Air National Guard Security Forces Senior Non-Commissioned Officer attends FBI National Academy Published June 28, 2013 By Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht 177th Fighter Wing Egg Harbor Township, N.J. -- Senior Master Sgt. Dan Mitchell, 177th Security Forces Squadron superintendent of training, graduated June 14 from the 253rd session of the FBI National Academy. Mitchell's class was made up of 216 law enforcement professionals from 48 states, 24 countries, and three military branches - including the New Jersey Air National Guard. The FBI National Academy has been lauded internationally for its academic excellence, and features not only traditional education facilities, but also athletic areas, firing ranges, and a mockup of an entire town. Consequently, the grueling ten week leadership course, held at Quantico, Va., is attended by less than one percent of all law enforcement officers. Mitchell was tapped to attend the course for the benefits the Security Forces training section would gain. "The curriculum of the FBI National Academy focuses on leadership and emphasizes critical thinking," said Mitchell. "We focused on legal issues, fitness, and a specialized instruction program in law enforcement arts." The training also featured a wide range of instructors and guest lecturers, including officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Naval Criminal Investigation Service, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The class also heard from speakers such as Mike Durant, the U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter pilot who was shot down and held as a prisoner of war in Somalia. "The FBI National Academy has long been a vital element in the continuing improvement of law enforcement standards, knowledge, and cooperation throughout the world," said Mitchell. "The Academy provides a wide range of leadership and specialized training, as well as an opportunity for law enforcement professionals to share ideas, techniques, and experiences." The learned experience from this training along with Mitchell's civilian employment will provide valuable knowledge that he can use in his position at the 177th. "My civilian employer is the City of Northfield, N.J. Police Department, where I am the Acting Captain of Police and the Commander of Police Operations. I plan, direct and coordinate all police operations for over 9,000 city residents," said Mitchell. "Having Senior Master Sgt. Mitchell attend the training provides our squadron with not only a subject matter expert in law enforcement operations and investigations, but also an incredible resource that is able to fuse the best of both civilian and military law enforcement practices," said Maj. Andrew Mattson, 177th Security Forces Squadron commander. "This is a utopian example of why the Air National Guard remains viable, relevant, and resilient."