GULFPORT, Miss. – Members of 255th Air Control Squadron show their ability to adapt quickly to operating a different weapon than they are accustomed to during their 2017 Annual Training in Gulfport. The unit is preparing for an upcoming deployment. In order to be eligible to serve forward, Guardsmen must show a certain amount of proficiency in their shooting skills.
“We’re qualifying with the M4 Carbine weapon, and it’s the first time that we’ve used the M4,”said Master Sgt. Frank Beverly, 255th ACS First Sergeant.
”Typically and historically we’ve used the M16, but we’re switching to this newer weapon. It’s more modern and has more technological advances. It’s got an N68 laser optical sight on it so it’s more accurate.”
The Air National Guard also wants to ensure Airmen are prepared to fire in various situations before they embark. The M4 Carbine training took place at the Combat Readiness Training Center- Battlefield Airmen Center shooting range. Instructors presented about 65 Airmen with different challenges to see how the environment affects their ability to engage targets.
“There are different positions and different distances you have to qualify from. We qualify from 35 meters, to 15 meters to 12 meters,” Beverly said. ”There’s different types of firing you have to do. You also have to fire with your gas mask on and with your protective gear which is a black vest.”
Beverly said, “The reason why you have to is because you’re not really sure what situation you might be in where you might have to fire. You might be in an open setting where you are outside. You might be in close quarters. You might even be inside of a building.”
The 255th ACS also completed Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear exercises during their Annual Training as well.