MADISON, Wis. — Members of the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron (SFS) participated in a quarterly training capstone exercise on base March 18-19.
The capstone exercise gave Airmen a chance to train on law enforcement fundamentals, knowledge they need when deployed with active-duty units. The training gave drill status Guardsmen and the full-time Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Airmen a chance to work together.
“The quarterly training capstones allow us to validate the learning gained in a classroom environment, integrate as one team, and improve mission readiness,” said Maj. Kristin Boustany, 115th Fighter Wing SFS commander.
Typically, the squadron completes this training on drill weekends, but the real-world mission can interfere, especially with more people on base.
“Conducting this training on an alternate weekend allowed the squadron to solely focus on their training in a safe, uninterrupted environment,” Boustany said. “Training on an alternate weekend with less base activity allowed the squadron to de-conflict training with the real-world mission more seamlessly.”
The training objectives of these capstone exercises change throughout the year.
“Each quarter the training focus shifts to a different set of mission essential tasks,” she said. “This fiscal year, our first training capstone focused on security with a Force Protection Condition increase, this one focused on law enforcement fundamentals, and June's capstone will be focused on base defense operations.”
Tech. Sgt. Daniel Hammett, 115th Fighter Wing SFS fire team leader, was a participant in this capstone exercise.
“Any training, done correctly and realistically, is a benefit to the development of our career field,” Hammett said. “The biggest takeaway I received from the training on Saturday was the combination of each tested task within the base environment. Traffic stops and investigating crashes are a part of my civilian job but rarely do I preform these tasks in the military environment.”
Hammett pointed out the importance of this training for those who deploy.
“During my deployment, I was tasked with investigating traffic crashes on the base,” he said. “Fortunately, I had years of civilian police experience with investigation of traffic crashes. This prior knowledge helped me with a shorter learning period of how the military investigates crashes. I can only imagine how overwhelmed a younger Airman would feel, with absolutely no prior experience, being tasked to investigate a crash at a deployed base.”
Now that the younger Airmen are required to participate in these capstone exercises, Boustany hopes they are not thrown off guard when placed in a deployed environment.
“I want all of my Airmen to know what is expected of them, and to have the chance to train to those expectations,” Boustany said. “These exercises are key to that development. There is only so much you can learn in a classroom environment. Hands-on training will help them practice the skills and techniques they have learned and allow us to tailor training in the future if deficiencies are found.”
Overall, the training went as planned.
“The staff was able to devise an exercise control center to track the task completion during the capstone,” Boustany said. “This ensured everything we wanted to accomplish was completed based on the exercise objectives. This group of Airmen continues to amaze me. I am extremely proud of how they all came together as a team and executed the training with the upmost professionalism.”