177th SFS hosts Active Shooter Training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht
  • 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Security Forces Squadron played host to a mobile training team from the Air Force Reserve's 610th Security Forces Squadron this week at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. The team of instructors from the 610th SFS, stationed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, taught Active Shooter Level I training to a mix of Air National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, and civilian law enforcement officers.

"An active shooter call is the worst call possible," said lead instructor Master Sgt. Bruce Harris.

"Our course aims to aid first responders to effectively isolate, distract, and neutralize an active shooter," continued Harris. "Our goal is to save as many lives as we can."

The mobile training team taught two courses this week, each two days in length. The first day was classroom training on base, and the second day was practical training at Atlantic Cape Community College, in Mays Landing, N.J., where an empty building was used for tactical movements.

Tech. Sgt. James Armstrong, from the 177th SFS training office, not only helped to arrange the class, but participated as well.

"While we do our own training program here at the 177th, it is great to see what other agencies do, how they train, prepare, and respond," said Armstrong. "Working with other agencies gives us an opportunity to network and to exchange ideas with other military and law enforcement agencies. This is necessary because of the very dynamic, fluid nature of those we are trained to oppose in situations such as this. The tactics used by suspects are always changing, therefore our training must be designed to change and adapt to the enemy."

During the practical phase of the course, students were armed with Simunition rounds and protective gear, and participated in realistic active shooter scenarios.

"I found this training extremely helpful, useful, and realistic," said Staff Sgt. Stardust Santiago, a 177th SFS Airman who participated in the course. "This class should be mandatory for all first responders, period. The instructors were amazing, knowledgeable, and gave fantastic feedback. This is the best training experience I've had in my military and civilian law enforcement career to date."

"City, state, and federal law officers, they're all here to do what they signed up for, to protect their communities," said Harris.