JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, Washington, D.C. –
The 11th Security Forces Squadron Defenders, their civilian teammates and an Office of Special Investigations agent assigned to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling participated in a training event at the Metropolitan Police Academy in Washington, D.C., Nov. 24, 2021.
“Today’s training went over the basics of room clearing, building searching, responding to scenarios, some tactics like that,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Demetrius Hardy, NCO in charge of unit training for 11th SFS, who led the day’s training event.
The Metropolitan Police Department hosted the 11th SFS for this training event, fostering our engagement with the surrounding community and building on our partnerships. The 11th SFS trained in their indoor training facility, The Village, which holds a small simulated town with a two-story school, storefronts, sidewalks, streets and a townhome.
The training started at a slow pace and eventually led to a full run-through of how the team would respond to potential threats they might experience on the job.
“We began with review and instruction on tactical team movements,” said Sgt. Lance LaRue, 11th SFS civilian police officer and security forces trainer. “First, we worked on slow, methodical ways to search for and assess threats. Then we worked on fast, dynamic direct-to-threat movements.”
Training instructors made corrections on the Defenders’ techniques, who were then equipped with protective gear and implemented simunition weapons, specially-designed training weapons, to begin the full simulation portion of the training.
“Using simunitions allows us to create ultra-realistic training scenarios where teams can really focus on shooting, moving and communicating as a unit; but within a safe, controlled environment,” said LaRue.
Instead of using prop guns, the Defenders donned simunition weapons with low velocity, low impact training rounds to better evaluate their marksmanship and movements, said LaRue.
Defenders were able to show off their knowledge on proper tactical techniques to use in worst- case scenarios.
“All of the Defenders who participated in this training were already experienced in tactical movements and responses,” said LaRue. “The primary focus is to continue to drill on those perishable skills.”
When multiple agencies respond to mass casualty events together, it’s important that they all have an understanding of each party’s training. This is why joint and interagency collaboration is a large focus at JBAB.
“One of the universal challenges in law enforcement is that different agencies teach different tactics.” said LaRue. “I find the best way to address this inconsistency is to focus on the basics and decisiveness over specific tactics.”
Aside from maintaining the appropriate training and skills needed to perform the job well, Defenders also spent valuable time together, building bonds that turn coworkers into family.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. La Donna Winston, 11th SFS member and prior training instructor, understands the importance of training alongside her teammates.
“It’s about building trust with the people you work with every day and knowing they will have your back in the line of fire and vice versa,” said Winston.
The 11th SFS is well prepared through their continuous training and situational awareness to protect the citizens of our JBAB family.
“God forbid something happens, I know these Defenders are ready to answer that call,” said Hardy.
This training opportunity supports the cohesion within the 11th SFS team and with other agencies on and off base, while continuously preparing to maintain safety and security of all assets on JBAB.