435th CRG trains for contingency down range

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A Contingency Response Top-Off course participant assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group defends his position from a simulated aggressor during a tactical casualty care exercise at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. While the students used to have to travel stateside for the CR Top-Off course, the 435th SFS helped save the Air Force time and money by instructing the class locally. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Robby Royster, middle, 435th Security Forces Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of close precision engagement operations, helps an Airman assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group troubleshoot his weapon during a Contingency Response Top-Off course at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. While the students used to have to travel stateside for the CR Top-Off course, the 435th SFS helped save the Air Force time and money by instructing the class locally. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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U.S. Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group load blank ammunition into cartridges during a Contingency Response Top-Off course at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. During the course, 21 participants learned integrated defense, force protection, and tactical casualty care; skills they may need while opening new bases in deployed locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Edgar Cerrillo, left, 435th Security Forces Squadron Ground Combat Readiness Training Center instructor, instructs Contingency Response Top-Off course participants with the 435th Contingency Response Group on how to check a vehicle for explosives at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. During the course, 21 participants acquired skills designed to help them augment the 435th SFS, while carrying out the 435th CRG mission of opening up bare bases and airfields in austere environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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Contingency Response Top-Off course participants assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group learn to check a vehicle for explosives at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. During the course, 21 participants learned integrated defense, force protection, and tactical casualty care; skills they may need while opening new bases in deployed locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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Contingency Response Top-Off course participants assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group defend their position from a simulated aggressor during a tactical casualty care exercise at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. The CR Top-Off training is a three-and-a-half day course teaching integrated defense, force protection, and tactical casualty care; skills the 435th CRG require while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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U.S. Airmen assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group practice tactical casualty care during a Contingency Response Top-Off course at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. The CR Top-Off training is a three-and-a-half day course teaching integrated defense, force protection and tactical casualty care, which are skills the 435th CRG require while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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Contingency Response Top-Off course participants assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group defend their position from a simulated aggressor during a tactical casualty care exercise at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. The CR Top-Off training is a three-and-a-half day course teaching integrated defense, force protection, and tactical casualty care; skills the 435th CRG require while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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Contingency Response Top-Off course participants assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group defend their position from a simulated aggressor while evacuating a simulated injury victim at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. During the course, the participants learned integrated defense, force protection, and tactical casualty care, which they may need to use while opening new bases in deployed locations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Williams, 435th Contingency Response Support Squadron independent duty medical technician, gives a post-exercise briefing for a Contingency Response Top-Off course tactical casualty care exercise at Rhine Ordinance Barracks, Germany, Aug. 3, 2017. The CR Top-Off training is a three-and-a-half day course teaching integrated defense, force protection, and tactical casualty care; skills the 435th CRG require while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Elizabeth Baker)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --

The mission of the 435th Contingency Response Group is to open up bare bases and air fields in austere environments. During base-opening operations, they may face a variety of threats. In the past, those who needed training to counter these threats needed to travel stateside to attend contingency response courses. The 435th CRG created Contingency Response Top-Off to replace stateside requirements and provide all necessary training locally in three days, saving thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours, and building a better bond between trainers and students.

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Sams, 345th Security Forces Squadron section chief for flyaway security and the combatives program, was one of the instructors during a recent CR Top-Off class.   

“Training here is more effective than sending them back to the States,” Sams said. “Not only are we saving time, energy, and effort by training them locally but they’re getting trained by the same security forces members who deploy with them. We’re enhancing our relationships, camaraderie, and capabilities by working with one another.”

Sams said that the CR Top-Off training is a three-and-a-half day course teaching integrated defense, force protection, and tactical casualty care. Integrated defense encompasses all the 345th SFS operations and training that are involved in defending a base; while force protection describes the preventative measures taken to mitigate hostile actions against base personnel, resources and information. Tactical casualty care involves caring for wound victims in combat situations.

Participants spent time in classroom receiving knowledge on topics such as use of force, entry control point operations, and tactical movements and formations. On field day the participants suited up in helmets and body armor, loaded blank ammunition into their weapons and headed out to the woods on Rhine Ordinance Barracks to do hands-on exercises such as checking vehicles for simulated explosives, detecting improvised explosive devices, and treating and caring for an injury victim under fire.

“The training has absolutely been effective,” said Master Sgt. William Crismon, 435th Contingency Response Squadron first sergeant and one of the course participants. “The instructors here are definitely on point, very professional, and proficient in everything that they’re doing.”

As the participants treated simulated victims, checked beneath vehicles, and defended their positions under simulated fire, instructors stood by to critique and give guidance.

“The most important part is that these members get this training which is going to make them qualified to continue to deploy down range and continue operating the mission of the 435th CRG successfully,” Sams said. “Without this training they don’t have the most up-to-date tactics and techniques for what they need to do when they get to the austere environments.”

The 435th CRG is currently in the process of training 60 personnel with CR Top-Off and calculates that they will save approximately $210,000 and more than 10,000 man hours by training them locally.

“The most rewarding part has been seeing everybody operate together,” Crismon said. “Watching the experience and expertise from the cadre and watching the team grow.”

They intend to continue to giving their Airmen the best-possible training, allowing the Airmen to continue their mission with the knowledge and experience they need to keep themselves and their country safe.