Literally. My supervisor was briefing the flight before work tonight when one of our armorers walked up to him and whispered not so quietly, "(Insert new troop's name) just shot the clearing barrel." Thus began a rather interesting night at work.
The clearing barrel did its job. If the weapon should accidentally fire, the clearing barrel will absorb the bullet and greatly reduce the risk of anyone getting hurt. The barrel did just that. There was a small hole where the bullet went into the barrel. No one was injured, though both troops involved were quite shaken.
So what happens when a weapon is discharged? Well, an investigation is launched. If any of the two troops present are determined to be at fault, they will receive the disciplinary action our commander deems appropriate.
The troop who was arming up is brand new. Last night was supposed to be his first night on flight. I do not think he has had the opportunity to carry the handgun recently. He was not sure of the clearing procedures certainly. The thing that hurts him the most is the fact he said in his statement that he put his finger on the trigger, and the gun went off shortly thereafter.
The troop who was manning the clearing barrel was supposed to make sure the new troop armed up properly. At no time should the new troop been allowed to put his finger anywhere near the trigger of the handgun. Of the two of them, she will likely face the most trouble, because it will ultimately come down to the fact she was not watching closely enough.
Now, there is a chance the weapon malfunctioned. That will be investigated, too.
So now the squadron is paranoid. One of the other flights has already implemented a policy saying only E-5s and above can act as a clearing barrel official. I do not think my supervisor will go to that extreme, but we will see for certain tonight.
My supervisor pulled one of his infamous exercises. I think after all was said and done, eight people were "dead". He moves quickly, and if one is not paying attention, they will know. He was getting ready to kick off another exercise when one of the gates called in a possible DUI.
It ended up being confirmed, and I had to go out there and handcuff and search her. She was cooperative, thankfully. We have had several in recent weeks that were not. Her BAC was .09. Serves me right for thinking I would not need handcuffs tonight. I somehow managed to lose a pair of handcuffs, probably during one of my supervisor's exercises last work cycle when I was chasing him around one of the hangars.
At the end of shift, I ended up having to help another troop fill out a statement after it was discovered that two of his rounds were missing from his magazines. We looked in the vehicle, the bathrooms he used, and around the general area. I am not going to sweep everywhere we went. That would take quite a bit considering we were all over the base last night. I suspect the magazines were never properly filled. It comes back on that troop, though, because there is a sign outside the armory which states very clearly to check all the magazines before accepting them from the armorer. The troop admitted he did not check his.
While he was writing his statement, I was helping the day shift rearm some of their people. One guy kept having issues with his handgun. Thankfully, one of the petty officers (yes, we work with the Navy) realized what he was doing wrong and told him how to fix it. I learned something new this morning, as a result.