FirstSpear TV

You Won’t Believe This One

Recently, Air Force Central’s 378th Air Expeditionary Wing issued this press release.

Yep, the “big guns” which consists of M4 carbines. I really don’t mean to make fun of stuff like this, but an F16 can carry over sight tons of ordnance and is equipped with a 20mm cannon. In light of that, there’s nothing big about an M4.

The real problem is what I’ve maintained for over two decades now, that the US Air Force is institutionally afraid of guns. They’ve got enough firepower to destroy any enemy several times over, but firearms weird them out.

18 Responses to “You Won’t Believe This One”

  1. Matt says:

    I don’t know, the poorly maintained and sometimes non-functional .38 revolvers that they issued us during Desert Shield/Storm were pretty sweet (yes, my tongue is fully in my cheek).


  2. CJ says:

    Sigh. So much to say, so little change it would bring.

  3. J says:

    What is the point of this post? Leadership conducting firearms range. Nothing new or special.

    They have a variety of in-service firearms: JLTV mount MG, pistol and LMg.

  4. Gordon Stovall says:

    I’m a big fan of the EXTRA LARGE C CLAMP grip he’s got going on. Like he’s never held a rifle in his life.

  5. Yawnz says:

    It’s almost like they’re trying to perpetrate the hyperbolic narrative that firearms similar to an M4 are simply “too much” for most people to handle. Either that or the editor who approved that headline has a sense of humor.

  6. Wake27 says:

    Is he c-clamping the air?

  7. Tome says:

    It’s easy to imagine it’s less about malice than it is the disconnect between the administrative folks vs. the rest of the service. Most PAOs couldn’t tell you which end the bullet comes out of, hence why we keep having “salute to the Air Force” twitter blasts with silhouettes of MiG-29s up against an American flag.

    • SSD says:

      I don’t see it as malice. It’s all incompetence.

      • Tome says:

        I think you’re right, but moreso I think the root cause is an armed service becoming increasingly focused on “the job” or “the metric” as opposed to “the mission”.

        I remember when the USAF was recruiting at my university, their sales pitch was very heavily loaded with discussion on tangible benefits like TSP, student loan repayment, sign-on bonuses, etc. Compensation isn’t a bad thing, but as soon as the rationale for joining the service becomes a cost-benefit analysis rather than a belief that service has meaning and moral worth, that causes issues… the first being that it contributes to a culture where the bare minimum is good enough (dealing with any base finance dept is a pretty good illustration of the point), and the second being that the DoD will never be able to compete for high-performing talent against the private sector on the basis of compensation alone.

      • Jason says:

        Good old Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice what can equally be explained by stupidity (or incompetence).

  8. Philip says:

    The AF’s institutional fear of guns is real.

    When my installation permitted CCW holders to carry onto base when commuting to and from duty, I provided my permit, qualification history and other requisite forms, only to have the packet “lost”. Everyone in my chain, up to the Gp/CC, were risk-averse hoplophobes. When I enquired, I was told not to submit a second request.

    The irrational fear of firearms and military concepts in general are why other branches make fun of us, and we totally deserve it.

    • Andrew says:

      Truth be told, everything you said rings true for my Army service as well. We used weapons for our job, but the leadership was absolutely petrified of personally owned weapons. Barracks quartered soldiers had to store any POWs in the unit arms room and couldn’t draw out their property without their commander’s written approval (good luck). On base housing quartered soldiers had to register theirs with the provost Marshall. Even knives were technically verboten (thankfully my first and second line didn’t care about knives, but it was still in the regs. Never saw a bayonet after basic training.). Most I knew rented an off base storage unit for their goodies.

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