Beginning Dec. 1, airmen will be required to take a longer and more challenging rifle-qualification course to better prepare them for deployments downrange. “Our combatant commanders identified over the last 10 years that we needed to move away from the Cold War-era style of qualification and give our airmen quality training,” said MSgt. Scott Brown, US Air Forces in Europe combat arms program manager. The requirements will differ based on an airmen’s specialty code for the new nine- to 11-hour course. Those in Group A, or combat-coded career fields, will shoot 280 rounds and will conduct night firing exercises with laser aiming devices, night scopes, and weapon-mounted lights. Airmen placed in Group B, the majority of career fields, will shoot a 200-round course, including semi-automatic and three-round burst fire, threat discrimination, and tactical engagement of the target. Both groups will need to score at least a 70 percent—compared to the existing requirement of 50 percent—to pass. (Ramstein release by SSgt. Benjamin Wilson)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.