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Combatives course trains Vandenberg Airmen

Airman 1st Class Ryan Logan, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal apprentice, wrestles with Staff Sgt. Mitchell Tate, 30th CES Squadron water fuels systems maintenance shop craftsman and combatives instructor, during a combatives course, Feb. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Once a CES based program, combative instructors are changing the combatives level 1 course into a base-wide program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Airman 1st Class Ryan Logan, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal apprentice, wrestles with Staff Sgt. Mitchell Tate, 30th CES Squadron water fuels systems maintenance shop craftsman and combatives instructor, during a combatives course, Feb. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Once a CES based program, combative instructors are changing the combatives level 1 course into a base-wide program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Airman 1st Class Kenneth Maurer, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal apprentice, performs a rear naked choke on Staff Sgt. Carl Ries, 30th CES water fuel systems maintenance journeyman, during a combatives course, Feb. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The rear naked choke is a chokehold in martial arts applied from an opponent’s back. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Airman 1st Class Kenneth Maurer, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal apprentice, performs a rear naked choke on Staff Sgt. Carl Ries, 30th CES water fuel systems maintenance journeyman, during a combatives course, Feb. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The rear naked choke is a chokehold in martial arts applied from an opponent’s back. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Airman 1st Class Kenneth Maurer, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal apprentice, wrestles with Staff Sgt. Mitchell Tate, 30th CES Squadron water fuels systems maintenance shop craftsman and combatives instructor, during a combatives course , Feb. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Originally built in 2013, the CES combatives building is designed to create a safe training environment.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Airman 1st Class Kenneth Maurer, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal apprentice, wrestles with Staff Sgt. Mitchell Tate, 30th CES Squadron water fuels systems maintenance shop craftsman and combatives instructor, during a combatives course , Feb. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Originally built in 2013, the CES combatives building is designed to create a safe training environment.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Staff Sgt. Mitchell Tate, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron water fuels systems maintenance shop craftsman and combatives instructor, congratulates his students after a full day of training during a combatives course, Feb. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Once a CES based program, combative instructors are changing the combatives level 1 course into a base-wide program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

Staff Sgt. Mitchell Tate, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron water fuels systems maintenance shop craftsman and combatives instructor, congratulates his students after a full day of training during a combatives course, Feb. 5, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Once a CES based program, combative instructors are changing the combatives level 1 course into a base-wide program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Araos/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg Airmen sharpened their hand-to-hand combat skills in a 40-hour Air Force Combatives Program Level 1 certification course, here, Feb. 1 through Feb. 6.

The one week course comprised of basic drills that train the mind and body to react appropriately in various submissions and close combat encounters.

"We're trying to give Airmen advice on how to fight if it ever occurred, and give them skills to defend themselves in life or death situations overseas and at home," said Staff Sgt. Mitchell Tate, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron water fuels systems maintenance shop craftsman and Air Force combatives instructor. "We just want everyone to be ready and prepared."

Upon completion of Level 1 certification, Airmen may continue onto levels two through four, which will cultivate their skills to train as combatives instructors.

"The benefit of the course is giving a never quit mentality, and knowing that no matter what comes your way, you're able to deal with it," explained Airman 1st Class Ryan Logan, 30th CES explosive ordnance disposal apprentice.

In 2010, the program originated within the 30th CES with the goal of training battle-ready Airmen. The course has grown to have its own facility dedicated to the safe instruction of the program.

"We started the program as a CES-based program and now we're trying to expand it to a base-wide program," said Tate. "Our long term goal is to incorporate other bases into the combatives curriculum."

The program encourages Airmen to keep giving their best effort and enhance their warrior ethos.

"I had zero experience doing any fighting and have never been in a fight before in my life," said Tate. "I now enjoy training somebody who doesn't know self-defense, and transforming them at the end of a week into someone with the basic knowledge of combatives."

For more information on upcoming courses, contact the combatives instructors at 606-4547.