Bullets, Training and more Bullets
Photo and story by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA
“This month’s training will center on one of our biggest
force multipliers, the machine gun,” cited Master Sgt. Dave Kovak,
Combat Arms Section NCOIC, 177th Fighter Wing Security Forces.
Seventeen Security Forces Airmen spent the May drill at Fort Dix’s
Range 7 for their annual machine gun qualification. This annual training
was the culmination of classroom instruction and qualification on the
required evaluation phases of the Air Force Qualification, full distance
Firing more than 10,000 rounds of linked 5.56 and 7.62 ammunition might
seem like a lot of training, but when you are shooting both M249 automatic
rifles and M240B medium ma¬chine guns, that ammunition gets burned
up pretty fast.
“A machine gunner should have a more aggressive mindset due to
the particular nature and role this weapon plays in air base defense,”
Each Airman was briefed on M249 and M240B nomenclature, types of ammunition
and how to care for handle and preserve ammunition, preparing range
cards, tactics and techniques of engaging targets during periods of
limited visibility; fire control and target engagement, range determination
and lateral distance measurement, as well as weapons function checks
and correct¬ing stoppages.
At the firing line the Security Forces Airmen positioned themselves.
Firing point instructors Master Sgt. Robert Powell, Tech. Sgt. Bill
Peters, Staff Sgt. Stanley Carroll and Senior Airman Justin M. Kelley
reminded each shooter to fire a “Six to nine round burst.”
A little more than two hours later, more than 10,000 rounds had been
“The importance of training can never be underestimated,”
noted Kovak “As Security Forces, we train to protect not only
material assets but our personnel as well, and we take that job very
seriously, these weapons are an integral part of that mission”