1 of 2 | An Airman assigned to the 355th Security Forces Squadron fires an M4 carbine during a new Security Forces Qualification Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., on August 11, 2021. Photo by Senior Airman Alex Miller/U.S. Air Force
Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Beta testing is underway for a new weapons training course developed by the Air Force Security Forces Center.
Fifteen military installations are participating in the trial of the new course for more than more than 38,000 active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and government civilian security forces members , the U.S. Air Force said in a news release Friday.
"The weapons qualification course is a forward-thinking effort, focused on enabling defenders to adapt to a changing operational environment," Brig. Gen. Roy Collins said in the statement.
"Together, we will organize, train and equip defenders to remain the most proficient an ready force," said Collins, Security Forces director and deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection.
The course includes four blocks of training: carbine marksmanship fundamentals and simulator training; short-range combat training and shoot, move and communicate skills training; limited visibility engagement training and virtual reality scenario-based training; and marksmanship qualification and live-fire proficiency training.
The yearlong beta test began June 1. Once the trial is completed, policy guidance will be developed, with a goal of implementing the course by October 2022.
"The new course is more challenging because it trains defenders in a way we've never had to before," U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nicole Ankerbrand Robinson said in a statement released in July.
Robinson is 354th SFS Combat Arms non-commissioned officer in charge. The 354th Security Forces Squadron is participating in the trial at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.
"To my knowledge, this is the first time security forces will have its own weapons qualification course. This course is strict and difficult, as it should be," Robinson said. "Defenders are the first ones in and the last ones out in emergency situations, so knowing how to use a firearm tactically is vital to us."