ALPENA, Michigan --
Five members of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Special Tactics and Response Team partnered with 178th Wing Security Forces Squadron to conduct training at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Mich., June 11-15.
STAR instructors trained Airmen in less-than lethal weapons tactics, riot control, active shooter response, building clearing and personnel tracking.
“There is huge benefit by partnering with other state agencies,” said Senior Master Sgt. Peter Bowden, 178th SFS manager. “The STAR team provided us with valuable, real-world skills that will ensure we are better prepared to accomplish domestic operations missions.”
The Airmen trained with a variety of special tactics equipment, focusing on non-lethal means of mediating domestic situations.
“Airmen of the 178th Security Forces Squadron can be called upon to use these tactics at any time to support missions in the state or world-wide,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Wilson, 178th SFS unit training manager. “We really appreciate these guys taking the time and resources to come up and train us.”
One of the main objectives of the training was to ensure readiness in the event the squadron was called to respond to an incident.
“One of the things that makes us unique from our active duty counterparts is the ability to respond to a civil disturbance or other form of domestic emergencies and the STAR team enhanced that capability,” said Capt Michael Gibson, 178th SFS operations officer.
The STAR team is a dynamic, highly-trained unit with a wide variety of skills that are able to respond to not only prison incidents but a myriad of other types of situations state-wide.
“As public servants, both of these state agencies have a civil commitment to ensure each is prepared to better serve in their individual capacities” said Master Sgt. Christopher Distel, 178th SFS Trainer and citizen Airmen who also serves as a member of the STAR team in his civilian profession at ODRC.
The defenders who participated in the training had many positive things to say about their experience and felt they were better prepared to respond to an incident.
“The most beneficial aspect of the training was the riot control and how to use our DOMOPS equipment,” said Staff Sgt. Travis Gay, 178th SFS member. “They made scenarios that we would be likely to use.”