445 SFS refreshes skills during field exercise

  • Published
  • By Capt. Elizabeth Caraway
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 445th Security Forces Squadron had the chance to practice basic land navigation, patrolling techniques, and vehicle searches during a field exercise at Powell Park Sept. 6-7. Airmen spent the night in tents they constructed on site and disassembled at the end of the exercise.

The instructor, Staff Sgt. Adam Miller, 445th SFS fire team member, offered a unique perspective after previously serving more than nine years in the Army.

"We practice and use these [ground combat] maneuvers all the time in the Army, but Airmen may not have as many opportunities to experience them firsthand," he said. "Everyone here is doing well and seems motivated."

After "Shoot, Move, Communicate" drills on Friday, Saturday began with a class on land navigation. In an age of GPS devices and smartphones, it's important to return to the basics for those times that technology may be unavailable. After a refresher on reading the Military Grid Reference System map, Miller distributed compasses and reviewed basics like shooting the azimuth, finding the heading, and pace count.

"We are getting valuable information that is great for the younger Airmen that haven't had this training since tech school," said Senior Airman Trevor Clark, 445 SFS fire team member. "And it's a good refresher for everyone else. Sergeant Miller is a great instructor and offers new insights that many of us haven't heard before."

Patrol techniques followed the navigation course, with SF Airmen divided into fire teams to practice formations appropriate to terrain, speed, and mission. Team members traded off lead position as they practiced line and wedge formations, as well as reacting to contact and crossing danger zones. Airmen rehearsed proper spacing so that in the event of attack, for example, a grenade, the whole fire team isn't injured. Bright blue training guns, or "rubber ducks," were used during the exercise.

The field exercise concluded with vehicle searches, with the instructor planting training weapons in a van and SF members searching for them after following procedures to remove volunteer "drivers."

Airmen from the 445 SFS are currently augmenting the 88th Air Base Wing SFS, which has approximately 160 deployed members. Training exercises like this one help ensure our team members are equipped with the skills necessary to meet any challenge they may encounter.