KSLA Salutes: BAFB Combat Arms Training

KSLA Salutes: Combat arms training at Barksdale Air Force Base
Updated: Feb. 22, 2018 at 8:15 PM CST
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BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA (KSLA) - Bullets raced down range, as each airman took aim from the line, firing at their targets.

Chances are you won't find an airman on Barksdale who hasn't gone through Security Forces combat arms training.

A small piece of the puzzle, designed to meet readiness requirements.

"It's broken down by their specific needs as a career field so it varies. Some career fields only fire for deployments or PCS, if they're going overseas, explained BAFB Combat Arms Instructor, SSgt Jamie Farmer, "It just depends on the career field what they do and what the need is."

SSgt Farmer initially joined the Air Force with a generic focus on Security Forces, or base law enforcement.

"I'm the resident gun nut," he said. "I love firearms shooting recreationally and such.It just seemed like a good fit for me."

So he took his training to the next level and qualified as combat arms instructor.

"I tend to be a little more focused on specifics and details and teaching that to other people and getting them to understand their weapons, that they may rely on with their life eventually. I like being able to be useful like that."

Farmer is one of only a handful of instructors on base responsible for training an estimated 3,500 airmen a year. Accounting for roughly 800,000 rounds.

"We put them through in about eight hours, a little over four hours of classroom and right around four hours at the range."

This particular class focused on the M-4 carbine.

"It (M-4 carbine) is the standard basic weapon that almost everybody is going to be qualified on at some point in their career, and be the primary weapon they would carry home station or down range depending on their duties."

Each airman must complete specific tasks to qualify with their weapon. Farmer says high reps from different positions help build muscle memory.

"(In) A high-stress situation people kind of tend to lose track of checklist items, things like that, but if they get good enough, just running through the motions, being able to do it, then that might save their life."

Critical engagement skills necessary for combat success.

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