Air Force putting new emphasis on firearms training

By Tyler Hemstreet on April 5, 2012

From the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph: ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The Air Force's force doesn't just come from the air anymore.

Recognizing the increasing role airmen play in ground operations, and facing an enemy that can appear anywhere at any time, the Air Force has started a new firearms training course aimed to simulate real combat conditions. Previously the training consisted basically of pointing a gun at a target and firing. Now elements are added that include moving before shooting, firing at the right target while avoiding the wrong one, and getting accustomed to commands airmen may hear in the field in the event of a firefight.

Also every airman must qualify each time they deploy, no matter what their job may be.

The new course also at least doubles the amount of rounds fired in training. For airmen who use weapons as a regular part of their duties, it more than doubles it.

Robins Air Force Base started the training Dec. 1. The five firearms instructors in the 78th Security Forces Squadron teach the two-day classes with 24 students at a time. The previous training only took one day.

"It's a big upgrade because (the students) used to never move," said Tech Sgt. Chainey Moates, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the training. "They just sat still and stayed in positions. Now they are actually going real time doing what they would be doing down range. It's actually getting their heart rate up and gets their adrenaline pumping, and that's what they would be having to deal with down range."

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