Security forces members receive nuclear-focused breacher training
By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever, Air Force Public Affairs Agency / Published February 18, 2014
F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. (AFNS) -- About 100 miles northeast of the base here, the Nuclear Security Combat Training Center at Camp Guernsey, Wyo., provides advanced tactics and marksmanship training for security forces members who guard and secure the Air Force's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile force.
While there are several types of tactical training courses available for security forces Airmen, the breacher course teaches them how to safely breach different types of structures they will encounter at their respective bases and missile complexes.
"The number one thing we do here is make sure that those security forces defenders who are specifically tasked with securing resources are trained primarily in marksmanship and tactics," said Maj. Jay Parsons, the 620th Ground Combat Training Squadron commander. "It's remarkably similar to the training they get from a core standpoint, but to be able to add that nuclear focus is really important."
Airmen from here and from Minot AFB, N.D., and Malmstrom AFB, Mont. spend 10 to 12 days learning new tactics, techniques and procedures for breaching nuclear-specific locations like weapons storage areas, launch facilities and missile alert facilities. This advanced training builds upon initial skills training they received at technical school and their home stations.
"We just break it down into crawl, walk and run phases," said Staff Sgt. David Meadows, the 620th GCTS formal training instructor. "During mechanical breaching training, they learn to use the monoshock ram to breach doors. They also get hands-on training with a K-12 saw. The students learn the basics of breaching areas without using explosives at the beginning of the course."
After the students are proficient using mechanical devices to breach into different areas, Meadows said they move on to instructing the students on explosive breaching techniques.
"We teach them how to use the Broco torch that cuts easily through thick metal doors," Meadows said. "They also learn to use explosive devices like improvised door charges to take down doors."
Several security forces members from the 90th Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force are currently attending the breacher course. Airman 1st Class William Schuld, a 90th SFG response force member, is on his third day of breacher training, and he said he's learning every aspect of explosive safety.
"We are also learning about being safe around the explosives and how to handle them properly," Schuld said. "The first two days of training the class learned about mechanical and manual breaching techniques. We also were able to apply what we learned at the range too. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it."
Schuld said attending the breacher course with other response force members has helped bring the team closer together, which will increase their responsiveness as a whole when situations arise on duty at their home station.
"It's working out well because when we go back, we will be able to share what we learned and further develop our breaching skills," he said. "The camaraderie between the guys in TRF is amazing. We're a close-knit team. We do a lot of activities outside of work together."
The center is managed by the 620th GCTS who reports directly to Air Force Global Strike Command at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
Parsons said his squadron's instructors and support personnel ensure the advanced training security forces Airmen receive gives them additional tools to secure the nation's most important nuclear assets.
"We have to ensure these resources are secure and the one way you can ensure they are secure is to make sure that the Airmen who are charged on a day-to-day basis with guarding those resources have the highest level of training possible," Parsons said.
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