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"SOC" it to me: Defenders across USAFE train at Ramstein

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Savannah L. Waters
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

With the amount of training, preparation, and paperwork involved, pre-deployment processes can too easily become a blur. What to expect can vary, but the 435th Security Forces Squadron ensures Airmen who come through their pre-deployment Security Operations Course leave with the knowledge and confidence to execute the mission.

The 435th SFS’s Ground Combat Readiness Training Center SOC is a 15-day mission specific pre-deployment training course held for security forces Airmen of all grades tasked for deployment to U.S. Central and U.S. Africa Command theaters.

Defenders from units across USAFE spent the first week of the course in the classroom learning basic combat skills necessary for deployments, ending the classroom portion of training utilizing skillsets such as Combat Life Saver (CLS) and Radio Telephone Operator (RTO), getting familiar with signs of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and exercising drills of IED searches.

Students also received Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) training from Ramstein medical personnel.

Christopher Williams, 86th Medical Group simulation educator, along with a diligent team of instructors, prepared three mannequins to stage three different injury scenarios for the TCCC training, allowing students to put their newly trained skills to the test.

“What we are teaching them with isn’t new technology, but new techniques to perform the proper procedures on a person in a stressful environment,” Williams said.

Conducting missions as squads and being evaluated by the 435th SFS instructor cadre, students showcased knowledge of urban operations, close quarters combat, live firing iterations, mounted and dismounted patrols, entry control point operations, and counter-IED operations while at U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder.

“Watching the students understand and apply that training to protect and defend a base in a deployed environment is what I love most about being an instructor,” said. Tech Sgt. Ross Richwine, 435th SFS GCRTC flight chief. “It’s a very important job.”

During the urban operations, volunteers enacted friendly and opposition forces operations to enhance the training environment.

Using live volunteers helps Airmen have realistic targets to not only engage, but also build rapport with, or speak to while conducting their missions.

At the end of the day, students will conduct their missions with the confidence all leaders have.

“This valuable training is new for some, for others a refresher,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Jeffcoat, 100th SFS base defense operation center controller and SOC student. “Every Airman here should know: it doesn’t matter what rank you are, anyone can become a leader. Don’t be afraid to be one.”