Get your gun out, get rounds down range
By Mr. Ryan White, 124th Fighter Wing
/ Published July 25, 2019
BOISE, Idaho --
Members of the 124th Security Forces Squadron, Idaho Air National Guard and the 173rd SFS, Oregon Air National Guard, participated in a brand new combat arms training course June 19, 2019, Gowen Field off-base range, Boise, Idaho. The training was part of a biennial joint SF field training exercise with the IDANG and ORANG.
The Air Force requires Security Forces members to participate in a live fire exercise every quarter, including qualifying on the M-9 every year. This quarter’s live fire was a newly designed course focused on reactionary and instinctive shooting techniques.
“All of our shop came together and threw out ideas, and I’m impressed with how much work the shop as a whole put in to building this course of fire—table toping it, live firing it and giving their suggestions,” said Master Sgt. Mikel Turner, NCO in charge, Combat Arms Training and Maintenance, 124th SFS. “What we normally do is more of a marksmanship. It teaches you how to hold the gun, how to aim the gun, how to control your breath, all the fundamentals that are involved with shooting. With this, those don’t play such an important role. It’s more of a get your gun out and get rounds down range before something bad happens to you.”
In the new course, airmen practiced shooting at close range and quickly rescuing a simulated casualty while returning fire. It was a race against the clock to see who could move the quickest and most efficiently.
Typically, Airmen have to hit a certain number of rounds on target which are then scored to see if they get a qualification, pass or expert. With this training it was all for practice and familiarity to help Airmen confidently rely on their weapons. The goal was to give them an idea of how their weapons would perform during a real-world scenario.
“They come away from the line with eyes wide, saying, ‘I didn’t know I could do that; I didn’t know the pistol could do that,’” said Tuner.
Combat Arms plans to do more courses like this in the future to fulfill their quarterly live fire requirements. Turner says, they plan to switch up future scenarios, based on the feedback of participants and instructors, to help ensure the best training possible.