Niagara Defenders practice combat skills

Airman 1st Class Cristal Crowner, Security Forces apprentice, 914th Security Forces Squadron, uses a restraining technique on a unit member at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on June 24, 2015. Crowell and members of the 914 SFS were participating in an annual Home Station Training requirement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Burke)

Airman 1st Class Cristal Crowner, Security Forces apprentice, 914th Security Forces Squadron, uses a restraining technique on a unit member at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on June 24, 2015. Crowell and members of the 914 SFS were participating in an annual Home Station Training requirement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Burke)

Members of the 914th Security Forces Squadron watch a training demonstration at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on June 24, 2015. Personnel were learning striking techniques for an annual Home Station Training requirement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Burke)

Members of the 914th Security Forces Squadron watch a training demonstration at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on June 24, 2015. Personnel were learning striking techniques for an annual Home Station Training requirement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Burke)

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. -- Members of the 914th Security Forces Squadron Alpha Flight participated in a combative training course here June 24, 2015.

The training consisted of proper execution of striking and defensive grapple maneuvers. 13 personnel were trained, ensuring compliance with an Air Force initiative.

"Headquarters Air Force Security Forces Center created an annual Home Station Training Initiative that was implemented in September 2014 requiring all full-time Security Forces to complete 216 hours of training annually," said Master Sgt. Robert Starr, 914 Security Forces Squadron Unit Training Manager. "It encompasses all the core tasks from foundational skills such as: active shooter training, weapons qualification and combatives."

The day-long training was part of a three day course organized by Starr and his staff. Personnel from the 914 SFS Alpha Flight began the day with rigorous physical training to exhaust participants and prepare them for a more life-like scenario. 

"This training gives the Security Forces member a baseline standard for if they were in a combat scenario with an individual," said Starr. "We want them to have the tools and tactics to sustain law and order or escalate use of force if necessary."

Specialized training, like the SF combatives program can be challenging to all members of the unit and, regardless of size or gender, personnel complete identical training. 

"Some of the moves were awkward," said Airman 1st Class Cristal Crowner, Security Forces apprentice, 914 SFS, and the only female at the training. "But I'm not always going to be (detaining) a female in the field."

Although the training was long and complex, designed to test members of the 914 SFS both mentally and physically, instructors were impressed by the way personnel rose to the challenge.

"They did exceptionally well," said Starr. "The attitudes were great and morale was amazing. I couldn't ask any more out of them."