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Combat Arms Training and Maintenance

Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, fires his weapon in the kneeling supported position April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat arms instructors assist their students throughout the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance class to ensure they are using the proper techniques.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, fires his weapon in the kneeling supported position April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat arms instructors assist their students throughout the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance class to ensure they are using the proper techniques.(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Staff Sgt. Corey Martin reviews the outline for class before making his next announcement April 25, 2019 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Techniques learned in the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance class could save an Airman in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Staff Sgt. Corey Martin reviews the outline for class before making his next announcement April 25, 2019 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Techniques learned in the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance class could save an Airman in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Staff Sgt. Justin Colmer, 366th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, observes his students as they fire their weapons April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Airmen learn how to safely operate issued weapons in the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance class. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Staff Sgt. Justin Colmer, 366th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, observes his students as they fire their weapons April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Airmen learn how to safely operate issued weapons in the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance class. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

An Airman loads ammunition into his clip before receiving instructions April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Airmen receive Combat Arms Training to ensure they are confident using their issued weapons. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

An Airman loads ammunition into his clip before receiving instructions April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Airmen receive Combat Arms Training to ensure they are confident using their issued weapons. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, awaits instruction before firing his weapon April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat Arms Training is required for Airmen to remain deployable. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, awaits instruction before firing his weapon April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat Arms Training is required for Airmen to remain deployable. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Staff Sgt. Justin Colmer, 366th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, assists Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, with making sight corrections to his weapon April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat Arms training helps Airmen remain confident in their ability to safely operate issued weapons. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Staff Sgt. Justin Colmer, 366th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, assists Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, with making sight corrections to his weapon April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat Arms training helps Airmen remain confident in their ability to safely operate issued weapons. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, fires his weapon in the prone position April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Airmen learn how to safely operate weapons in the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance class. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller, fires his weapon in the prone position April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Airmen learn how to safely operate weapons in the Combat Arms Training and Maintenance class. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Staff Sgt. Corey Martin, 366th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor gives instructions on the firing line April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat arms instructors guide Airmen through the process of safely loading and firing weapons. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

Staff Sgt. Corey Martin, 366th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor gives instructions on the firing line April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat arms instructors guide Airmen through the process of safely loading and firing weapons. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

An Airman sets aside the correct amount of ammunition before loading it into their clip April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Instructors put safety as their highest priority. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

An Airman sets aside the correct amount of ammunition before loading it into their clip April 25, 2019, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Instructors put safety as their highest priority. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey Bivens)

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Well trained Airmen reduce the risk of safety mishaps in the field and increases accuracy and lethality when firing a weapon is necessary.

To ensure Gunfighters are ready to deploy at any moment, Mountain Home Air Force Base conducts Combat Arms Training and Maintenance (CATM) classes throughout the year.

Most Airmen are trained on two main weapons at CATM: the M4 carbine and M9 pistol.

“Whether it’s because they’re deploying or making a permanent change of station, they come to CATM for their small arms training,” said Staff Sgt. Corey Martin, 366th Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms instructor.

Gunfighter CATM instructors train Airmen on a multitude of topics that pertain to their safety in a deployed environment.

They start off in the classroom to learn basic firearm safety, how the weapon works, and how to preform immediate actions in the event their weapon is not firing correctly.

After the classroom portion of the course, Airmen are taken to the firing range to put the techniques they learned to the test.

Tech Sgt. Joshua Armstrong, 366th Operations Support Squadron air traffic controller says the training reminds him of the techniques he’s learned in the past when attending other CATM classes.

“Different careers in the Air Force have different objectives so it’s always good to have a refresher on how to properly operate these weapons.” Said Armstrong.

The instructors intently watch their students as they fire weapons during qualification to ensure they maintain safety standards.

“It’s very important for Airmen to retain information and remain safe when firing their weapons,” Martin said. “A negligent discharge could end someone’s life.”

When firing is done the shooters return to the classroom to disassemble and clean their weapons before putting the weapon back together with guidance from instructors.

“We go over operator level maintenance so they can identify problems inside the weapon itself,” Martin said. “If a bolt breaks it shouldn’t take a Combat Arms Airman to inspect it for cracks and imperfections. If the person is qualified they should be able to grab a new bolt and put it back together.”

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