JOINT BASE CAPE COD, Mass. – As the fog lifted off the ground and temperatures began to rise, defenders from the 102nd Security Forces Squadron made their way to the objective through thick forest.
Bursts of rapid gunfire became louder as they neared their destination.
As the perimeter was secured from the wood line, opposing forces began firing on the defenders. Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters emerged over the treetops and landed in the open field, inserting a support element. Defenders proceeded to secure the landing zone by conducting a support-by-fire mission.
“End Exercise” was called out, a mission debrief was provided and the instructors were introduced – drill sergeants with the Army Reserve 1st Battalion, 304th Regiment, 98th Training Division. These subject matter experts prepared the defenders with in-depth training iterations, including Army warrior tasks and drills.
Should hostility with a foreign power occur, this training will ensure security forces have the skills to work alongside the Army at forward-deployed locations.
Training began with an extremely taxing land navigation course through thick vegetation. Once the course was completed, Airmen were instructed on linear danger areas, radio programming and communication, effective trauma management and the process of calling in combat injuries requiring medical evacuation.
“I think it’s good that we had the opportunity to train with the Army and were able to learn their language and teach them ours,” said Master Sgt. Michael Anderson, squad leader. “It made it so we can articulate better during an actual high-stressed scenario.”
The joint event provided valuable hands-on training to defenders. Base defense – defending the mission and protecting the force – is the primary mission of Security Forces.
“The training environments on Joint Base Cape Cod are perfect to work in as we transition to being more concerned about near-peer adversaries,” said 2nd Lt. Allen Nancarrow, operations officer for the 102 SFS. “We’re very thankful that the drill sergeants are willing to take their knowledge to test the skills our defenders learn throughout their careers. Many may not realize, but the tactics we adopt as defenders come directly from Army field manuals.”
In the final event, defenders had to secure a flight line under four simultaneous scenarios incorporating all the lessons learned throughout the day.
After a long, arduous day that tested the limits of their endurance, the 102nd Security Forces Squadron exited the field better equipped to defend the force.