Story by SrA Crystal Jenkins on 06/28/2019JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska To sustain their lethality, Airmen from the 673d Security Forces Squadron on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, fired M24 Sniper Weapon System rifles to retain their Advanced Designated Marksman status, June 14, 2019.
As the Air Force's highly trained sharpshooters, Airmen with the ADM qualification maintain their mission readiness by requalifying four times a year.
"They are sharpshooters," said Air Force 1st Lt. Eric Mouyal, the 673d SFS readiness officer. "They are extremely skilled with long-range precision rifles. They are used for counter-sniper and counter-surveillance operations."
Airmen with the ADM qualification are different from traditional snipers because they are used more for defense rather than reconnaissance, said Air Force Master Sgt. Link Ryan, the Wolfpack flight chief at the 673d SFS.
Getting selected for ADM is a highly competitive process, Ryan said.
To qualify for the school, located at Fort Bliss, Texas, an Airman must currently hold an expert rating on the M4 carbine and must maintain that rating three consecutive times. The Airman must also score 90 percent or higher on their physical training test.
"It is a very specialized skill set," said Mouyal. "Only a select few out of hundreds of people can even qualify to become an ADM. It is a big deal to be one."
The ADM-qualified Airmen have many capabilities for base defense, one being to provide for the public's safety at large events, such as the biannual Arctic Thunder Open House.
"On this base we use them at the Arctic Thunder Open House to provide overwatch," Mouyal said. "We can stick them in an observation post and use them for security."
"At the Arctic Thunder Open House, we have even found missing children from the elevated position with our spotting scopes," Ryan said. "It goes hand-in-hand with the observation aspect and communication."
As well as providing support for the air show, these Airmen support security for distinguished visitors.
"We use them for security if we need that skillset when the president of the United States or the vice president come on the base," Mouyal said. "They can be used to mitigate any sort of threat against high-value personnel."
The distinguished visitors' personal security will have our ADM-qualified Airmen ride along with their ADMs and snipers, Ryan said. Our Airmen know the location and can help by being spotters.
"Having this skillset available ensures JBER personnel are ready to fight a war at any given time," Mouyal said. "They help the base fulfill its operational requirements, and maintaining that proficiency builds confidence that they'll be able to do their jobs."
"I can say with confidence my ADM sharpshooters are ready to be positioned and deploy that skillset at a moment's notice," Mouyal said. "That is extremely important; for us, meeting our mission requirements is tremendous. We're lucky we have as many as we do."