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    Security Forces engage in hands-on training & hands-on teaching

    Security Forces Instruct Future Law Enforcement Professionals

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jacob Cessna | Members of the 110th Security Forces Squadron, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base,...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Jacob Cessna 

    110th Wing

    JACKSON, Mich. -- They stand outside, their laughter coming out in clouds in the cold November air. On a typical duty day, these Security Forces troops would be performing vehicle inspections and patrolling the 110th Wing's base in Battle Creek, Michigan. Instead, they find themselves 40 miles away at Jackson County Career Center, preparing themselves for the next round of building clearing exercises. Soon they will split up and enter an abandoned house, empty except for makeshift barricades and spent ammo rounds. One or two men will take the role of hostile, going inside first, simulating being assailants with guns or a possible suicide attempt. The second half will follow after, and, using building clearing tactics, enter the house, locate, and engage the threat. But for now, they’re laughing at each other’s jokes and trying to keep themselves warm.

    “It’s always a really cool opportunity to learn and start gelling with each other,” said Master Sgt. Ryan Pomerville, the 110th Wing's Security Forces operations non-commissioned officer in charge. “It’s a blast. Any time we have the opportunity to go outside the base and work with each other, it bodes very well for our retention and morale in general.”

    Today, their duties encompass more than tactical drills. Today, each of them had the chance to instruct students enrolled in the Law Enforcement program at the Jackson Career Center in Jackson, Michigan. This opportunity sprouted from a recruiting event with the Jackson County Career Center’s vocational Law Enforcement program. After the event, Pomerville spoke with Tony McNeil, the Law Enforcement Program’s Instructor, and the Jackson County Career Center’s property manager, Jeff Whipple, who brought up that a college-owned house on its property was set to be demolished. McNeil and Pomerville saw this as a chance to not only allow Security Forces to conduct house-clearing exercises with simulated live-fire in an unfamiliar location, but to demonstrate valuable tactics to the potential Law Enforcement officers.

    With the building soon to be demolished, safety inspections, building layouts, and environmental reports had to be secured and processed within a week and a half for the event to take place. Staff Sgt. Ryne Ritchie, 110th Security Forces Squadron training manager, single-handedly completed the substantial amount of paperwork, ensuring that he and his fellow security forces troops could conduct these exercises and give the students of Jackson Career Center a hands-on learning experience.

    Ritchie, who spent nine years as an active duty Security Forces specialist and attended the FBI SWAT Academy in Sacramento, California, knows exactly how the military can benefit those in Law Enforcement.

    “These kids are looking to be police officers when they get out of school. The problem is you have to be 21 to go to the academy. So what’s the best use of time for the gap from 18 to 21 years old? The military. A lot this event was talking to the kids: what their plans are, what their goals are, what they want to do. And a lot of them are definitely going to go military and then transition into law enforcement.”

    Students were split into groups and shown house clearing tactics. After a quick demonstration, they were then given model, non-firing M4 rifles and allowed to run drills themselves. The groups were then placed in safe viewing areas to watch the 110th members run drills of their own. The “hostiles” would act out different scenarios. The use of simulated ammo, a marking round called “Simunition,” allowed students to see realistic force-on-force situations with no danger to themselves.

    As much as it educates these future Law Enforcement officers to see these tactics first hand, acting as an instructor benefited the younger Airman even more, as Airman 1st Class Bradley Duck can attest.

    “Being able to instruct the student - it allows them to learn in a way that they wouldn’t get to learn in a classroom. You can do walkthroughs and discuss scenarios, but it’s nothing compared to going through and using force and have someone use force against you and see how you actually react. And teaching helps us newer guys. Teaching someone else refreshes our skills and shows we really understand our jobs.”

    Duck, fresh from his technical school at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, plans to go to the Michigan State Police Academy, where his lessons from training opportunities like these will be invaluable.

    Tony McNeil, the program director of the Jackson Career Center Law Enforcement Program, supervised the classes. With more than twenty years of experience in the Jackson County Sheriff’s office, seventeen of them on a special response team, McNeal is no stranger to the tactics demonstrated to his students.

    “While most of the tactics were the same, I was impressed with how they did certain things differently and better. I was interested in seeing how things have changed since I retired five years ago.”

    After such a rare opportunity like this, where students were engaged and educated while the instructors’ skills were applied to new situations and surroundings, McNeil is on the lookout for future training areas.

    “If I could find another location like this, I’d invite them again. The guys were professional and great at interacting with the students.”



    Date Taken: 11.06.2019
    Date Posted: 11.25.2019 17:10
    Story ID: 353119
    Location: JACKSON, MI, US 

    Web Views: 194
    Downloads: 0