AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --
AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates -- “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.” –Mike Tyson.
When a plan fails, training prevails. The 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron trains all incoming Force Protection Escort Airmen on the use of their issued baton, which they carry with them daily. Mr. Steven Cherry, 380th ESFS training manager, oversees the training exercise.
“We are looking for the Airmen to utilize proper striking techniques, protect themselves via blocking and maintaining separation, communicate with the suspect by telling them to get back or stop resisting and endure until the finish even though they are nervous, scared and extremely tired,” said Cherry.
“My role in Baton Training consists of teaching the striking techniques, giving the trainees advice during the fight, and ensuring a safe training environment.”
Trainees confront “The Red Man,” a member of the 380th ESFS in black and red padded sparring gear. The Red Man plays the part of a hostile combatant that the Force Protection Airmen must defend themselves against.
“My objective is to surprise the trainee as if they were being attacked, in order for them to be able to utilize the baton training in real time,” said SrA Kimberly Tingue, 380th ESFS patrolman and “Red Man” player.
Each session lasts approximately two minutes; trainees are required to do a minute of squat-thrusts (“burpees”) to put them in an exhaustive state before the fight itself. This exhaustion is meant to demonstrate how they would react in a situation where they weren’t full of energy, for example at the end of a long work day.
Mr. Cherry says, for some Airmen, this exercise is the first time they experienced a fight. However, the training is designed to give them an opportunity to display courage, fortitude, and participate in the safety and protection of the base.