News>Small weapons training keep 931st aircrew prepared for mission readiness
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Senior Master Sgt. John Wallman, 931st Air Refueling Group, and members of the 931st ARG practice trigger control during the M-9 pistol qualifications course, March 4th. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Carrie Peasinger)
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Maj. Jon Pece, 18th Air Refueling Group, loads M-9 ammunition into a magazine in preparation for firing during M-9 pistol qualification course, March 4. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Carrie Peasinger)
by Staff Sgt. Carrie M. Peasinger
931st Air Rerueling Group
3/6/2012 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan -- Members of the 931st Air Refueling Group attended M-9 pistol qualification course to complete their necessary training, March 4.
The course began with classroom training where members demonstrated their ability to safely handle the M-9. The qualifications course consists of nomenclature, handling, loading procedures, firing techniques, firing on the range and the proper care and cleaning of the weapon.
"This training is important for aircrew for anti-hijacking and to protect their resources. Everyone needs to protect themselves and this course will help give them the confidence needed to perform those actions," said Master Sgt. Bradley Fields, a combat arms instructor from 931st Security Forces Squadron.
To qualify on the weapon, the students fire 45 rounds to familiarize them with the fundamentals of shooting.
Following the classroom training, students headed out to the firing range where they were assigned firing lanes. The students received a safety briefing and 90 rounds to demonstrate their ability to fire and hit a green silhouette resembling a human body. Silhouette targets have two circles on them, which represent the head and chest areas.
"Although, this class is a refresher for most, it's good that it's taught, we learn how to stand, sight fundamentals, and different aspects of shooting techniques," said Capt. Chris Kidd, a pilot assigned to the 18th Air Refueling Squadron.
They shoot 45 qualifying rounds, 35 are required to impact the target. To achieve a rating of expert marksman the students need to have a total of 41 rounds impact the target and in certain areas; six need to hit the head, which is a six-inch circle, and 25 in the chest, a 10-inch circle.
"This class is required for aircrew every two years and for ground crew annually. It's done so frequently due to operational tempo, career fields and where one is being deployed. It's good for every career field, from cooks to aircrew, to possess the skills to protect themselves and others," said Fields.
According to Kidd the benefits of familiarization training are numerous.
"If I had my choice we would do this more often and practice to proficiency. As a flyer, we carry weapons in theater. Although we may not use them, the course is designed to give us the competency and knowledge to carry weapons and the confidence needed to use them," said Kidd.