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Post by Blackbird on 10/16/2019, 3:57 pm

An interesting story about a USAF Tech. Sergeant who shoots BE.

https://www.aerotechnews.com/nellisafb/2019/10/09/nellis-airman-excels-in-marksmanship/?fbclid=IwAR2XU_IUQBUDIPvu5r5tQqeH9gsT3v1D5uu57bbawyLEtGeiVdFMCJYO7KQ

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Post by adminbot1911 on 10/17/2019, 12:40 pm

Interesting, indeed.  All sorts of things jump out at me.

-Choice of hammer
-Watch on the right wrist of a right handed shooter
-15 to 30 minutes of dry fire a day 
-5 o'clock shadow in an in-uniform photo op
-In a force of 330,000 active duty members there are four distinguished pistol shots
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Post by Axehandle on 10/17/2019, 2:48 pm

Smile   FWIW the AF does not support their shooters like the other services.  They got out of the shooting business I believe in the late 60s and did not return until the late 80s.  In their day they ran a MTU and gun shop out of Lackland AFB and a fully supported team. At that point in time the AF pistol team held pretty much all the team records.  When they shut down the Air NG got all their guns and ammo.  I spent 18 years with a set of guns marked AFPG (Air Force Premium Grade) and all the ammo I could stand.  When they started back shooting in the late 80s all the shooters got was permissive TDY to go shoot.  No guns, no ammo... They may get a little more support now..

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Post by Axehandle on 10/17/2019, 2:53 pm

412 USAF Distinguished Pistol Shot badges as of today.  Won mine (231) in 1984
http://www.airforceshooting.org/disting.html
USAF member of President's One Hundred EhYKNnq


Last edited by Axehandle on 10/17/2019, 3:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Jack H on 10/17/2019, 3:02 pm

http://www.airforceshooting.org/disting.html
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Post by Axehandle on 10/17/2019, 3:52 pm

Curse that cut and paste! Missed the end of the link.  Thanks!   Fix my original post. Smile

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Post by Allen Barnett on 10/17/2019, 7:11 pm

My Dad worked at Lackland in the MTU as a gunsmith from sometime in late 1959 or early 1960 until the spring of 1964.  When he retired from the Army in Oct 1959 he was working at Fort Benning in the MTU there also as a gunsmith.

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Post by adminbot1911 on 10/18/2019, 7:36 am

Axehandle wrote:412 USAF Distinguished Pistol Shot badges as of today.  Won mine (231) in 1984
http://www.airforceshooting.org/disting.html
USAF member of President's One Hundred EhYKNnq
Exactly, and with about 40 being issued in the past 20 years statistically there should be many more than 4 remaining in the hands of active AF members
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Post by Axehandle on 10/18/2019, 7:57 am

"Active AF Members" is the key.  I'd guess that since the AF got out of the shooting business that 90% of the AF Distinguished badges went to Air National Guard members like me.

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Post by pgg on 10/19/2019, 2:44 pm

Axehandle wrote:Smile   FWIW the AF does not support their shooters like the other services.  They got out of the shooting business I believe in the late 60s and did not return until the late 80s.  In their day they ran a MTU and gun shop out of Lackland AFB and a fully supported team. At that point in time the AF pistol team held pretty much all the team records.  When they shut down the Air NG got all their guns and ammo.  I spent 18 years with a set of guns marked AFPG (Air Force Premium Grade) and all the ammo I could stand.  When they started back shooting in the late 80s all the shooters got was permissive TDY to go shoot.  No guns, no ammo... They may get a little more support now..

The Navy support is a little disappointing too. We're about 90% self-funded and it can be a real burden to junior enlisted to accumulate the weapons, basic gear, and (most of all) practice time & ammo to become competitive.

On the bright side
1) Most of us can get permissive TDY. Not as nice as funded orders, but I am still grateful to not have to burn all 30 days of my annual leave to attend Fleet/All-Navy, Interservice, and Nationals.
2) The Navy does provide match rifle and pistol ammo, and this is a HUGE help.
3) SECNAV Trophy Rifles are still a thing, and a really nice reward for shooting well.
4) The Marine Corps gives us use of their ranges and no-cost barracks at Quantico and Pendleton for our annual Fleet/All-Navy matches.

