Active Shooter exercise keeps 5-52 AMD ready
Sgt. Todd Robinson,
11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs:
SOUTHWEST ASIA – Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron joined Soldiers with B Battery, 5th Battalion, 52nd Air and Missile Defense, to participate in a joint-service active-shooter exercise here June 1.
During the exercise, Soldiers acted as both victims and the shooter to provide as much realism to the training as possible, with the gunman simulating a shooting rampage at the site.
“The first sergeant and I came up with this training to not only complete assigned tasks, but to see our Soldiers were trained and ready.” said Capt. Steven J. Kline, B Btry. commander. “It was very exciting, and overall it was very good training.”
Within minutes, the security forces’ Quick Response Force arrived on site, assessed the situation and began their search for the gunman, played by Sgt. Talon C. Slead of B Btry., an Avenger crewman and noncommissioned officer in charge of the battery QRF.
“I liked the cohesion between the Army and the Air Force,” said Slead. “They are always motivated and they make me motivated and more dedicated in my job. And I feel we do a better job when we have contact with them.”
“I think the training is very helpful,” said Slead. “We cannot predict when we will have an active shooter, so this training is relevant.”
As the security forces cleared the compound, they were assisted by members of the battalion’s QRF, who joined the search teams to neutralize the threat.
“I was at the entry-control point when they came up to us and said they needed to swap out a Soldier,” said Spc. Miguel A. Escobar, a Patriot operator maintainer and member of the battery QRF. “So I went inside with the vehicle and started doing the exercise. I was part of the exercise and loved it.
“I learned a lot from them; the Army and the Air Force have different tactics. You learn from the different styles and techniques they have, and I definitely learned a lot” said Escobar.
The training took place at the forward-deployed battery Patriot missile site and served as an opportunity to test the Airmen and Soldiers alike on how to deal with real-world contingencies.
“I love coming out here working with the Army,” said Air Force QRF team leader Staff Sgt. Isaiah C. Martin, with the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. “So whenever we actually do these exercises it gives us a good time to join together and work together.”
With the help of the Army QRF Soldiers, the Airmen were able to split up into more fire teams to search for the shooter more quickly and more effectively, Martin said.
“Our Soldiers’ performance was outstanding,” said Sgt. 1st Class Theodore V. Gaines III, the B Btry. first sergeant. “They are top of their craft, and are without a doubt the best the Army has to offer.
“The joint training brings nothing but great things to the battalion,” added Gaines. “This kind of training allows us to know our counterparts, so if something does happen, we know how the security forces are going to react. Force protection is a vital piece to the overall mission.”
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