161st SFS trains, prepares for upcoming deployment
By Tech. Sgt. Susan Gladstein, 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 26, 2013
PHOENIX SKY HARBOR AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE -- In preparation for an upcoming deployment, Airmen with the 161st Security Forces Squadron traveled to Prescott Valley, Ariz., Aug. 3 and 4 to complete weapons firing, building entry and self aid buddy care training.
The Arizona Army National Guard provided transportation from Phoenix to Prescott Valley via two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.
"We have 26 Airmen deploying later this year and we wanted to provide realistic training so they're prepared before they go," said Chief Master Sgt. Emilio Rodriguez, 161st SFS superintendent. "Having local experts come in to help us in areas that are critical to our safety and successful missions is invaluable."
Members of Prescott Valley SWAT and soldiers with the 856th Military Police Company, Prescott, provided realistic training scenarios to prepare the Airmen for their upcoming deployment.
"We are very fortunate to have two expert Army soldiers on dismounted patrol and field tactics who volunteered their time to help provide excellent training for our Airmen," Chief Rodriguez said. "(Army) Staff Sgt. Frederick Adams and (Army) Spc. Alejandro Morgas provided great training to our Airmen that will greatly benefit them while they're deployed."
For Senior Airman Maria Gomez, 161st SFS member, the training she received over the weekend provided the opportunity to sharpen skills as she prepares for her first deployment.
"This training was very good," she said. "Having the expertise of the SWAT officers and more time to practice with the weapons is definitely a confidence booster. I feel much more prepared, trained and ready for my deployment."
Prescott Valley SWAT officers began training with fundamentals in communication among team members and footwork when doing building entries.
The Airmen were also put through several shooting drills to hone their skills.
"We teamed the Airmen up and made a competition out of the training," Chief Rodriguez said. "It helps build team cohesion and adds a competitive spirit that pushes them to do better. These shooting drills help engrain realistic maneuvers into their muscle memory and gives additional trigger time for those who may not shoot weapons as often."