MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Team Moody hosted Georgia State Patrol’s Mobile Field Force semiannual riot control training Nov. 16 through 17 here.
The GSP used Moody’s facilities to ensure their readiness for riots while Airmen supported by participating as rioters. The training consisted of both classroom and outdoor portions.
“In this day and age, we’re going to have peaceful protests, and we’re all about that,” said GSP Capt. Kevin Rexroat, Troop H commander. “Unfortunately, we’re also going to have some agitators in every peaceful protest. This training gives the troopers a scenario to know what they’re looking for, how to engage and let the rest of the peaceful protesters get their word out.”
Moody facilitated this training by providing the Military Operations in Urban Terrain village, a training area consisting of buildings, obstacles and gravel roads.
“Sometimes, we don’t have the luxury of a facility like this,” Rexroat said. “Most of the places we’ve [trained] have been generally flat areas, such as airport hangars and taxiways. This facility gives us a more realistic scenario of what we’re facing in real-word situations, and it is a great benefit to our troopers.”
Not only did Moody provide the MOUT village, but also added to the realistic environment by roleplaying as rioters who yelled, protested and threw debris at the police officers.
Rexroat explained how knowing steps and techniques of crowd control can only take you so far. When an actual person is yelling in the face of a police officer, he or she has to apply those skills in a high-stress atmosphere to keep the peace.
“Most of the time, our goal is to have a command presence,” Rexroat continued. “We show the command presence and dictate, just by being there. Our ultimate goal is to keep everything peaceful and not let anything get out of control.”
Not only did having the Mobile Field Force train at Moody aid the GSP, but it also allowed Airmen to see how their civilian counterparts conduct business.
“We got to see what they can do and learn from them,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Chester Montague, 823nd Base Defense Squadron fire team member who acted as a riot rol-player. “If they have proper training to handle situations like this, it better suits everyone else.
“It was definitely different to be on this side of the riot,” Montague continued. ”It’s fun coming to work in civilian clothes with my coworkers and training with other law enforcement [entities].”
The GSP reciprocated Montague’s enthusiasm.
“I hope this shows the public the collaborative effort of the military and civilian law enforcement -- that we work together as a team,” Rexroat said.