445th SFS Airmen train for future deployments

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Patrick O’Reilly
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 445th Security Forces Squadron practiced deployment training at Oakes Quarry Park, located near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Fairborn, Ohio May 5-7, 2017. Airmen spent the night in tents they constructed on site May 5 and disassembled at the end of the exercise on May 7.


“We want our Airmen to be prepared when they go to the (Security Forces) Regional Training Center. We want their experience there to be more of a refresher training for them because they’ll have experienced something similar two or three times here. They can therefore be more proficient with it and can actually help the instructors and any other units that are struggling,” said Maj. Charles Trovarello, 445th SFS commander.


At the beginning of the training event, the Airmen were divided into three fire teams and transitioned to their expeditionary skills training. The training included mounted patrol, dismounted patrol and survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE) training.


“We ran everybody through a battery training,” said Tech. Sgt. John F. Brinker, Jr., 445th SFS fire team leader. “SERE training for survival, mounted ops and foot patrols. I thought it went phenomenal, it’s been a long time since we got to do anything like this. It took a long time to spin it up and ensure the quality of the training was good.”


Major Trovarello said his Airmen ran the training in the priorities of their work environment.


“Establish security first then have one team work on setting up range cards, figure out where the heavy weapons would go and establish communication and track plans,” said Trovarello.


Tech. Sgts. Jacob Nespor, 445th Operations Support Squadron SERE specialist and Michael O’Callaghan, 445th SFS fire team leader, were the subject matter experts of the SERE training.


“Survival, evasion, resistance and escape. We had everyone setup hasty shelters using equipment they could that’s usually issued such as ponchos and parachute chord,” said O’Callaghan.


O’Callaghan said the Airmen were also taught how build different types of fire by utilizing what they had around them. “


“We taught them how to collect kindling and the different types of wood, how to collect water and learn what type of water sources to look for, how to purify the water and make it drinkable. It was a culmination of different things that if you find yourself out in the wilderness be it separated from a convoy or part of a downed air crew they can do to survive.”


Major Trovarello emphasized not only the importance of his Airmen going through SERE training but the life-saving skills his Airmen can walk away with that they may one day use.


“SEREs training is especially important because we have Raven unit which travels with pilots and everyone else. They get from point A to point B in military aircraft so it’s good to know what’s going to happen if it goes down,” said Major Trovarello.


The other two stations focused on mount and dismount training which involved covering ground while maintaining security and looking out for IEDs. The mount training involved the use of the Humvee vehicles.


“It makes them stay sharp and actually exercise the skills they are going over when we’re driving the Humvee, doing the dismounted patrols or setting up the range-finders.” Major Trovarello said.


According to Brinker, who helped spearhead the training, it took strategic planning and organization to implement the training.


“To pull this off we got in touch with the local government, parks and recreation. We wanted to do something better than we’ve done before. We got the Oakes Quarry Park.


Brinker also reached out to veteran members of the unit for support. Through them they were able to obtain the quarry park for training.


“There was a lot of networking and permissions to do it,” said Brinker. “We started this almost two months ago, we kept wrangling equipment, coming up with lesson plans, and finding our best instructors for the different facets for what we wanted to teach. It was a lot of logistical work to bring it all together right here right now.”


“In the same way that we got to train on all of the equipment we got to check our own short falls and polish off everything we got such as skills and equipment.” said Brinker.


Overall the training was considered a success by all involved.


“I think it went phenomenally,” said O’Callaghan. “We covered all the basis for what you would need to survive out in the field all the students absorbed the knowledge that we gave them. We only had so much daylight to actually be out and train. We could cover a lot more but we will have things to go back to training and in the future we will pick up where we left off.”


Major Trovarello said his Airmen are here to support the active duty when they are called upon to do so. It’s crucial to be up to speed on all the key training requirements.


“Our whole mission is to be ready to deploy whenever active duty calls whether it be for law enforcement or base ground defense within 72 hours,” Major Trovarello added.