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Air Force and Weapons Training

Discussion in 'The US Air Force Forum' started by hmb, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. hmb


    Apr 25, 2001
    TX, USA
    I spent 28 years in the Air Force. I fired a weapon 3 times in my 28 years of active duty. In ROTC summer camp, we shot M-16's for qualification.
    Five years later, I qualified with a handgun prior to going to Turkey. Prior to going to Turkey in 1995, we qualified with Glock 19's at Fort Brag.

    My boss in Ankara Turkey was a Two Star General. As far as I could tell, he was the only officer in the outfit who had a pistol. His pistol was secured in his quarters. I do not believe he carried a pistol to the office.

    The Turkish Military provided our security. None of our US officers had authority to carry a handgun. Many of our officers jogged 4 miles in the down town Ankara streets. It's a wonder none of our officers were not killed.
    At the time I was not interested in fire arms, but it wouldn't help because we could not have or carry a firearm. All Turkish Officers are issued a hand gun.
    What a way to run a railroad!

    28 years as an Air Force Judge Advocate.
  2. crazypilot

    crazypilot ERAU Alumni '05

    May 21, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    I hear you. 7 years in and I've shot the M16 twice and never got to qualify with the M9. I've gotten more training from Front Sight than I ever did in the AF (so far). I've shot my friends ARs many times as well. Sucks how many AF are deployed and can't even shoot correctly or even take a gun apart.

  3. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

    Feb 15, 2006
    Las Vegas
    I did 22 years in the AF, 17 has security police with half that time in the armory.

    I knew the weapons better than my first wife!

    Qualified expert on every gun I fired.

    The best practical combat training (pistol and rifle) was when I was on EST (AF SWAT) and we trained with LA county sheriffs dept SWAT.

    That was the real stuff. Only availible if you are on their team or invited to train with them.

    Best in the world IMO.

    Wish I could do it again.
    (Of course it may kill me now. Getting older sucks.)
  4. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    All depends on your arming group. Had a guy I knew who was a network admin guy, fired in basic and never again (4 year guy).

    I've shot everything we use except the .50 (M16/M4/M9/M249/M240B) and the shotgun so far, toss in the M24 etc too (forgot about that). M4 every six months, M9 and the rest every year. Our actual firing times are going up (more ammo to practice with) which is good.

    I've trained more/better before I came in, but with our crazy scheduling, they're trying to do better, I'll give them that.
  5. Grayson


    Jan 18, 2006
    So, like, something I was wondering:

    If you're in the AF, do you ever get the 'option' of doing more shooting than what you're required to do (qualification and the like)?

    I figure they'd frown on guys like me enlisting and going on weekly taxpayer-funded shooting sessions ;) - so I figure there has to be a limit, naturally.

    But say that someone just wants to hone his skills with the M4 or M9, or avoid getting bases have ranges where you can check out a weapon and some ammo and practice on your own time?
  6. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

    Feb 15, 2006
    Las Vegas

    You will have to buy your own M4 and M9 and practice at a commercial range or any place legal.
  7. Grayson


    Jan 18, 2006
    Ah, I was afraid of that... :/

    (Especially since I was unsure if I'd bother with the hassle of trying to keep any personal weapons on base if I were to enlist...)
  8. md2lgyk


    Mar 23, 2001
    Not a direct comparison I know, but I was in the Air National Guard (retired in 2006). Every unit I was in had a shooting team. I was a member of all of them. The last even hand-receipted me an M9 and a match-grade 1911 so I could practice at my club's range. Practice ammo was also furnished.
  9. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    If you're Stateside and married you can keep the weapons at home (unloaded). If you're single it's a hassle.

    I've known quite a few crew chiefs, loadmasters, etc who own a 92FS so they can practice on their own with the same kind of gun they normally carry. I own a 92FS for the same reason.
  10. bnkrtstk


    Aug 6, 2008
    A friend of mine is a navigator on C135, he said he was issued a sideam but his crew decided not to carry them because it was too much hassle.
  11. Stickman


    Jan 21, 2001
    Pac NW

    Category C shooters were required to fire every 3 years by USAF policy last I heard.

    You would have been Cat C.

    I've got a few friends who are CATM, they can pull the reg if you are interested.
  12. Skycop1


    May 26, 2007
    It all depends on your arming group and your job. Arming group A (cops, OSI agents, PJ's, combat controllers etc) shoots much more often.

