM going thru training as a MITT team, (combat advisers) we went thru extensive weapons, tactics, and combat training, the AF, and some Navy, but they did very well considering their lack of previous training!! I will always remember that even though they are not trained like the Army, their skills are there when needed. I had both navy, and AF assigned to me on my Iraqi FOB, and they carried their M-4's and M9's just like the rest of us!! There was only 26 of us American military(750 Iraqi) they did everything asked of them when needed!! I don't put them down for not being weapons experts, as their trained skills are different and needed elsewhere, and as long as they did their jobs, we were happy to assist in protecting them!! It was a total TEAM effort!!
(4)
Reply
(0)
SgtMaj Sergeant Major/First Sergeant
SgtMaj (Join to see)
1 mo
Well said,Col!
I had the privilege of attending a few schools and served alongside some of your PJ’s. They were extremely professional and totally down to earth. Less is, no one would have known that they were airmen. Nonetheless, If I may respectfully offer the following :
I understand the need for maintaining proficiency on all your quals... After all, they are perishable skills that need constant training in order to maintain proficiency. However, from the ground perspective, one can never have too many eyes on target. Weapon Proficiency is part of being a member of an Armed Force. I respectfully offer that dedicating a few hours a year for weapons proficiency will 1. Increase self esteem 2. Sharpen your warrior skills and 3. Add that extra umpt to our standings in the world as the premier fighting force be it air, water, and ground.
PS: The airfield @ Camp Leatherneck was almost lost to insurgents... several platforms were saved because of the initial actions of aviation personnel on the flightline.
(3)
Reply
(0)
MSgt Peter Vatistas
MSgt Peter Vatistas
28 d
The issue isn’t just weapons qualification. Troops would all need ground combat training, advanced combat training, tracing in operating in a joint forces environment, multiple weapon systems, combat communications, patrolling, etc., etc., etc.

That’s why we have Security forces. They DO forward patrol, convoy, perimeter security, access security, and all get joint forces CCC training. The AF is also rarely alone on a FOB, so we have the Army and Narines right there.
(1)
Reply
(0)
LtCol Bruce Janis
LtCol Bruce Janis
7 h
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.
(1)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close