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380AEW Article

Defenders refresh skills while deployed

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron participated in an ASP Baton refresher course on Dec. 1, 2017, highlighting the usage of non-lethal weapons available to their personnel.

“Having refresher courses in an environment where you might be called upon to use your training is very important,” said Staff Sgt. Ruby Herrera, 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, unit trainer.

The SFS defenders are responsible for the safety of personnel and assets on the installation.

According to NATO, a non-lethal weapon is defined as a weapon that is explicitly designed and developed to incapacitate or repel personnel, with a low probability of fatality or permanent injury; or to disable equipment, with minimal undesired damage or impact on the environment.

Staff Sgt. Luke Coleman, lead trainer for the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces explained how the course is used by Defenders on the base.

“This type of course installs courage, pride, and confidence in our personnel,” said Coleman. “The feeling of knowing that you can defend yourself against a threat and protect your wingman is remarkable.”
Defenders participated in classroom style briefings and paired up for the tactical movement portion of the course.

“The course provided a controlled environment to allow defenders to experience how they would react if placed in a situation,” said Herrera.

Learning how to properly use the authorized strike movements and handling of the baton were just the basics of what should be done when engaging a threat.

After the classroom portion of the course concluded, the defenders were ready to put to use the skills they learned the classroom.

Engaging with REDMAN.

As 1st Lt. Michael Thrasher, 380th Expeditionary Security Forces donned the RedMan gear, the defenders all completed an intense circuit workout to prepare for RedMan engagement.

“The whole idea of physical exercise before taking on RedMan is to simulate the stress your mind and body goes through before you get into a fight or imminent danger,” said Airman 1st Class Joshua Isgitt, 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron.

RedMan gives the member the ability to conduct realistic training while covering the entire use-of-force spectrum. In addition, it provides the highest level of protection from blunt force trauma.

Cheers and motivational phrases like “Keep your head up,” “Remember your commands,” “Don’t forget your training,” “You got this,” “Stay alive, back up is on the way,” and “Don’t quit! Never give up” could be heard all around the room during the RedMan portion of the course.

Herrera explained Security Forces members are sometimes placed in uncomfortable situations so it’s great to know that the non-commissioned officer or the airman next to you will have your back when something bad is happening.

“It’s great to have the mental aspect that you can make it through this fight,” said Herrera. “Knowing I can make it till my backup arrives.”

Upon completion of the course, high-fives and handshakes were given by members who were now drenched in sweat.

Although RedMan was over, this was the beginning of a bond that would stay with each member during their deployment.

“This is my first deployment and third time in my career taking this course,” said Isgitt. “Once at tech school, home station, and now deployed. We’re always trying to cheer each other on. This is a learning and building experience all the way around.”

“I’m extremely proud of our defenders,” said Coleman. “Their motivation was on point. No one hesitated [during the RedMan] everyone was involved and situationally aware of their surroundings and followed protocol.”

Senior Airman Ethan Floyd, 380th Expeditionary Security Forces, performs a one minute round of physical exercise before the "Redman" portion of ASP Baton training at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates Dec. 1, 2017. The physical exercise before entering the redman is to increase the heart rate and simulate the mental and physical changes that occur before an incident. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr)