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Force On Force Preps Airmen To Deploy
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver
September 9, 2018

As a prerequisite for pre-deployment training held at Fort Bliss Army Post, Airmen from the 23d Security Forces Squadron (SFS) participated in a Force on Force training scenario at Moody Air Force Base in June 2018. The Force on Force training ensured the SFS airmen's proficiency in various tactics and procedures such as ... building clear out, team movements, hostage rescue, and properly applying cover fire along with reinforcing their teamwork and communication skills.

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Airmen from the 23d Security Forces Squadron (SFS) run to the next building while providing cover fire during a Force on Force training scenario on June 29, 2018 at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. This training was held to ensure SFS Airmen are proficient in various tactics and procedures such as: building clear out, team movements, hostage rescue and properly applying cover fire. The scenario required Airmen to maneuver through multiple buildings to rescue a simulated victim guarded by opposing forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver)
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“SFS Airmen are being called on to perform various adversary engagement operations downrange,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Filipkowski, 23d SFS lead trainer. “We developed this training to directly mirror what a hostage rescue situation would entail while in a deployed environment.”

While continuing to simulate a real-world scenario, the training required Airmen to maneuver through multiple buildings to rescue a simulated victim guarded by opposing forces.

“We required each team to develop a strategy that included a plan of attack, ambush defense techniques, and communication methods.” said Filipkowski. “We evaluated the Airmen on their ability to employ their team’s strategy while still demonstrating a basic knowledge of Security Forces’ fundamentals.”

The Airmen were not only evaluated on their planning and preparation, but were also assessed on their ability to adapt and perform while receiving opposing fire.

“Once contact is made by the enemy you don’t have time to speculate and figure out what to do, you have to react,” said Senior Airman Ryan St. Clair, 23d SFS patrolman. “I relied on my training and instincts to best decide what plan of action to take once we were ambushed.”

While having a basic set of competencies and techniques to rely on is crucial, Filipkowski said the most valuable skill a team needs to possess during an ambush is communication.

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Airmen from the 23d Security Forces Squadron (SFS) prepare to clear a building during a Force on Force training scenario on June 29, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. This training was held to ensure SFS Airmen are proficient in various tactics and procedures such as: building clear out, team movements, hostage rescue and properly applying cover fire. The scenario required Airmen to maneuver through multiple buildings to rescue a simulated victim guarded by opposing forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver)
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“The worst thing that can happen in scenarios like this is for an Airman to not know what to do, that’s why developing a good strategy that everyone complies with is integral,” said Filipkowski. “When there are bullets flying around and teams are engaging each other, everyone remaining on the same page is imperative.”

The skills that are driven home during Force on Force are designed to ensure Airmen are fully prepared and ready to succeed when they deploy.

“Our job is to make sure that our Airmen have the training and readiness to go to Ft. Bliss and excel,” said Filipkowski. “It gives me a great deal of pride as a trainer to know that I’m aiding the Air Force’s mission to continue to deploy skilled warriors.”

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