US Air Forces in Europe last week reopened the small arms range at RAF Molesworth, Britain, to help accommodate the number of airmen stationed in the area requiring shooting qualification. USAFE shuttered the firing line in 2010 due to lack of use, according to an Oct. 18 release. At the time, RAF Feltwell picked up the training. However, Feltwell was becoming overwhelmed with the training demands, so USAFE officials decided to reopen the Molesworth range, states the release. Members of the 501st Combat Support Wing at RAF Alconbury had been qualifying at Feltwell, but will now be able to “save more than $146,000 annually” by utilizing Molesworth and not having to travel to Feltwell, said MSgt. Grady Driver, 432rd Security Forces Squadron logistics and readiness superintendent. Airmen of the 352nd Special Operations Group from RAF Mildenhall will also use the Molesworth range, which reopened on Oct. 15, for qualifying with M16 and M4 rifles, M9 and M11 handguns, and M870 shotguns, states the release. (Molesworth report by SSgt. Brian Stives)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.