MARCH 7, 2019 – Malmstrom security forces defenders are integrating the new M18 modular handgun system as part of the Reconstitute Defenders Initiative, which aims to modernize weapons systems and increase warfighter lethality.
The M18 phases out the M9, which has been in use for more than 30 years.
The new design boasts improved ergonomics, target acquisition, reliability, and durability which can increase shooter lethality. This weapons system upgrade is one of many in the works to modernize the resources utilized within the career field as well as the mission.
“The Air Force has given us funds to accelerate those plans,” said Director of Security Forces Brig. Gen. Andrea Tullos. “That includes our rifle, our handgun, our precision engagement rifle, the optical systems on rifles and grenade launchers.”
The Air Force Security Forces Center, in partnership with the Air Force Small Arms Program Office, also plans to replace the M11, used by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the M15, which is used for military working dog training.
Air Force Global Strike Command is responsible for the safeguarding of the nation’s nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missile assets, and Malmstrom defenders need to be lethal and precise to ensure safe, secure and effective operations.
Malmstrom is one of the first bases to receive the M18s, though all security forces units are expected to be equipped by 2020. The remainder of the Air Force will then be authorized to begin training and carrying the new weapons system.
“This upgrade will give our defenders the tools they need to do the incredible mission of safeguarding our missiles, our assets, our people and our community,” said Col. Jennifer Reeves, 341st Missile Wing commander. “We will continue to modernize our weapons, transform our training programs and make sure that we are mission-capable at all times.”
Story by Staff Sgt. Lauren OConnor
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs