CATM Instructors Aim For Excellence

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Max Goldberg
  • 908th Airlift Wing

The 908th Security Forces Squadron is tasked with the important role of protecting the Air Force’s assets and, more importantly, its people. The mission of security forces requires a high level of proficiency with all the tools at their disposal, especially firearms. 

Combat Arms Training and Maintenance instructors are members of the security forces community who specialize in training all Airmen on the proper operation and maintenance of weapon systems.

“We want to make sure that every Airman has a real understanding of these weapon systems,” said Tech. Sgt. Shannon Jones, a CATM instructor with the 908th SFS. “It doesn’t matter what AFSC you’re from, when you come through our course, our goal is to have you shooting at an expert level.”

Jones has been an instructor since 2018 and said he tries to convey the importance of weapon proficiency to every member that comes through his class.

“When you come to us, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never fired a weapon before,” said Jones. “We’re going to get you comfortable shooting, assembling and disassembling the weapon and we’re going to make sure that you’re able to perform in the event that you have to use that weapon in a real world situation.”

CATM instructors also facilitate weapons qualifications for members who are preparing to deploy. This qualification requires all Airmen to meet the standards of deployment readiness through a series of firing multiple weapon systems from various positions at various distances.

Jones said the most important thing is to have confidence in your wingmen and in yourself. As a firearms instructor, he feels a sense of responsibility to build that confidence in his students.  

CATM is one of many specialized units within a specific AFSC. The instructors serve a very specific and vital role in ensuring the deployment readiness and combat capability of our United States Air Force.