Diverse Weapons for Diverse Missions, Security Forces Ready for Any Challenge

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jeremy J. McClure
  • 185 ARW Public Affairs
With fingers covered in oil and grime, a group of Airmen with the 185th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron, spent a day cleaning and maintaining weapons they had qualified with in January that ranged from 9mm handguns to 40mm grenade launchers.

"We took pistols, rifles, shotguns, machineguns, and grenade launchers to qualify with," said Tech. Sgt. Thad E. Miller, Combat Arms Instructor with the 185th Security Forces Squadron.

The variety of weapons is demonstrative of the diverse missions Security Forces encounters at home and abroad that go beyond the police function most Airmen are familiar seeing them perform.

"When I deployed to Iraq, I did convoys, security cordons for raids, and I even helped secure a drone crash," said Miller who received the Air Force Combat Action Medal for coming under enemy fire while in Iraq.

Miller conducted 127 convoys while deployed and had to learn to employ the legendary M2 .50 caliber machinegun and the MK19 automatic grenade launcher. Weapons typically found in an infantry platoon.

"Every weapon has a purpose," explained Staff Sgt. Mitchell J. Treiber, Combat Arms Instructor. "Some, like the M9, are used more for personal protection while others will be used to support a squad in the attack."

In combat, it is important that the Security Forces Airmen know how to operate all the weapons.

"Anyone can get shot and you have to be able to take over for them," said Miller.

Part of that preparation comes from knowing the tools of the trade.

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