174th Attack Wing Airmen train to support Hancock Field ANGB Security Forces mission

  • Published
  • By Alexander Rector
  • 174th Attack Wing

The 174th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) here at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base held a security forces augmentee training course from Feb. 12 - 16.

During the course Airmen learned essential military law enforcement skills to prepare them to provide critical manning support to the 174th SFS.

The 174th Security Forces Squadron, as well as their trained augmentees, provide 24-hour security for Hancock Field Air National Guard Base where they work diligently to secure the people and property of the New York Air National Guard’s 174th Attack Wing.

From career fields ranging from cyber to logistics, any enlisted Airman can attend the augmentee course and prior law enforcement experience is not a requirement. “We look for highly motivated people that are dedicated and levelheaded because there's a lot of situations you can be put in where you’ve got to make fast decisions,” said Master Sgt. James Spicola, the training manager for the 174th SFS. “It’s not easy, but as long as you've got a lot of drive and want to learn, you’re going to be successful.”

“The augmentee training covers almost everything that we need to train annually for as a security forces Airman,” Spicola said. “It covers our patrol forms, handcuffing and search techniques, combatives, individual and team tactics for active shooter response, and high-risk and standard vehicle stops.”

During the course the augmentees received training in the use of the ASP expandable baton, M4 carbine and the M18 pistol.

Following the training each augmentee is fully qualified to assist the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base security forces personnel by manning the installation gate, conducting patrols, and responding to calls for service.

The Augmentee course is conducted annually by the 174th SFS to recertify their current augmentees and train new augmentees who wish to take on the additional duty. Following the course, the augmentees are trained and certified to work shifts at the base’s access control point and patrol Hancock Field Air National Guard Base.

“Typically, we’ve had augmentees work with us full-time as temporary technicians,” Spicola said. “If one of the Airmen from this class was interested in a technician spot, they could work with us full time and would still drill with their unit.”

The trained augmentees help to increase the manning of the SFS during steady-state operations but prove to be indispensable when the squadron’s security forces personnel are called away for deployments, training events, and state active-duty missions.

“We went over bloodborne pathogens, search and seizures, filing out evidence tags, vehicle searches and stops, combatives, and room clearing,” said Senior Airman Christopher Addleman, a cyber defense operations Airman assigned to the 174th Operations Support Squadron. “My favorite part was the room clearing. I transferred from the Army National Guard, so I’ve already practiced that quite a bit.”

Attending the augmentee course allows Airmen from diverse career fields to cross-train and pursue future career opportunities with the 174th Attack Wing. “The instructors were knowledgeable and understanding that a lot of the training is new to most of us,” Addleman said. “It opens opportunities for me in the future to either continue with cyber defense or shift toward security forces.

Hancock Field Air National Guard Base is home to the 174th Attack Wing, one of five wings in the New York Air National Guard. The 174th primary mission is to operate the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft. In addition to remotely operating the MQ-9 overseas, Airmen from the 174th staff the base’s formal training unit and field training detachment where U.S. Air Force officers and enlisted Airmen receive MQ-9 pilot, sensor operator and maintenance instruction.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Brian Tortorelli, a material management specialist with the 174th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Bryce Dates, a security forces specialist assigned to the 174th Security Forces Squadron, roleplay a training scenario during a security forces augmentee course at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Feb. 14. During the course members of the 174th Security Forces Squadron trained Airmen from across the wing to serve as additional duty security forces augmentees. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Alexander Rector)