114th defenders implement the Defender Qualification Course

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Luke Olson
  • 114th Fighter Wing

The 114th Security Forces Squadron is primed to tackle the ever-changing operational environments as they implement the new Defender Qualification Course at Joe Foss Field from October to November 2023.

Effective Sept. 28, 2023, the Air Force Security Forces Center recently issued guidance to all security forces squadrons, instructing them to transition to the Defender Qualification Course for both the M4A1 carbine and the M18 Modular Handgun System.

“This new guidance, which is geared toward air base and ground defense, required SFS trainers to quickly study and facilitate training for the 114th SFS whose qualifications are due in October and November of this year,” said Jeremy J. Wajer, range operations manager, 114th Security Forces Squadron.

The updated course of fire emphasizes the defender's agility to respond swiftly in uncomfortable shooting positions, engage targets with their non-dominant hand, and efficiently use barricades for cover. Additionally, the new qualification course guarantees that defenders are confident in low light and night fire scenarios with the use of night vision devices and PEQ-15's.

“Despite the tight deadline to implement the course, immediate improvements have been observed,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Daniel Malmberg, combat arms training and maintenance instructor with the 114th Fighter Wing. “Specifically, I’m seeing an increased familiarity in weapons handling with the visibility and optics challenges.”
This course is a condensed iteration of the Security Forces Qualification Course, designed to be more suitable for the timelines of the National Guard and Reserves.

“Competence is not enough,” said Wajer. “Defenders must be proficient to pass and a true master to earn the marksmanship ribbon.”

The Air National Guard aims to deliver trained, ready, and lethal forces to defend the homeland and defeat aggression in any field of engagement.