We don’t know the distances or target size. But the new Air Force quals are a big step in the right direction: active engagement rather than simple marksmanship. You can get a pretty good idea of what’s required from the new protocol published in airforcetimes.com:
• Table one: This phase will look familiar. Shooters are instructed to zero and fire from four stationary positions — lying down with a support, lying down without a support, kneeling with a support and standing behind a barricade, which were a part of the old courses of fire. Airmen fire 102 rounds at this level.
• Table two: This phase is all about tactical engagement. The shooter must raise an M4, equipped with the M68 optic attachment, from a low, ready position to a firing position and shoot at both the chest and the head of the target in single rounds and controlled pairs. The airman then takes on multiple threats to learn how to differentiate them. If an airman fails threat discrimination, he fails the entire level and must retake it.
Finally, as part of the tactical engagement phase, airmen shoot three-round bursts from the standing position and then will shoot both standing and low-kneeling from behind barricades, moving and firing from another position. Airmen fire 94 rifle rounds and 10 rounds with a 9mm pistol at this level.
• Table three: Only airmen who require the sharpest firearms skills take table three. Skills include shooting in low visibility with no aids, shooting with night-vision scopes and flashlights, and shooting with laser aiming devices. Airmen fire 80 rounds at this level.
In all, airmen who complete all three tables shoot 276 rounds with a rifle and 10 with a 9mm pistol . . .
In addition to learning basic marksmanship, nonsecurity forces personnel fire three additional phases of the course. Those phases include a ball/dummy drill to practice fixing malfunctions, chemical warfare, which requires firing while wearing a gas mask, and a tactical engagement techniques phase that has five orders of fire.