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Military Personnel Hit The Front Line In Training Exercise

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SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB — Pencil pushers are in the foxhole atSeymour Johnson Air Force Basethis week. The bullets are not real, but the training is, and Seymour is the only base to require it.

Massive budget cuts led the military base to begin cross-training each person. The exercise is called Base Expeditionary Skills Training (BEST).

Every man or woman who could be deployed takes hold of a rifle and takes part in the training exercise.

"It's kind of like when you hear a car crash, they look around to see what happened. Here, you don't need to look around," says Sgt. Karl Wolf. "You need to take cover real quick and make sure that it's not you they're looking for."

"They get a better feel for things. They know how to wear the flack vest - things they don't quite see on a day-to-day basis," says Maj. Alan Metzler.

Thirty percent of Seymour Johnson's staff changes each year. Due to the high turnover, it is expected the idea to make its way to other bases as well.