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Bullets, Training and more Bullets
Photo and story by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA
TAG at Operation Jump Start

“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 course.
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,” noted Kovak.

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 exhausted.

“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”


Table of Contents
Volume 33 Number 2 Staff / Information
(c) 2006 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs