SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
In early November, the 20th Security Forces Squadron conducted a two-day joint exercise focusing on expeditionary skills at McCrady Training Center.
“Some of the specific skills we were developing include: mission planning, mounted operations, dismounted operations, reacting to enemy contact, leading troops and land navigation,” said Tech Sgt. Trevor Lewis, 20th Security Forces Squadron training non-commissioned officer in charge.
To provide a unique approach to the exercise, SFS coordinated with the South Carolina Army National Guard to provide transportation to the training area in a UH-60 Blackhawk.
“Working with the helicopters built a better understanding of capability and mission while providing a means of agility that normal vehicles and aircraft simply cannot,” said 2nd Lieutenant Joshua Holloman, Security Forces Squadron flight chief. “We used a mode of transportation that is different than what we are used to, and it forced us to work together with another branch.”
The joint training allowed for different units to integrate and see what it is like working with mission partners during a simulated operation.
“SFS was tasked with escorting and providing security for the 20th Civil Engineering Squadron and Contracting Squadron members during a meeting with a local leader,” said Lewis. “Additionally, an explosive ordnance disposal team was attached to the mission and some of their newer technicians had the chance to simulate disabling a mock improvised explosive device that was discovered during the scenario. Opposition force role player volunteers from the 20th Mission Support Group were incorporated and their role was to simulate an enemy force and provide a training stimulus to react to.”
With all the planning and coordination, SFS and other units were able to simulate being in a contested environment.
“Providing realistic training and scenarios that prepare defenders for future operations and increase their skills to make them more lethal and increasingly agile is rewarding and a privilege,” said Holloman.
Exercises such as this allow multiple units to train on similar skills together and improve before they are in a real world scenario.
“This training does prepare us for a number of environments, from contested to non-contested environments,” said Holloman. “The training focused on skills that ensure combatant commanders receive highly trained, motivated, agile, and lethal defenders for any environment in any place, anytime.”