SFS saves lives through education
By 2nd Lt. Marie Denson, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 21, 2011
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Protect people, property and resources of the U.S. Air Force. The description of a security forces specialist sounds basic, but the job itself requires extensive training in law enforcement and combat tactics.
Each week the 50th Security Forces Squadron engages in training to help prepare themselves for base defense as well as for deployed and overseas locations.
"Our mindset is that practice makes perfect," said Staff Sgt. Michael Kulka, 50 SFS trainer. "The more we train, the better our muscle memory."
Every month the 50 SFS tries to focus on a different training topic, last month was combative training. Each training session starts with the disclaimer that the skills learned are not to be used inappropriately.
"We're realists; you have to crawl before you walk," said Sergeant Kulka. "Airmen are taught the basics. The better they do with it the more they can build off it."
Currently Airman First Class Reynaldo Aguero, 50 SFS trainer, is teaching combatives to 50 SFS personnel. As a new member to the training section, Airman Aguero figures his time as a trainer is opportunity-filled.
"I applied for this position because of the opportunities available to learn new techniques and skills," he said. "Not only has this given me the chance to learn new things that are applicable to our job, but it also gives me that chance to be able to pass this information on to other members within the squadron."
Most recently, Airman Aguero went to San Diego, Calif. to learn basic combatives and train for one week with the Gracie family who are martial artists known for founding Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
"The Gracie Survival Tactics course was created by the Gracie family specifically for law enforcement personnel," said Airman Aguero. "The course focuses more on survival, not how to fight with someone. An important aspect I found from the class was learning how to handcuff the individual from different types of submissions. This type of training can help Security Forces with domestic abuse cases, high risk traffic stops or deployed operations."
Next on the training schedule, shoot, move and communicate. An Airman races for cover behind a wooden barricade. They surface to shoot, providing cover for another member on the course, all the while communicating with one another about each move they take.
"[Col. Edward Baron, 50th Mission Support Group commander], [Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Winfree, 50 MSG superintendent] and others went to active-shooter training in South Carolina a couple years ago," said Sergeant Kulka. "Col. Baron and Chief Winfree decided the training was important so we received funding for simulation equipment. It is similar to paintball, but we are using actual ammunition filled with laundry detergent and paint. It works better because you get that pain penalty. It's a different war now, so it's up to the individual to have a set of skills that are interchangeable."
Some of the more basic training that occurs is Helping-Hand and Module-response in the restricted area.
"We understand that when we have to respond to a [security incident] that it's not always the individual's fault, sometimes it's the equipment," said Sergeant Kulka.
At one point different shifts of personnel were responding to security incidents in different ways. This created a problem whenever an Airman went to another shift and had to learn another way of accomplishing a security response. Now with everyone receiving the same training, security incidents within the restricted area are now consistent across the board no matter what shift is responding.
"We can be put on a different post everyday or be down range, so we need to train for every aspect so people are prepared across the board," said Senior Airman Adam Donahue, 50 SFS trainer.
With the many jobs available in the Security Forces career field, various types of training are needed. Domestic violence training, high-risk traffic stops, weapons retention, building entry and clearing procedures all the way down to alarm activation response are common training topics for 50 SFS.
"As a [50 SFS] trainer we essentially take skills that are going to save lives and break it down to someone who needs to know how to use it, even if they think they'll never use it," said Airman Donahue. "It's significant to know the importance of the training even if the person you're teaching doesn't."