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673d Security Forces train in 'controlled chaos'

By Airman 1st Class Christopher R. Morales | 673d Air Base Wing / Public Affairs | July 31, 2017

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska --

The 673d Security Forces Squadron conducted active-shooter training July 18 and 25 with approximately 160 members and 40 volunteers in hostage scenarios to better their response and handling of a variety of high-stress circumstances. 

The training was controlled chaos. No more than two perpetrators were used at a time, but the scenarios included several hostages. A team of security forces with at least three members were tasked to identify the perpetrators and take them down in each scenario. 

“The trainers would give us weapons and an overview of what they wanted us to do, and free reign to cause mayhem, so every scenario is nothing alike,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Sean Sullivan, 732nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief who volunteered as a perpetrator and hostage depending on the scenario. “I’ve been paintballing before, but this is a lot more intense – a lot of yelling and in very close quarters.” 

Training took place in a small one-floor unused building with busted furniture, cracked or removed glass, and shells littering the floor. Typical scenarios involved hostages attempting to distract security forces members from identifying targets, clearing rooms and taking down the perpetrator.   

“This training makes me a better security forces member so I know how to [better] work with my team and coworkers,” said Airman 1st Class Robert Jackson, 673d SFS specialist. “It also helps build up muscle memory, basically, so we can respond and take down the threat.” 

Both the security forces and volunteers used Simunition rounds, which are non-toxic, non-lethal marking cartridges used in Simunition converted service weapons. Additionally, every participant was properly protected with neck guard, helmet and gloves at all times during the training. 

“We clear out rooms with Simunition rounds that do sting, so you can build up that stress level,” Jackson said, a few paint rounds, on his uniform after he went through a scenario. “It feels like 100 bees stinging me at once.” 

The training accumulated 21 hours overall including four hours of safety briefing.  

“We are helping them be able to respond to different situations, so in a real-world situation they will be able to proceed safely and securely,” Sullivan said. “This gives us the opportunity to see how we should react in an active-shooter situation, and seeing how security forces act, I would be able to respond safely if [I was] ever in this kind of situation.”

673d Security Forces Squadron 673d SFS active-shooter training high-stress simunation rounds volunteer

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