Friday, April 21, 2017

TOP STORY >> New training techniques for tomorrow’s defenders

By Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin, 19th Airlift Wing

The 19th Security Forces Squadron have trained Airmen that are critical to national defense and are the first impression of the base.

Team Little Rock’s Defenders are on the clock 24/7 and are ready to contribute to the Combat Airlift mission but they have hundreds of hours of training to get to that point.  A team of experts have the responsibility of ensuring all members of the 19th SFS have the skills and knowledge necessary for defending the airlift mission, base assets and its community.

The mission of the training flight is to identify and deliver emergent and future force protection and force application solutions through modeling and simulation.

The training team at the 19th SFS consists of the Unit Training Manager and three instructors who provide training around the clock to meet the needs of the Defenders’ schedules.

“We are responsible for managing the annual training requirements for each SFS member and civilian,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt.  Justin Buchholz, 19th SFS NCOIC of Training. “We oversee the standard training tasks such as computer based training, Green Dot, resilience and other basic training needs.”  

Keeping training current and relevant to evolving threats is a main goal of the 19th SFS training flight.

“With 217 hours of training covering weapons qualification, baton, TASER, legal studies, riot control, shoot-move-communicate, force on force and a multitude of other subjects, we stay busy,” he said. “We manage a weapons and ground safety program along with maintaining the 19th SFS Military Operations on Urban Terrain village; Air Mobility Commands only MOUT facility.” 

The mission and personnel of Little Rock Air Force Base also benefit from the training the Defenders receive. 

“We are responsible for the 19th Airlift Wing Expeditionary Active Shooter Training program,” Buchholz said. “We train approximately 1,000 Airmen per year simulating an active shooter and what to do in those situations.”

The constant training of 19th SFS personnel is important to not only the Combat Airlift mission, but to all missions. 

“Adversaries are constantly attempting to find weaknesses in our defenses,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas McFarland, 19th SFS training flight. “Whether it’s taking pictures of our security, or attempting to breach it, we must train to recognize and counter those examples. We train like we do to eliminate our weaknesses.”

 The Combat Airlift mission extends its reach to the entirety of the world and 19th SFS Defenders go where the mission goes. 

“Most of our training is team focused,” McFarland said. “We need to provide our Defenders with every opportunity to work together as a singular unit and break away from individualism. Every Defender understands that the Defender on their left and right is doing exactly what they were trained to do and that their life is in good hands when the bullets start flying.”

When it comes to defense of American assets, 19th SFS need to be prepared to handle any situation the world may throw at them.

“Just like our motto states, ‘Anywhere, all the time’, we are ready to go and are ready for anything,” McFarland said.

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