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19th SFS Airmen host ADM course for AF defenders

Men in military uniforms lay on ground looking down the scopes of M24 sniper weapon systems at a shooting range.

U.S. Air Force security forces members, from various units, participate in a 14 day Advanced Designated Marksman training course at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, Dec. 7, 2018. The ADM program began in 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

Pieces of paper with writing and mathematical equations lay on the ground as a man write information.

A U.S. Air Force Airman, acting as a spotter, does calculations to communicate with his shooter where to aim Dec. 11 2018, at Camp Robinson, Arkansas. The spotter has a specific formula, which uses humidity, wind, temperature and other environmental factors when calculating where a shooter should aim to hit a target. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

A man wearing the Airman Battle Uniform sits on a hill with a rifle, spotting scope, vest, backpack and clipboard.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Mitchell McKendree, 189th Security Forces Squadron entry controller, prepares to qualify on unknown-distance targets for advanced designator marksman training at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, Dec. 11, 2018. Airmen from numerous security forces squadrons across the Air Force took the ADM course offered at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and Camp Robinson, to become an advanced designated marksman. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

A man wearing the Airman Battle Uniform speaks to other people wearing the ABU and operational camouflage pattern uniform.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Donald Bartholomew III, 19th Security Forces Squadron commander, speaks during an advanced designated marksman class about the importance of this training for the students Dec. 3, 2018, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Airmen participating in ADM have the opportunity to qualify as an advanced designated marksman on known-distance targets and unknown-distance targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

A man wearing the operational camouflage pattern uniform looks down the scope of a M24 sniper weapon system as a man wearing the OCP uniform watches him.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Devin Jodway, 2nd Security Forces Squadron installation access controller, watches Senior Airman Devon Mulrath, 2nd SFS electronic sensor system operator, look down the scope of an M24 sniper weapon system at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Dec. 3, 2018. Airmen from across the Air Force came to Little Rock AFB for an advanced designated marksman course where they learned more about shooting the M24 and other weapon systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

Bullets for a M24 sniper weapon system lay on a green mat as a man puts one into his M24.

A U.S. Air Force Airman loads his M24 sniper weapon system during known-stance qualifications for the advanced designated marksman course at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, Dec. 7, 2018. The ADM course requires Airmen to qualify on known-distance and unknown-distance ranges. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

A man wearing  red hat and the operational camouflage pattern uniform looks down a scope at a range with two men wearing the Airman Battle Uniform.

A U.S. Air Force Combat Arms instructor assigned to the 19th Security Forces Squadron, looks through a spotting scope while Airmen practice shooting an M24 sniper weapon system for an advanced designated marksman course at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, Dec. 7, 2018. ADM course instructors teach Airmen how to become a team of a shooter and a spotter to locate and hit a target. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

A combat arms instructor wearing a fiery red hat stares into a spotting scope while a spotter and shooter team work together to aim for their target. The spotter says something to his teammate, and he squeezes the trigger.  

Ting!

A metal target chimes in the distance verifying to the marksman he hit the mark. The instructor yells, “Next target!” He proceeds to give the Air Force Defender his next objective to qualify as an advanced designated marksman.

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.

The course 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.

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