Air Force

April 17, 2014

Grappling, pummeling, trapping: 162nd Airmen learn to ‘close with the enemy’

Tags:
Staff Sgt. Erich B. Smith
162nd Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)
It’s just business….nothing personal. Airman 1st Class Anna Solis applies a free-style stranglehold on Senior Airman Jessica Switzer on March 21 at the Western Army National Guard Aviation Training Site gym in Marana, Ariz. The two security forces specialists were part of an intense 5-day, Army National Guard-instructed training event titled Basic Combative Course.

MARANA, Ariz. — The words on the gym wall summed it up best for 13 security forces specialists who trained at the Western Army National Guard Aviation Training Site here March 17-21.

“The defining characteristic of a warrior is the willingness to close with the enemy.”

Through the Basic Combative Course taught by Arizona’s Citizen-Soldiers, the men and women who protect the 162nd Wing’s jets, facilities, equipment and its greatest asset – the Airman – learned the essentials of unarmed combat: close the distance, gain the dominant position and finish the fight.

“Our security forces are well-trained in combat arms, but to see them operate in full-contact, close-quarter scenarios, only makes them more mission capable,” said 162nd  Wing Vice Commander Lt. Col. Kenneth Rosson, who was able to witness the training, describing it as “a great example of the joint-service mentality we have here in Arizona.”

In what an outside observer could mistake for a Ultimate Fighting Championship or Mixed Martial Arts event, the intense period of instruction covered submission holds, rear naked and cross collar choke holds, escape methods, front and rear mount positions – any kind of technique that neutralizes a threat without weaponry.

For Airman 1st Class Jordan Apalategui, successfully negotiating the course was an exercise in stamina of the body and mind.

“It was brutal, getting owned in wrestling and getting punched – it took its toll,” said Apalategui. “It was mentally and physically draining.”

With M-4 Carbine Rifles, M-9 Berretas, pepper sprays and soon-to-be Taser Guns at their disposal, security forces personnel are well-armed to meet any kind of immediate danger with defensive actions.

But according to Chief Master Sgt. Mark Milbourn, security forces manager, the training was useful in the event a security forces specialist does not have the luxury of a “reactionary gap,” a term used to describe the time it takes to asses a situation and subsequently use a weapon.

“If we don’t have that separation of contact, this training gives Airmen the confidence that if they go hand-to-hand with somebody, they can put them into some kind of submission to where that person is going to give up very quickly,” Milbourn said.

With an extensive background in Taekwondo, Army Sgt. Maj. Mark Ruffe, an operations sergeant major at the Arizona National Guard Joint-Forces Headquarters in Phoenix, served as one of the instructors.

“They (security forces) were impressive – every one of them, and they showed a lot of heart,” he said.

Ruffe added that 162nd Wing Security Forces personnel have joined the likes of Navy SEAL[s], Drug Enforcement Administration agents and personal bodyguards of government officials in receiving this type of unarmed, combat instruction.

“I took away from this training a new sense of confidence, skills and knowledge about myself and how much I can actually take and push myself to survive any type of hostile situation,” said Senior Airman Jessica Switzer, security forces specialist. “I love my firearms, but hand-to-hand combat is always going to be a vital role in defending myself.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Becoming stronger through failure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — Failing the Air Force physical training test: my greatest fear since joining the military. It is embarrassing to admit recently that fear came to fruition, but what I have learned through that failure has become one of my greatest strengths. After failing, I definitely felt like a weak person for not...
 
 

Students wear red, white and blue to honor Month of the Military Child

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau) Students of Borman Elementary School gather together for a flag raising ceremony and wear red, white and blue clothing to honor the Month of the Military Child at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, April 10. During the ceremony, the children listened to guest speakers, recited the...
 
 

Case lot sale returns to D-M April 17-19

FORT LEE, Va. – Mention case lot sales and commissary patrons start lining up for the opportunity to save up to 50 percent or more on club-pack and full-case items. Known as the Commissary Customer Appreciation Case Lot Sale, the springtime version of this twice-yearly event will unfold at stateside stores, each hosting their individual...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jessica H. Smith and Airman Connor J. Marth)

More than meets the eye

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — The word abuse often conjures images of bruises, swollen lips and harsh markings, but abuse is more than meets the eye. It can be much more than physical suffering and can have last...
 
 
(Courtesy photo)

AFSOUTH working with Colombia to develop space program

American Airmen from the Space community traveled to multiple U.S. space operations locations with Colombian air force counterparts in February as part of a U.S. Southern Command subject matter expert exchange. According to Lt....
 
 

Local Briefs April 17, 2015

NARFE Chapter 55 to meet  April 13, 11 a.m. – Golden Corral The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Association, Chapter 55, will hold their next monthly luncheon meeting on Monday April 13 at the Golden Corral, 4380 East 22nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85711. The luncheon starts at 11 a.m. and ends about 1:30...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin