Alaska Air National Guard security forces and medical personnel train in Germany

  • Published
  • By Capt. Sherry Ferno and Master Sgt. Thomas Gregory
  • 176 SFS
Keeping our traditional drill-status airmen trained to perform their military duties is always a challenge for any unit, and the 176 Security Forces Squadron leadership team met this challenge head on.

Months ago, they went searching for ways to keep their guardsmen engaged and qualified. What did they come with? A trip to Germany and the opportunity to train with the 435th Security Forces Squadron at their Ground Combat Regional Training Center (GCRTC).

Creek Defender is the only Ground Combat Readiness Training Center for deploying security forces in U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and U.S. Air Force Africa's (AFAFRICA). Cadre are tasked with ensuring all security forces members are capable of performing 24 security forces core tasks, ranging from land navigation, mounted and dismounted patrols, counter insurgency (COIN), urban operations and more.

So on March 8, 2014, 35 personnel from the 176 Security Forces Squadron and 176 Medical Group boarded a C-17 for three weeks of Annual Training to Baumholder Army Post, Germany. The training opportunity was meticulously planned to maximize on-the-job training tasks and educational drills. Each member had their part -- some attended classes, while others taught with the Cadre.

Thirteen 176 SFS defenders of approximately 92 students attending the course graduated from the Base Security Operations (BSO) course. Approximately nine 176 SFS defenders assisted with instructing the course.

Meanwhile, the 176 Medical Group provided five medical personnel. Two assisted the Independent Medical Technician (IDMT) personnel, and three medical personnel trained at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, volunteered at the USO and assisted as Opposing Forces (OPFOR) for the final FTX.

Even before the official RTC classes started, the 176 SFS was engaged. Three personnel assisted the CADRE with training the Fly Away Security Team (FAST), and 6 personnel assisted with BLAC ICE (Battlefield Leaders, Assaulters Course Integrated Combat Essentials).

In combat situations where there is high-value equipment or aircraft, security is needed. This is where a fly away security team (FAST) comes into play. FAST classes include: self-defense ground fighting, verbal judo, baton training, instructions on legal considerations and communicating with different cultures.

After three quality weeks in Germany, the BSO course concluded with everyone passing and the CADRE asking if we would return again. The trip was an astounding success from every perspective, but most importantly where it the hearts and minds of our guardsmen.