Defenders strengthen skills through combative course
By Senior Airman Jonathan Stefanko, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 20, 2016
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Airmen throughout Europe attended a Security Forces Combative course at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Jan. 11 through 17.
The five-day course is designed to teach security forces members weapon retention and self-defense.
"When our people are facing a threat, they need to have the skills and knowledge to defend themselves as well as ensure their weapons are secured," said Staff Sgt. Jakob Haase, 435th Security Forces combative instructor.
While the program is not new, it has just recently grown in popularity as its benefits have become more apparent, according to Senior Airman Nicholas Zimmer, 100th SFS response force leader and course student.
"The skills taught during the program can be used in everyday calls," said Zimmer "From domestic responses to altercations while on patrol, (what) we learn here can be used to handle hostile situations in the most peaceful means necessary."
From memorizing complex maneuvers to strenuous endurance training, the students push through the physical and mental exhaustion to perfect their craft, because it could be what saves someone's life.
"If a hostile situation arises it won't be in a controlled environment like (this)," Haase said. "There is no telling what could happen, we need to be confident in our skills and the only way to do that is practice."
In order to teach defenders at geographically separated locations, U.S. Air Forces in Europe units send members to attend the course at Ramstein, become instructors and share that knowledge upon return to their home stations.
"The cadre set the standard really high," Zimmer said. "They show us where our skills need to be as instructors and how we can guide and mentor the people we will be teaching at our home station."
With the end of the course comes another patrol for the Airmen, but with their new skills and knowledge in mind they arrive better prepared to serve, defend and protect.