MSG corner: keeping the "profession of arms" compliant and ready Published Sept. 5, 2012 By Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos 36th Wing Public Affairs ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- This week, the 36th Mission Support Group highlights the 36th Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance section. The CATM mission is to ensure that all weapons utilized by 36th Wing personnel are functional, maintained and ready when the Airmen are called to duty. Additionally, they ensure that all personnel who handle these weapons are trained properly and effectively. "We support Andersen, and ultimately the Air Force mission, by providing weapons training for Airmen prior to permanent change of station and deployments," said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Breland, 36th SFS CATM noncommissioned officer in charge. The section conducts weapons maintenance and inspections as well as unit scheduling, unit deployment management and weapons custodian training. "For the recent 554th REDHORSE Squadron deployment, CATM had to conduct more than 120 weapons qualifications along with more than 120 weapons inspections to get the REDHORSE Airmen ready and out the door," said Sergeant Breland. "We had to get this accomplished as well as continue to meet the needs of other units. We successfully accommodated everyone by closely coordinating with the unit schedulers, deployment managers and weapons custodians. The 36th SFS CATM section compensates for the scheduling challenges of the 36th Wing's high operations tempo by staying in contact with unit representatives who help manage weapon inspections and demands. "By staying in close contact with the unit schedulers and UDMs, we are able to cater to the wing's weapon defense and qualification needs," said Sergeant Breland. Recently, the Air Force implemented a new weapons qualification course that contains both the original basic firing positions course and a new section that includes advanced tactical movements. The new course of fire provides Airmen skills needed to perform threat discrimination, failure to stop, step left or step right, burst fire, and firing from a standing position without support. "The course has added more advanced skills training," said Sergeant Breland. "The qualification rate is slightly lower than the old course due to the advanced skills, but it equals out as this training is an effective stepping stone for pre-deployment training." The unit is currently in the planning process of moving the combat arms classroom out of Building 21000 and into a new facility. The new combat arms classroom will be on site at the range and is slated to cut commute time for wing personnel attending the training. The combat arms section is the Airmen's one stop shop for all their weapons training and maintenance needs. Inspired by the Combat Arms Instructor's Creed, 36th SFS CATM Airmen understand that the Airmen's lives depend on the instructor's ability and that the Airmen's confidence depends on the instructor's integrity in a time of war where Airmen's talents in weapons handling will be needed the most. Instructors continue to uphold their proud heritage and know that fostering an Airman's confidence and competence with weapons is the instructor's responsibility. Combat Arms Airmen will support the mission, as in the creed, "I am an Air Force Combat Arms Instructor, 'ours is the profession of arms.' We train in peace, to prepare for war."