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19th SFS Airmen host ADM course for AF defenders

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms instructors hosted the Advanced Designated Marksman course at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Dec. 3-14, 2018, advancing readiness of the defenders and supporting Air Force's top leaders' number one priority: readiness.

“We must always take integrated and layered base defense to a new level by increasing investment in our defenders with new equipment, new training, new tactics, techniques, and procedures, and renewed focus at every echelon of command,” said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein at the Air Force Association's annual conference in September.

This is exactly what Little Rock AFB is tackling with the new course, which takes two weeks to complete, combining classroom work with field craft and firing. Members have multiple opportunities to qualify using the weapon system on known-target distance and unknown-target distance to give them the best chance to build and execute new skillsets.

Little Rock AFB hosted the ADM course in 2008, but it faded out and was moved to Fort Bliss, Texas. Combat arms instructors learned that after qualifying in basic knowledge of the M24 sniper weapon system, range estimation, target detection and many more skills in the ADM course, they could bring it back to Little Rock AFB if they met the requirements of being an ADM instructor.

The base has room to host the classroom portion of the course, but doesn’t have the shooting ranges necessary to qualify Defenders. Luckily, Camp Robinson, Arkansas, has the facilities and allows the instructors to reserve the shooting ranges helping Defenders stay ready for the fight. 

One 19th SFS combat arms Airman spent approximately one year getting all the qualifications necessary to instruct the course. In order for instructors to teach the initial qualification in ADM training, they had to qualify as ADMs and have the facilities to accomplish the training.

“Our first step was to get my other combat arms personnel certified so they could help out,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Quade, 19th SFS Combat Arms ADM program manager. “Then, I approached my commander on doing the ADMC here for our people to save on travel cost, and my commander told me to reach out to as many bases as possible to save on their travel costs since we’re closer than Fort Bliss for most of the bases we invited.”

The combat arms instructors invited Airmen from numerous bases across the Air Force to attend the course. The 22-slot class filled up quickly with members from Keesler AFB, Mississippi; Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; Altus AFB, Oklahoma; and the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado.

“We’ll build some camaraderie here and continue to build on our warrior ethos as Defenders while developing a baseline for advanced designated marksmanship skills,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Donald Bartholomew III, 19th SFS commander.

With this diverse group of Airmen from across the Air Force training together at Little Rock AFB, relationships and trust develop, which can translate over during a deployment.

In addition to Defenders being qualified, combat arms Airmen gained the skills necessary to provide sustainment, proficiency training and coaching techniques, preparing them to train personnel at their respective bases and growing the ADM community exponentially. In the end, this program improves Airmen’s readiness while ensuring their ability to maintain their competitive combat edge.