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Combat Engineer Company plays cop-for-a-day

Members of the Connecticut Army National Guard 248th Engineer Company out of Norwich participate in specialized training as they received a glimpse into the Connecticut Air National Guard’s flightline air base defense operations with the 103rd Security Forces Squadron at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 17, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks, 103rd Security Forces Squadron)

Members of the Connecticut Army National Guard 248th Engineer Company out of Norwich participate in specialized training as they received a glimpse into the Connecticut Air National Guard’s flightline air base defense operations with the 103rd Security Forces Squadron at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 17, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks, 103rd Security Forces Squadron)

A member of the Connecticut Army National Guard 248th Engineer Company out of Norwich participated in specialized training as she received a glimpse into the Connecticut Air National Guard’s flightline air base defense operations with the 103rd Security Forces Squadron at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 17, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks, 103rd Security Forces Squadron)

A member of the Connecticut Army National Guard 248th Engineer Company out of Norwich participated in specialized training as she received a glimpse into the Connecticut Air National Guard’s flightline air base defense operations with the 103rd Security Forces Squadron at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 17, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks, 103rd Security Forces Squadron)

Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks of the 103rd Security Forces Squadron looks on as a member of the Connecticut Army National Guard 248th Engineer Company out of Norwich participated in specialized training and received a glimpse into the Connecticut Air National Guard’s flightline air base defense operations with the 103rd Security Forces Squadron at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 17, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks, 103rd Security Forces Squadron)

Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks of the 103rd Security Forces Squadron looks on as a member of the Connecticut Army National Guard 248th Engineer Company out of Norwich participated in specialized training and received a glimpse into the Connecticut Air National Guard’s flightline air base defense operations with the 103rd Security Forces Squadron at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 17, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks, 103rd Security Forces Squadron)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE - East Granby, Conn. -- On July 17, 2012, 63 members of the Connecticut Army National Guard 248th Engineer Company out of Norwich received a glimpse into the Connecticut Air National Guard's flightline operations with the 103rd Security Forces Squadron. The training consisted of: instruction on flightline driving, safety procedures, foreign object damage checks, Entry Authorization Lists, restricted area badges, duress procedures, challenging, handcuffing and searching suspects. The Soldiers were able to do some hands-on demonstrations to practice the topics covered in class.

These concepts were all new to the Army engineers whose primary responsibility has always been construction. The goal was to prepare the engineers for air base defense operations overseas and give them the tools to successfully attend additional Air Force training. The senior-ranking attendees were given an opportunity to witness how the base defense operations center is run and given materials to assist them with possible scenarios that could arise during their tour.

This training opportunity was bridged by the company's previous commanding officer, Capt. Eric Roy. At the beginning of his enlisted career, Capt. Roy served as an augmentee for the 103rd Security Forces Squadron. Once he learned of the engineer's upcoming mission, he immediately thought of the training he had received at Bradley Air National Guard Base in 2002. So, he contacted his sister, Security Forces member Staff Sgt. Jessica Roy. Staff Sgt. Roy proposed the training opportunity to Security Forces Manager Master Sgt. Scott Grindrod, who was then serving as the head of training. Security Forces leadership then went direct with the 248th's new commanding officer Lt. Keith Parent. After four months of planning, the date was set and the reins were handed to Tech. Sgt. Richard Marks, Tech. Sgt. Marc Cioto and Senior Airman Steven Young.

The course was drafted appropriately to the Army's future mission and was theater specific. The engineer company had limited time to try to learn a whole career field with very different rules than their own branch of service. For example, the painted red line on the tarmac is Air Force specific.

"It was a challenge met head on by the training section," said Tech. Sgt. Marks, giving credit to Grindrod, Cioto, Young and Master Sgt. Divita of Security Forces Operations, with coordinating logistics and assisting on the day of class.

Marks reflected that it was rewarding for him to learn how other branches work and will implement that into future classes he teaches. He added, "The troops were motivated and very eager to learn."

The Army Soldiers deemed the class invaluable and felt better prepared to attend their upcoming pre-deployment training. They found the 103rd Security Forces Squadron to be very accommodating. This blending of "colors" was definitely mutually beneficial and is a practice that will be continued by both units. After all, we are all brothers in arms.