JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
Ruck sacks, M4 carbines and Beretta-M9s were placed on a table in front of six Airmen who geared up for a day of trial and error, through physical and mental strain April 28.
The Airmen, who make up JBLE’s 633rd Security Forces Squadron Emergency Services Team, were testing a tryout course for fellow defenders to go through in order to join their elite group.
The team went through the course prior to unveiling it, to ensure it would properly test SFS members’ abilities to react swiftly with little to no error in specialized scenarios, including hostage situations, barricaded suspects and active shooters.
“The Emergency Services Team is the Air Force equivalent to a civilian [Special Weapons and Tactics] Team,” said Tech. Sgt. George Daggett, 633rd SFS swing shift flight chief. “First things first, as a ready response force, we are a life-saving organization. We do that through utilizing all of our tactics, speed, surprise and violence of action to save as many lives as possible.”
Testing the tryout course also allowed the members to provide feedback before it was released.
“I think it went pretty well. We will probably do a few adjustments to better suit our guys at this unit because some of it wasn’t necessary,” said Staff Sgt. Gary Good, 633rd SFS training instructor. “We are here to shape and guide them in a tactical environment. Whether it be their shooting platforms, weapon discipline or communication, the tryout will benefit them.”
For Daggett, the most qualified candidates are the ones who have the heart and motivation to make it through the tryout.
“Big picture, the tryout is meant to physically, mentally and emotionally test any candidate that wants to be a member of the team,” Daggett said. “What we’re really looking for is heart, motivation and the spark inside of them that you can’t teach. We can make someone physically fit [and] a better marksmen, and we can teach them tactics, but we can’t teach them to want it and push through when it hurts, when they’re tired and uncomfortable.”
For interested 633rd SFS defenders attempting to try out for the small, specialized team, the course will consist of evaluations like gear-check, pool confidence, modified Marine Fitness Test and a ruck march from the Shellbank Fitness Center to Combat Arms Training facility. The course will be offered every quarter.