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412th Security Forces are trained to succeed in hostile and degraded combat environments > Edwards Air Force Base

412th Security Forces are trained to succeed in hostile and degraded combat environments > Edwards Air Force Base


From Nov. 30 to December 2, members of the 412th Test Wing participated at Edwards Air Force Base in California, an Operational Deployment Experiment.

The 412th Test Wing Inspector General prepared scenarios to test Airmen’s skills set, demonstrate their ability to survive and operate under conventional, biological and chemical attacks.

“We test or validate whether folks can perform their mission under stress, whether that be an active shooter, a natural disaster, downed aircraft, etc.,” said Randy Wells, 412th TW IG, Senior Exercise Planner.

Phase one, the Personnel Deployment Function (also known as PDF), began on Dec 1. The PDF line ensures that Airmen can be qualified in all areas, including training, medical, and weapons qualification, before they leave the base. Airmen also verified that they had their Common Access Card and Dog Tags.

“We design the readiness exercises to test the deployment process, as well as the deployers in a simulated downrange environment,” Wells said.

Phase two started Dec. 2 at a “deployed” location on Edwards. While members of the Wing Inspection Team assessed how the Airmen responded, hostile actors attacked the Airmen.

“We want to see if those deployers know how to perform their mission essential tasks in what we call a contested, degraded, operationally limited environment; they’re simulated in a hostile location with a hostile force that is going to degrade their operations,” Wells said.

“So when we’re putting on an exercise, we are an integral part of identifying who the players are. The IG identifies what their mission is for the exercise; We look at who’s available to meet that mission, essential tasks were their requirement, and then task that unit to identify personnel to fill those positions on the deployment roster,” Wells said.

Master Sgt. said that drones were used to simulate an operating environment in which there was a chemical attack. Airmen had to wear their MOPP gear to simulate the attack. Brooke L. Vaughan (412th TW IG Senior enlisted leader).

The players were then asked to determine the presence of chemical agents by using test kits.

“Those tripods that we have set up, we have a little piece of paper sitting upon the top, and the drones are going to come by and they’re going to drop a paintball. Depending on the color, the paint ball will articulate what kind of agent we’ve come into contact with or that had a drop in our area,” she said.

Wells said that the deployment exercise strengthened muscle memory and survival skills in a contested, degraded, and operationally limited environment.

“I learned a lot for the forward operating base, just kind of seeing the different players and what they do, for my career field, just kind of seeing how much control you have for a sector,” said Francisco Chavez, 412th Test Wing Security Force Squadron, Criminal Investigation Section.

Chavez stated that training was beneficial for officers who are not commissioned.

“When it comes to just kind of refreshing mainly, I had already been exposed to this. This is one of our basic training things, items that we have to actually cross off in our list, but just getting the refreshers is key…especially since most of us are tasked to deploy,” said Chavez.

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