Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Air Force rolls out new rifle qualification course

Airmen taking the new Air Force Rifle Qualification Course are finding themselves learning more than just basic marksmanship skills.
Changes requiring more intensive weapons training were published in September by the Air Force Security Center and officially took effect Dec. 1.
"Our combatant commanders identified over the last 10 years that we needed to move away from the Cold War-era style of qualification and give our Airmen quality training," said Master Sgt. Scott Brown, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe combat arms program manager at Ramstein Air Base, Germany...

The major changes in the qualification course include more stringent time constraints, required wear of a combat helmet and body armor, movement during fire, and different firing tactics, said Staff Sgt. Marc Rodriguez, a 52nd Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Also, there are now three skill assessments, or tables, in which some Airmen will participate.
As a result of the training changes, the number of rounds fired and the additional qualification stages increase the length of classroom training as well as time on the range. Bases that have already used the new curriculum have found the course now takes 10 to 12 hours to complete.
Growing pains are expected with the new course, Duerr said. However, the training is intended to hone Airmen's weapons skills to provide a better equipped and trained warfighter to combatant commanders downrange. The training may be difficult, but it is not impossible.
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Air Police in Vietnam started the trend, using dogs and APC's with heavy machineguns on patrol to protect the flightline (since Charlie Cong was fond of RPG and satchel charge attacks sneaking through the wire).  Today, enlisted airmen are more likely to be involved in infantry style combat than ever before. A good move for the pigeon boys  -  (S9)

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