by Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
7/2/2015 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Military
members may have to deal with many hostile scenarios while on duty. For
security forces members, this is especially true. While a situation may
turn violent quickly, lethal force is taught only to be used as a last
resort for men and women in uniform.
When these situations arise, close-quarter hand-to-hand combative skills
can make all the difference in a problem being handled quickly and
For Malmstrom's security forces personnel, the Combatives Instructor
Course is the answer to helping these Airmen know how to respond to
whatever may come their way.
"What these men and women are going through during this course is their
basic certification in the program so they can then go back and teach
the rest of their squadrons," said Staff Sgt. Maxwell Thompson, 341st
Security Forces Support Squadron combatives instructor.
"This class is open to the whole security forces group and the system we
teach is really easy to learn," he continued. "People who have no
experience at all, to the ones who have many years of experience, can
participate and learn new skills."
The course focuses on weapons retention, suspect control and challenge
techniques, and close-quarter hand-to-hand combative techniques.
While simulating various scenarios, trainees also have a training M9
handgun strapped to their side so they can also exercise breaking
contact and challenging a suspect with lethal force, if needed.
According to Thompson, the constant repetition of these moves will help
them to diffuse scenarios that otherwise could not be dealt with
"Being certified instructors, these Airmen will be able to teach
whomever they wish within their respective duty sections," said
Thompson. "After that, it will be up to the user to implement these
skills depending on what kind of situation they're in.
"The training in this program opens up the door to many other options
military members can use instead of escalating their force all the way
up to use of a weapon," he continued.
For Airman 1st Class Sheristy DeJesus, 741st Missile Security Forces
Squadron member, the class offers many learning opportunities as she
works alongside her male counterparts.
"Being the only female in the class can be intimidating at times but it
is also very fun because it's challenging," said DeJesus. "It can be
harder to apply the techniques because of the size difference but at the
same time I really like it because I feel I'm held to a higher standard
and have to push myself."
She would like to see more women take the opportunity to learn what is
taught during the Combatives Instructor Course and be able to teach
others those valuable skills also.
"I've learned a lot throughout this course and am very fortunate to have
been able to participate in it," said DeJesus. "Whether for
self-defense or diffusing a high-risk scenario, the skills learned
throughout the program are valuable tools in an Airman's arsenal."