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178th Security Forces sharpen warfighting skills

  • Published
  • By Maj. Michael Gibson
  • 178th Wing

Airmen assigned to the Ohio Air National Guard's 178th Wing Security Forces Squadron conducted wartime skills training at the Volk Field Combat Regional Training Center, Wisc. from June 23-July 2 to enhance their air base ground defense skills.

The Airmen improved many of their tactics and marksmanship skills using long range distance targets, land navigation, night operations, dismounted patrolling, tactical combat casualty care, and leadership development.

“Our instructors were great,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Sargent, a 178th security forces specialist who participated in the training. “I felt like the land navigation helped me tremendously, especially at night doing night-time maneuvers with night vision.”

The training was broken up into multiple phases with each day focusing on a specific skillset which later culminated in a two-day field training exercise. By the end of the training, the Airmen had an increased proficiency in small unit tactics and renewed expeditionary focus.

“Following nearly 18 months of ongoing domestic operations missions in support of COVID-19 and civil unrest state activations, our Defenders need to return our focus to addressing the near peer threat and landscape of future wars, and this is the kind of training that will initiate that shift,” said Chief Master Sgt. Pete Bowden, Security Forces manager.

In addition to enhancing warfighting skills, Airmen were also tasked with learning and briefing aspects of Security Forces culture such as the history of the career field and significance of the blue beret. Many non-commissioned officers were also tasked with conducting leader-led training.

“We felt like this was the best outcome,” said Staff Sgt. Dillon Borders, another Defender who participated in the training. “It couldn’t have went a better way.” Borders went on to say that the tactical combat casualty care training provided him significant value.

This training also helped facilitate unit cohesion and integrated both the full-time and drill-status guard force of the unit.

“Training events such as this not only sharpen our combat skills but assist in cultivating a culture of trust and inclusion that Defenders require.” said Capt. Erik Minshall, Security Forces director of operations. “Trust is paramount in the profession of arms.”