    I am an OSI agent (Air Force investigator) and I shoot pretty often. I must qualify twice a year and must pro fire twice a year at a minimum by regulation just to stay qualified. I can practice more then that if ammo is available (it usually is). We are not suppose to shoot civilian ammo through our duty weapon. We carry M-11's (military version of a Sig 228). OSI agents have it a little easier then most as we can carry our duty weapon 24/7, on or off duty. Of course over seas it all depends on the sofa agreement.

    For Long arms (M-4, Uzi, MP-5, 870) we must qualify annually.
  13. AF-Odin


    Oct 12, 2007
    Central Texas

    Understand where you are coming from. There was a VERY wide disparity in the AF based upon where you were, your AFSC, your mobility status, your arming group, local policies, budget, and and and. Spent most of my time (28+) being required to qualify at leat annually (even the 4 years I spent as an ATC instructor due to still being on mobility tasking) and the last 8+ years qualifying with my primary weapon (M-9) every six months and secondary weapon (M-16 later M-4--anybody remember the GAU-5?) annually. However, during Desert Storm, almost got killed by a SSgt who got excited when we had a situation that required quickly manning a defensive perimiter. He put the mag in an M-16 and chambered a round with the muzzle pointing right at my head @#$%^&*. When all was said and done, we had a discussion of when and where he had last qualified---Basic Training more than8 years earlier. He had never left the states until deployed to augment my SQ and had never been in a mobility position. Someone stateside had "pencil Whipped" the training folder because they were in a hurry and thought that "this guy will never touch a weapon, he is an intell analyst."

    I am glad to hear about some of the changes that have been made to AF Basic Training withsome more emphasis on weapons and expeditionary operations. My son-in-law (a non-rated intell Maj) even had to attend (at AF expense) a special civilian school which taught a good defensive pistol and rifle course before he deployed to OIF earlier this year.
  14. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    There was some GAU-5 and GUU-5s still floating around in the hands of OPFOR at Creek Defender last year. :)
  15. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

    Feb 13, 2001
    North-Central USA

    GAU-5A/A <------- DJ's favorite



    Circa 1986-87

    You can barely see the holstered M15 and the SAC patch on the flight jacket.
    This GAU was my in-transit guard weapon when we moved M-60s to a distant range in another state for training.
  16. My first assigned rifle was a mixmaster GAU-5A, later a GUU. I was CATM, then TACP. EVen in TACP, it was once a year. As CATM, I always thought this was stupid and thought the low hum I heard was LeMay spinning in his grave.

    The reality is that the AF needs to view firearms as a necessity and at a minimum, qual once yearly. But the reality is that command woudl rather spend for cool stuff like drones versus bullets and rifles.

    If I had the power, I'd open my LE training to any bonafide .mil types just so that they could get trigger time. But LOP (liability oriented policing) gets in the way, and to a certain degree, for a good reason.

    When will the AF wake up?
  17. bluelineman

    bluelineman Infidel كافر

    Apr 17, 2005
    I was on mobility for 5 of the 8 years I was in. I qualified with the M16 just about every one of those years, M9 once. I was also on our squadron skeet shooting team in Alaska and shot a Beretta 686 O/U shotgun weekly during that season each year. It was on the adjoining Army base that I was attached to (see avatar). The Beretta was a confiscated weapon that they let us use, they had 2 of them.
  18. Sigluvr


    Jun 14, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I was in CE and got to fire the M-16 at least once a year. If you make friends with the mobility Sgt. he can call you when he has a no-show to fill that slot. He gets a letter down telling him he better have x shooters to the range on a particular day, if he doesn't have that many people available then he starts down the list of people who asked to be sent more often. It prob. helped me that I never shot less than expert. Not because I'm such a great shot, but the test is so easy!

  19. Sam White

    Sam White I miss you bud Silver Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    South Dakota
    I'm Supply and arming group 3. Since I was deploying they made me qualify again. I hadn't shot in a while (haven't been able to shoot due to life events) and was sick as a dog and still shot in the top 3 of the day. I don't tell anyone because it wasn't much of a victory.
  20. Grayson


    Jan 18, 2006
    +1 IMCO (in my "civvie" opinion), everyone in uniform ought to know the "basics" of combat, no matter what the job - or at least have the option of "re-qualifying" every so often on their own time (but with military equipment/ranges). Or at the very least, those deployed overseas...

    I mean, even in "conventional" war, there has to be those among the enemy that don't CARE that you're a medic, or paper-pusher, or chaplain...or pharmacy specialist...;)