Defenders Teaching Defenders
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alexcia Givens
Instructing students is a very different
side to security forces. Instructors for the 435th Security Forces
Squadron create an environment that makes learning and sharing
The 435th SFS deals primarily with
contingency response and deployment operations.
combat side of our career field is different,” said Staff Sgt Randy
Uyehara, 435th Security Forces Squadron ground combat readiness
training instructor. “But it's great knowledge. I'm just excited to
be a part of the team to teach others.”
instructors at the 435th Security Forces squadron teach multiple
courses to defenders for the United States Air Forces in Europe.
U.S. Air Force Robert Aube, 435th Security Forces Squadron instructor, helps a student position his shot at Breitenwald Training Area, Germany
on August 18, 2022. This year, the squadron is projected to host several courses, including eight ACDC courses, quarterly NSTLC courses, Tactical Automated Security Systems, and Air Force Combatives programs courses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexcia Givens)
“I’ve always had a passion for teaching,” Uyehara said. “I
wanted to give back to the younger folks. All the knowledge I have
from the past and as a noncommissioned officer, I want to give
The instructors teach four main courses: Air Force
Combatives, Agile Combat Defender Course, Nuclear Security Tactical
Leaders Course and Tactical Automated Security Systems.
year, the squadron is projected to host several courses, including
eight ACDC courses, quarterly NSTLC courses, Tactical Automated
Security Systems and Air Force Combatives programs courses.
When students take these courses, they can expect to receive an
understanding of basic base operations which are expanded upon when
they arrive at their assignment.
“We are motivated,” said
Staff Sgt. Nikolas Huffman, 435th Security Forces Squadron ground
combat readiness training instructor. “We need them to be just as
motivated. If they understand the knowledge, the course is much more
fun, and we can give them more advanced training.”
courses could be the difference between life and death for
defenders, so they need to understand how to react to any situation
“When students leave our courses, I want them
to take it down range and apply to any situation they may be faced
with,” said Uyehara. “It’s also something I want them to take back
to their home station and teach to other defenders.”
the course, instructors work with many students, who have their own
experiences and are in an environment where that knowledge is valued
and encouraged to share.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephan Buesing, 435th Security Force Squadron instructor, provides critics for
a student at Breitenwald Training Area, Germany, August 18, 2022. The 435th contingency response mission is to execute contingency response, construction, expeditionary training, and building partnership capacity missions for three Combatant Commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexcia Givens)
During a TDY to Guam, Huffman
instructed an ACDC course. One student during the training was very
knowledgeable about counter-small unmanned aerial aircraft systems.
The student, from a small base in Dyess, Texas, had more first-hand
experience. Huffman was taught how to fly and operate different
drones. Huffman learned more from the student, and the student
helped out throughout the course.
“I haven’t done everything
in our career field, so when we have students come in, they always
have input on their experience, their level of expertise and they
teach that to both the students and the instructors,” said Uyehara.
“Knowledge is key, so I’m passing on the knowledge to others.”
The 435th SFS instructors take pride in knowing that the men and
women they train will one day experience many similar events to what
they have or even work side-by-side during future engagements.
When course chiefs get notice of a new class, months of planning
for the course starts. Tasks are delegated to instructors in
preparation. Then, instructors ensure students have all the tools
they’ll need to succeed.
“I love teaching these kids because
I’ve been downrange when something happens,” said Huffman. “I want
them to leave prepared. That's what value I get out of this.”
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