Training for the combat zone an order of business for unit

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Wesley Carter
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
Smoke limits the field of view, repetitive gunshots make it almost impossible to hear. An uncontrollable heart thumps, making concentration seem impossible. These are just some of the emotions an Airman might feel in a combat zone.

The 30th Security Forces Squadron Training Section trains Airmen how to perform under these conditions.

The six-man shop is responsible for training over 470 military personnel, said Tech Sgt. Matthew Arsenault, the 30th SFS Training Section NCOIC.

The training, which can range from computer-based tests to less than lethal use of force applications to dynamic close quarters battle drills, is designed for Airmen who are being deployed, coming back from deployment or are selected for the base augmentee program, Sergeant Arsenault said.

"Everyone who leaves for a deployed location must get updated training before they deploy. Many times their training expires while they're deployed so they have to be retrained when they come back," said Staff Sgt. Frank Mamea, a 30th SFS Training Section unit trainer.

Security Forces Airmen who are just getting to the base have to be trained as well, said Staff Sgt. Nathan Wyckoff, a 30th SFS Training Section phase one trainer.

"With people getting deployed as fast as they are, it makes it vital to get new Airmen started on their upgrade training and refine the things they learned in tech school, as soon as possible," Sergeant Wyckoff said.

The frequent deployment of Vandenberg's Security Forces members makes the need for a Security Forces augmentation program a top priority for the 30th Space Wing.

"One of the challenges of this job is teaching an augmentee, someone whose day to day job is not being a cop, how to think and operate like a cop while they are assigned to the security forces squadron," said Staff Sgt. Eric Pelican, 30th SFS Training Section unit trainer.

The real life implications of training Airmen don't allow this unit to sit behind a desk all day. Outside of the enormous statistics that the training unit deals with on a regular basis, the real work is in the hands on training that the unit provides.

"We often use empty houses from east housing to let the trainees practice multiple realistic scenarios to include response to active shooters, domestic violence calls, officer recovery operations and real life combat situations," Sergeant Arsenault said.

Part of the real life experience is possible due to state of the art "Simunitions" equipment, said Sergeant Arsenault.

"Simunitions is where the barrel of the M4 rifle and the M9 pistol are replaced with a similar barrel that only fires a non-lethal projectile," Sergeant Arsenault said. "The ammo provides the combat simulation with a sense of reality."

"Seeing where an Airmen is going to freeze or hesitate under fire is the best way to help him and make him better prepared in the combat environment," Sergeant Mamea said.

While the Air Force is shifting to a hands-on approach in the combat zone, Vandenberg's Airmen will continue to receive training due to the hard work of the combat-oriented individuals at the 30th SFS Training Section.