Missouri Air National Guardsmen provide weapons training to Soldiers

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica C. Donnelly
  • 131st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Members from the 131st Security Forces Squadron provided weapons training, qualifying Soldiers from four Army units, the 48th Brigade, the 148th Field Artillery, the 201st Military Intelligence and the 171st Infantry, at Volk Field and Fort McCoy, Wis. July 10 through 13.

Tech. Sgt. Robert E. Brooks, 131st Security Forces Squadron NCOIC combat arms, explained, they trained the Soldiers on many different weapons including 9-mil., M-16, 50-cal. and a few others that they may use on their upcoming deployment.

"The Army does not have fire arms instructors. They use whoever is the most knowledgeable of the weapon to be the teacher," said Tech. Sgt. Dean A. Bartlett, 131st Security Forces Squadron combat arms. "This is our job and they wanted training from our experts because they are being deployed and will need to apply their skills in a combat environment"

"The Army has a different way of doing things than the Air Force does," said Sergeant Bartlett. He explained that since these units don't have their own combat arms instructors, they normally have shooters grade their own target, no matter what rank they are, then make their own sight adjustments. Without help from an expert, it can be tough for inexperienced shooters to qualify.

"That's the kind of training these Soldiers were getting. They figured out that this is our job, this is what we do all the time, so we could go and tell them how to do it," said Sergeant Bartlett.

He added, the Air Force uses a 1:7 teacher to student ratio while at the firing range to make sure that every student is safe and gets the individualized help they need.

"These Army units expected a 75-percent qualification rate for the members that were training," said. Sergeant Brooks. "The group at Fort McCoy met that goal, but the group at Volk Field went above and beyond with 100 percent qualification."

"All four units that we trained were 100 percent qualified and that's the first time that's happened in more than eight years," said Sergeant Brooks.

"They appreciated everything we did," said Sergeant Brooks. "The eight guys that went all received Army Achievement Medals."

Sergeant Bartlett added, the Army units they worked with have already requested the combat arms team to come back and train them next year for their pre-deployment weapons training.