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Airmen Perfect Discipline in Shooting Event for Combat Readiness

Staff Sgt. Danny, a member of the 118th Wing gets his weapon checked and cleared by Master Sgt. Jason Kelley, a 118th Wing combat arms training and munitions instructor. Safety is the number one concern when on the range and all precautions or taken to ensure a fun safe environment. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Caitlin Conner)

Staff Sgt. Danny, a member of the 118th Wing gets his weapon checked and cleared by Master Sgt. Jason Kelley, a 118th Wing combat arms training and munitions instructor. Safety is the number one concern when on the range and all precautions or taken to ensure a fun safe environment. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Caitlin Conner)

NASHVILLE, Tenn -- Members from the 218th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group engaged in a shooting event Sept. 18, 2017, at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

“As Airmen we are not expected to know how to shoot, it’s not a part of our AFSC (Air Force specialty code), but as military members we need to be able to learn how to protect ourselves, know how to protect our country and also deploy as National Guardsmen,” said Staff Sgt. Miquelont, a member of the 118th Wing. “It’s a part of readiness to know how to handle a weapon properly and to be trained.”

For most Airmen going out to the range and shooting different weapons was only done when gearing up for a deployment. This training is a hope to bridge the gap for members that have not shot in many years.

Basic safety, proper stances and basic handling of a weapon are all things we spend extra time on when members come out to shoot just because they are not familiar with it, said Master Sgt. Jason Kelley, a 118th Wing combat arms training and munitions instructor. This training and being familiar with everything cuts our time in half to be able to train more people.

Currently the only members from the 118th Wing that handle weapons on a regular basis in a military capacity are Security Forces and members of the marksmanship team.

“As a member of the wing marksmanship team we are sort of at an advantage over other Airmen because we get to practice ammo and shoot in competitions and really get to improve our Airmen skills,” said Maj. Demetrius, a member of the 118th Wing. “As we started thinking of different competitions we wanted to do, we sat down and said why don’t we internalize this and use that ammo for better purposes and train our Airmen.”

As the day progressed with training and continuous practice the Airmen were able to become more comfortable with their weapon and improve their skills.

“I learned a lot of bad habits so coming here actually teaches me the technique I wouldn’t be able to learn shooting with my friends,” said Miquelont. “Now that I have finished my qualification I realized with all the techniques they showed me, I actually improved. I can’t do that if this opportunity was not given to me.”

Overall the members were aware of the importance to be ready at a moment’s notice to serve their country wherever that may be. The word readiness was heard in many conversations walking around the range and these Airmen were ready to perform.

“When our number is called to deploy we can take these marksmanship skills and this isn’t the thing that worry about,” said Demetrius. “We can worry about our job and our families.”
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