AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates, –
The 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron has worked diligently this year to bolster their training program and bring increased lethality to Al Dhafra Air Base.
After months of relationship building, planning and paperwork, the 380th ESFS conducted the first proficiency firing course in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility on an Emirati firing range.
“Regardless whether we’re in the AOR or at home station, opportunities to apply our skills in order to remain proficient in our core tasks must be seized,” said Maj. Kevin Collett, 380th ESFS commander.
Proficiency firing courses are designed to prepare Airmen for stressful situations that may occur during live fire situations. Airmen are divided up into fire teams and must engage a target while communicating with their team to move among various barriers.
“The purpose is to increase proficiency of small unit tactics with specific regard to movement and communication, as well as immediate action drills,” said Collett.
On average a security forces Airmen may fire their weapon on a range four to five times a year. However, that is not always an option in a deployed location according to Staff Sgt. Adam Triplett, 380th ESFS training noncommissioned officer. Implementing this training ensures Defenders maintain readiness and lethality, even when deployed.
With any new program or training, there are always challenges, but the successful initial courses serve as a stepping-stone to future opportunities.
“Without question, there is more work to be done. Climate, resources, and manpower availability all serve as challenges to full implementation,” said Collett. “However, so many of the ‘big rocks,’ such as range availability, access to simunitions, and host nation approval by the Emiratis create a sense of excitement about where we can go from here.”
The training is set to continue though oncoming rotations to ADAB and will continue to progress.
“Eventually we would like to move from sim rounds to live rounds,” said Tripplett. “If we can come out here and actually use live rounds, they get the full fog of war type of training with the sound, the live rounds, the feeling of actually shooting and engaging targets.”
Live rounds are not something in the immediate future for this particular training. However, the Airmen do utilize live-firing for zeroing their M4 carbine rifles according to Collett.
“The course is a first in the AOR, and a strong nod to the initiatives started over the past year as part of the CSAF’s ‘Year of the Defender’ under the line of effort to increase lethality,” said Collett.