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Security Forces conduct first ever Integrated Defense Plan course

  • Published
  • By Maj. Lindsay Logsdon
  • 178th Fighter Wing
More than 50 personnel of the 178th Fighter Wing participated in the first Integrated Defense Plan course hosted by the 178th Security Forces Squadron at the Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The five-day IDP course is the first of its kind for the 178th FW. The course is based off of Air Force regulations compiled by Tech. Sgt. Sean Bragg, 178th SFS.

"Wing leadership is implementing the Integrated Defense Plan and they asked security forces help. We dove into AFI 31-101 and in there it defines teaching topics for the base and what is required in case something were to happen," said Bragg.

"The purpose of the course is to get the base population spun up on what base members would need to do if an emergency happened and to understand what SFS response would be in different scenarios," said Master Sgt. William Romes, 178th Security Forces Training NCO.

Every 178th FW member has their ID checked at the gate for entry and often times that may be their only interaction with SFS.

"Even though [everyone has] their own specialties and air force specialty codes it's cool to bring them into our [SFS] world and give them a better understanding of security," said Bragg.

Some of the security aspects the course covered included use of force, challenging individuals; react to weapons fire, active shooter response and M-9 weapons training. For many, the highlight of the IDP course was getting to live fire the M-9 and for others it was the active shooter training.

"The active shooter training got a little exciting when they used the fire crackers and the guy coming in from the back door. It was good to see how people react when things go wrong," said Tech. Sgt. Brad Swindall, 178th Logistics Readiness Squadron, knowledge operations support.

Due to several active shooter incidents nationwide, active shooter training has become mandatory training for Air Force personnel. Airmen are required to complete computer-based training. However, participants of the IDP course had a more interactive training.

"We've geared a lot of it towards an active shooter scenario like Fort Hood, that being the most extreme example of an emergency that they would experience in their work space," said Romes.

Romes stressed that it is important participants understand what to do in a drastic event like Ft. Hood and in addition that they can defend not only their own building but restricted areas that they work in and around.

Staff Sgt. Dan Wilson, 178th SFS combat arms training NCO, was one of the 17 SFS instructors and taught the active shooter training portion. Wilson has taken the Ohio State Patrol active shooter course as well as the Springfield Police Department active shooter course.

"I hope that people come away from the course with a better understanding and appreciation for what we [SFS] do," said Wilson.

Besides firing the M-9 Senior Airman Nicholas Landis's favorite aspect of the IDP training was the active shooter course.

"We have to do active shooter computer based training, but there's nothing like the practical application we got here," said Landis, 178th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance.

Participants in the course had an opportunity to apply what they had learned during the final course exercise, held at the Alpena military operations on urban terrain village. Participants employed airsoft guns which fire small plastic pellets.

"My favorite part of this course has been shooting the M-9 and actually doing the [MOUT] exercise," said Senior Airman Jazmyn Phillips, 178th Force Support Squadron.

"I like hands on things and this has been a real eye opener. The most important thing that I learned in this class is always being vigilant and very observant and always being ready to react to whatever because you never know."

Senior Airman Zachary Etzler from the 178th Civil Engineering Squadron also highlighted the MOUT village exercise as his favorite.

"I really liked the fight or flight feeling even though these are airsoft guns you still get that rush going."

SFS will be doing an after action report and getting feedback from the IDP course participants.

According to Bragg, if all goes well, this training will become the new standard for 178th FW defense training.

"We would love to start doing this as part of annual training every year."