Monday, December 28, 2015

Security forces tests active shooter and lockdown procedures

by Master Sgt. Charles Delano
153rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

12/18/2015 - CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Everyday armed military personnel provide security for installations across the globe. But, what if, the very same airman tasked to protect personnel and assets becomes an active shooter? This is the scenario the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Security Forces Squadron tested Dec. 18 at the Cheyenne Air National Guard base.

Secretary of Air Force Deborah James recently issued a memorandum for military bases to test the effectiveness of active shooter and lock down procedures. The 153rd Airlift Wing's exercise involved a lone gunman, armed with a M-4 assault rifle and 14 magazines filled with blanks, "shooting" airmen and attempting to evade capture.

"We wanted to test the worst-case scenario where an armed security forces airman is the gunman," said Capt. Sean Deveau, 153rd Security Forces Squadron commander. "Our No. 1 priority is the security of the base. We train and test our response to these types of situations to make us better at securing the base."

The exercise began around 9:30 a.m. The "shooter," for the exercise, exited a vehicle and began his shooting spree outside the newly renovated wing headquarters building. Airmen within the building observed the member as an active shooter and informed security forces.

The base initiated lockdown procedures while the shooter attempted to enter several other buildings.

"This was a good exercise. It was realistic and helped me see how fast a situation like this can develop," said Senior Airman Karen Klein, a member of the 153rd Logistics Readiness Squadron. "My adrenaline was pumping."

Several security forces airmen chased down and fatally wounded the active shooter as part of the training exercise. Upon completing all the necessary building sweeps, emergency responders attended to injuries and the exercise ended.

Observers from the153rd inspector general wing inspection team graded security forces personnel on base lockdown and response, security forces response, and recovery after the active shooter was eliminated.

Security forces airmen assigned to the 90th Missile Wing, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, also observed the exercise to get an understanding of how the National Guard wing conducts active shooter exercises.

Observers said they concluded the exercise was a success with the most notable aspects being how difficult it was for the shooter to enter the buildings. They also commended the communication between members of the sweep teams.

Air National Guard security teams use virtual reality to train for active shooters

By Tech Sgt. Matt Hecht | 108th Wing | December 21, 2015

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. - It was a day like any other – blue sky, tranquil breeze, when suddenly the unexpected happened: gunshots rang out. Swiftly responding, Security Forces Airmen made their way through numerous rooms, past injured people, and neutralized the threat.

Luckily, this was all part of their training.

On Dec. 12, these New Jersey Air National Guard members got some highly technical virtual reality training at the U.S. Marshals training site in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

The V-300 VirTra firearms training simulator offered an unprecedented 300 degree view of interactive screens lit by five high-definition projectors and a sound system that would fit into any major movie theater. A box, strapped to the cops’ belts, shocked them when they were struck by enemy fire.

The U.S. Marshals instructors quipped, "These can be a real motivator."

The Airmen got to go through several scenarios, including a high-risk traffic stop they did as individuals, and an active-shooter scenario where they got to work with a partner.

"Remember to keep watching, and to keep communicating," said one of the instructors from the Marshals office. "Keep your head on a swivel."

One of the event's organizers, Tech. Sgt. Heather Perez, from the 108th Security Forces training section, had nothing but praise for the day's training, a first of its kind for the 108th and the Marshals.

"This is great hands-on training," Perez said. "The Airmen get to see how they react to these various events individually, as well as with a partner. The technology is amazing."

Perez also noted that this would hopefully be the first of many joint training ventures with the U.S. Marshals, and that the younger tech-savvy Airmen loved the virtual reality aspect.

"This training is very interesting and fun for the young Airmen, this kind of technology is hopefully keeping them motivated to stay in Security Forces," said Perez.

Maj. Gen. Dean returns home to Oregon for formal retirement observance

by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel
142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/9/2015 - PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. -- Returning home to Oregon with family and friends, Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean formally retired after nearly 41 years of military service during a ceremony held in his honor on base, Dec. 6, 2015.

Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, Vice Chief, National Guard Bureau accompanied Dean from Washington D.C. and hosted as presiding officer for the ceremony. Maj. Gen. Dean most recently served as The Special Assistant to the Chief, National Guard Bureau, where he acted in the capacity of Director, National Guard Joint Staff.

Ceremony attendees included Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Silver, interim Commander, Oregon Air National Guard; Chief Master Sgt. Andy Gauntz, State Command Chief, Oregon Air National Guard; and State Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Lake, Joint Senior Enlisted Leader, Oregon National Guard and other men and women of the Oregon National Guard.

During the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Lengyel presented The Distinguished Service Medal to Maj. Gen. Dean along with his official Certificate of Retirement from the United States Air Force and Oregon National Guard.

Lengyel said that the first time he met Dean was not at an Air Force endeavor, but rather at the Delta Airlines pilot lounge in Atlanta, Georgia, as they both flew commercially for the airline at the time.

"Over the last 10-15 years I've worked with him and as a colleague in other capacities.  One thing I can say about Garry Dean is that it's never been about him, but rather about him helping grow future leaders, Airmen and organizations," said Lengyel.

Lengyel said he witnessed this first hand when they served together at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, serving as Dean's vice commander at 1st Air Force, Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The mission of 1st Air Force is to ensure the aerospace control and air defense of the continental United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"The responsibility is immense, this is our biggest job in the Air National Guard," Lengyel said. "The commander is charged with the air sovereignty and air defense of the United States."

In concluding his remarks, Lengyel described Dean's subsequent assignment and Dean's unique ability at building relationships as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy.

"Who better to bring together a collation of 28 nations, who all have to agree on something before it is done? Gen. Garry Dean of course," Lengyel said.

In his statements, Dean described the experience of working in Italy with other NATO [North American Treaty Organization] partners:

"There is no doubt that given the resources, their pilots and officers are as good as ours," he said.

The distinction that Dean found during his two-year assignment, and "took to heart," was the role of the senior enlisted and the total force development within the United States military.

"Airmen and Soldiers who get the job done; the professional expertise, discipline and education of our enlisted corps is what make us special and it's our future," he said.

Dean touched on other duties during his career, from attending the United States Air Force Academy, to his active duty assignments and later becoming a member of the Oregon Air National Guard. He served in various leadership capacities in Oregon from 1990 through 2003 - including his role as the 142nd Fighter Wing Commander from January 2001 through January 2003.

"In the early 1990s we saw a cultural shift, beyond a UTA (Unit Training Assembly) or a normal drill weekend in the National Guard," Dean said.

"This was a seminal moment. It was about building what our nation needed: a sustainable combat reserve," he said.  "This development is what our nation has now come to expect of our 54 National Guard states and territories."