445th SFS sharpen shoot, move, communicate skills

  • Published
  • By Capt. Elizabeth Caraway
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
"Reload!" yelled the instructor as members of the 445th Security Forces Squadron deftly replaced the training cartridges in their M-4 rifles. Rapid and tactical reload techniques were just one skill practiced during their "Shoot, Move, Communicate" course here March 9.

The training course allows security forces members to train real-time scenarios and communicate in a controlled learning environment. The Airmen covered everything from transitioning between weapons to immediate action drills and firing positions.

"Today we are fulfilling annual requirements for force on force. We begin with the basics then transition in the next phase to simunitions," said Tech. Sgt. Ryan Lause, 445 SFS fire team leader and one of the day's instructors. "Simunitions" are non-lethal training rounds filled with detergent-based, colored marking compound, similar to paintballs.
"We have several Airmen who are recently out of tech school, and in this environment, we utilize the concepts of their training in a more realistic setting than standing in a line at the firing range."

Lause said that although most of the Airmen were already familiar with the material, this training offers them the opportunity to refine their skills. Seemingly "little" things like elbows protruding beyond barricades and not properly balancing weight can become the big things in combat situations. Trainees focused on presenting a reduced profile and smooth, streamlined technique during the course.

"This type of training is the 'crawl' phase, so it behooves us to go slow and build muscle memory before we move on to the 'walk' and 'run' phases," explained Staff Sgt. Lawrence Hettinger, 445 SFS radio telephone operator. "By building muscle memory through repetition, we minimize the potential for weak links during combat situations."

As members of fire teams, security forces often deploy together and it's critical that they learn to work together in tense situations. The 445 SFS is actively engaged in supporting base activities as well, and augments the 88th SFS for major events like air shows and the Air Force Marathon. Training like "Shoot, Move, Communicate" ensures our forces are ready to respond quickly and effectively wherever needed.

"Our Airmen are performing up to the standard and beyond," said Staff Sgt. Michael O'Callaghan, 445 SFS radio telephone operator and course instructor. "We don't set time lengths for learning material; we work on it until everyone in the group has it. But everyone today has quickly demonstrated their skills and exhibited superior performance. Our troops have a wealth of knowledge and information and are prepared for any challenge."