354th SFS Trains CES in Combat Readiness

5/21/2014 – EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska — The 354th Security Forces Squadron recently put a group of 354th Civil Engineers through the paces of intense individual movement training.

During a recent Prime BEEF day, a time dedicated to training deployment skills, defenders showed engineers different combat techniques on how to move and communicate quietly and quickly, and make themselves unseen.

“When I was approached on teaching these skills to another squadron, I thought this was a great opportunity. These skills were taught to us in basic and tech school, so they become second nature to us,” said Airman 1st Class Christopher Keil, 354th Security Forces Squadron trainer. “A body’s natural instinct is to fight, flight or freeze, and what we want to accomplish by this training is to teach everyone not to freeze because that will get you killed.”

Using different camouflage techniques to remain hidden to an opposing force was the first thing taught during individual movement training.

“Before leaving for a mission, people need to be aware of anything that would make sound while running, as well as anything that can reflect. Camouflage can be used by most anything in the environment, such as grease from a vehicle to mud and twigs.” said Tech. Sgt. Seth Stinnett, 354th Security Forces combat arms instructor. “You’d be surprised how noticeable something as small as a metal pen clip will reflect, and that’s the last thing you’d want to happen while in combat because it could give away your location.”

Over 40 engineers were split into two groups, one emphasizing the importance of camouflaging and minimizing sound movements while the other highlighted maximizing movement capabilities and communicating across a larger scale.

“This is where you want to make mistakes, not downrange or during an emergency,” said Stinnett. “Unfortunately, we can encounter some violent people outside of deployed locations and it’s important to prepare yourself for it now.”

Although this was the first time defenders taught engineers combat training, Airmen walked away from the drills with better knowledge of how to communicate and use the M16A2 effectively.

“This was the first time I’ve done training like this here and I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Airman 1st Class Casey Hults, 354th CES firefighter. “I learned some useful techniques and hopefully we can learn more advanced training during future Prime BEEF days.”

The main goal of the training was to make a stronger and smarter force and use the procedures that were shown during future situations.

“More communication relayed in shorter volumes makes for better reactions,” said Keil. “Uniformity from consistent training along with everyone learning how to communicate the same way can carry over into deployments, on convoys and ultimately save lives.”

by Senior Airman Ashley Nicole Taylor
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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Jose J. Sanchez, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Defender Magazine, USAF Honor Guard, Bolling AFB, Washington DC, 416th SFS, Griffiss AFB, NY, 89th SFS, Andrews AFB, MD