125th Security Forces trains in close quarter combat
By Staff Sgt Jeremy Brownfield, 125FW Public Affairs
/ Published April 15, 2014
The 125th Fight Wing Security Forces Squadron (SFS) received high tempo Close Combat Training at Camp Blanding Joint Training Base, Starke, Fla., April 11, 2014. -- Breaking in the state of the art facility, affectionately referred to as "The Shoot House", servicemembers exchanged fire in a room-to-room search during a highly tactical raid simulation.
"Today was less about making loud noises and more about making good choices," said Burks.
Capt. Derrik Burks not only provided for both the feedback and debriefing of servicemembers, he also played an active role as both combatant and non-combatant during the training.
As a noncombatant, Burks asserted accurate emotional response as a subject whose home was suddenly breeched.
"It's a question of when to exercise violence and when to not to." Burks said. "It's about balancing intelligence with aggression. The training conditions us to be better first responders."
Personnel being trained were subjected to heat, stress and the threat of pain. Simulated rounds fired during the firefights are a combination of gunpowder propellants and paint tips. The tips, of the 2,200 rounds brought that day, form a tighter surface and can sting more than a standard paintball.
Members received valuable feedback such as how to switch between the M-4 rifle and their sidearm, both of which were carried into each combat simulation.
"Everyone is a hero in an air conditioned room." Burks said. "Tomorrow we are going to PT before the training, to ensure they are not calm and can handle the worst conditions. They will learn not to let their heart rate make their decisions."
The facility featured light-weight furniture models, adjustable lighting and mobile walls, some with windows. Doorways were strategically left open or closed to evaluate how the team addressed them as obstacles.
During one of the encounters, Burks, now playing a non-combatant turned combatant, suddenly opened fire on the security team from the cover of a doorway. His simulated death, by sliding into a wall, seemed immediate. The mark of a sim round painted the mouth guard of his protective mask.
"I was highly impressed," said Burks said. "The bar has been raised very high. They far exceeded my expectations, not just in tactical proficiency, but in attitude."
Attitude may not be the only reflection the training provided, as it served for some as a reminder of why they volunteered to join the Florida Air National Guard in the first place.
"I want to defend others," said Senior Airman Kaysee Murgueytio, 125FW security forces, "To serve people who can't protect themselves."
Continually perfecting skills, like close combat training, ensures the safety of the members of the Florida Air National Guard. Each person who enters the gates of the 125th Fighter Wing can focus on their job because of the outstanding SFS personnel they have protecting them while they work.