And there's a silver lining to not having a formal marksmanship unit. I would never be assigned to such a unit (nor would I want that) so the fact that I was able to just slip away from my command on no-cost orders, show up to the Fleet & All-Navy matches, and shoot my way onto the team ... is great. If by quirk of quotas and fate the Army had put me through school instead of the Navy, I'd be totally out of luck. There's no way that AMU would give me the time of day or let me be part of the team because I simply can't make that level of commitment and still do the job I was trained and hired to do. One of the best things about the Navy team is we have people from every community ... keyboard commandos, actual warfighters, sailors who've actually been on ships, sailors who spend all their time with the Marines, aviators, dentists, everything.

I wish we saw more AF shooters out there. Someone needs to help shoulder the load of very occasionally beating the AMU at something.  Smile

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Post by lonegunman on 11/2/2019, 7:45 am

I won mine in 2003, #356.  The Air Force hasn't updated their web page on badge numbers in a decade, the Air Force shooting team website since 2014.  According to the CMP Andy has 46 pistol points, kudos to Andrew.  Now for the rifle badge. Very Happy   

The Air Force has always been spotty on their support for shooting since General Lemay retired.  A stunning number of Air Force officers are seriously anti-gun and leftist, they find the idea of a martial skill offensive since they consider themselves Fed Ex employees.  I shot privately while on active duty, my career made trying out for the team pretty tough.  I used to ride to matches with the ANG guys from my base.  When I left active duty to go to college, I joined their unit and got issued a complete set of guns, cherry picked from old AFPG stock and all the ammo I could shoot, it was awesome.  My pay and travel pay for shooting on the team made out of town matches possible, I was pretty broke but could still afford to shoot.  

When I got picked up by the All Guard team, my commander blew a gasket.  He stood there ranting about my congratulations letter from the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and tossed it in the shredder in front of me.  His comment was, "I'll be damned if I'm handing that to you in front of the unit.  If you try and miss a single drill for shooting, I'll non-retain your ass and you will be out! do you hear me!!!?!?!?!".   

After 9/11, our team helped qualify a few hundred people before deployments and held clinics for Airmen who were deploying and might have to shoot a shot in anger.  We brought our personal AR's, 9MM's and other weapons and got people comfortable who did not typically handle guns.  We did familiarization classes during our weekly training at the local range and when we had spare time.  Our rifle shooters helped get our Security Forces guys spun up for sniper duty and distance shooting if it had been required for base defense.  

Skills with small arms still have a place in the Air Force, I am glad shooters occasionally get some coverage in morale media.  When I retired, I had a blurb about earning my Distinguished Pistol badge added to the citation accompanying my retirement MSM.  My commander refused to read it in front of the unit, anti-gunners to the bitter end.
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Post by CO1Mtn on 11/5/2019, 2:53 am

At a base I was stationed at, the base commander had the option of allowing concealed carry permit holders to keep a handgun locked in their car while on base. I remember him briefing us that he wasn't going to allow that, because "there would be shootouts in the streets like the wild west." His words almost verbatim, as I remember. A few weeks later, there were signs posted at the gate with a pistol and a red null circle around it, similar to no-smoking signs, that said "no firearms allowed on the installation."
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Post by HogCommander on 11/28/2019, 8:02 am

I just retired from the Air Force this summer.  I shot with the Air Force pistol team for 7 years including 2 years with TSgt Wilson.  Hes a great NCO and has done a lot for the AF team.  He went from recreational shooter and team prospect in 2017 to his first P100 in 2018.  He legged out on Service Pistol in 2019.

It's true the AF only has a handful of active duty members who have the Distinguished badge...part of the intent of the article was to get the word out to other Airmen the Air Force still has a shooting program open to them.  TSgt Wilson also organized and ran 2 Elementarty EIC matches at Nellis AFB in an effort to introduce more Airmen to competitive shooting and recruit new shooters for the AF team.

You probably wont see TSgt Wilson at many matches in the next few years as he just began an overseas tour but hopefully you'll see other AF competitors from time to time.  They are a team of part time shooters with fewer resources every year but are doing their best to keep the sport alive in a service that isn't known for promoting small arms marksmanship.  Best wishes and 10s & Xs!

Col Mike Ragland, USAF (Ret)

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Post by 2600jamesT on 2/11/2020, 5:31 pm

First time on this site, didn't know it existed. Found this thread very interesting as I was a member of the USAF Pistol Team from 62-64 and 66-68. 
Distinguished badge #94, 2600 Club Feb. 1962, Winner, USAFE Championship 1961, 1962.
Now shoot trap and skeet (shooting sport for 80 year olds).
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