914 SFS conducts annual training

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. --

Members from the 914th Security Forces Squadron carried out annual training, July 10-14, 2017. The training was held locally and focused on communication and execution of various maneuvers to include moving around and shielding oneself behind barriers, shooting from different positions, assembling and loading firearms and swapping out magazines.

Participants, paired off into teams of two, starting the course by performing 10 pushups in full body armor, weighing 25-30 lbs. They followed this with disassembling and reassembling an M9 handgun and performing a function check. From there, the two Airmen decide who will begin shooting high and who will shoot low.

“They’re going to communicate amongst themselves, figure out who’s going to move,” unit training manager, Tech. Sgt. Aleksander Wojciechowicz explained. “One person at a time is going to move to their respective barricade.”

It is imperative that the team communicates efficiently throughout the drill.

“We can’t effectively complete a mission unless we communicate…the last thing you want to do is leave your guy back there, or send him to the kill zone without proper cover.” said Master Sgt. Dominick Caito, a squad leader and exercise instructor.

One aspect of the exercise that proves to be a challenge is learning to shoot from a variety of positions. In natural terrain, and generally, out in the world, Airmen will have to adapt to shooting from the cover of whatever barriers are available to them within their vicinity.

“The biggest struggle we have with this type of course are the positions,” said Caito.  “People are taught to shoot standing up, kneeling and prone (lying on the ground). In situations like this, barriers are set up to basically give us…something you’d find in a normal environment.”

The training ultimately gives Security Forces Airmen an idea of what to expect in real-world situations. The hope is that they train as if it’s real so that when they’re in a situation that demands the skills and quick assessment in a high pressure environment, they’re able to refer back to this training.

Master Sgt. Caito reflected on the training, “It’s something that prepares you both mentally and physically, to be able to handle yourself under stress.”

Annual training is invaluable when preparing Airmen for scenarios they will likely face in the future. The goal is to have a well-trained force so we can continue to carry out the mission as safely and efficiently as possible.

(Staff Sgt. Richard Mekkri, 914 ARW Public Affairs, contributed to this article)