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Air Force Buys M150 Rifle Combat Optics to Protect Nukes

M150 Rifle Combat OpticSecurity Forces airmen that protect the nation's nuclear missile fields are receiving the new M150 Rifle Combat Optic, a newer version of the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight.

The Air Force Global Strike Command Force Improvement Program received feedback on what Security Forces needed to better protect America's nuclear weapon stockpile.

"When the Air Force transitioned from the M-16 to the M-4 rifles, one of the benefits was a new reflex sight that allowed Airmen more flexibility," said Brian Quenett, an official with the AFGSC's Security Forces Requirements and Contingencies Branch. "However, that sight doesn't magnify, it just shows you what you can already see."

The M150 has a 4 x optic illuminated by fiber optics. The Air Force plans to install the new optic on every rifle in Global Strike Command, officials said.

The improvement program was born out of the many problems discovered over the past seven years in the Air Force's handling of nuclear weapons. Attention was first drawn to the problems in the nuclear enterprise when airmen mistakenly flew six nuclear warheads from North Dakota to Louisiana seven years ago. AP reporter Robert Burns has also reported on a litany of problems to include missile officers cheating on tests over the past year.

Task forces have since cited morale problems within Global Strike Command. Chief Master Sgt. Scott Daigneault, the senior enlisted manager in the AFGSC Applied Capabilities Office, said the new optic could serve as a morale boost.

"The optic is fairly new to the Air Force inventory, and they're getting it now instead of at the end of its life cycle," he said. "They're getting this before their peers, so our Airmen are finally seeing that the nuclear enterprise is indeed the Air Force's number one mission."

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