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JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - Members of the 113th Security Forces Squadron of the District of Columbia Air National Guard recently attended the Air Force Phoenix Warrior Training Course here at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center.
Security forces members from several states attend the course to learn skills they may need to use while deployed in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. The expeditionary center provides advanced expeditionary combat support, training and education.
Some of the training taught during the course includes: military operations in urban terrain, combat first aid, and mounted and dismounted patrol.
“Some of the training I knew before I came here since our unit just completed an ORI, but the training was more in depth,” said Senior Airman Lucien C. Halfhuid, a 113th SFS fire team member.
The training not only teaches in the classroom, the instructors take the students to the field, where there is hands-on training with opposing forces.
“I learned a lot, especially about self-aid buddy care,” said Master Sgt. Robert Waters, the 113th SFS fire team leader. “When you have to apply medical help under fire and there are all kinds of noise going on around you, you have to stay concentrated on your patient. We also have to provide security at the same time, which is really, really intense.”
Tech. Sgt. Paul Evans, a U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center 421st Combat Training Squadron instructor, said the Guardsmen were motivated for the training and eager to learn. “They like to hear what we have to say and they are willing to offer up any experiences they’ve had and help us make our courses better,” he said.
The most difficult part of the training for Waters, who is preparing for his fourth deployment, was doing physical training and then trying to fire at a target. “We had to run up a hill, do pushups and then fire a weapon trying to keep the target in sight. We were out of breath, and it was kind of hard to shoot. You have to be in shape so you can catch your breath and shoot the target.”
Waters said, some of the training was new to him and some of it refreshed his memory. “You always have to learn something. You have to build on what you already know and share it amongst the younger troops. We have a lot of younger troops and we all came together and we learned and we built on it. It was great training.”