148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Winter Training
By Senior Master Sgt. William Hawley, 148th Figher Wing Security Forces
/ Published March 06, 2014
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. -- With winter winds blowing steady, and wind chills hovering at 30 below zero, 21 members of the 148th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) took over parts of Camp Ripley, Minn. in a four day combined drill. Led by Capt. John Christenson and Chief Master Sgt. Ryan Gunderson, the Airman of the 148th SFS took part in advanced weapons and tactics skills training while utilizing state of the art weapons and vehicle simulators, as well as a large assault village.
During the period of Feb. 27 - March 2, 2014 the teams of the 148th SFS, arrived at Camp Ripley and went straight into simulated combat, using the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST 2000), individual and squad weapons simulators allowed the members to work using M-4's and 249 Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW's), overcoming combat situations as a team, and handling law enforcement "shoot, don't shoot" scenarios. The group then spent two days working in the bitter, winter weather at the Combined Collective Training Facility (CACTF), a mock city set up to simulate any and all building configurations. Broken into two squads, they practiced crossing open areas, entering a building, clearing hallways, rooms, and stairwells. Stepping up the training, Senior Master Sgt. Bill Hawley, Master Sgt. Jozef Miketin and Tech. Sgt. Rob Lucas moved the squads through multiple building search scenarios, from alarm activations, search warrant entries, large building clearing and lastly, active shooter scenarios.
The last day, the squads were challenged using Camp Ripley's Combat Vehicle Simulator, the two squads were assigned spots in a high tech computer simulator of Highly Mobile Multi-wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) and Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT's). Taking part as drivers, gunners and leaders, the member's vehicles are linked together with computer screens taking the members through convoy scenarios on roads simulating Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED's) and attacks being thrown at the team.
Capt. Christenson commented, "even though the temperatures were frigid, the 148th SFS enthusiastically embarked on another successful training run at Camp Ripley. These trips allow our squadron to hone combat readiness skills that are vital to the ability for us to perform stateside or overseas missions." Christenson also wanted to remember the 148th SFS members that are currently deployed and unable to be at Ripley, as a critical part of the team, reminding everyone that they are utilizing the skills we have trained with at Camp Ripley in the past on their current deployment.