Security forces focus on self-defense to round out security training
By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead, 103rd Public Affairs
/ Published February 17, 2015
BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, East Granby, Conn. -- On Feb. 7, 2015, members of the 103rd Security Forces Squadron engaged in hand-to-hand combat in an effort to increase their effectiveness when trying to detain personnel that are resisting.
The training is designed to assist the officers in defending themselves against grapple attacks and punches, allowing them to get out of a threat by using various ground-fighting techniques. The second half of training focused on officers retaining weapons as if someone is trying to grab it, said Tech. Sgt. Ian McMahon, security forces officer, 103rd Security Forces Squadron.
"So if something happens while dealing with a suspect or an individual, we can handle him and get to our other tools and weapons such as the ASP [baton] and OC [pepper spray]," said McMahon. "This is all hand-to-hand combat and ground fighting skills."
And it has been a long time coming.
"When I came in [to the unit], they had a very watered down version of hand-to-hand combat. Over the past few years, the Air Force has been taking the Army combatives and tailoring them to the needs of their security forces," said McMahon.
But you won't see this type of training in basic military training or even in the security forces technical school. This training is more home-station based, said Tech. Sgt. Jerry P. Lashway, squad leader, 103rd Security Forces Squadron.
"You do learn basic arrest and control and some hands-on combative stuff, but not to the degree that you're going to learn with this home-station training," said Lashway.
According to Master Sgt. Richard Marks, one of the combative instructors for the 103rd Security Forces Squadron, the training done on that day was about practicing technique.
"Just like how we don't throw a million rounds downrange because we're not going to hit anything, I don't want you trying to overpower your opponent--concentrate on technique," said Marks.
In the words of Bruce Lee, "fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." And in learning these techniques, these officers hone their abilities and confidence to neutralize threats and give officers options when protecting their own lives.
"[This training] shows our officers, especially when going against a larger combative, that they can handle the situation, get out of it and protect themselves," said McMahon.
"It's been a great benefit for officers. It really teaches them that they have options and shows them what they can and can't do when they are involved in a hands-on scenario where it may go from nothing to an all-out fight with a resistive individual," said Lashway.