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Ramstein leads the way with revolutionary Expeditionary Active Shooter Training

Students in the Expeditionary Active Shooter Training class barricade a door during a simulated active shooter scenario Nov. 5, 2015, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The E.A.S.T. class is a requirement for deploying Airmen and includes hands-on practical training to further prepare the student for a real active shooter situation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh)

Students in the Expeditionary Active Shooter Training class barricade a door during a simulated active shooter scenario Nov. 5, 2015, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The E.A.S.T. class is a requirement for deploying Airmen and includes hands-on practical training to further prepare the student for a real active shooter situation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh)

Two students from the Expeditionary Active Shooter Training class, followed by their instructors, search a hallway as they make their way to an exit during an active shooter scenario Nov. 5, 2015, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The E.A.S.T. class is a requirement for deploying Airmen and includes hands-on practical training to further prepare the student for a real active shooter situation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh)

Two students from the Expeditionary Active Shooter Training class, followed by their instructors, search a hallway as they make their way to an exit during an active shooter scenario Nov. 5, 2015, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The E.A.S.T. class is a requirement for deploying Airmen and includes hands-on practical training to further prepare the student for a real active shooter situation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh)

A student in the Expeditionary Active Shooter Training class checks on a fallen Airman during a simulated active shooter scenario Nov. 5, 2015, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The course is a requirement for deploying Airmen and includes a hands-on practical portion that allows the students to use the skills they were taught in the course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh)

A student in the Expeditionary Active Shooter Training class checks on a fallen Airman during a simulated active shooter scenario Nov. 5, 2015, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The course is a requirement for deploying Airmen and includes a hands-on practical portion that allows the students to use the skills they were taught in the course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Defenders from the 86th Security Forces Squadron (SFS), 435th SFS, and the 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron join forces in instructing lifesaving skills to all Airmen deploying from the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

In reaction to the spike of Active Shooter tragedies in both home-station and deployed environments, senior Air Force leaders directed all who are transiting downrange to receive additional in-person training on these valuable skills to barricade, escape, or fight against the threat. 

With implementation of this course on 1 October 2015, the training cadre provides all students:  lessons learned from past Active Shooter events, techniques to further aid their survival and assist response of Security Forces personnel, and a hands-on practical that puts the entire course into perspective.

"Unfortunately, there have been more and more Active Shooter situations across the world in recent years," said Staff Sergeant Karriem Abdulahad, instructor from the 86th SFS training section.  "Regardless if you are deployed, it is paramount that all individuals become versed in how best to respond to this threat.  My responsibility is to provide our Airmen these very skills - especially for those who are heading to high risk locations." 

What's unique with this particular course is students are placed in various predicaments which reinforce the classroom content.

"As an instructor, I always seek methods to supplement the material taught from an informative presentation," said Abdulahad.  "The practical portion ties everything together and causes the students to apply the tools in best options to protect themselves and others from an Active Shooter."

Many students viewed the course as an eye-opening experience as the guidance and tips they received from the Defender cadre, forced them to utilize the work environment they were in to employ the best available option.  Being situationally aware and thinking ahead makes you a harder victim.

"What I really enjoyed about the class was it took your decisions to the next step," said Airman 1st Class Sam Della Torre, a student in the course and 435th Air Ground Operations Wing (AGOW) knowledge operations technician.  "Just because you barricaded the door, doesn't mean you're safe.  Are there alternative avenues the shooter can still gain access?  Can I be shot through the door?  Are there other signs that will draw attention to my location?"

Ultimately, E.A.S.T. is furthering helping keep Airmen resilient and equip them with the tools needed to properly react to survive this universal threat.