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Security Forces Conducts Training Exercise

Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York -- The 174th Fighter Wing Security Forces recently conducted a two and a half day training exercise.

The training exercise was coordinated by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Mcafee and is a requirement for airmen preparing for deployment. If airmen aren't deploying then the training has to be completed every 36 months. Once the airmen complete the training here on base, they are sent off for follow-up training. "It's like pre-deployment training before pre-deployment training." said Sgt. Mcafee.

There were 65 airmen that participated in the training exercise. The training consists of 17 combat readiness tasks and nine battle drills. There are two squads that are part of two rotations. Each squad has a squad leader and a fire team leader. The squad leaders were all technical sergeants and the fire team leaders were all staff sergeants. The rest of the team members were senior airmen and lower ranking airmen.

"The objective of the training was to build lower level leaders, show team tactics and to increase communications within the team. It was also to challenge the young leaders to think outside the box in certain situations," said Sgt. Mcafee. There are instructors who are subject matter experts that helped the airmen in certain areas during the exercise. The instructors were Master Sgt. Kevin Mckillip, Tech. Sgt. John Secord, Tech. Sgt. Tom Addley and Tech. Sgt. Chris Ferguson.  Master Sgt. Mckillip and Tech. Sgt. Secord handled the field tactics portion of the training, while Tech. Sgt. Addley and Tech. Sgt. Ferguson handled the weapons portion. The 274th Air Support Operations Squadron, 174th Munitions section, 174th Force Support Squadron, Town of DeWitt police, Town of Sullivan and the Marine Reserve Center provided assistance with the exercise. "Without all these pieces in place, the exercise would not have been a success, " said Sgt. Mcafee.

When asked about their favorite part of the training, Staff Sgt. Phillip Anderson and Senior Airman Kyle Wisner said "the shoot house and the convoy were really cool." The training is also preparing young leaders to step into the positions of the present leadership. "With quite a few of the present leadership getting ready to retire in the future, we want to leave the squadron with solid leaders who are confident in their ability," said Sgt. Mcafee. When asked if the training has prepared him to be a future leader, Staff Sgt. Anderson said "definitely, you couldn't ask for better training."