SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. –
Safety was at the center of live-fire weapons training for several dozen Michigan Air National Guard Citizen-Airmen at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The Airmen participated in the training during their September drill period.
Depending on their duty assignment, Airmen receive the training on various timelines. Some, such as Security Forces personnel, require frequent refresher training to stay current on various weapons. Others receive “just-in-time” training, in advance of a deployment or other event.
“Safety is the number one thing I try to stress in the class,” said Staff Sgt. Alec Felker, a combat arms instructor with the 127th Security Forces Squadron at Selfridge. “Some of our Airmen are very familiar with firearms, where others are not. The main thing this training accomplishes is to review the safety standards and to give the Airmen a level of comfort handling the weapon.”
During the September training, which focused on use of the M-4 carbine rifle, the Airmen spent half a day in the classroom reviewing procedures and then disassembling, cleaning and re-assembling the weapon. Another half day was spent on the small arms range actually firing the weapon.
“Really, this training just gives you a refresher on the basics of the weapon,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Worton, a member of the 127th Civil Engineer Squadron.
Felker said having the opportunity to fire the weapon in a training scenario helps to give the Airmen confidence, should they ever need to use the weapon in a live environment.
“Our job as Airmen is to be ready to mobilize in short order. This training supports that mission,” Felker said.