FTX expands Airmen tactical prowess, interoperability

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jason W. Cochran
  • 501CSW/PA

Maintaining combat readiness is an imperative task for security forces Airmen and it can be challenging to sustain during peacetime.

Field training exercises like the one 423d Security Forces Squadron members did recently test and expand their capabilities helping bridge the gap so their lethality perseveres.

“Instructors from the 435th Contingency Response Group based at Ramstein Air Base came to conduct the training,” said Tech. Sgt. Shakeema Lowery, 423d SFS non-commissioned officer in charge of weapons and tactics.

“Monday and Tuesday were focused on Dismounted Operations, reacting to indirect fire, ambushes and IED recognition/reaction, Wednesday and Thursday focused on Close Quarters Battle, with Friday being the culminating event.”

The mission sets exercised were ones that 423d SFS defenders are not tasked to complete on a regular basis but could be upon reassignment or deployment.

“It is very important to do this type of training to broaden our scope of knowledge when it comes to Air Base Ground Defense tactics and CQB tactics,” said Lowery. “We as Security Forces have so many different mission sets whether it's Law Enforcement or Security, so it is great to train objectives that we don’t normally get a chance to do while also incorporating the bigger picture on why these tactics are important. By training, we become better and now we can pass this training to others with what we have learned this week.”

Not only was the training valuable to refine tactical operations, it enhanced the participants interoperability with other units.

“It is not often that we are able to work with outside units due to scheduling conflicts, and other challenges,” said Lowery. “It was a pleasure not only working with the 435th CRG, but to also get a chance to work alongside explosive ordnance disposal and understand their role within our operations and how when we work together, we become stronger.”

The end result of this exercise was a more capable, tactically competent and motivated group of defenders.

“I think the Airmen will realize how in-depth operations are within contingency environments and how communication, tactics, and trust in their teammates and leaders is important,” said Lowery. “I believe they will also be eager to get more of this training and hopefully pass it on to their peers whenever possible. The Airmen’s motivation truly motivated me to get after it which is the attitude we need.”