422nd SFS, Ministry of Defence Police reach training milestone

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Sarah Johnson
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs
For the first time in Great Britain, United States Air Force security forces Airmen and Ministry of Defence Police trained alongside each other using blank ammunition rounds July 19 at Royal Air Force Croughton.

The use of ‘blanks’, or firearm cartridges containing gunpowder but no projectile, creates a more realistic training environment by mirroring the sounds and movements Defenders would experience in a real-world setting.

“The only way to get truly adapted to an environment is simulating that environment as much as humanly possible,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Garo, 422nd Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent. “We don’t have the luxury of being wrong.”

Ministry of Defence Police and 422nd SFS Airmen used the blank ammunition to practice high-risk traffic stop scenarios in which they were tasked with immediately adapting and responding to various threats at an entry checkpoint. As they worked their way through each scenario, the teams identified differences in their responses and practiced synergizing their efforts.

“Some of their tactics are different from our tactics, and ours are different from theirs,” said Garo. “We want to see how they approach, how we approach, and then see how we can intermingle that.”

The training and face-to-face communication is critical in building confidence between the teams and increasing readiness, said Tech Sgt. Travis Beatty, 422nd SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of security forces training.

“The main goal is to work together from a security forces and (Ministry of Defence Police) perspective to find out what kind of tactics intermingle with each other and what we can work on together so we’re ready to respond,” he said.

The event is a significant step in an ongoing initiative to synchronize training and communication between USAF and MDP Defenders. The teams intend to continue building their partnership, eventually working through more complex scenarios and expanding training across the island.

Each step builds interoperability, said Sgt Eileen McAdam, MDP senior police officer – building bridges across cultures, backgrounds and training.

“I feel quite proud that at last it’s happening,” she said. “I really do.”