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New range christened by first shots

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Noah J. Tancer
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Five 910th Airlift Wing Reserve Citizen Airmen christened Youngstown Air Reserve Station’s new Combat Arms Training and Maintenance firing range with its ceremonial first shots on Oct. 13, 2018.

Staff Sgt. Jacquelyn Weems, an operations manager assigned to the 910th Civil Engineer Squadron, shot first with an M4 Carbine.

Tech. Sgt. Robert Harris, a unit training manager assigned to the 910th Operations Support Squadron, shot second with a Beretta M9.

Senior Airman Marjorie Butcher, an aerospace medical services technician assigned to the 910th Medical Squadron, shot third with an M4 Carbine.

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Grossi, a photojournalist assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing, shot fourth with a Beretta M9.

Tech Sgt. Thomas Kocis, a crew chief assigned to the 910th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, shot the final shot with an M4 Carbine.

YARS leadership and Retired Chief Master Sgt. Norbert Vasil, the first chief in charge of YARS’s old firing range, attended the ceremony to watch the historic event.

Vasil still has the old firing range’s ceremonial first round that was fired in April of 1983 by retired Gen. James Sherrard, former commander of Air Force Reserve Command and former commander of the 910th AW.

“We went through a formal ceremony and invited the base dignitaries. At that time Lt. Col. James Sherrard was the commander,” said Vasil. “He had the privilege of firing the first weapon on the range. After he fired the first round I went down to the pit, it was a nice sand pit, and dug the first round out. I offered it to him as a momentum, and he declined it. He said, ‘hey, since your running the range, you take care of it.’ I’ve been carrying it around for about 30 years, and I got a feeling that it’s going to end up down here (at the 910th) one of these days.”

The five ceremonial first shooters were awarded the shell case of their first round fired down the new range.

The ceremonial first shot is defined as the first shot fired after the station took full possession of the facility, it does not count ricochet testing while the facility was still in the contractor's possession.