173rd Security Forces train for deployments both in-state and abroad

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

The 173rd Security Forces Squadron organized its annual training with an eye toward skills they will need in a deployed environment, either overseas or here in the state.

Security Forces Training Manger, Tech. Sgt. Tim Lombardi explains that this year is somewhat different than previous years.

“We needed to get the vast majority of our DSG force recertified in their positions, and on top of that we wanted field training exercises and field training conditions to make sure we were meeting the federal mission tasking,” he said.

In the past, the entire leadership structure has collaborated on what the squadron needs to focus on, but this time around it was almost entirely driven by the state and federal requirements of the Security Forces Mission set.

Some examples of that training include emphasis on outside-the-wire missions like convoy operations and counter-insurgency operations where Airmen trained in scenarios requiring diplomacy with foreign nationals during patrol sweeps and many other deployment-centered skills.

“Many of our young Airmen have never been through that,” said Lombardi. “They haven’t been to the regional training center yet for deployment, so it was a great way to see our fire-team leaders gain that experience and a lot of our young Airmen be challenged in that regard.”

Lombardi goes on to say that when they do deploy overseas they could be tasked with anything from airbase defense to personal security detail or law enforcement training for foreign military members as well as the outside-the-wire missions. 

“It’s not a question of ‘am I ever going to use these skills?’ but when,” said Lombardi. “When you look at the 173rd mission motto—Ready Defenders—this training is so applicable to us because we’ve told the Air Force ‘were ready for whatever you need us to do.’”

Additionally, the training hit items for local deployments to support the state of Oregon for events that are top priorities such as a response to an earthquake or tsunami from a Cascadia Subduction zone event. Lombardi says that this period of two-week training is excellent but that he sees it as a really good primer for next year’s training.

“Honestly this was a great warm-up for next AT,” he said, and added that it helped them practice the logistics that will allow them to train at a further location, which will add another layer or realism to that training.