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Live-fire Creek Defender convoy prepares security forces Airmen

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (USAFENS) -- Members from the 786th Security Forces Squadron here proved their grit alongside more than 80 U.S. Air Forces in Europe security forces Airmen at a first-ever convoy and static position live-fire event March 14 at Baumholder Military Training Range, Baumholder, Germany.

The 786th Regional Training Center Creek Defender conducted the training and course validation, which primed the participants for deployment by preparing them for the challenges of firing from vehicles.

“We were concerned cops weren’t receiving enough of this kind of training at their home station,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Frey, RTC instructor. “Our task was to provide a realistic training challenge, to improve weapons handling confidence and increase target engagement proficiency.”

The exercise was the first ever for USAFE, and was modeled after lessons learned from deployments.

“When we developed this course, we used some Army convoy training as framework,” said Tech. Sgt. Brady McCoy, RTC instructor. “But most of it was built on after-action reports.”

The training was broken into three phases: the first was a walk-through of the two-kilometer course; the second phase allowed the Airmen to engage pop-up targets with blanks; and the third was the live-fire phase, which included a left and right side ambush and a simulated vehicle breakdown.

Four Humvees and 13 shooters armed with M-4s and M-249s participated in each training scenario. Additionally, five instructors rode in the convoy to control and evaluate the training.

“I’d have to say the exercise was a success,” said Staff Sgt. Richard Crim, 786th SFS unit training manager and training participant. “(We were engaging) targets in an open range with realistic distances rather than a closed firing range at 25 meters. The best part was knowing what we were doing will save many lives downrange.”

Subsequent students at Creek Defender will now have this training, but may see slightly different scenarios as the new exercise matures.

“We’re doing our best to make the training as realistic as possible, and to create the same difficulties security forces may face during a convoy ambush,” said Tech. Sgt. Stephen Arbona, RTC instructor. “Based on the feedback from our first set of students, this’ll be one of the highlights of our course.”