153 SFS train for active shooter

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nichole Grady
  • 153rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
"Expect the unexpected." To some that is just a catchy saying, but for the airmen of the 153rd Security Forces Squadron it's more a way of life.

Over the years, active shooter incidents at Columbine High School, Colo., Virginia Tech, Va., Fort Hood, Texas and the theater in Aurora, Colo., have made the need for prevention and preparedness essential to saving lives and ensuring mission success.

Master Sgt. Matthew Wombaker and Tech. Sgt. Adam Coulon, 153 SFS, recently traveled to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where they attended a 10-day training course, specializing in active shooter training. This course provided Wombaker and Coulon the knowledge they needed to train the members of the 153 SFS for the worst-case scenario.

"The course gives you a different perspective on how the bad guys will think," said Coulon.

The newly implemented course is part of an Air Force-wide movement to provide consistent training techniques to first responders, including active duty and Guardsmen, ensuring cohesion among units.

The training featured several exercises including simulation runs, behavior of active shooters, history of active shooters, and baton and taser instructor certification.

The course also encouraged teamwork. Security forces Airmen had to educate each other on how to approach an active shooter. Course instructors encouraged cooperation by non-first responders, and emphasized interaction with an active shooter should be left to trained first responders.

"The importance of cooperation is the survival of all involved; standing up to an active shooter could be the difference between life and death," said Coulon.

Not long after attending the training, Coulon and Wombaker shared their knowledge with their fellow Airmen of the 153 SFS by conducting an active shooter-training course during October drill.

Just like the training attended by Wombaker and Coulon, the squadron participated in realistic scenarios, gaining hands-on experience in performing clearing movements through buildings, rooms, and barricades.

Tasked with responding quickly to any threat, the Airmen practiced entering the training facility, clearing the building, and eliminating the threat.

"It lets you know what your weak areas are," said Staff Sgt. Jason Chapins, 153 SFS, "and it helps with tactics."

In addition to being a crucial element to security forces operations, the training also provided the squadron the opportunity to train as a team.

"Being Guardsmen, we only spend a few weekends a year together," Chapins said. "When we get to spend a lot of hours out here together, it's a blast."