Wisconsin Air National Guard Attend Brave Defender

8/20/2013 – EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Like generations of American service members over the past century, 26 security forces Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing, Madison, Wis., participate in pre-deployment training on American soil on their way to protect U.S. and allied interests around the world.

The SF personnel received comprehensive training Aug. 13 as part of a three-week base security operations class at the 96th Ground Combat Training Squadron here and made final preparations for a six-month deployment to provide base defense at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

“We have worked to provide our SFS with the best training and I have no doubt they will do an outstanding job while deployed,” said Maj. John Wheeler, the 115th FW security forces squadron commander.

The training includes up to date information on what tactics are being used against Airmen deployed overseas. The counter improvised explosive device training focuses on teaching defenders to recognize indicators of the presence of IEDs in order to avoid them, while also training the appropriate reactions and response in the event they are struck by an IED.

“Our school employs a contractor who recently served as an explosive ordinance disposal expert in the Army,” said Maj. James Habeck, the 96th GCTS commander. “He trains students on the intricacies of all IEDs currently being used against our forces in the AOR (area of responsibility).”

“The amount of training we received here and its relevancy to our mission is huge. I have yet to have one class that I was not interested in,” said Staff Sgt. Justin Padley, 115th SFS fire team member.

Padley’s intense interest in all the courses offered was not by accident.

“My cadres are hand-selected based on multiple factors to include vast deployment experience, and outstanding career records,” said Habeck. “As a result, I’m able to leverage some of the best talent in the career field to deliver life-saving skills to defenders headed to multiple deployed locations facing various complex threats. The students who pass through our school deserve nothing less.”

The 96th GCTS, also known as Brave Defender, is home to one of eight SF ground combat readiness training centers in the world and trains approximately 1,500 defenders a year.

by Staff Sgt. Ryan Roth
115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. David Morant Jr., from the 51st Security Forces Squadron, is one of approximately 1,500 active-duty, reserve and National Guard Airmen that attend the 96th Ground Combat Training Squadron’s “Brave Defender” training each year at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. “Defender” is a six-week deployment training course for security forces Airmen. It is one of only six SF deployment training courses in the U.S. The course opened here in 2002 and was established by Air Force Materiel Command to satisfy security forces training requirements in an expeditionary environment (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Approximately 1,500 active-duty, reserve and National Guard Airmen attend the 96th Ground Combat Training Squadron’s “Brave Defender” training each year at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. “Defender” is a six-week deployment training course for security forces Airmen. It is one of only six SF deployment training courses in the U.S. The course opened here in 2002 and was established by Air Force Materiel Command to satisfy security forces training requirements in an expeditionary environment (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

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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