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Arming 332d Security Forces

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jim Bentley
  • 332d Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron

Security Forces Defenders do not just protect their base; they also conduct combat missions in hostile territory. Whether they are patrolling a perimeter or deploying to a Forward Operating Site, the 332d Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron has to be equipped to face any threat. This is where the Armory comes in.


“These weapons can play a huge role in deterring aggressive forces of any kind that we may encounter,” says Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Weeks, 332d ESFS Armory Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. “Some weapons can be used in short range situations, whereas the bigger weapons, such as the rifle or machine guns, can provide accurate long distance fire when and if necessary.”


In addition to issuing appropriate weaponry, Armorers maintain or repair firearms as needed, store them in a secure environment, and make sure they are accounted for at all times. At least one Airman is working at the Armory 24 hours a day so that if anyone requires a weapon, they can respond immediately.


This rapid response plays a large role in contingency operations, when Airmen may have to arm themselves and deploy in response to unforeseen events. When a new mission changes, Armorers make sure deploying Airmen have the tools and training to use their weapon systems correctly. They issue other equipment, such as magazines and radios, and make sure that weapons are all transported in secure cases.


Some weapons are issued more commonly than others. The M4A1 carbine is a version of the M4 with fully automatic fire capabilities. The M18 Modular Handgun System is a service pistol that replaced the M9 in recent years. There are two grenade launchers that may be issued: the M203GL, which attaches to the bottom of a rifle, and the newer M320GL which can be used as a standalone model.


“The required equipment for each post does differ though,” says Weeks. “Some posts require rifle and pistol, some just pistol and even some posts require larger weapons systems such as the 240B Machine Gun.”