MAFB Hosts Shooting Event - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

MAFB Hosts Shooting Event

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Active duty soldiers, Guard and Reserve members and local and state law enforcement competed for the top shot around Minot Air Force Base Wednesday, but there was a twist.

They may just look like standard military issued handguns, but they are actually part of a computerized shooting simulator.

"We can fire up to four people at a time on our electronic targeting system and basically practice fundamentals of shooting and it's great to have a competition where we can see whose top shot," says Tech. Sgt. William Waidner of the Minot Air Force Base.

As part of Police Week at Minot Air Force Base, active duty, Guard, Reserve, local and state law enforcement were at the Combat Arms Firing Range on Base, getting their shot at the playing field.

"The weapons on our computer system act as real weapons, so people get the experience of what the handgun firing would be, but we have 100% safety at all times," says Waidner.

"It's dangerous, obviously, even in training with real ammunition. This gives you a chance to get familiarized with it without having to actually have some of the risks involved with ammunition," says Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Pierce of the Minot Air Force Base.

Each shooter was given a nine millimeter pistol without ammo to fire a total of 90 rounds. Shooting was timed and scored by a computer system.

"The m9 is not one of the ones we normally do in my career field,” says Pierce. “We usually do the m16, so this is the first experience I got to shoot the m9 in the 26 years I've been in. So, it's good to see other weapons you might have to use and get some training on it."

"It enforces weapon safety and heaven forbid that worse case scenario happens, so people at least familiarize themselves with weapons that are in homes, around military bases and out in the local community," says Waidner.

Within just minutes, participants began to feel more comfortable using a gun, one shot at a time.

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