New Rifle Qualification
By Senior Airman Rebecca Salazar, 175th Security Forces Squadron
/ Published March 04, 2012
New firing procedures for rifle qualifying are changing in the Maryland Air National Guard, better preparing Airmen for current deployments.
The new rifle qualification course will integrate both lateral and horizontal movement, as well as how to use immediate action. Members will also gain the knowledge to prevent and properly correct stoppages and malfunctions in their weapons.
The course will also incorporate 5.56 ball and dummy rounds. The dummy rounds will force the shooter to clear the weapon from a malfunction. Shooters will be given actual commands. Commands such as, contact left and contact right will be given as a more realistic engagement of targets. Previously, shooters engaged one target straight ahead.
While at the Gunpowder range, the location where unit members qualify, Tech. Sgt. Jerome Howard, a combat arms instructor, said, "We are now qualifying 70% and with the old course it was 38%-64%. Bottom line, the course will develop a better shooter."
The current qualifying course is 100 rounds total. With the new course, Airmen will shoot over 200 rounds.
Currently combat arms instructors are at the range over seven hours. The new qualifying course is closer to nine hours across the board," said Howard. "Innovative training like this shows how the United States Air Force is adapting to the changing needs and the new challenges our airman face."