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A friend and a foe

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish
  • 386th Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

ALI AL SALEM AIR BASE, KUWAIT – New technology has been integrated across the Department of Defense, but that means it is also being utilized by adversaries. While expanding technological capabilities in the U.S. Air Force is important, knowing how to respond when that same technology becomes a threat is even more crucial.

The 386th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Airmen regularly train alongside 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians to practice response methods to Counter Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS) in Ali Al Salem’s airspace.

“The training operation we did was a C-sUAS response where the 386 ESFS located, tracked and disabled a locally controlled sUAS, bringing it safely to the ground,” said Capt. Bryce Muzzy, 386th EOD flight commander. “They then responded to the location, secured the item and called our team to assist.”

Most of the training included practicing and refining anti-drone tactics, techniques and procedures while enhancing communication and coordination skills between the units involved.

“Being able to fly C-sUAS gives me the opportunity to open peoples’ eyes so they can see what capabilities drones have and how they could potentially be a big threat,” said Staff Sgt. Dashawn Davis, 386th ESFS C-sUAS noncommissioned officer in charge. “This training also showcases how important it is for us to have countermeasures for these systems.”

The 386th ESFS and EOD teams’ ability to work together demonstrates how effective and quickly their response to a threat can be accomplished. Both their missions provide critical support and overall safety for the entire base.

“Given the dispersed and asymmetrical adversaries in the region, sUAS are a very real threat,” Muzzy said. “Non-simulated training like this prepares our teams for one of the key emerging threats to defending the base and operating in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.” 

One of the most important aspects of this training is the readiness it provides not only to the Airmen as individuals, but especially to the teams and their ability to work as a cohesive unit while tackling those threats.

The Air Force is remaining innovative by utilizing technology to become a stronger, more prepared force, while also providing base teams with training on the secure defense measures needed to respond to C-sUAS threats. Because the 386th ESFS and EOD teams are well equipped to take down these threats, it ensures Airmen across the AOR are able to complete their missions in a safe and secure environment.